Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Child's plate, "Hold Out Your Hand You Rascal," with a molded alphabet border.

A child's plate with the text "Hold Your Hand Out Your Rascal" didn't surprise me.  A teacher hitting a child's hand with a switch was something most children could relate to in the 19th century in England and America. The plate with the molded alphabet border was intended as a gift for a child. Perhaps as a warning.  And, although some of us look at this pattern as inappropriate for today's child, it was seen as appropriate and humorous in the 19th century.

I thought I'd learn about corporal (physical) punishment in schools today.  I knew corporal punishment in schools was common in England and the United States in the 19th century.  And before.  I didn't realize that it remained legal in England and America throughout the 20th century.  England didn't abolish corporal punishment in state schools until 1986 and in public and private schools that received no state funding (what we'd call private schools in the U.S.) until 1998.  However, in the United States, there is no Federal law outlawing corporal punishment! As of 2014, there are still nineteen states that allow it: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming. That said, the first state to outlaw corporal punishment was New Jersey in 1867.  The second was Massachusetts in 1971!  One hundred and four years later.  To say I was surprised is an understatement.  I will add that some states require parental permission for corporal punishment.

My own state of origin, Pennsylvania, didn't outlaw corporal punishment until 2005.  It was never anything I saw or experienced when I went to a Philadelphia public elementary school in the 1950s.  My mother, who went to the same elementary school in the 1920s, said she did witness corporal punishment. Mainly boys.

What about corporal punishment such as spanking by a parent?  That is a topic for you to explore, but it is legal in every U.S. state.

I digress as usual because I was flabbergasted that corporal punishment was still legal in schools in 19 states and in every private home in every state.  Transferware patterns continue to open windows onto new knowledge.

One more pattern.  Below is a pot lid found in the Transferware Collectors Club Database of Patterns and Sources.  The boy is about to be birched or beaten by his teacher (or parent) with a birch stick.

"A Rebel, or Jack at Old Birch's" 2.88 inch pot lid.

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