You are here

Mathematical Treasure: Milne’s First Lessons in Arithmetic

Author(s): 
Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

William J. Milne (1843-1914) was an American mathematics educator and author of an influential series of school textbooks. Educated in New York at Brockport Collegiate Institute and the University of Rochester, Milne went on to return as a professor to Brockport (under the new name Brockport State Normal School). He also served as the first principal of Geneseo Normal and Training School and eventually headed the Normal School in Albany, New York. From 1878 through 1914, Milne published a series of school mathematics texts that would remain as standards for many years. His First Lessons in Arithmetic, 1878, promoted modern principles of mathematics teaching.

Title Page for First Lessons in Arithmetic by William J. Milne

In the book’s preface, Milne explained his approach to the teaching of mathematics.                     

First page of the Preface to First Lessons in Arithmetic by William J. Milne

Second page of the Preface to First Lessons in Arithmetic by William J. Milne

The textbook begins by reviewing simple counting and number recognition from one to ten.

The numbers from one to ten in First Lessons in Arithmetic by William J. Milne

The images above were obtained through the courtesy of the University of California Libraries. The work may be viewed in its entirety in the Internet Archive.

Index to Mathematical Treasures 

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University) , "Mathematical Treasure: Milne’s First Lessons in Arithmetic," Convergence (July 2017)

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED