Retro School Supplies You Used to Use in Class

Just like calculus and art theory, there are some things you probably don't bring with you once school ends. Take a trip back to school with these retro supplies you might've once begged mom or dad to buy.

18 photos
1/18
2/18
Africa Studio/Adobe
Craft zigzag scissors - not to be confused with actual pinking shears - was a staple in every elementary school art class.
3/18
These removable grips were more fashion statement for our pencils than a cushion for comfort.
4/18
Newell Brands
These markers were the closest you'd get to sneaking candy in class. Scents ranged from cherry and watermelon to cinnamon and licorice, and the pens stayed juicy for weeks.
5/18
Michael Zwahlen/Getty Images/EyeEm
Quick: how many backpacks would you need to fill with floppy disks to hold the same amount of storage as an iPhone 6? Here's a hint: one gigabyte equals 712 floppy disks.
6/18
Lisa Frank Stickers
You were probably born on the wrong side of 1999 if you weren't surrounded by stickers of neon rainbow kittens and dolphins as a grade-schooler.
7/18
Texas Instruments
No smartphone? No problem. Any kid worth their salt had Tetris installed in their graphing calculators...just in time for AP calculus.
8/18
Chung King/Adobe
The overhead projector have mostly fallen out of use, replaced by its LCD cousin in classrooms and lecture halls alike.
9/18
Lekcha/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Some tools are educational, and others were more or less an excuse to doodle in class. Take a guess which group the spirograph belonged to.
10/18
Getty Images/iStockphoto
Multi-colored gel pens were once the gold standard in the economy of tradable school supplies. Metallic gel pens were even better.
11/18
Getty Images/iStockphoto
The primary-school equivalent of the water-cooler, the communal pencil sharpener would often have a long line that was a hotbed of kiddie gossip, not to mention a reason to get up from your desk.
12/18
Johanna Goodyear/Getty Images/Hemera
These paper reinforcements were once used to protect special documents, like A+ tests and final papers, from falling out of your three ring binder. Bonus points if you had to lick yours to make it stick.
13/18
Thuong V/Getty Images
Pencil toppers — good erasers, great fashion statement, awesome projectiles.
14/18
Penmanship paper and cursive writing is close to following the feather quill and ink well into obscurity, as students and teachers turn to computers to communicate.
15/18
Rubbermaid
Did anyone actually use these to make space? We only know we made enough glue bookmarks with ours to open a small crafts store.
16/18
Getty Images
Art adhesive or impromptu second skin? Waiting for Elmer's glue to dry is probably the only time most of us sat still in a classroom.
17/18
Jansport
Your clothes make or break you in school, and your backpack choice is no different. No knockoffs allowed.
18/18
Monika Graff/Getty Images
Rolling bookbags. Great for your back. Bad for your rep.
Contact Us