Historical information

This is an early school arithmetic book with the front preface indicating it is the third edition published in 1842. The book appears to have been used about the 1860s by members of the Bell family who probably lived at Cudgee. The names of the children, presumably the Bell children, are scattered throughout the book – Margaret, Walter, Sarah and William. No information is available on this Bell family though there are records of births in Warrnambool of Bell children in the 1850s to William and Jane Bell. Cudgee, a small settlement on the Cudgee Creek, is about 16 kilometres from Warrnambool.


This book is of some minor interest because of its age and because it has some association with the Bell family who may have lived at Cudgee in the mid 19th century. The exercises in the book are of interest as examples of the arithmetical problems given to children in the mid 19th century.

Physical description

This is a hard cover book of 282 pages. The cover is dark brown with gold lettering on the spine but the front cover and part of the first few pages are missing. The pages are ragged and dog-eared and quite dirty in places. There is handwritten material in both pencil and ink on the front pages, throughout the text and on the back page.

Inscriptions & markings

‘William Bell’