March 22, 2023
Big Chief Tablet St. Joseph Mo

Do you remember the Big Chief Tablet from your school days? This iconic Mead Products staple has been a part of American culture for decades, and its story is as fascinating as it is nostalgic. In this blog post, we take a look at the history of the Big Chief Tablet and how it became an integral part of childhood education in the United States.

Mead Products: A Brief History

Mead Products is a company with a long history in the United States. Founded in 1907, Mead began as a manufacturer of paper products, including school notebooks. In 1954, they began producing the Big Chief tablet, a writing notebook designed for young children. Over the years, Mead has produced a wide range of school supplies and office products, including the popular Big Chief tablet.

The Introduction of the Big Chief Tablet in 1954

Big Chief Tablet St. Joseph MoThe introduction of the Big Chief Tablet in 1954 marked an important milestone for Mead Products, the company that had taken ownership of the Western Tablet Company back in 1947. At the time, the tablet was marketed as a “primary grade writing tablet” with 3/8-inch spaced lines and 48 pages of ruled newsprint. The tablet quickly gained popularity among young children in the United States, and with its wide-spaced lines, it was easy for young students to practice their handwriting. Mead Products continued to develop and improve the tablet over the years, and in the 1970s, they introduced the “Son of Big Chief” tablet, which featured wider lines and more pages.

The Popularity of the Big Chief Tablet

The Big Chief tablet quickly rose to popularity because of its simple design and ease of use. It featured widely spaced lines, making it easier for young children to write on. The tablet was designed with an emphasis on fun, featuring characters such as Big Chief and Little Chief. The tablet was also marketed with an emphasis on education, highlighting the fact that it was designed to help children learn to read and write. This combined with the tablet’s affordability and availability made it a hit with parents and teachers alike. Its popularity only increased with the introduction of the Son of Big Chief tablet in the 1970s, which featured even more characters and a new design. The Big Chief tablet was a mainstay in the classroom for several generations, and it is fondly remembered by many.

Design Improvements Over the Years

Since its introduction in 1954, the Big Chief tablet has undergone several design improvements. Mead Products began manufacturing the tablet in the late 1950s and continued to do so through the 1970s. During this time, the company made several changes to the design, including the addition of a more durable paper and a glossy cover. The glossy cover was intended to make the tablet more attractive and to help protect the paper from wear and tear. In addition, the company also added a larger variety of sizes and ruled lines to the tablet. These changes allowed Mead Products to remain competitive in the market and also allowed them to keep up with changing consumer preferences.

Advertising and Marketing Strategies Used by Mead

Mead Products was a leader in the production of writing tablets, and as such they had to be innovative in their advertising and marketing strategies. One of their most successful campaigns was launched in 1954, when they released the Big Chief tablet. This campaign was designed to create a strong brand identity for the product, and it worked. They utilized TV and radio commercials, print ads and even school visits to spread the word about the Big Chief tablet. They also created a mascot, the “Big Chief”, to help promote the product. The mascot was a popular figure that children could relate to, and it helped to make the Big Chief tablet a household name. By leveraging these marketing techniques, Mead Products was able to make the Big Chief tablet a success.

Uses of the Big Chief Tablet Through the Years

The Big Chief tablet was used by many generations of children as a tool for writing, doodling, and drawing. It was used in classrooms across the United States, and it soon became a staple of American education. The Big Chief tablet was even used in the 1947 San Augustine elementary school.

The Big Chief tablet was a great way for children to practice handwriting, as the wide spacing between the lines made it easier for kids to learn to write without feeling overwhelmed. As technology changed, the Big Chief tablet changed too. In the 1970s, the Son of Big Chief tablet was released, and it featured a plastic cover and erasable ink.

The Big Chief tablet was also used for drawing and other creative activities. Its newsprint paper made it perfect for sketching out ideas and creating masterpieces. With its wide-ruled lines, it was easy for children to draw without feeling restricted.

Mead Products also used the Big Chief tablet as a marketing tool. They created promotional items such as pencils, markers, and erasers that featured the Big Chief logo. They also used television and print advertisements to promote the tablet and its uses.

The Big Chief tablet was a popular writing tool for generations of children and remains an iconic part of American culture. While it may not be as popular today, its legacy is an important reminder of the role it played in education and the creative development of many children.

The Decline of the Big Chief Tablet

The Big Chief tablet experienced a significant decline in the decades that followed its initial success. This was largely due to increased competition from other products that were more cost-efficient, had better design features, or offered more convenience. Additionally, the changing educational landscape and technological advances meant that the Big Chief was no longer the most desirable writing tablet for students. By the 1990s, the Big Chief had been largely replaced by other products, and the production and sale of the tablet eventually ceased.

The Legacy of the Big Chief Tablet

The legacy of the Big Chief tablet is one of helping to shape the way that children learn, write, and express themselves. It was a staple item in many classrooms and homes across the United States. The Big Chief tablet has been around for more than six decades, and it was only recently discontinued by Mead Products in 2020. Its impact on generations of students and teachers is undeniable.

The Big Chief tablet was designed to make writing easier and more enjoyable for students, and it provided a platform for creative expression. It had a wide range of features such as wide lines, durable paper, and a low-cost price tag. Advertising and marketing efforts by Mead Products helped to promote the tablet and make it a household name.

The Big Chief tablet was a part of a larger educational system that focused on the development and improvement of students’ writing skills. It helped to encourage creativity and expression, and it was a key tool in helping to shape the way that children wrote.

Today, the Big Chief tablet may no longer be in production, but its legacy lives on. It is a reminder of the importance of writing as a tool for learning and expression. And, it is a testament to Mead Products’ commitment to providing quality products that make education more accessible and enjoyable.

The Impact of Mead Products on Education

Mead Products had a major impact on education in the United States due to the Big Chief tablet. For many generations, the Big Chief was the go-to writing tablet for elementary school students. It provided a writing surface with widely spaced lines, which made it easier for young children to learn how to write. It was also a familiar form of communication for teachers and students alike. The Big Chief tablet was so popular that it was featured in many classrooms for decades.

The Big Chief tablet has had an influence on generations of students. It has been used to teach basic writing skills and has been a reliable form of communication for decades. Its popularity has also helped Mead Products establish itself as an educational leader. The company has continued to produce quality products that have been used in classrooms throughout the country. Even today, the Big Chief tablet is still a part of many classrooms, providing students with a reliable writing surface.

Modern Alternatives to the Big Chief Tablet

The Big Chief tablet has been a mainstay in classrooms for decades, but with the advent of technology, there are now more modern alternatives available. Electronic tablets, such as iPads and Chromebooks, have become increasingly popular tools in education. These devices are often used for educational activities such as taking notes, researching, and creating digital presentations. Many schools have implemented one-to-one programs, which provide each student with their own tablet or laptop. These devices provide students with a wealth of information at their fingertips, and are often more cost-effective than traditional textbooks.

While electronic tablets are becoming more popular in education, the Big Chief tablet still has a fan-following among teachers and students alike. Many people appreciate the nostalgia of using the same notebook they did as a child. The Big Chief tablet is still available to purchase, and can be found in many office supply stores.