We found some naughty imps of yore in an unlikely place: an 1892 book on the industrial arts.
This folio contains a true bonanza of illustrations, covering all manner of modern inventions. Each page is arranged to show developments in the design of the invention, beginning with the primitive, and ending with the cutting-edge.
(Have you been wondering about the vanguard of egg carriers? This book can satisfy your curiosity!)
The entry on school furniture shows some truly marvelous folding desk contraptions, as well as simpler wooden desks populated by….
…misbehaving schoolchildren! We have a scowling miss undergoing some unfortunate piliferous bullying, the infamous Sleeping Guy with his head on his slate, and a lively scene of bench-style seating gone awry. Here’s a close-up of the latter situation:
“Hey, Johnny? Hey Johnny!”
“Not now, Caleb, I’m doing my sums.”
“Johnny! Hey. Yer forehead is weird. Can I look at your sums?”
“No, Caleb. Stop being a hornswoggler. Just because this primitive wooden school furniture lacks a flat surface for you to work on doesn’t mean you can pester me.”
“Hey, Johnny. Why don’t you have ears. Did ya see the dunce kid? Did ya see his walkie talkie?”
“SHHH. Caleb. Geez.”