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  • Category: General

    The traditional old aluminium school bags and stationery

    Today we see school bags of all shapes and colours, some with popular cartoon characters and superheroes. These are mostly humped backpacks. Remember...In our childhood days, we had the aluminium rectangular-shaped ones with the hinged lid. At the pre-primary level, they were smaller and a few kids had plastic ones.

    And what did we have in those aluminium bags? As toddlers just a box of snacks and a little handkerchief maybe. At the primary level, in the large-sized ones, a couple of books and a small pencil box with a Natraj or Camlin pencil or two, a packet of colour pencils, an eraser, and a sharpener.

    It was only at the middle school level that these type of bags gave way to leather rectangular ones with shoulder straps and the option to hold it with the shorthand strap. This was due to the increase in the number of subject-wise textbooks, files with lined paper, etc.

    Do you still have your school aluminium bag? I have one, even with my name etched on it quite intact! Have a look-
    Old Aluminium School Bag

    As you can see, the lid has plenty of scratch marks and on the inner lid, there is something that looks like the word 'purr', likely put there when trying out the spelling of the sound of a cat!!

    Let's go down the fond memory lane and reminisce on our school bags and stationery.
  • #715157
    This post is evoking a lot of childhood memories and definitely I would like to share something which is still there intact in the layers of depths of my old memory. I did not have anything like a tin or aluminium box and the earliest thing that I remember was an ordinary cotton bag with small straps to hold it and inside that there were a few copybooks and one or two pencils and eraser. In place of a geometry box I had only a half moon and other things we used to get on loan from the other students. This went on till class 5 and then only in class 6 when I took admission in a Mission Inter College, I got my first rectangular thick jute/cotton school bag which incidentally remained with me till my class 10. It was very durable and had sufficient space to keep so many things that we took to school.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #715161
    I remember these aluminium boxes and during my school days, many students were using these boxes. But I never used such a box. I used a school bag which can be carried in our hand or if we want we can have it on our back. When I was in primary school the size of the bag is very small and when I entered high school the size increased. I used to carry a pencil box, lunch box and some books on it. If there is a drawing class I used to carry a geometry box. Sometimes I used to carry colour pencils also. Many students used to use bags only. Only a few students used to bring aluminium tins.
    Oneday when I went for my lunch, somebody opened my bag and after coming back I noticed that and immediately searched the whole bag and I found that all the items were there. Somebody might have referred the book and kept back. From that day I started carrying that bag with me while going for lunch also.

    drrao
    always confident

  • #715170
    After going through the thread I looked at the place where I kept the aluminium box in a corner and yes, it is sitting there. There is an interesting story behind this aluminium school box which I don't think I have ever carried to school. I used to carry a small bag, made of cloth, where there was a few books, copies, a pencil box and ofcourse the lunch box which was popularly called a tiffin-box. Many of my friends used to carry such boxes made of aluminium and I was a bit crazy to carry one such box. For this very reason, my parents purchased the box and I think since it was not possible to carry it on our backs my parents were a bit hesitant to allow me to take such boxes in schools. Though the box was at home. I used to keep some books in the box.
    Sankalan

    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #715172
    During my childhood days, I never carried any type of box to school. But I watched girls and boys in uniform carrying an aluminium box to school. I had only very ordinary cotton bag with a sling. It used to contain one slate and slate pencil and a book. I never carried water bottle to the school. And I never walked to the school. My mom used to carry me and drop me at school and pick me up from school and drop at home, because of my health problem.

    While in office, I could manage to get one such aluminium box for me. I am using it as a tool box for my Good old Padmini. It contains the spanners, hammer, screwdriver, plier and spare nuts and bolts, and spare bulbs. It is available in Padmini's luggage space.

    No life without Sun

  • #715191
    I was always envy of my elder brother as he had this aluminium box in the childhood and he used to tease me showing his box. But that was not comfortable to carry unlike the bags which can be carried over the shoulders.
    Sanjeev

    " The two most important days in your life are the day when you are born and the day you find out why? "
    – Mark Twain

  • #715193
    I had one small aluminium box which I used for 3-4 years before going for a full fledged school bag which my father got specially for me by ordering in a shop who got it in 10-15 days. It was an adorable piece for me as it had so many pockets and places to keep my things in a category wise way. I had that bag for quite some time and it was only when I joined my UG course I stopped taking it as we had to take only a few copybook and concerned notes to college which we usually managed in a thick file cover. I still remember the versatility of that bag which I used during my school days.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #715197
    I was carrying this aluminum box in which the books of my sister and my elder brother's and mine are carried. The present day school bangs are cloth based and they even drench during the rainy season. But aluminum box are stronger, can be handled roughly and moreover the box would safeguard the books from rainy season and the box has the lock and key facility and that proves ample security and none misuse our books by fellow students. Moreover in those days there was no bag culture as it would stain the back of the children and this box would prove to be more beneficial for higher classes.
    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #715218
    I had my schooling from a government primary school. In my childhood, there was no private school in our town. There was no concept of English medium schools or l.k.g/u.k.g/nursery classes. Fuller earth, inkpot, a Hindi language book, wooden slate were some items contained in a cotton bag. From 3rd class onwards my cotton bag contained a few pencils, 3 copies, a Hindi language book, an eraser, a sharpener and a slate made of metamorphic rock and a few pieces of chalk. My school was located at a walking distance from my home, so I had not to carry tiffin box. One of my classmates had an aluminium box, rest all other students would carry cotton bags. We used to sit on the mat.

    My teachers were sincere in their profession. Their salary was not very good in terms of money, nowadays teachers' salary starts from 50 k onwards.

    I remember an incidence when I was in 3rd class. The teacher had not come to the class. A girl stood up and went ahead and stood at the desk of the teacher and began to dictate the class as a teacher. She asked me to open my book. Her order wasn't bearable to me. my Rock-slate was in my right hand, and I threw it towards her. It hit her head and it started bleeding. She began to cry loudly. I was scared and ran away from the class. Then for a few days, I did not go to school. My class teacher met my father and apprised him about what I had done in class. My father beat me and when I went to school, again I was beaten by my class teacher.

    My elder brother bought me a new cotton bag when I came in 6th class. A few items were changed for my cotton bag like geometry box, fountain pen, few more books of other subjects like English, science, math, Urdu and Sst besides Hindi First time we were taught English alphabets in this class.

    There is a Sanskrit Degree College across the road where My college is located. There are orchard and beautiful garden on the campus. During our vacant periods, we would go there and would sit in the branches of any tree. Taking permission from Swami Ji, the principal, was an essential part, else we would be disallowed. It was a daily routine. One strange thing I tell you about Swami Ji. His body was poisonous because he had never consumed seasoning (spice) in his whole life. He used to consume fruits or food without spice. If any snake would bite him the snake would die on the spot.

    It seems to me all this happened yesterday.

  • #715221
    I have not seen such Aluminium school bags but I have seen old lunch boxes made up of Aluminium that had a small separate box inside the main box. When I started schooling, I used to have a rectangle-shaped school bag made up of canvas kind of material. It was having multiple partitions, some with Velcro closing and other with zipping. To pack the bag, there were 2 steel buckles. I still remember my craze for closing those buckles because I used to love the sound of it.
    Padmini

    Living & Learning- simultaneous processes!

  • #715311
    Thanks to everyone for sharing your memories and experiences. I am aware that in those days many children did carry simple cloth bags with a slate and chalks, like the one seen in the popular 'Malgudi Days'. Even water bottles were not necessarily brought by all kids. I did keep a couple of the black slates which are around somewhere, and one was a double foldable one. However, I somehow don't recall whether or not we took slates to school, though do remember we used them a good deal at home for lessons and general scribbling. I loved the colour chalks - yellow, blue, pink, and green they were.

    I also remember that once we started carrying a pencil box with erasers, in class we would compare the shape and colour of those. We called them 'smelling rubbers' because of their unique smell. The most popular ones were the thick white ones with a green horizontal band at the top and an alphabet on it with the picture associated with it (e.g. A would have an apple). It was fun to have an eraser with our own name's initial on it and we would use these types rather than the pink eraser that would be at the end of a pencil.

    And those sharpeners - goodness, the way we would sharpen and sharpen and sharpen, trying to get that perfect pointy tip! When there was a craft class, it was fun sharpening colour pencils very very carefully to get a long curly shaving so that it could be used for a design, such as a flower or a face or even the moon and sun.

    Do you remember your first paintbox with the circular colour cakes? At that time Camlin ruled the roost, and even today if you go to a stationery shop you will see lovely Camlin stationery packs that are useful gifts to give children. The bottles of paint for Art class came much later. When my nieces were little, I had bought a paintbox for them (see the image below), gave them sheets of paper that were used on one side, and they would sit for a good while, making their own designs. I recall my mother giving them aprons too so that their clothes would not be spoiled with paint splotches.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

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  • #715313
    I have never used such an Aluminum bag, nor have I seen such bags, but I found it quite interesting when I saw the image of this bag through the thread. Many times we go so far in the world of technology and fashion that many precious things are left behind and when we encounter them again or if we find them from somewhere else then all the old memories come back and we understand Is, many things are valuable in our lives and whom no one can replace. I will definitely ask my grandparents about this bag.
    Swati Sharma

    Keep your Face to the SunShine

  • #715663
    K Mohan made a good point about the benefits of those bags, as being more sturdy and waterproof as well. Padmini's reference to the lunch box led me to take a photo of one we still have with the brand name on it (Meena or Meera). This was called a break box as it would contain snacks to eat during the morning 10-minute break after the first two classes and before the next three prior to lunch. I also used this type in my first year at college when my mother would sometimes pack rotis or puris in it with the sabzi in the smaller box. Luch boxes were tiered tiffin boxes, either steel or aluminium, that were put in a vertical container to keep the food warm. Today in the break box (its three hinges are long gone) we put mint leaves in it and the smaller one in it is sometimes home to curry leaves. Most useful duo!
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

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  • #715667
    Just recalling that ISC conducted A school box - creative writing contest and the entry Story of an aluminium school box won the first prize.

    #@715311 I had carried black slates to school upto third standard. In third standard it was a mix of both slates and note book.It was from fourth standard we had only paper note books and pencil. From fifth standard we started using ink pen. There are many nostalgic memories on that.May be at a more relevant context.

    The colour paints and brush I started using much later. But as there was an artist working near my father's shop, I used to go and watch him on his work and used to do some little 'bushings' on waste paper and waste wood or cloth with his permission.
    The one which s shown in the post was known to us as water colours.

    After fourth standard I moved to another place as earlier I was with my grandparents. Here from fifth standard, I need not carry much things to school, as my house was just across the road and I could come home even during recess and take things I needed whenever need . I used to carry books and things needed only for the pre-lunch session. Then after taking lunch from home I used to keep the morning session books and carry those needed for after noon sessions.

    As the school well and washing place used to get crowded, many students and sometimes some teachers used to come to my house and wash or drink water drawing from our house well.
    Many times when some special activities used to take place in schools materials like rope, knives, buckets, flowers and plant,s table clothes, dhotis to cover backside of stage etc used to be taken from my home. I used to feel as a privileged VIP then.


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