<< Previous Topic | Next Topic >>Return to Index  

The earliest mention of the school paddle in the USA

October 17 2010 at 7:32 PM
KK 

 
The paddle seems to be very much the preferred implement in USA schools. When did it first come into widespread use? I am particularly interested in early mentions of the school paddle in dated factual or fictional literature, and in official documents.

Have other cultures used the paddle in schools?

 
 Respond to this message   
AuthorReply
American Way

Re: The earliest mention of the school paddle in the USA

October 18 2010, 12:37 AM 

When the paddle was first employed as an instrument of correction is a question that interests me but I cannot be of direct help. Its root in slavery is one possible reason it was instrument of choice. The ideal slave was a subservient one and on auction day the sight of welts was a dead give away that they were auctioning damaged goods. Paddle marks were easier to hide and would dissipate by auction time. Erotic literature had the paddle used on black woman and it was used on children because it was consider less vicious. A case can be made that there was a carry over to children taught in a classroom.

Page three of a previous post is well worth re-reading. by male slave holders. In Catholic schools classroom yardsticks were used while a strap was used in the nearby public school. Principals were mostly men and it was an extension of a belt IMO. No proof again but a reasonable surmise. The cane seemed a carry over from the British Isles in the principals office of the Irish order of sisters and there were dowels like canes.

The switch and the hickory stick were used in rural communities. The stick was more often used in the classroom.

CLICK


 
 
KK

An example of an early mention of the school paddle

October 18 2010, 2:13 AM 

WIDOW WHIPS SCHOOL HEAD; Ohio Mother Lashes Principal Who Had Paddled Her Son
The New York Times May 17, 1922 (Hyperlink)

This brief news item is of interest in that it implies the paddle was well known in 1922 as no explanation is offered as to what was done to the boy. Interestingly, the 1913 edition of the Webster does not mention paddle as a verb.

 
 
KK

Another NYT article

October 18 2010, 2:45 AM 

URGES WOODEN PADDLE TO CURB YOUTH CRIME;
Chicago Psychiatrist Asserts the 19th Year Is Crucial Age Among Juveniles


CHICAGO, Nov. 16 , 1935 (AP). -- Old fashioned wooden paddles lustily applied to 19-year-old boys would reduce juvenile crimes, Dr. Harry R. Hoffman, director of the Cook County Behavior Clinic, said today.

The New York Times November 17, 1935


It is unclear from this short excerpt whether all 19 year olds should be paddled or only the naughty ones. Nor is it clear how many such paddlings are required. There is no mention of girls.

 
 
American Way

Re: The earliest mention of the school paddle in the USA

October 18 2010, 5:30 PM 

I apologize for posting under the wrong thread twice in a row. I'm having a hard day, having just posted the knout and bastinado under the wrong thread. What did I do? I searched instrument of correction and responded to my previous misplaced postings.

Spanking in other languages was the question. Remember the used Romance Languages (FRIPS). French, Romanian, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. I'm told that the Romanians, often the gypsies, moved about the Roman Empire so speak the closest to Latin. Can anyone affirm or debunk this? Is it apocryphal? It's off topic but how many times have I been taking to task for that? So be it.

Instruments of correction like martinet and ferule are named and used in the European continent.

CLICK


 
 
KK

Did the paddle replace the switch?

October 18 2010, 10:02 PM 

WHIPPING IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS (21 year old girl beaten with hickory rod - editorial)

For a half century or more the courts and law books have been saying in a routine way that a school-teacher has the right by law to inflict moderate chastisement upon disobedient or disorderly pupils. Some of them have...

New York Times March 16, 1879,

Teachers in many countries seem to have had a propensity towards severe corporal punishment. They seemed to have had a largely free hand until education first started to become compulsory towards the end of the 19th century and parents started to object to excesses. The paddle may have replaced the switch because it is less likely to leave marks.

 
 
KK

Twigs that broke the camel's back?

October 18 2010, 10:12 PM 

PUPILS UNDULY WHIPPED

Complaints against teachers of the public schools for undue, and in some instances unmerciful, punishment of boys have of late been common in both Queens and Suffolk Counties. At the Jerusalem (Town of Hempstead) School there was considerable excitement ...

New York Times January 25, 1880

 
 
KK

Humour in 1889

October 18 2010, 10:41 PM 

TRAINING MIND AND BODY; THE PROPER WORK OF THE SCHOOL SYSTEM. ADDRESSES MADE TO TEACHERS ON THREE ALLIED BRANCHES - RESULTS OF THE ELECTION

Except: Arbor Day had been better observed than was expected. In the vote on a [New York] State tree the sugar maple received 43 per cent of the votes of the children, the oak 24 per cent and the elm 16 per cent. The birch, hickory and willow, he observed, with surprise, were unpopular and the rattan got no votes at all.

New York Times July 4, 1889


No mention of the paddle. Rattan is known. The sugar maple is the NY state tree today.

 
 
KK

Re: The earliest mention of the school paddle in the USA

October 18 2010, 10:52 PM 

DEBATE ON CORPORAL PUNISHMENT; New-Jersey House Says Newark Teachers Shall Not Use the Rattan

TRENTON, N.J., March 19. -- Two hours of the time of the House to-night was devoted to a warm debate on corporal punishment in schools. The debate was precipitated by a Newark bill. Assemblyman Eisele of Orange was the spokesman for the bill. He had much ...

New York Times March 20, 1894


Rattan is mention in the headline only. The debate seemed to have been about the requirement for parental approval rather than implements.

 
 

StevefromSE5

Re: The earliest mention of the school paddle in the USA

October 18 2010, 11:15 PM 

KK

I just have a gut feeling paddling as the majority option is going to date to post WWII.

There's very little mention of anything pre-War other than whipping(which I take to be the fabled hickory stick, which I seem to remember from Mark Twain. I also remember Harry Morgan as Col Sherman Potter in MASH(TV series) mentioning the woodshed & whippings & that was set in the early 1950's.

Steve

 
 

Another_Lurker

Re: The earliest mention of the school paddle in the USA

October 19 2010, 12:12 AM 

A most interesting series of items from the New York Times in bygone days in the above posts by KK. There seems to have been a great deal of common sense in evidence in the court decisions listed in the item from 1879 concerning the unjustified punishment of the young lady. What a pity that common sense has become so much less common in today's world!

In the above article it is notable that in the Missouri case concerning parental rights to withdraw a child from classes in a particular subject, the subject at issue was Geography. Perhaps problems with Geography teachers go back a great deal further than those recently documented in this thread happy.gif

And off-topic. Reading on into the second article in the last of KKs links I am intrigued by the items sold by Edward H Alcott, the father of the incorrigible Indian shooting paper boy. I durst not name these items here least they, quite rightly in this Family Forum, attract the attention of larry1951 wink.gif but would anyone care to speculate what on earth these might actually have been in 1894? happy.gifwink.gifhappy.gif

 
 
Beanokid

Re: The earliest mention of the school paddle in the USA

October 19 2010, 9:58 AM 

In "The Marx Brothers in the Wild West" Groucho tells a pretty Indian lady "I see you have canoe - well you can paddle me any time..." So he took for granted that "paddle" meant "spank" (and being paddled by a pretty lady could be enjoyable!) That was around 1940, I would think.

 
 

Dean Clarke

Re: The earliest mention of the school paddle in the USA

October 19 2010, 10:53 AM 

America is somewhat outside my core areas of research, but I do have a reliable and unambiguous report in my files of a paddle being used to administer corporal punishment in a Pennsylvania school in 1915 (The Reading Eagle, June 15th, 1915), and by a private tutor in 1914 (Los Angeles Times, December 5th, 1914). After those two, more and more references start appearing gradually.

Both use the term as if it's one that some people would understand clearly, but which still requires some explanation.

 
 

Bob T

Re: The earliest mention of the school paddle in the USA

October 19 2010, 12:59 PM 

There are plenty of accounts of paddles being used on slaves pre 1865. They had holes drilled in them and were called hornets by the slaves.

When they made the transition to schools is anybodies guess.

 
 
KK

Re: The earliest mention of the school paddle in the USA

October 19 2010, 9:52 PM 

Excerpts from:

A dictionary of American English on historic principles

Compiled at the University of Chicago under the editorship of W A Craigie & J R Hulbert. Oxford University Press (1942, 1960).

This dictionary was intended to pick up where the Oxford English Dictionary left off. It covers American English words and phrases in use from the first English settlements up to the start of the 20th century.



Paddle (noun)


2a. A perforated, paddle-shaped ferule used in punishing Negro slaves; a blow from this.

1828. Cherokee Phoenix 10 April. Should any negro be found vending spiritous liquors, without permission from his owner, such negro so offending shall receive fifteen cobbs or paddles for every such offence.

1856. Olmsted, Slave States. 281. The paddle is a large, thin ferules of wood, in which many small holes are bored; when a blow is struck; these holes, from the rush and partial exhaustion of air in them act like diminutive cups.


2d. A hornbook.

1886. Z F Smith, Kentucky 691. The smaller children were furnished with a paddle, which had their letters and a, b, c's printed on it. When the paddle was finished, the children could then own a Dilworth speller. [Were children spanked with the hornbooks or shingles?]



Paddle (verb)


3. To beat or spank (a person) with, or as with, a paddle.

1856. Olmsted, Slave States, 189. I thought it was nothing but damned sulkiness, so I paddled him, and made him go to work.

1904. Hartford Courant, 23 June 8. A secret society of girls 'initiated' some neophytes by blindfolding them ... paddling them, and then rolling them down a steep hill.

1907. Springfield W. Republican, 22 August 6. "I'll paddle you!" is the threat used by despairing mothers and teachers (in Texas) in case of necessary discipline; and sure enough they do, with a regular wooden paddle constructed for the purpose.



Paddling


1. Beating, thrashing, or spanking with, or as with, a paddle; a beating.

1851. Hooper, Widow Ruby, 96. What a devil of a paddlin' the old woman gin him with the battlin'-stick

1856. Olmsted, Slave States 189. I sent them word to give him a good paddling, and handcuff him.

1862. N.Y. Tribune 13 Jan 4/4. All the starving, paddling and pickling in the world will not ensure good crops ... Let Bleeding Africa go.

______________________________________________

The above 1907 quote is apparently the earliest mention of school paddling the compilers of the dictionary were aware off. Members of this forum can do real research by finding earlier mentions than this.


 
 

Another_Lurker

Re: The earliest mention of the school paddle in the USA

October 19 2010, 10:32 PM 

Hi KK. A most excellent and comprehensive post. I doubt anyone will beat that 1907 date, but we'll see!

 
 
KK

Re: The earliest mention of the school paddle in the USA

October 20 2010, 12:13 AM 

Prison school leather paddle, 1898


CHICAGO BAD BOYS SPANKED; Innovation in a Public Institution Which Works Well.

New York Times, December 5, 1898

 
 
American Way

Re: The earliest mention of the school paddle in the USA

October 20 2010, 1:27 AM 

Paddles in Memphis TN. I wonder if it was atypical to spare girls bottoms from something other than the hand in the genteel south for southern belles?

http://classreport.org/usa/tn/bartlett/bhs/1979/

Memphis Paddlings

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0mL2gzy8dE

 
 
Jenny

Re: The earliest mention of the school paddle in the USA

October 20 2010, 2:40 AM 

Hi American Way

Paddles in Memphis TN. I wonder if it was atypical to spare girls bottoms from something other than the hand in the genteel south for southern belles?

Dixon said "All students would love to take over the school" and "Without such punishment pupils will have no respect for their teachers..."

As girls were exempt from the paddle, presumably Dixon was quite happy for them to take over the school and to have no respect for their teachers.


 
 
American Way

Re: The earliest mention of the school paddle in the USA

October 20 2010, 3:41 AM 

IMO Tennessee 1959 girls were not emancipated. They were probably behaving like ladies within the confines the definition of its time. Rowdy and disrespectful behavior was socially sanctioned in such a way that boys would more likely be the ones needing reinforcement. That being said, the buttocks of a female as something spared for other reasons might have also played a factor as in Malaysia.

 
 
 
< Previous Page 1 2 3 4 529 Next >
  Respond to this message   
  << Previous Topic | Next Topic >>Return to Index  
Find more forums on SchoolsCreate your own forum at Network54
 Copyright © 1999-2014 Network54. All rights reserved.   Terms of Use   Privacy Statement