Although school children most often used slates to complete their lessons, older students sometimes used quill pens and ink. The quill pen was dipped into the inkwell, then dabbed on a blotter to remove excess ink. Quills were used to practice penmanship and spelling, which was known as orthography. The teacher also used a quill pen and ink to write merit slips and other official school papers.
Inkwell, 20th Century, stoneware, H: 1.5 x D:3 in. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, Gift of the Rev. Richard F. Henderson, N0047.1969.