Did you know that the popular nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb” was published by Sarah Josepha Hale on May 24, 1830? It was originally just a poem, but it was based on an actual incident. In Sterling, Massachusetts, a girl named Mary Sawyer had a pet lamb. One day her brother suggested that she take her pet to school. As the poem describes, the pet lamb distracted the children and caused quite the commotion at school.
We hope that you have a patient day at school today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
The Redstone School, where the incident with the lamb occurred still exists. It was purchased by Henry Ford (of Ford Motor Company Fame), and relocated to Sudbury, Massachusetts. A statue of Mary’s Little Lamb stands in the town center of Sterling, Massachusetts, where the incident originally occurred.
There are two theories on who was the actual author of the poem. Some believe that the entire poem was written by Sarah Josepha Hale, the woman who had the poem published. Others believe that the first part of the poem was written by John Roulstone, a young man who was studying with a relative and had visited the school house the morning the incident with the lamb occurred; the other parts of the poem were possibly written by Sarah Josepha Hale.
The music was added to the poem by Lowell Mason later in 1830.
In 1877, Thomas Edison read “Mary Had a Little Lamb” while he was testing his invention, the phonograph. This poem became the first thing or sound recorded by the phonograph. On the 50th anniversary of the event (1927), Edison reenacted the process. This recording still survives. In 2012, scientists and historians used 3-D imaging to retrieve an earlier recording from 1878.