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Kickin' It Old School: 10 Vintage School Supplies

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Getting our kids ready to go back to school has some of us feeling pretty nostalgic for our own schooldays. Remember these ...?

Kickin' It Old School: 10 Vintage School Supplies

Trapper Keeper

Want to make someone weep with nostalgia for innocent days gone by? Just mention the Trapper Keeper. The once-ubiquitous loose-leaf binder reached its highest level of popularity in the '80s. The Trapper Keeper came in myriad "rad" designs.

Members Only Jacket

Groucho Marx once said, "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member." Not so the cool kids who got brand-new Members Only jackets for back-to-school. Sweet!

The Commodore 64

In the '80s, schools on the cutting edge of the latest technology had a computer lab wherein students could get hands-on experience with a top-of-the-line Commodore 64.

Hello Kitty Pencil Box

In her heyday, Sanrio's Hello Kitty was a must-have for any schoolgirl -- the pencil box being the most-coveted item. Of course, Hello Kitty is still around, lending her image to everything from motor oil to wine.

Silver Outliner Pens

They were like spray paint in a pen! Outliner pens were the ULTIMATE way to decorate book jackets, shoes ... even school desks (just don't let the teacher catch you!).

Mimeograph Machine

For those of us old enough to remember them, mimeograph machines were the cornerstone of education. Before modern printers were invented, this was the way teachers printed out assignments. The most common color used? A purply blue that had a pungent chemical smell and might've been some kids' introduction to "huffing."

The Casio C-80 Wrist Calculator

Before every kid was armed with his or her own smartphone, iPhone or iPod Touch, the only way you could sneak a calculator into class was via your watch.

Pencil Sharpener

Remember lining up to sharpen your pencil? Pencil sharpeners were affixed to school walls, and you could always find a few kids waiting to take a few whirls to achieve pointy-pencil perfection.

Pee Chee All Season Portfolio

What made the Pee Chee Portfolio so special? Nothing, really, except that the girl playing tennis, the football players and the runners gave us something to doodled on for an entire semester.

Card Catalog

If the phrase "Dewey Decimal System" still makes you cringe in fear, then you must have been acquainted with "ye olde card catalog" -- a giant bunch of drawers in the school library wherein the locations of all the books were written on tiny notecards. The meanest school prank? Messing up the cards' order for the poor librarian to sort out.

The Metal Lunchbox

When we were kids, "sack lunches" gave way to cool metal boxes (with matching thermoses!) emblazoned with our favorite TV shows -- or, in this case, "music."


next: 10 Ways to Get (Real) Work Done With Kids Around
15 comments so far | Post a comment now
XXXX August 7, 2010, 10:03 AM

How about the old time vinyl zipper pencil case?

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Pencil Sharpener December 13, 2010, 10:15 AM

I’m really happy to be old enough to have experienced the joys of having a Trapper Keeper. Also, I was always baffled in college that there were no pencil sharpeners in any classrooms.

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