The ill-informed and dangerous charlatan Glen Beck made me concerned enough to look into chalk talk. Before the millionaire fraud hijacked the former vaudeville trick and started using his chalkboard "skills" to foster corporate greed under the guise of patriotism (and convince many of his floundering middle-class audience to act against their own best interests) chalk talking was an art, a skill and for many a profession. Of course, Glenn has nowhere near the skill and talent of the old guys, especially since his accompanying patter is so vile and poorly researched.
Beck is just one more of the swindlers who have taken the all-too-trusting American public for a big money grab in our history, a buffoon and tool who takes advantage of confused and scared masses to line his own pockets. As such he falls squarely into the long line of snake-oil salesmen, carnival barkers, faith-healers and quacks who litter our history. Beck is pretty good at it...His income in 2009 is reported at $32 million dollars. As his viewership hovers around a million per televised episode, that's about thirty bucks each...money which might better applied to individual gold purchases (though that is another of his scams being investigated.)
I'm not sure he even uses the chalkboard any longer, as he has been so soundly ridiculed for it, but the craft was once a quite beautiful thing. The examples here all come from the splendid book "Bright Beams from the Blackboard" by Hy Pickering. No date, but certainly approaching 100 years old. As you can see, Pickering fell into the "tell a good moral lesson" category of chalk talkers rather than, oh...I guess what you could call the "Amos and Andy logic out a financial transaction" chalk practice. You know..."take the 7 and deduct it from the 12...see? You owes me 50 dollars." A slightly racist example from vaudeville history, but still exactly what Beck does when he befuddles his audience with poorly drawn crud and poorly drawn conclusions.
Pickering, on the other hand, is presenting art of the highest order, and with practice, some slate and some chalk, an art available to anyone who can draw a straight line. (Like the straight line Glenn Beck makes right to the bank)
Rather than writing me, any Fox viewers who happen upon this post by mistake are referred HERE where Glenn's many mistakes are documented on a regular basis.