Top 10 School Supplies we had in the 80s


It’s back to school time in the USA. Many of my former classmates from the 1980s are now teachers. Even the ones who threw 6” steel nails at Mrs. Drake’s head and flaming matches at Mr. Passer in the 9th grade. They are sharing how different things are in 2016 when compared to our time. Ahhh, the 1980s. When Eddie Murphy was funny, hair was big and mascara thick. Things were simpler then. Especially in terms of school supplies. Rather than 3-page lists with specific requirements from schools that must be upheld, we had a few simple items that lasted all year. Here is a list of the Top 10 things that every kid had.

  1. A Trapper Keeper. With this, you could fit all of your schoolwork into neat little pockets, with dividers for each subject. Mine had kittens on it.


  1. Number 2 pencils. They started out long and tall. An ideal slingshot frame. By the end of week 2, they would fall victim to the horrible medieval pencil sharpeners mounted on the walls in each classroom.

#2 Pencil Nub

  1. Shitty eraser tops. They broke apart and smudged color all over your freshly ruled paper but they were good for stress chewing and throwing at other kids. Hurt like hell if you took one in the eye.

Shitty Erasers

  1. Troll pencil toppers. I never understood this fad. I always thought they looked like creepy old junkies with pencils up their asses.

Troll Pencils

  1. A Real Metal Lunch box with thermos. Not the plastic kind! Mine was from my then-favorite TV show Space 1999. Still a great show available for download on iTunes. Somehow it made the crappy bologna sandwich taste better.

Space Lunch Box

  1. Duffle bag a.k.a a Book bag. The boys typically had a sports logo and the girls had unicorns and rainbows. All were brightly colored so as to blind you. Doubled as a deadly weapon when full of books.

Duffle Bag Unicorn

  1. Sketch Scented Markers. They smelled like fruit. They actually encouraged kids to sniff them. AWESOME.

Fruity markers

  1. Brown paper bag book covers. They lasted the whole year and were mandatory to protect your textbooks. You could draw on them. Band logos, landline numbers and dick pics never looked so good.

Book Cover

  1. Folders with popular characters on them for extra paperwork. I had one with Garfield in a Hawaiian shirt and another with the Purple Rain album cover. Of course I did.

Garfield Folderjpg

  1. Denim Jacket fully customized with favorite band patches and pins. Not so much a supply item but a standard for small-town American kids. Where uniforms were not a requirement, we established our own. Pretty much the same now. It’s nice to know that some things never change.

Denim Jacket 2


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