1900s Education: eighth grade exam (answers!)

Hello everyone! How well did you do with the sample questions from the eighth grade exam?  Do you think you could have passed if you were lucky enough to stay in school that long?  Here are the answers to the sample questions. If you want more questions and answers, here is an 1895 eighth grade exam.



  • Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
  • Capitalize the first word in a sentence.
  • Capitalize the pronoun I and the interjection O.
  • Capitalize the first word in a quotation.
  • Capitalize the first word in a direct question falling within a sentence.
  • Capitalize all nouns referring to the deity and to the Bible and other sacred books.
  • Use a capital letter for President and Presidency when these refer to the office of President of the United States.
  • Use a capital letter for official titles before the names of officials.
  • Capitalize proper nouns and adjectives formed from proper nouns.
  • Capitalize every word, except conjunctions, articles and short prepositions in the titles of works of literature, music, art, books, etc. The first word of a title is always capitalized.



  • What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $.20 per inch?


40 X 12 X $.20 = $96.00

U.S. History

  • Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.


The History of the United States of America is divided into these seven epochs:

  • Period of Discovery and Settlement (1492 – 1690)
  • Expansion of the Colonies (1690 – 1763)
  • Securing Independence (1763 – 1774)
  • The Critical Period (1774 – 1780)
  • Testing Self-Government and the Constitution (1780 – 1840)
  • Straining the Constitution (1840 – 1876)
  • The United States – A Greater Nation (to present)



  • Give four substitutes for caret ‘u’.

Substitutes for caret ‘u’ are oo as in tool, eau as in bureau, ew as in crew.


  • Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.

France with its capital at Paris, and Switzerland with its capital at Bern are the only republics in Europe. There are no other republics in Europe as we know a republic to be, all the other nations are constitutional monarchies, or principalities. The major monarchies are Great Britain, London; Germany, Berlin; Russia, St. Petersburg; Ukraine, Kiev; Austria/Hungary, Vienna; Italy, Rome; Spain, Seville; Portugal, Lisbon; Belgium, Brussels; Holland, Amsterdam; Denmark, Copenhagen; Norway, Oslo; and Sweden, Stockholm.


  • What is the function of the liver? Of the kidneys?

The liver is the center for the storage of vitamins and nutrients which were dissolved and digested in the intestines. The nutrients are carried to the liver by two large veins. Blood passes through the liver at a rate of about 1 1/2 quarts per minute. At any given time the liver contains about 10% of all the blood in your body. The liver is divided into two main parts called lobes. The liver is protected by the bottom part of the ribs on the right side of your chest and the liver weighs between 3 and 4 pounds. The liver also works to make bile. Bile is used to break down fats in the small intestine. The bile is stored in the gall bladder until it is needed to help digest the food you eat. If you eat a real fatty food your body will need more bile to help digest those fats than it would need in comparison to a salad or some fruit.

The kidneys are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located near the middle of the lower back, just below the rib cage. The kidneys are sophisticated trash collectors. Every day, the kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about 2 quarts of waste products and extra water. The waste and extra water become urine, which flows to the bladder through tubes called ureters. The bladder stores urine until you go to the bathroom. The wastes in the blood come from the normal breakdown of active muscle and from the food we eat. Our bodies use the food for energy and self-repair. After our body has taken what it needs from the food, waste is sent to the blood. If our kidneys did not remove these wastes, the wastes would build up in the blood and damage our body.


Series by Haley Sjerven, Staff Member


A Sheep Story

Everything served a purpose on a 1900 farm, and this included animals.  Farm families didn’t keep animals as pets, but rather as a valuable asset for work efficiency and resources; they provided food for a family and helped field work get done faster and better.

The Eidem’s main livestock were sheep, which came in to Osseo on trains from Montana every fall.  Brooklyn Park farmers would send out potatoes, and Montana farmers would send back sheep.  They were then herded from Osseo to Brooklyn Park, walking through the streets all the way back.  Sheep were first brought to Osseo in 1893 by a man named Edward Egan who purchased 100 of them from a farmer north of Anoka, who fed them during the winter before returning them to Montana.  As the years went by, word spread about Egan’s success, and soon winter sheep-feeding became a common practice for Hennepin County farmers.

Known for their meat, wool, and quality fertilizer, sheep were a common part of any Midwest farm.  Wool was a valuable resource, especially in the long, cold Minnesota winters.  In the spring, the sheep would be skillfully sheared by a farmer, and then the wool was spun into yarn.  Before being spun, wool had to be “carded”: brushed out with two special brushes in order to be straight enough to put on the spinning wheel.  Women would have “spinning bees,” large social events in which the women of the community would gather together at one house with their wheels and wool, spending the day making yarn.  They then used the yarn to knit hats, scarves, mittens, sweaters, stockings, and anything else used to keep warm in the winter.  Not only is wool incredibly warm, but it’s also waterproof, so snow didn’t soak through it, making it easier to work outside during the winter months.

Sheep are still a beloved part of Eidem Homestead today.  Children love to see the animals, feed them corn, and pet their soft wool.  The spinning wheel, wool pieces, and carding brushes are still an important part of every tour, and we still have spinning demonstrations at events from time to time.  The Eidems have left their legacy in many ways, and we are proud to continue to carry it out.

History of Bake Contests

During Brooklyn Park’s annual Tater Daze festival, Eidem Homestead will host its annual bake contest.  Featuring pastries, breads, canned goods, and items made with potatoes, guests will participate in the time-honored tradition of kitchen competition.

Throughout much of American history, bake sales and contests have brought people together for community causes, such a raising funds for a church or school.  Contestants took great pride in their work, and recipes were and often still are thought of as a prized possession.  State and county fairs have also been hugely popular for this, awarding a multitude of prizes, ribbons, and bragging rights for centuries.

To promote its Best Family Flour and celebrate its eightieth birthday, the Minneapolis-based Pillsbury company hosted its first annual Bake-Off contest in New York City in 1949.  Thousands of entries were submitted to this nationwide competition with the winner receiving a $50,000 grand prize.  A hundred finalists won a trip to NYC and a stay in the hotel where the contest was being hosted, a Hamilton Beach mixer, a General Electric Stratoliner push-button range, and a $100 cash prize.  Since that first year, the contest has only grown, boasting celebrity judges every year, traveling to new cities, and now offering a $1 million prize to its first-place winner.  There are two age categories: junior (ages 12-18) and senior (age 19+), just like Eidem’s bake contest has, and the contest emphasizes quick and easy recipes for working America.

The success and popularity of the Pillsbury Bake-Off spurred other companies on to create their own contests, such as the National Chicken Contest, the National Beef Contest, and the Egg Recipe Contest.  Cooking competitions have also filled up television all over the world, with popular programs being The Great British Bake-OffMaster Chef and Master Chef JuniorChoppedTop ChefKids Baking Championship, and (baker’s) dozens of others.

Though competition divides people, food has an unmatched ability to bring the together.  Perhaps that’s why cooking competitions are so admired; despite having winners and losers, everyone always gets something out of it.

The Eidem bake contest has seen more than its fair share of delicious dishes in the last three years since it was started, and we cannot wait to taste everyone’s creations this year!  If you’re interested in participating, get your entry form here and and don’t forget to check out the event on our Facebook page.


Read the other excellent articles that provided the information for this post!  You can learn even more about baking and history.





A Place to Slow Down

We live in a fast-paced, non-stop world.  Everything and everyone is constantly and immediately connected, making a moment of solace a rare find. The beauty of a living history site is that it allows guests to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of their normal world and slow down their pace, even if only for a few hours.  Life in 1900 was still quite busy, especially on a farm, but it was a different kind of busy.  Getting things done was more about getting them done with quality than accomplishing the most in the shortest amount of time. I always tell people that Eidem Homestead is a great place to bring their young children.  Little kids don’t have much of an attention span and are constantly looking for new things to entertain them, so a visit to a fifteen-acre farm with activities from feeding goats to baking biscuits can barely bore them.  It’s beautiful to watch them come here and be captivated by something as mundane as pumping water to do laundry the old-fashioned way.  They fully absorb themselves in the activities going on here, letting their imaginations run wild while learning about what life was like long before they were around.  They’re still little kids, bouncing off the walls and asking every question they can think to come up with, but something is different.  The pace is slower and the environment is more calm.  They’re interacting with their surroundings, and you can almost see their brains being filled up with all the things they’re learning. While families with young children make up a majority of our guests, it’s not uncommon to find adults who just come here on their own.  I often hear the parents of young children say things like “oh cool, I didn’t know that’s how things worked!” after seeing a demonstration or participating in an activity.  From middle-aged adults and senior citizens, I often get questions about specific pieces of equipment or ways of doing certain tasks because they remember similar things from a family member’s farm when growing up.  The adults enjoy the interactive environment of the homestead just as much as the kids do.  It feels good to unplug and interact; to slow down and be a part of something so vastly different from the world in which we live; to rewind back to a simpler time.