Shenandoah County Library Archives

Shenandoah County Library Digital Archives

Henkel Educational Print



Dublin Core


Henkel Educational Print


Henkel Family
New Market (Va)


A vast majority of European immigrants who came to Shenandoah County had a strong German background. With them came the Lutheran faith and the strong desire to preserve their heritage.

The Henkel family of New Market built a printing business designed to serve this constituency. They mass produced German bibles, pamphlets, newspapers, and other works.

One of their most notable works was the “ABCs of Instruction for Girls and Boys of the Lutheran Faith.” It was designed to teach children of these German immigrants in a way that maintained their cultural heritage in a country known for assimilation. The book included scores of drawings such as the one above that helped pupils learn both German and English words.

The images that were used in this work were simple and wholesome in appearance. This reflected both the inexpensive, rudimentary printing machinery used by the Henkels and the Germanic cultural beliefs that centered around the simple lifestyle. The picture associated with school children promotes the subservient, dutiful children and the family matron fulfilling her duty to educate her children.

What lessons do pictures teach us today?


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Shenandoah County Library


“Henkel Educational Print,” Shenandoah County Library Archives, accessed May 20, 2019,


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