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Apples and pencils go together so well, kind of a schoolhouse theme; reminiscent of the days when students would put an apple on a teacher's desk. I read more about the history of apples in this Smithsonian magazine article. Apples in the colonies were bitter and mostly used for alcohol, safer than water at the time. In the frontier days families who had children in schools were responsible for feeding and housing teachers; the students would give apples to show appreciation for teaching so many kids. Apples had a bad reputation because of the anti-alcohol movement, marketers came up with the slogan 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away,' to reinvent the apple as a healthy treat.