WHAT IS A HORN BOOK?
The hornbook originated in Europe during the Middle Ages. They were completely handmade with the text done in calligraphy.
When Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1450 the resulting press printed papers made the hornbook available to many in Europe. Hornbooks were used in Colonial America as well.
The hornbook was used to teach reading to children for well over 300 years. A child was not trusted with an expensive book, but would start out with this primer of a single sheet of press-printed paper usually containing the Lord’s Prayer.
This sheet was pasted on a wooden paddle then covered with a pane of horn that was flattened and thinned to the point of being very translucent. A mica pane was also used instead of horn on some hornbooks. The purpose of the horn covering was to protect the printed text from little hands.
Around 1800, the hornbook fell out of use in favor of the battledore, which was a cheaply printed lesson on thin cardboard.
I love finding little tidbits of history that I can share the story and at the same time try to reproduce. The explanation of the Hornbook from the Elizabethan times is so amazing that I just had to create one.
In this class we will make a replica hornbook. Using modern day items we will create a primitive item that was used in the colonial days. Although these hornbooks were created for and used by children years ago to learn, we will be making a primitive focal piece of art that is sure to attract attention
Materials Fee $25 paid at beginning of class includes:
all supplies and use of tools provided by teacher.
Supplies Needed to bring for Class:
Students just need to bring apron and lap