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Originally published Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 7:02 PM

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Unique chalkboards from Garfield High need a new life

ZERO WASTE: This blackboard was salvaged by the RE Store from Garfield High School's chemistry labs as part of the school's major renovation, completed two years ago.


THIS BLACKBOARD was salvaged by the RE Store from Garfield High School's chemistry labs as part of the school's major renovation, completed two years ago. The school opened in 1923, and this piece is likely just as old. Unfortunately, you can't make out any of the chemistry equations or symbols that once decorated the black surfaces.

Three horizontal chalkboard pieces fit inside a wood-framed box. The blackboards are positioned on different tracks, allowing each to be raised and lowered using a rope pulley system. Metal handles on the bottom of each board make them easier to pull up and down.

RE Store staff say it's rare to find blackboards such as these still housed in their original wooden frame, but the boards also can be separated and used as individual pieces.

Though the chemistry equations and diagrams are long gone, one chalkboard sports faint writing lines, typically used to teach elementary school students how to form upper- and lower-case letters. About 20 sticky nametags line the side of the frame. Students' names written in bubble letters and messy cursive remind the buyer of a few of the thousands who once learned from these chalkboards.

For sale: $900 includes the three blackboards and their wooden box. Chalk is not provided.

Dimensions: About 7 ½ feet wide by 8 ½ feet tall. The panels sit inside a wooden box that's about 7 inches deep.

Suggested use: Looking for a vintage menu board for your cafe or coffee shop? The panels can be lined up and used separately or displayed in the built case. If you have rotating weekly menus, what better way to easily feature your cafe's variety?

Michelle Ma is a Seattle Times online news producer. Greg Gilbert is a Times staff photographer.

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