I've had the very good fortune to purchase a few things out of a
friend's private collection. This is one of them.
When she first showed me the book, I simply could not get past the
fabric cover but then, upon opening and leafing through the pages,
I found a simply marvelous 1850's Arithmetic Book whose
illustrations and lessons provide a window into life during that
time. Words like "cricket seats", "cooper" "sugar loaves" captured
my imagination and had me sitting and reading the lessons through
to the end.
Problems such as "A young cooper worked 3 days, and made 1
barrel each day..." or "7 sugar-loaves are on a shelf; one of them has
the top broken off"... but my all-time favorite was "There were 7
farmers, 3 of whom drank rum and whisky, and became miserable;
the rest drank water, and were happy and healthy. How many
drank water?" I've included many photos of the pages and
illustration just to give you a glimpse into how very charming this
The book itself measures 7 1/4 inches long by 5 inches wide and is
covered in a drop-dead polished cotton in a tumbling block print. It
is fabulous. It has some minor wear attendant with age and use.
The inside cover is signed in pencil "George A Himelreichs Book -
Leesport Jan the 6 1858". The interior pages are in excellent
This is a fabric and book collector's dream (the two in one deal) and
rare find, not to mention a wonderful portal into the past.