Annual reports of the officers of state of the State of Indiana online

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Hair Brushes,

Shoe Brushes,

Fle^ Brushes,* ••••••

Hat & Cloth Brushes,*

Clothes Brushes,

Hat Brushes,

Horse Brushes,

Crumb Brushes,

Dentist Brush,

Dusting Brushes,

Sweeping Brushes,* • • •

Clamp Scrubs,

Brush Repaired,




Market Baskets,

School Baskets, t

Sewing Baskets, f

Clothes Baskets,


Baskets Repaired


$446 08

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lAft of ArHeles Manufactured— Continued.




















Hearth Brooms, . •
Swoefnng Brooms,

Yards Garpiet Weaving,-
Chairs Bottomed,



Necklaces^' > >
Toy Bonnet,.
Toy Pitcher,.




Pairs of Socks,*


Lamp Stands, ■





Pairs Pillow Cases,*




$348 60

86 49
1 00

136 85

9 85

.4 10


•7 35

Total value of articles manufactured,- '191,433 9?

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Statement of the Busineu of the Work Department, from N&vatJfer
\st, 1849, to November \st, 1850.


By cash raceived for Brushes during the year* 311 75

By cash received for Willow Work, 310 49

By cash received for Brooms, 251 56

By cash received for Carpet and Carpet weaving, 83 14

By cash received for Mattresses, 36 83

By cash received for Mats, .3 35

By cash received for Chairs bottomed, 1 00

By cash received for Girls' Work, 179 H

By vakie of Brushes on hand, Nov. Ist, 1850, 254 80

By value of Willow Work on hand, 335 75

By value of Brooms on hand, 45 50

By value of Carpeting on hand, 5 65

By value of Girls' Work on hand, 7 95

By value of Brushes in hands of Agents, 86 S9

By value of Willow Work in hands of agents, 13 40

By amountdue for Brushes sold on credit, 122 83

By amount due for Willow Work sold on credit, 13 10

By amountdue for Broorcs sold on credit, 20 03

By value of Brush material on band Nov. 1st, 1850,. 211 35

By value of Willow Work material on hand, 128 00

By value of Broom material on hand, • 197 36

By value of Carpet materiaJ on hand, ^ 95 50

By value of Mat material on hand, 16 00

By value of Girls' work material on hand, 86 46

By value of Brushes rec'd by pupils for over-work,' • . • 79 53

$3,796 53

To value of raw material for Boys' work, on hand

November 1st, 1850, 531 30

To value of raw material for Girls' work on hand

* November 1st, 1850, 56 95

To value of Boys' work on hand, Nov.lst, 1849, 313 15

To value of Girls' work on hand,Nov. 1st, 1849,. . . -11 70
To amount due for articles sold on credit, Nov. 1st.

^ 1849, 4854

To cash paid for Brush material during the year,. -302 86

To cash paid for Willow work material, 265 40

To cash paid for Broom material, 316 30

To cash paid for Carpet material, 137 21

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SlaiemetU of the Funitets of ike Wert Jkpariment^CcnHnMed.

To cash paid for Mattress material during the year, • • 16 87

To cash paid for Mat material, 3 00

To cash paid for Girls' work material, .80 25

To cash paid for instruction in handicraft, • -SS? 50

To cash paid for labor on Brooms, 31 09

To cash paid for labor on Baskets, • 12d 97

To cash paid for miscellaneous labor, 80 00

To value of overwork done by pupils, paid in brushes, • 79 53

2,741 «8

$54 91

In the foregoing exhibit, the balance in favor of the shop is not so
large as that of either of the previous years. This does not arise
however, from a less amount of business having been done; but prin-
cipally from the following circumstances : first, there was an omis-
sion of sixty dollars and thirty-five cents in the account of last year,
which is included in the above; secondly, there has been an increase
m the expenditure for instruction, amounting to ninety dollars and
ninety cents ; and thirdly, there has been charged to the department
the sum of eighty dollars, for labor, which, under the old arrange^
meat, would have been performed by the Steward. These several
rams added together, will nearly make the difference.

In all our previous reports, we have given, as above, an exhibit of
the combined operations of our several industrial branches ; but in
order that you may be better able to compare the results of the dif-
ferent trades, we will hereafter make a separate statement of the
condition of each. And in conformity with this design, we present
this year, the following abstract of the business operations of the d^
partment from the commencement, arranged and classified as in the
manner proposed*

Digitized by


SicttemetU tfihe Businets of the Wsrt Department fivm tie Opetdng
of the Institute, to November Ist, 1850.


Amount r«c'd for manufactured articles
Value of manufactured articles on hand

Value of materials an hand

Value of brushes received by pupils for


Value of tools and fixtures on hand,
Value of debts due for manufactured


Deduct amount expended for tools and


Deduct amount expended for material,

Deduct amount paid in brushes for over

work by pupils,

wna/m wo&k.

Amount received for manufactured ar-

Value of manufactured articles on hand.

Value of material on hand,

Value of tools and fixtures on hand,*
Value of debts due for willow work»

Deduct amount expended for tools and

Deduct amount expended for raw ma^

Deduct amount expended for labor,*


Amount received for mattresses,* • • «
Value of tools and fixtures on hand,*


368 50
852 53

211 40

80 37

701 98
212 14


570 56
341 09
211 25

211 40
368 50

122 83

1825 63

1432 43

740 11

349 IS

128 00

80 37

13 10

1310 73

994 49

394 32
6 00

400 32


316 24

Digitized by


Statement of tke Butinett of the Work Department from the opening
of the Institute to Nnember let 1850— Contintud.

KATTBnsiH — Continued.



Deduct amovnt expended for material
Deduct amount expended for tools and


Deduct amount expended for lab<Hr>

195 87

6 00
51 50


Am'nt rec'd for manufactured articles,
Value of carpeting and mats on hand.

Value of material on hand,

Value of tools and fixtures on hand,

Deduct amount expended for tools and

Deduct amount expended for raw ma

35 94
194 72


Am'nt rec'd for manufactured articles.
Value of manufactured articles on hand

Value of material on hand,

Value of tools and fixtures on hand,
Vahie of debts due for brooms,* • • •

Deduct amount expended for tools and

Deduct amount expended for raw ma
terial, ■

Deduct amount expended for labor,* '

49 55

500 50
31 09

353 37

98 08

5 65

111 50

35 94

251 17

330 66

313 09
45 50

197 36
49 55
20 03

625 52

581 14

146 95

20 51

44 38

Digitized by


Statement afthe Business of the Work Department from the opening
of the Institute^ to November 1st, 1850— Continued.


Am*nl rec'd for manuractured articles,
Value of manufactured articles on hand

Value of material on hand,

Value of tools and fixtures on hand,

Deduct amount expended for tools and

Deductamount expended forraw ma


6 59
213 45


500 47

7 95

86 46

6 59

601 47

S90 04

381 48

#1303 71

Inasmuch as there has been no account made of the labor of the
pupils, in the foregoing table, this balance of one thousand three hun-
dred and two dollars, and seventy-one cents, may be regarded as a
remuneration for the same. A large portion of it, however, has been
expended for instruction in handicraft.

In the early history of any manufacturing establishment, before
experience has pointed out the means of procuring apparatus and ma-
terial to the best advantage, and before a market has been opened for
the ready disposal of its products on favorable terms, it necessarily
has many disadvantages to contend against. Making due allowance
for these, in connection with the other drawbacks heretofore hinted
at as incident to establishments like ours, we have abundant reason to
considerthis department in a prosperous condition. At all events,
we do not fear a comparison of its results with those of any similar es-
tablishment, during the first three years of its existence.

From the favorable issue of our experiment in the manufacture of
com brooms, we have no hesitation in recommending its continuance
as one of the principal branches of our industrial department. The

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ease with which it is acquired, by the aid of the machine referred to
in our last annual report, the small cost of the necessary outfit, in the
way of apparatus, the facility with which material may be procured
in any part of the country, and, above all, the ready market every
where found for the disposal of stocic, recommend this trade to the
bVnd mechanic, as tiie most reliable one that experience has yet sug-
gested. Such, indeed, is the simplicity of the operation, that but
tew will be found unable to learn it. The pecuniary result, however,
is the proper test of its value ; and of this we may form some judg*
mentfrom the following statement: A good hand, working indus*
triously, can make some two dozen brooms per day, such as we sell
at an average price of one dollar and seventy-five cents per dozen.
Now supposing the cost of the material consumed in making these
brooms, to be two dollars, that is for forty pounds of corn, at four
cents per pound ; two dozen handles at one and a fourth cents a
piece; and for twine ten cents, the net profit on a day's work will be
one dollar and fifty cents. If the workman is so situated as to be able
to raise his own corn, instead of paying for it at the rate of eighty dol-
lars per ton, his earnings will be correspondingly increased. This a-
mount is of course subject to some reduction on account of shop rent,
and other incidental expenses, but we believe it to be a fair estimate.

The business has so far yielded but a small profit to the Institute ;
but this is no more than we had a right to expect from its being an
entirely new one with us.

Several of our young men who left us at the close of the last ses-
sion are about making a trial of the business on their own account,
and we hope to be able in our next report to give an encouraging
statement of their success. Besides these, Mr. W. G. Yates, a for-
mer pupil of the New York Institution for the Blind, who was em-
ployed during the last two sessions as an assistant in the willow
department of our establishment, having learned the broom-making
while with us, has already established himself in the business in our
city, and is apparently doing very well.

Of the other trades, the brush-making in particular, we cannot
speak so favorably; mainly, on account of the difiiculty met with,
in disposing of the manufactured articles. The demand for these is
not so general nor so steady as that for brooms, and there are proba-
bly but few blind mechanics who are able to bear a heavy accumu-
lation of stock.

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In most of the older institutions, there has of late been felt, Rioch
discouragement on the account of the heavy accumulation of mann-
factured articles in their ware-rooms, they having been unable to
dispose of them as fast as they have been produced. It has been
found too» that the shops do not yield sufficient profit, independent
of this cause to justify them in the expectation that their pupils will
find the trades learned a reliable means of support after leaving
school. In short, they have found the mechanical department rather
a burden than otherwise, and have been induced to persevere only
by the conviction, that this is their main source of hope for the inde-
pendence of the Blind.

We have not yet felt this difficulty to any serious extent; bat
from the experience of others, have no right to expect exemption,
while we continue to follow their system of management* We
know not that a better one can be devised, all things considered, but
are willing to ofier a few suggestions for your consideration.

In reflecting upon this subject, the thought has often occurred to
us, that if private individuals can make the manufacture of brushes,
baskets, mattresses, brooms, foot mats, carpeting, &c. yield them a
profit after paying for the labor expended upon them, surely our
institutions whose inmates are acknowledged to make those articles
as well as others, ought to do so, when no account is made of the
labor of the workmen. The fact that they do not, would seem to
arise from one or both of these causes: either we are pursuing an
imperfect system, or the work shops are under the cliarge of persons
possessing very poor business qualifications; for the ordinary expla*
nation, that it is in consequence of the unavoidable waste of mate-
rial and cost of instruction, is not to us a satisfactory one.

With regard to the prevailing system of management, we would
remark that we consider it defective in thb important particular,
that the business concerns of this department, are managed by
salaried officers, instead of those who are personally interested in its
pecuniary results as is the case with all private establishments,
With those who are conversant with the history of public works in
this or any other State, no other argument is necessary to demon-
strate the superiority of the latter over the former system than a
reference to their experience. We would not be understood to attri-
bute a want of proper interest to persons engaged in this or any
other institution. We only wish to express the conviction that if

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mast^ iiopcl>9iiuc9 in our institutions , were perspnaliy interested
in the profits of the wprks^ps, we would be more likely to
procure the, services of responsible men wlko have learned the trades
regularly a,Qd thoroughly in all ^heir details, oMteriai would be pur*
chased and used more economically, the wai:eat would be made bet-
ter and faster, and stock would not be allowefl U> accymulate upon
oiirhaivb* The ground of this belief will appear hereafter. This
is not « mere fancy of ours, for the principle is underatood and acted
upon hy the bgsifiaqe community throughout the world.

Another disf^tivB principle is, (and this arises out of the present
Qi^profitahl^ess of the workshops,) that of throwing the responsi-
bility of purehasing material atyl selling stock upon the Superintend*
eatSk insteed of , employing competent mechanics or tradesman, who
are well vetBed in the practical details of business operations. It is
tfua» we have meebenics as the immediate supenrisors of the handi*
craft de^artmeolSf but there is liule. or no respo^ibility vested in
tkem; nor have they. time consisteniiy with their duties in the shppa
to devote to the mercantile aflTairs of the eatabUsbinfnJU sifiee these
uaUke other shops are filled with apprentices instead of joofaeymen
who roqnimjLbeif constant pr^eei^ for inatrmtionaiMid gpvernment
Now it k at. fact generally understood and wdmiltf^d, thftl fiien who
gm their priaetpal atteotioi^ to litemry and Ig^ientifio matters, and
such only are fit fior the office of SttperioHendeitti jm^ seldom fowd
to be officiont hasiaeBs men. The sphere of actioo». the tastest and
in (act 4he whole anaedations of the schobr are eo widely di^^ot
from those of the mechanic or tradesman, that it is next to impoM**^
ble to find a man in whom the tvso characters are so oombined as
to render htm practieaUy asei\il in a dooble eapadty. And even .
were it otherwise, the multifarious duties, r^obv and tacideDtal,
connected with the edneatiehal department of an instiUitsDa iisr the .
Blind are such, that a proper diicharge «f them doaa wA leave the;
Soperintendent time to atMid even to the geneeal comoqsb of tfaa
industrial department.

In a word, if we would compete soccessTuHy la she manubotwe^
snd sate of any class of goods, with establishflsents, owMd and.
managed as individual enterprises, we mast be goveraed by ihe
principles which have been arrived at by these ealaUisbnMSits after
k>ag ages of experience, which can only be done by converting oar >
maaofactoriog interests into jndividt^l enterpraaai ao lo 4peak, or if
m fail of flMceas* most not complain.

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It cannot be dented, that there are some parts, even of the siinple
trades taught in our institutions, which are executed foy the Blind
under great disadvantage; and one of the good results to be ex-
pected from the proposed change, is the confining of their attention
to those parts which they can perform most successfnlly, or io otlier
word5 the introduction of the principle of division of labor; for the
master mechanic, with his perceptions quickened by self-interest,
would soon discover these and avail himself of the principle alluded
to, giving the difficult parts to seeing persons. Sendee, he woold be
able by the same means, to introduce some new trades, thm eAlaig-
ing the field of the blind workman and enabling him in many
instances to make a better selection of employments. But it may
be objected that this would restrict their knowledge, and prevent
their learning the whole of any trade; to this we would reply, that
if seeing mechanics find it necessary to confine themselves to one
branch of a certain trade, so much the more necessary is it for blind
ones to do so. The trudi is, we have attempted too much aod fiuJed.
Wt must now go back, and commence again with new priacipks
su^ested by our experience.

In carrying oot the plan hinted at, there wouU deobtieeB be aooie
diActtUiea met with, aririog out of the separate btetesta of die
mister mechanic ftx>m those ef the Institution, endi for instance as
the proper regulation of the kind of occupation for each pupil* and
the lime te be deveied to the workshops. Nevertheless with judi*
cious restrlctionst these obstacles might surely be overcome. It is at
least worth, a trial, as the oM plan seems, in a great nieaswe to have

GonsidemUe discussion has Uken place within the last few yean,
among the older iasliiutions of our country, upon ibe oeoeasity of a
** Home for the Industrious Blind,^ in connection with eecb educa-
tional institution, which shall have tot its object, the furnishiog of
sleady eonployaneet to iu graduate pnpiis, together with comfortable
boarding at meh niee as their small earnings may enable them te
pay. Thb necessity, they conceive to be forced upon them by the
fiatere of their graduates to meet their expectations in the way of
selfHttaiDtenance, when thrown entirely upon their own resources.
Indeedi the managers of the New York Institution have progressed
se'iar in this work as to have erected a largp brick building for this
express object; ^bHe those of the New England and Pennsylvania
Institotiens^have taken some incipient steps towards the same end.

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Than a«» nniiy aigofeiMU wUmeti^ f«r and Hgiink fk4 bigtttiia-
tioD oT tUt snpplMMttlary ddptrUMDW ia tin late repoitt of tlia
abore namad iostiltttioost yat thtif all aaaoi to agrae in tbe opiaioiii
that tlia wanla of tha aduoatedl BKod demand it« As a diftcusMM of-
tba aubgact haia, at tha pitmt paiiod of tha history of our iostilotef
would aaem to ba pramatarat we would ntpactfolly lefer yoa lo
tbaie ra^art0» and raoomoMiid their perusal. We would siq^geat
however, that through an anxiety to demonstrate fully the necessity
of this step, there has been in sums ioetaaces, a disposition maat^
fssted to underrate the aotuai aUKty of the Blind for self-main-
tenanoeu . Now we would by no means wish to disgobe either from'
themselves or the puUic, that Uindness is a misfortoDe; but we think
it doe to bmb, that the matter should be discussed soberly and im-
partially, with a strict adherence to known facts, and with a wining«
nsss to set aside all themy and speculation. The Btind surely have
enough toeoatend with in ^ The Battle of Life'' upon their entrance
iato its strife without having their miMb prepared liefore hand to
expect defiat Lei ue rather point out only the real difficulties, and
by keeling before their view the inestimable value of the priie for
which they uvt eontanding, stimuhte them to energetic and perse-
vering eSiMrt*

While it may be inexpedient for us to enter directly into a discos- •
sion of the merits of the question, as to whether the supplementary
establishment alluded to is necessary or not, and if so, how it should
be organized and conducted, we may with propriety examine the
Mtgbi cause of this necessity, with a view to its removal, wholly,
or in part, if possible; and by so doing, defer the evil for a time at
least so far as the Indiana Institution is concerned. We call it an
evil, because it is admitted to be such on all hands, both on account
of the expense, and of the prejudicial effect to be apprehended from .
such a permanent congregation of blind adults, upon their own ,
moral and social affections. The proposition may be stated as fol- .

Thoi:^ the inmates of ogr several institutions are taught tbor- ,
ougbly in the knowledge of certain mechanical branches, yet they
fail, with |few exceptions, to make this knowledge available as a
means of subsistence after leaving school, in oonseqoence of their
inability to manage their general business concerns, particularly the
purchase of material and the sale of their stock.

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pf)#ntiees miih 4h«t or ttoing oms* ati4 te« wbedwr in tM* retpect
tlMiy are. equal cmnpetitort» or in otiwr words, whether their tramiB;-
i( seqiiaUy thorough. The latter enter upon tbeUr appreaticeeliip, as
a gaaeral thiag^ with tons^ eiferieace m the use df toob, and wilh
nuere or l^m cultivation <if their maniial pcrareri, derived from the
(Hrdioary occupations and sports of yoiHh; and as thefar empiofsis
are interested in the product of their labor, they era provided wMb
es^ery means of lacilitatiog their progresst while, being oUigod to
we^js. late and early, they are taxed to the utmost of their ability,
which of comw rapidly develops their powers and increases tlieir
dexterity in the use of tools. The former, on the contrary, ha^o not
tine. benefit of this early preparation, for they have ttevor
allowed to handle tools, or to unite-in those esoploymesU and
timss which have tended to develop the powers of the easing yosHh;
apd while acquiring their trades in institution^ dwy have not the
saine efficient trainifi^ in several partiouters; first, their time and
attention are divided between their work and tiieir atudtasi beJag
expected to acquire both education and trades in about the apaoo of
time which is usually devojedio the latter; secondly, tbsy are not,
under the present system, provided with the same facilities, Aot rs-
quired to labor as industriously, or to. execute their work as well as
if their instructors were to profit or lose by their labor; and thirdly,
such is the gepius of our institutions, that the sympathies of the
officers and of the community will not allow them to be subjected
to that rigid course of treatment which gives physical endurance to
the seeing mechanic. Now if these things are true, and we feel
confident that they will be admitted to be so, excepting in a few re-
markable instances, by all of experience in this work, can we say that
our graduates have been made thorough mechanics? Again, let us
examine why those who form the exceptions, so generally fail to
maintain themselves by means of their trades. We doubt not that
a satisfactory explanation of this, may be found in the want of a
proper development of those powers which form a sturdy, energetic
character and induce a feeling of self-relfaince; for we are not among
those who associate with the loss of sight, a necessary or intrinsc
iriTerrority of mental and physical constitution, because of the occa-
sional connection of the two as eflects of a common cause. Where
bRnd persons have succeeded, it will be found that their opportuni-
ties for the kind of culture alluded to, have invariably been <Bfferent

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from tliMeof tin mass. In order to mtke oofseivto batter und«^«

Online LibraryIndianaAnnual reports of the officers of state of the State of Indiana → online text (page 21 of 40)