Artifact of the Month — Shaving Kit

Ernesto Rodriguez, Associate Curator at the Alamo
April 3, 2019
Shaving kit with two razors and a small sharpening strop
From the Phil Collins Texana Collection at the Alamo

This artifact was recovered from inside the south room of the Long Barrack. This type of pencil was often used by school children to write on slate boards.

As paper was expensive, this was the best way to learn letters and numbers. The slate pencil would act like chalk on the slate board, and then could easily be wiped clean. Slate pencils were manufactured in the United States as early as 1844, and into the 1910s.

Although the Long Barrack was never identified as being used as a school, it is possible that the slate pencil was used either during the occupation of the site as the Quartermaster Depot, or was an item sold or used during the use of the Long Barrack as a mercantile store in the late 1800s