Friday, September 7, 2012

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Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York; click to enlarge

A report card full of good grades is a nice thing for a student to receive. But how about a certificate affirming that the student was "A Good Boy" or "A Good Girl"?

I'd never heard of that until I saw the two cards shown above, both of which date back to the late 1800s and are now in the ephemera collection of the Museum of the City of New York. They're among several school-related items that were recently featured in an article on the museum's site, which should be of interest to anyone who's been following Permanent Record.

Perhaps the award cards were sort of like an early version of getting a gold star from the teacher. It's interesting to see that the cards were issued by the Department of Public Instruction -- apparently an early name for the Department of Education. The latter, more familiar name appears on this 1913 report card, which was also featured in the museum's article:

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Note the little comment at the bottom: "An excellent boy." That's presumably even better than being a good boy, right?

(Special thanks to Carrie Klein and Kirsten Hively for bringing the MCNY article to my attention, and to MCNY archivist/blogger Lindsay Turley, who graciously provided high-res scans of the items featured in this post.)

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