The booklet illustrated is an aid to learning for children, but also for adults. It included multiplication tables, fractions, simple rules in mental arithmetic, squares, square roots and trigonometry, but much, much more.

It appeared as a 30-page booklet in Victorian times and was later expanded to 64 pages, being updated into the 1950s. We know this as all versions had a list of Kings and Queens, starting with William the Conqueror. Early editions finished with Queen Victoria and later ones with Elizabeth II.

Amongst the many subjects covered were wallpapering, the Great War, hay and straw measures, converting rupees to pounds, astronomical tables, Jewish weights, measures and money.

At a time before calculators the books would have been a great help to children, but also as a handy reference book. Now they give a valuable insight into the past of our country. The books are available second hand

Key theme(s):


More information:

Date 1900s, 1920s, 1950s
Material(s) Paper
Item number MBPO72

Questions to help you remember using this item

  • Have you ever owned a copy of this booklet? If so, how useful was it?
  • Can you still recite your tables up to the 12 times table?
  • At school did you find arithmetic easy or hard?
  • Have you ever used a book of logarithmic tables?

User Stories

The first booklet sold for one old penny.

The publishers state that ‘Many millions of this useful little work have been published.’

We can learn that a Spanish Quartil was worth precisely forty-three one hundred and thirty sixths of a British penny and that 36 trusses of hay equals a load.

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