Fusion: Deakin Exhibits Online

Whitcombe's progressive spellers

The Whitcombe’s Progressive Speller series provides insight into spelling techniques during the 1930’s and 1940’s, where the publishers claimed there was a shortage of spelling techniques based on a “rational plan”.  The scheme, developed by Whitcombe and Tomb’s, used a selection of spelling techniques including phonics, word-building, simple rules and word groupings, to develop a comprehensive teaching aid suitable for age groups ranging from seven years through to secondary school. 

Reading lessons and activities were supplemented by syllabus lists of words for school grades as specified by the state educational authorities in New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria, and the secondary school edition also contained an interesting list of “New Words and Phrases” including such words as Fascism, helicopter, helium and nylon.  This rare collection of educational tools feature beautifully illustrated front and back covers with images of everyday objects suited to the intended age group.