The abacus, or counting frame, has been used as a calculating tool since ancient times, and across the world. In schools, they have been used to teach number systems and mathematics, from pre-school onwards.

This abacus, made by the Educational Supply Association Ltd. in England in the 1920s, is on a turned wood stand so it could be seen by all the pupils in the classroom.

It was used at Great Hallingbury Primary School near Bishops Stortford, Essex. Mrs Sylvia Plumb, a teacher at the school from the 1940s, remembered it still being used for a brief period at the beginning of her career.