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From the late 1700s Richard Pennant began to pioneer the way to supply slate to the British Empire, both for roofing and use in schooling. 

From the Jamaican Gleaner: 21 Aug 2017

An old school slate.

I am grateful to those readers of my columns who have said they enjoy the occasional nostalgic stories.

While waiting in the bank the other day I saw a gentleman with an old-time school slate. I didn't get a chance to ask what he was doing with it, but of course my mind ran back to the early days in school when we used slates at a tender age for learning to write. The slate was a thin piece of hard surface material about the size of an iPod.

Your teacher gave you a slate on your first day in school. A slate pencil was used to write your ABC, and a little pencil was attached by a string to the wooden frame. Teacher taught us how to erase our first strokes of genius with a piece of damp cloth, an action which I suppose is the origin of the phrase “to wipe the slate clean”.

Lance Neita is a public and community relations consultant. Send comments to the Observer or lanceneita@hotmail.com

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/opinion/little-school-days-but_108261?profile=&template=PrinterVersion#ixzz5PECmfXAA

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