A Prospectus of the Teachers, Course of Study, and Methods of Instruction in the Manual Training School of Washington University,
Nixon-Jones Printing Company. 1883.
|I.||Undergraduate Department—Combining the Higher Classical, Philosophical, and Engineering Schools—20 Teachers, 70 Students. Washington Avenue and Seventeenth Street.|
|II.||School of Fine Arts,—7 Teachers, 266 Students. Lucas Place and Nineteenth Street.|
|III.||St. Louis Law School,—6 Teachers, 53 Students. No. 1417 Lucas. Place.|
|IV.||Smith Academy,—21 Teachers, 358 Pupils. Washington Avenue and Nineteenth Street.|
|V.||Manual Training School,—11 Teachers, 175 Pupils. Washington Avenue and Eighteenth Street.|
|VI.||Mary Institute—Exclusively for Young Ladies—23 Teachers, 414 Pupils—Locust and Beaumont Streets.|
Note.—Seven of the teachers are counted twice in the above enumeration.
Manual Training School.
|Edwin Harrison, Chairman||322 Pine Street.|
|Henry W. Eliot||411 Olive Street.|
|Samuel Cupples||Second and Chestnut Sts.|
|Gottlieb Conzelman||2124 Clark Avenue.|
|William Brown||1401 Lami Street.|
|Ralph Sellew||Lindell Hotel.|
C. M. Woodward, Secretary. Office in University Building.
Faculty and Instructors.
William G. Eliot, Chancellor.
C. M. Woodward, Director.
Charles F. White.
George W. Krall.
W. H. Vaughn.
E. R. Booth.
Charles E. Jones.
Geo. B. Woodward.
Harry M. Newington.
B. S. Newland.
Charles C. Swofford.
Oscar W. Reader.
John H. Jenks
Summary of Students For The Year 1883-4.
The First Class was graduated in June 1883, numbering Twenty Nine members.
The Fourth Year of the School will open
Monday, September 10, 1883.
Examination for Admission, Friday, September 7th.
History of the School.
The Ordinance establishing the Manual Training School, was adopted by the Hoard of Directors of the University, June 6. 1879.
The lot was purchased and the building fronting on Eighteenth Street begun in August of the same year. In the November following, a Prospectus of the school was published. In June, 1880, the building being partially equipped, it was opened for public inspection, and a class of boys were examined for admission. On September 6, 1880, the school opened with a single class of about fifty pupils. The whole number enrolled during the year was sixty-seven. A public exhibition of drawing and shop work was given June 16, 1881.
The second year of the school opened September 12, 1881, and closed June 14, 1882. There were two classes, sixty-one pupils belonging to the first year, and forty-six to the second year, making one hundred and seven in all. Of the second-year class, forty-two had attended the school the previous year.
During the summer of 1882 the large addition fronting on Washington Avenue was built and furnished.
The third year of the school opened September 11th, 1882, and closed June 14th, 1883, with the graduation of its first class. Twenty-nine young men received diplomas and medals. The enrollment for the year was 175. The exhibition of drawings, recitations and shop work lasted two days.
Three Articles of the Ordinance establishing the school are appended.
"Its object shall be instruction in Mathematics, Drawing, and the English branches of a high-school course, and instruction and practice in the use of Tools. The Tool-instruction, as at present contemplated, shall include Carpentry, Wood-Turning, Pattern-Making, Iron Clipping and Filing, Forge-Work, Brazing and Soldering, the use of Machine-Shop Tools, and such other instruction of a similar character as it may be deemed advisable to add to the foregoing from time to time.
"The students will divide their working hours, as nearly as possible, equally between mental and manual exercises.
"They shall be admitted, on examination, at not less than fourteen years of age, and the course shall continue three years."
"The expenses of said school shall be provided for, so far as possible, by gifts and endowments specially contributed for the purpose, and all such gifts and endowments shall be held sacred and apart, and shall be used only for the direct purpose for which they have been given, unless by consent of the respective donors or their legal representatives."
"For every sum of $1,500 contributed for the establishment or permanent endowment of said school, the donor shall be entitled to a certificate of scholarship, under which he shall have the right to send one scholar to said Manual Training School, free of tuition charges, so long as said school shall exist."
Conditions of Admission.
Candidates for admission to the first-year class must be at least fourteen years of age, and each must present a certificate of good moral character signed by a former teacher.
|1.||Arithmetic, including the fundamental rules; common and decimal fractions; the tables of weights, measures, and their use. Candidates will be examined orally in mental arithmetic, including the addition, subtraction, and multiplication of fractional and mixed numbers.|
|2.||Common School Geography.|
|3.||Spelling and Penmanship.|
|4.||The writing of good English.|
Boys not less than fifteen years old, and fully-up to the standard of the second-year class in Arithmetic, Algebra. History, Physical Geography, and English Composition, will be admitted one year in advance. Such pupils will of course take Drawing with the first-year class, and shop-work with either the first or second-year class, as may be thought best. Similarly, boys properly qualified will he admitted to the third-year class. No student will be allowed, to take shop-work in advance of his class.
Vacancies may be filled at any time, provided the applicants are prepared to enter existing classes.
For The Year 1883-4.
One Hundrdd Pupils will be received into the first-year class. About forty boys have been already accepted. Additional candidates will be examined on September 7th. No boy lens than fourteen years old will be received. Names may be enrolled at any time by letter.
Boys who can produce records of good character and scholarship, but whose circumstances render it practically impossible for them to pay the tuition fees of the school, are invited to write the Director, or to get some friend of known high character and standing to write for them. In all such cases the occupation of the father, if living, should be given. Even when free scholarships cannot be given, such boys may at times be admitted on special reduced rates.
The next school-year will open September 10.
The following questions were used in June, 1883, in the Examination of Candidates for Admissions:—
|1.||What would be the cost, in dollars and cents, of excavating a cellar 2 rods long, 7 yards wide, and 9 feet deep, at 6 pence per cubic yard, the value of a £ being $4.80?|
|2.||How many sq. yds. and decimals of a sq. yd. in the outer surface of a rectangular box (all sides are rectangles) 7 feet long. 4 feet wide, and 3 feet high? Include the top in the surface.page 12|
|3.||What is the product of the difference between 36½ and 14?, multiplied by the sum of 8¼, 3 6/5 and 25/8 first changing common to decimal fractions?|
|4.||The longitude of St. Louis is 13° 15′ west from Washington, while that of Boston is 6° 0′ cast; what will be the time at Boston when it is 10 o'clock in St. Louis?|
|5.||A man paid 4/7 of the value of his land for the building of a house upon it;? of the cost of the house was $980; for how much must he sell his property to gain $372?|
|6.||A Kansas City merchant visits St. Louis for the purpose of buying goods; he buys as follows: 584 yds. of muslin at 7½c per yd.; 757 lbs. of coffee at 14c per lb.; 356 lbs. of rice at 6¼c per lb.; he pays $27.75 for expenses of the trip, and $14.37 for freight on his goods. For how much must he sell his goods to gain 1/10 of the total cost?|
|7.||If 7/8 of a yard of silk cost $2/21/5 what will 25/6 yds. cost?|
|8.||A man walked 5/16 of a journey the first day,. 0.3 of it the second, and then had 15½ miles to travel in order to complete the journey; how many miles in the journey?|
|I.||Give the principal mining regions of North America in which are found either coal, iron, lead, oil, silver or gold.|
|II.||What industries predominate in New England? In the Gulf States? In the Mississippi Valley? On the Pacific Slope?page 13|
|III.||In going from Chicago to St. Petersburg by water, near what large cities would you pass?|
|IV.||Where is Glasgow? Venice? Charleston? The River Po? Mt. Hecla? Cape of Good Hope?|
|V.||Name the six continents in the order of their size. Bound Africa.|
|VI.||Name five volcanoes and five isthmuses, telling where each is.|
|VII.||Draw from memory a map of Pennsylvania, placing and naming rivers, mountains, and cities.|
The Course of Instruction
Covers three years, and the school time of the pupils is about equally divided between mental and manual exercises. The daily session begins at 9 A. M., and closes at 3 or 4 P. M., ample allowance being made for lunch. One hour per day is given to drawing, two hours to shop-work, and three hours to study and recitation.
The course of study embraces five lines—three intellectual and two manual—as follows:—
First—A course of pure Mathematics, including Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, and Plane Trigonometry.
Second—A course in Science and Applied Mathematics, including Physical Geography, Natural History, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Mechanics, Mensuration, and Book-keeping.page 14
Third—A course in Language and Literature, including English Grammar, Spelling, Composition, Literature, History, and the elements of Political Science and Economy. Latin and French will be introduced as electives with English if desired.
Eourth—A course in Penmanship, Free-Hand and Mechanical Drawing.
Fifth—A course of Tool instruction, including Carpentry, Wood-Turning, Pattern-Making, Forging, Soldering, Brazing and Bench and Machine Work in Iron.
Students have no option or election as to particular studies; each must conform to the course as laid down, and take every branch in its order.
|1.||Free-Hand Drawing, designed to educate the sense of form and proportion; to teach the eye to observe accurately, and to train the hand to rapidly delineate the forms, either of existing objects or of ideals in the mind.|
|2.||Mechanical Drawing, including the use of instruments; geometric constructions; the arrangement of projections, elevations, plans and sections; also the various methods of producing shades and shadows with pen or brush.|
|3.||Technical Drawing or Draughting, illustrating conventional colors and signs; systems of architectural or shop-drawings; and at the same time familiarizing the pupil with the proportions and details of various classes of machines and structures.|
The arrangement of studies and shop-work by years is substantially as follows:—
Course of Study.
Arithmetic, completed. Algebra, to Equations.
English Language, its Structure and Use. History of the United States.
Physical Geography. Natural History. Natural Philosophy begun.
Drawing, Mechanical and Free-Hand from objects. Penmanship.
Carpentry and Joinery. Wood-Carving. Wood-Turning. Pat-tern-Making.
Latin may be taken in place of English and History.
Algebra, through Quadratics. Geometry begun.
Natural Philosophy. Principles of Mechanics.
English Composition and Literature. English History.
Latin may be taken in place of English and History if desired by a division of the class.
Drawing, Orthographic and Isometric Projections, Lettering, Details of Machines, Tinting, Free-Hand Drawing. Penmanship
Forging.—Drawing, Upsetting, Bending, Punching, Welding, Tempering. Soldering and Brazing.
Geometry, finished. Plane Trigonometry and Mensuration.
English Composition and Literature. History. Ethics and Political Economy.
French or Latin may be taken in place of English and History.
Elements of Chemistry.
Drawing, Machine and Architectural. Elements of Descriptive Geometry.
Work in the Machine-Shop. Bench-Work and Fitting, Turning, Drilling, Planing, Screw-cutting, etc. Study of the Steam Engine
Execution of Project.
Project for Graduation.
Before receiving a diploma of the school, each student must execute a project satisfactory to the faculty of the school. The project consists of the actual construction of a machine. The finished machine must be accompanied by a full set of the working drawings according to which the machine is made. If it is not feasible to construct the patterns for castings of such machine, proper directions for their construction must accompany the drawings.
Diplomas.—Pupils completing the course will be presented with appropriate diplomas. Occasionally medals will be given as evidence of special excellence in certain branches.
Tuition Fees.—The school year consists of two terms of twenty weeks each. The fees are by the term, and are payable in advance. The rates for the present will be as follows:—
|First-year class, per term,||$30 00|
|Second-year class, per term,||40 00|
|Third-year class, per term,||50 00|
Scholarships.—The founders of the school desire that the advantages of this school shall be within the reach of boys from every class in the community. A limited number of free scholarships will, therefore, be filled annually. It is desirable that they should in general be given as rewards of merit to promising boys in straitened circumstances. Persons desiring to found scholarships are referred to Article V. of the Ordinance establishing this school.
Students, whether on scholarships or not, furnish their own books, drawing instruments and paper, their own aprons and overalls, and their own pocket tools. The school furnishes shop-tools and materials. Losses and breakages are charged to pupils when they are the result of carelessness. Books and drawing materials will not cost on the average more than $15 per year. Board and lodging for those living out of the city can be obtained for from 816 to $25 per month.
The school has no regular lodging-house for non-resident pupils, but the Director is always ready to recommend good homes to boys coming among strangers.
Pupils whose influence is found to be morally bad will be dismissed; and those who fail to make good progress in their work, after reasonable trial are required to withdraw.page 18
Absences and irregularities of all kinds are reported to parents.
Regular reports are made of the standing of pupils in each branch of work and study.
The Everett Literary and Debating Society.
Students of the second and third-year classes have formed a debating society, their object being "mutual improvement in Elocution, Composition and Debate." The society meets one evening each week in a room assigned for that purpose.
The following arrangement of exercises, in shops, drawing, and recitation rooms, will serve as the basis of programs for next year:—page break
School Building and Accommodations.
A perspective view of the school building is given as a frontispiece, and the arrangement of the three floors is partly shown in the accompanying cuts. The building has a frontage on Washington Avenue of 106 feet 4½ inches, and on Eighteenth Street of 100 feet.
The School can accommodate a maximum of 240 pupils; the enrollment next year will be about 200.
Description of the Shops and Tools.
Each wood-working shop has uniform accommodations for a class of twenty-four pupils. Three such classes or divisions could be taught daily in each. Four divisions could be taught by extending the range of a school day to eight hours. Each pupil has one of the uniform sets of hand edge-tools for his exclusive use, kept in a locked drawer. For the care and safety of these tools he is held responsible.
The Two Carpenter and Turning Shops.
pots, etc. A double circular-saw machine is provided for getting out stock (" blanks" for a class).
Thus the school has 48 speed-lathes for wood turning. 48 benches, vises, and common (non-cutting) tools, and 120 individual sets of edge-tools and drawers.
The Blacksmith Shop.
The first floor of the building is devoted to metal work, and comprises the machine and blacksmith shops. The blacksmith shop is 40 feet square, and has its complete equipment of twenty-two forges, anvils, tubs, and sets of ordinary hand tools. Eleven sets of heavy tools suffice for twenty-two pupils, as they may work in pairs as smith and helper. The blast is supplied by a large blower, and a powerful exhaust fan keeps the shop reasonably free from smoke and gas. In connection with one of the larger forges is a hand-bellows, which can be used when the engine is not running Every shop exercise lasts two hours, consequently the shop readily accommodates eighty-eight pupils per day.
The Machine Shop
Is 40×50 feet. It possesses an equipment of twelve engine-lathes, as follows: four 14-inch Putnam lathes from Fitchburg, Massachusetts; three 14-inch Star lathes from Providence, Rhode Island; and five 15-inch Powell lathes from Worcester, Massachusetts. Also four speed-lathes; a post drill: a planer, 21-inch by 21-inch by 5 feet; a 25-inch goose-neck drill; a shaper of 15 inches stroke; and a large power grindstone. Ten vises and benches, with forty drawers, afford opportunity for bench work. The shop is furnished for a class of twenty students at page 22 once. The Corliss engine occupies a part of this shop. It has a 14-inch cylinder and 42-inch stroke, and runs at the rate of 65 revolutions per minute.
The engine is of the best pattern and superior workmanship, and is capable of about sixty horse-power. It was built specially for the school by Messrs. Smith, Beggs & Rankin, of St. Louis. The steam-generating apparatus of the University consists of a battery of three large steel boilers, set and furnished in the most approved manner. These boilers furnish heat for the entire group of University buildings, as well as steam for the engine in the shop. This equipment of steam power furnishes to pupils of the Third-Year class the means of becoming familiar with such machinery on a scale unsurpassed.
Details of Shop Instruction.
The shop instruction is given similarly to laboratory lectures. The instructor at the bench, machine, or anvil, executes in the presence of the whole class the day's lesson, giving all needed information, and at times using the blackboard. When necessary the pupils make notes and sketches (working drawings), and questions are asked and answered, that all obscurities may be removed. The class then proceeds to the execution of the task, leaving the instructor to give additional help to such as need it. At a specified time the lesson ceases, and the work is brought in, commented on and marked. It is not necessary that all the work assigned should be finished; the essential thing is that it should be well begun and carried on with reasonable speed and accuracy.page break
Special Trades are Not Taught.
All the shop-work is disciplinary; special trades are not taught, nor are articles manufactured for sale.
The scope of a single trade is too narrow for educational purposes. Manual education should be as broad and liberal as intellectual. A shop which manufactures for the market, and expects a revenue from the sale of its products, is necessarily confined to salable work, and a systematic and progressive series of lessons is impossible, except at great cost. If the object of the shop is education, a student should be allowed to discontinue any task or process the moment he has learned to do it well. If the shop were intended to make money, the students would be kept at work on what they could do best, at the expense of breadth and versatility.
In manual education, the desired end is the acquirement of skill in the use of tools and materials, and not the production of specific articles; hence we abstract all the mechanical processes and manual arts and typical tools of the trades and occupations of men, arrange a systematic course of instruction in the same, and then incorporate it in our system of education. Thus, without teaching any one trade, we teach the essential mechanical principles of all.
Accordingly, the shop-training is gained by regular and carefully graded lessons designed to cover as much ground as possible, and to teach thoroughly the uses of page 24 ordinary tools. This does not imply the attainment of sufficient skill to produce either the fine work or the rapidity of a skilled mechanic. But a knowledge of how a tool or machine should be used is easily and thoroughly taught. The mechanical products or results of such lessons have little or no value when completed, and they are generally used as new material for more exercises.
Frequent requests have been made for detailed descriptions or drawings of the models actually made in the several shops. Such requests have generally been refused for several good reasons. In the first place, the main object of one or more exercises is to gain control and mastery of the tool in hand, and not the production of a particular model. The use of the tool may be well taught by a large variety of exercises, just as knowledge of bank discount may be gained from the use of several different examples. No special merit can be claimed for a particular example; neither can a particular model or series of models have any great value. No good teacher is likely to use precisely the same set twice. Secondly. The method of doing a piece of work; and not the finished piece, is generally the object of a lesson. Again, the exercises by which certain methods of using tools are to be taught, often depend upon varying circumstances,—such as the quality of the material, the age of pupils, and their knowledge of working drawings.
Instead of giving particular descriptions of exercises, we prefer to state the general methods by which the use of the various tools is taught.
How the Use of Tools is Taught.
The tools of a shop are not given out all at once; they are issued as they are needed, and as a rule, to all the members of a class alike.
In carpenter work the tools used are: the cross-cut, tenon, and rip saws; steel square, try square, bevel and gauge, hammer, mallet, rule and dividers, oil stones and slips. And among edge-tools: the jack and smoothing planes, chisels, and gouges. Braces and bits, jointer planes, compass-saws, hatchets, and other tools are kept in the shop tool-closet to be used as needed.
The saw and the plane with the square and gauge are the foundation tools, and to drill the pupils in their use numerous lessons are given, varied only enough to avoid monotony. The pupil being able to plane a piece fairly well, and to keep to the line in sawing, the next step is to teach him the use of the chisel in producing simple joints of various kinds. The particular shapes are given with the intent to familiarize the pupil with the customary styles and methods of construction.
Previous to the execution of a lesson in wood each pupil is required to make a working drawing of the same in his book, inserting all necessary dimensions in figures.
The different sizes of the same tool, a chisel for instance, require different care and methods of handling, page 26 and the means of overcoming irregularities and defects in material form another chapter in the instruction to be given.
With the introduction of each tool, the pupils are taught how to keep the same in order. They are taught that sharp tools are absolutely necessary to good work.
Five or six tools only are used, and from previous experience the pupils know how to keep them in order. At first a large gouge only is issued, and the pupils are taught and drilled in its use in roughing out and producing cylinders and cones; then concave and double-curve surfaces; then in work comprising all these—all in wood turning with the grain. A wide chisel follows, and its use in conjunction with the gouge is taught. After this, a smaller gouge, chisel, and parting tool, and a round-point are given, and a variety of shapes are executed. Next comes turning across the grain; then bored and hollow work, chucking, and the various ways of manipulating wood on face-plates, mandrels, etc. Finally, turning of fancy woods, polishing, jointing, and pattern-work.
In connection with the making of patterns, their use is shown by brief exercises in moulding. Castings are made of lead or type metal. Though very little moulding or casting is done by the students, enough practice is given to illustrate the principles and explain the use of technical terms.
Work in the blacksmith shop is in one essential feature different from any other kind. Wood or cold iron will wait any desired length of time while the pupil considers how he shall work, but here comes in temperature subject to continual change. The injunction is imperative to "strike while the iron is hot," and hence quick work is demanded—a hard thing for new hands. To obviate this difficulty bars of lead are used, with which the lesson is first executed, while all the particulars of form and the methods of holding and striking are studied. The lead acts under the hammer very nearly like hot iron, and permits every operation on the anvil except welding.
The various operations of drawing, bending, upsetting, punching, welding, tempering, etc., are learned in connection with the fabrication of hooks, stirrups, chains, swivels, tongs, hammers, and machine tools.
One of the most difficult lessons in the art of the smith is that of managing the fire. The various kinds of heat are explained and illustrated, and habits of economy of both iron and fuel are inculcated.
Arrangements have been made to greatly extend the short courses in Moulding, Brazing, and Soldering next year.
IV. Machine-Shop Work.
In the machine shop, owing to the inevitable lack of tools, the class-work is less uniform. It is practically impossible to furnish a class of twenty students with twenty lathes, twenty planers, and twenty drills, etc., etc. The page 28 size and cost of such a shop puts the matter out of discussion; the cost of the tools in the present shop exceeded $5,000, exclusive of the engine and shafting.
Nevertheleas, the instruction is given with an approach to regularity; the practice is as uniform as the tools will allow. The course includes chipping, filing, polishing, turning, drilling, boring, screw-cutting, scraping, planing, etc., and all the details of fitting and finishing.
During the second term the members of the class, either singly or in groups, enter upon the construction of their projects for finished work.
Throughout the year a detail is made from each shop-division to study the management of the engine and boilers, under the direction of a competent engineer.
Five upright steam engines of about five horse-power each, the work of the students, were set up and run by the members of the graduating class in June last.
[Extract from the Report of the Director, June, 1883.]
"The construction of machines as extensive as these engines you just saw run has been at the expense of more uniform class-work, and it is quite possible that next year we shall aim more at instruction and less at construction. During the year, the second-year class have forged one hundred tools for the turning shop, seventy for the machine shop, forty-six tools for the forges themselves (including forty pairs of tongs), and other outside jobs, making a total of two hundred and eighty tools or jobs, exclusive of regular exercises, and not included in the work on exhibition. A word of warning may be necessary to those who have been chiefly interested in the development of our tool instruction. The time spent in shop-work has never exceeded two hours per day, unless the page 29 boys have voluntarily remained after hours, that is, after 3:20 o'clock, for additional practice. Moreover, from these two hours should be subtracted fully fifteen minutes for washing, dressing, etc. A week, therefore, represents less than nine hours of actual work in a shop. Hence, in placing a value upon the time spent, as men count time, you should remember that a "day's work" is all the boys have had per week. For carpentry and wood-turning they have had three hundred and eighty hours, or thirty-eight days; in blacksmithing three hundred and eighty hours, and in machine-shop work, three hundred and eighty hours. They are thus boys of very limited practice, and while they ought to have an intelligent idea of tools and their uses, of the laws of mechanism, and of the properties of wood, iron, steel and brass, we ought not to expect finished work from their hands."
Literary and Scientific Culture.
It has not been thought necessary to detail the work done on the familiar subjects of mathematics, science, and literature. The simultaneous development and discipline of the intellectual and physical faculties is the main object of the course. The aim is to do thorough work; to lay out a fair course of study and to cover it well. There is no laxity in book-work in consequence of the introduction of manual features in the daily program.
The Interest in Books.
"Our exhibition to-day is not limited to a display of drawings, shop-work and manual skill; we have had reci- page 30 tations in algebra, geometry, natural philosophy, chemistry, Latin, history, and English composition. In thus arranging our program I have recognized the fact that nearly all persons admit the entire practicability and reasonable success of all the manual features of our school. The theory and use of tools is as readily taught as arithmetic or Latin. But the question has remained in many minds, particularly among teachers: "Do the pupils of a manual training school prosecute ordinary school-work with an interest and success equal to that observed in other schools?" They ask: "Does not the interest which these boys manifestly take in their tool-work in fact and of necessity diminish their interest in and love for their books?" This is a natural inquiry, and some of our shrewdest visitors of late have spent considerable time in our recitation-rooms searching for an answer to this question. Those of you who have listened to recitations in this school may be prepared with an answer. The testimony of our teachers, some of whom had had several years' experience in other schools, is very pertinent here. Mr. Krall says that these boys do better work with him than do boys of the same grade without the stimulus of the manual training. Mr. Booth says that the shop-work helps rather than hinders their interest in books. The other teachers concur.
My own conclusion based upon the observation of the influence of manual education for at least eight years (for we had manual training with the students of our Polytechnic School several years before this school was in existence),—my conclusion is that not only does our work-shop not detract from the interest boys take in books, but it stimulates and increases it, either directly or indirectly. In mathematics, physics, mechanics and chemistry, the help is direct and positive. Note for instance the mental arithmetic involved in the execution of a pattern from a working drawing. No one can learn from a book the true force of technical terms or definitions, nor the properties of materials. The obscurities page 31 of the text-book (often doubly obscure from the lack of proper training on the part of the author), vanish before the steady gaze of a boy whose hands and eyes have assisted in the building of mental images. No classes in physics or chemistry were ever so ready as ours to help illustrate their text-books.
Then on the literary side, the habit of clear-headedness and exactness in regard to the minor details of a subject, which is absolutely essential in a shop, stretches with its wholesome influence into their study of words and the structure of language. As Felix Adler says, the doing of one thing well is the beginning of doing all things well. I am a thorough disbeliever in the doctrine that it is educationally useful to commit to memory words which are not understood. The memory has its abundant uses and should be cultivated, but when it usurps the place of the understanding, when it insidiously beguiles the mind into the habit of accepting the images of words for the images of the things the words ought to recall, then the memory becomes a positive hindrance to intellectual development. The influence of manual training, when associated, as it is here, with mental culture, is intellectually and morally wholesome."
The origin and Purpose of the School.
The Manual Training School is not an asylum for dull or lazy boys. It clearly recognizes the pre-eminent value and necessity of intellectual development and discipline. In presenting some novel features in its course of instruction, the managers do not assume that in other schools there is too much intellectual and moral training, but that there is too little manual training for ordinary American boys. The school exacts close and thoughtful study with books as well as with tools. It proposes, by lengthening the usual school-day a full hour, and by abridging somewhat the number of daily recitations, to find time for drawing and tool-work, and thus to secure a liberal intellectual and physical development—a more symmetrical education.
It is believed that, to all students, without regard to plans for the future, the value of the training which can be got in shop-work, spending only eight or ten hours per week, is abundantly sufficient to justify the expense of materials, tools, and teachers.
The Development of Natural Aptitudes.
It occasionally happens that students who have special aptitudes in certain directions find great difficulty in mastering subjects in other directions. In such cases it is often the best course to yield to natural tastes, and to assist the student in finding his proper sphere of work page 33 and study. A decided aptitude for handicraft is not unfrequently coupled with a strong aversion to and unfitness for abstract and theoretical investigations. There can be no doubt that, in such cases, more time should be spent in the shop, and less in the lecture and recitation-room. On the other hand, great facility in the acquisition and use of language is often accompanied by a great lack of either mechanical interest or power. When such a bias is discovered, the lad should unquestionably be sent to his grammar and dictionary rather than to the laboratory or draughting-room. It is confidently believed that the developments of this school will prevent those serious errors in The Choice of a Vocation which often prove so fatal to the fondest hopes.
One great object of the school is to foster a higher appreciation of the value and dignity of intelligent labor, and the worth and respectability of laboring men. A boy who sees nothing in manual labor but mere brute force, despises both the labor and the laborer. With the acquisition of skill in himself, conies the ability and willingness to recognize skill in his fellows. When once he appreciciates skill in handicraft, he regards the skillful workman with sympathy and respect.
It is not assumed that every boy who enters this school is to be a mechanic. Some will find that they have no taste for manual arts, and will turn into other paths—law, medicine, or literature. Some who develop both natural skill and strong intellectual powers will push on through the Polytechnic School into the realms of professional life as engineers and scientists. Others will find their greatest usefulness as well as highest happiness page 34 in some branch of mechanical work into which they will readily step when they leave school. All will gain intellectually by their experience in contact with things. The grand result will be an increasing interest in manufacturing pursuits, more intelligent mechanics, more successful manufacturers, better lawyers, more skilful physicians, and more useful citizens.
[Report of Director, June 1883.]
"We would fit them to choose their occupations wisely and to follow them with success. I have no doubt, nor have you that a larger per cent than usual of these boys will adopt fields of labor in which their manual training will be called into play. This is to be expected, and it is most desirable. St. Louis needs men intellectually and manually strong, to lead in her workshops and factories, and Missouri and the Great West needs them on her farms.
Hitherto, men who have cultivated their minds have neglected their hands; and those who have labored with their hands have found no opportunity to cultivate their brains. The crying demand to-day is for intellectual combined with manual training. It is this want that we aim to supply. Our motto is, and every medal given today bears it in plain letters:
"The cultured mind,
The skillful hand."
The Success of the School.
The Managers of the School are abundantly confirmed in their views, as set forth in the Prospectus three years ago, by the experience of the school during its first three years. From the start it has been well patronized, and vacant seats have been few; at times every seat has been filled.
The zeal and enthusiasm of the students has been developed to a most gratifying extent, extending into all the departments of work. The variety afforded by the daily program has had the moral and intellectual effect expected, and an unusual degree of sober earnestness has been shown. The wholesome moral effect of a course of training which interests and stimulates the ardor of the student is most marked. Parents observe the beneficial influence of occupation. The suggestions of the day fill the mind with healthy thoughts and appetites during the leisure hours. Success in drawing or shop-work has often had the effect of arousing the ambition in mathematics and history, and vice versa.
Progress in the two subjects, drawing and shop-work, (and we had little previous knowledge of what could be done with boys as young as those of the first-year class) has been quite remarkable. To be sure there was little doubt of the final result, but the progress has been more rapid than it seemed reasonable to expect. Among the graduates of last June are several excellent draughtsmen, and not a few workmen of accuracy and skill.page 36
The habit of working from drawings and to nice measurements has given the students a confidence in themselves altogether new. This is shown in the readiness with which they undertake the execution of small commissions in behalf of the school, and the handiness which they display at home. In fact, the increased usefulness of our students still in school is making itself felt, and in several instances the result has been the offer of business positions too tempting to be rejected. This drawback, if it can be called one, the school must always suffer. The better educated and trained our students become, the stronger will be the temptations offered to them outside, and the more difficult it will be for us to hold them through the course. Parents and guardians should avoid the bad policy of injuring the prospects of a promising young man by grasping a small present pecuniary advantage at the cost of far greater rewards in the future. From the testimony of parents the physical, intellectual, and moral effect of the school is exceedingly satisfactory. The unanimous response is: an unusual interest and pleasure in school; and very generally an increased fondness for good books and periodicals. A few boys who had never shown any interest in tools have developed into good and enthusiastic workmen. As a rule the good scholars are the good mechanics.
All communications relating to the school should be sent to the Director,
C. M. Woodward, Manual Training School, St. Louis.
July 7, 1883.