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"Reward of Merit" presented to Minnie Flagg
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Minnie Flagg was presented this printed Reward of Merit by her teacher, Alice Starr, in about 1875. The certificate recognized Minnie's good behavior and outstanding work in school. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, teachers would show off their calligraphy skills by ornately hand writing these certificates. By the mid-19th century, methods of engraving and printing had improved. Teachers like Miss Starr could obtain inexpensively produced, illustrated Rewards of Merit from the local printer or a local shop carrying stationary. Teachers often brighten these printed Rewards of Merit by water coloring over the decorations on the certificates before awarding them to their students.
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