Archive for September, 2012

-Contributed by Cathy Faye.

Yesterday, we posted a visual quiz to the CHP facebook page, showing the image below and asking the pressing question: what is it?

I know, I know…the suspense has been killing you! Well, here’s the short answer: It is a technical manual on arithmetic, issued by the U. S. Army on May 14, 1943.

Now here’s the longer (dare I say, more interesting!) answer. Manuals like this were designed for recruits with below average reading, writing, and math skills. Without extra instruction, such recruits were deemed unfit for basic military training. Instead of being turned away, they were sent to Special Training Units, where they received basic educational instruction to get them up to speed in these areas. Recruits would first pass through a “Reception Center”, where they received their clothing, inoculations, primary classification interviews,  and a basic orientation to Army life.  Then, those that were deemed unfit due to subpar academic skills were transferred to Special Training Units.

At the Special Training Units, instructors used manuals and quizzes like this to improve recruits’ skills. Notice the reference to “Private Pete?” He was a recurring character throughout the learning materials. The manuals are full of really interesting images, which makes sense; they were designed to be rich with visual aids, since the majority of these recruits were categorized as having below-average reading skills.

Between June, 1943 and October, 1944, more than 180,000 recruits were sent to such Units. Training usually lasted about 8 weeks and those still deemed unfit at the end were honorably discharged. The success rate was about 85%. Here are some sample induction rates:


Interested in seeing more? The entire manual is available here in the CHP Digital Repository. Be sure to follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss these fascinating finds. Or, if you have the time and the inkling, go hunting through our vast collections yourself!

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-Contributed by Lizette Royer Barton and Emily Gainer.

Each year, the Society of Ohio Archivists (SOA) creates a poster to celebrate Archives Month, which is recognized in October.  The poster features historical images from archives around the state.  The theme for this year’s poster (pictured below) was “The Peoples of Ohio.”

Take a look at the photo in the bottom left-hand corner–you might recognize those faces! The CHP submitted a Polaroid photograph of Dr. Robert V. Guthrie and Dr. Alberta Banner Turner from the Robert V. Guthrie papers with hope that it would be featured on the poster, and indeed, there it is! The photograph was taken at a Southern Regional Education Board Conference in 1978 in Atlanta, GA.This image was perfect for the SOA poster theme, because Dr. Turner made significant contributions to psychology right here in Ohio. Here’s a closer look at the photo:

Wonderful, right? In 1935,  Alberta Banner Turner (1909-2008) became the first African American woman to earn a PhD in psychology from the Ohio State University.

Following graduation Dr. Turner spent several years in North and South Carolina teaching psychology and home economics until she returned to Ohio in 1942. In 1944 she was offered her first full-time position with the Ohio Board of Juvenile Research and rose through the ranks to eventually serve as chief psychologist. She began working for the Ohio Youth Commission in 1963 and later served as the Director of Research, a position she held until her retirement.

During her time at the Ohio Board of Juvenile Research and the Ohio Youth Commission Dr. Turner also taught classes at OSU and worked as a psychologist for the Ohio Reformatory for Women. Upon her retirement in 1971 she was awarded a citation from the State of Ohio for a lifetime of work in the field of juvenile rehabilitation and treatment.

Incidentally, Turner also has ties to the CHP! As a graduate student, CHP Director David Baker had read Robert Guthrie’s Even the Rat Was White: A Historical View of Psychology.  It was then that Dr. Baker learned about Alberta Banner Turner. When he arrived in Akron in 1999, he was excited to learn that Dr. Turner was still living in Columbus, Ohio. He contacted her and she agreed to meet with him at her home. Dr. Baker spent the afternoon with Dr. Turner and she shared many stories including those about her time as a graduate student in psychology during the 1930s. According to Dr. Baker she was, “vital and terrific.”

Dr. Alberta Banner Turner died in 2008. We’re glad to honor her life and career as part of the 2012 celebration of Archives Month and if you’re interested, you can head over to the Feminist Voices website to read more about her. We hope you’ll stay tuned to our social media sites for more upcoming Archives Month activities around the CHP!

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