Horn books, like the one shown above, were used by English
children from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries to learn basic reading
The earliest examples were made of thin panels of oak wood and had labels
bearing the alphabet, numbers, and the Lord's Prayer pasted on them. A very thin
and transparent veneer of cattle horn covered the label. A wooden handle was
fixed to the frame so that the horn book could easily be held in a child's
For more information, see B. Folmsbee's "A Little History of the Horn-book."