The mid 1800s saw chalkboards being used in schools across America. Teachers were saved the task of rewriting information for each and every student on their individual slates. The popularity of chalkboards increased because it allowed teachers to teach a larger number of students at the same time. After no time, the ever expanding American railroads were transporting large chalkboards all over the country.
People began to see the many advantages of chalkboards. They saw it as an excellent way to reach a message to a wide audience. This feature of chalkboards made them very appealing for different businesses. To start with chalkboards were referred to as blackboards as they were made of black materials. This trend continued through the 1960s, when green boards came to be favored over the traditional black.
The change was partly due to green's aesthetic appeal over black and a few other practical considerations. Traces of erased chalk were not as readily visible on green as on black.
Many businesses use chalkboards for different purposes. Coffee shops use them as their menu boards, as it is common for the menu and offerings at a coffee shop to change daily, or even more than once a day (including breakfast, lunch, and dinner specials. ) Chalkboards are a cost-effective way to update frequently changing information for the public to read. As the contents of the chalkboards were changed everyday, the chalkboards would be a source of curiosity for passers by. Coffee shop owners profited from this attitude by highlighting different specialties in a decorative manner and enticing customers to come in. Passers by, who otherwise would not have ventured to enter the coffee shop, would be lured by the attractively written displays on the chalkboards.
With all the new ways of advertising available today, chalkboards have not totally gone out of style. Several coffee shop owners still prefer chalkboards to write out daily menus. The only difference is that the quality of chalkboards being used today is far more superior to what was in use earlier.
Chalkboards were originally made of slate. Now they are made of far more resilient material and are available in several sizes and styles. Coffee shop owners make use of colored chalk to make attractive displays.
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