Charles Henry Ham.

Manual training : the solution of social and industrial problems online

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Defects in the American Schools. Maxims of Selfishness. The
Cultivation of Avarice. Political Incongruities. Negroes escap-
ing from Slavery called Fugitives from Justice. The Results of
Subjective Educational Processes. Climatic Influences alone saved
America from becoming a Slave Empire. Illiteracy. Abnormal
Growth of Cities. Failure of Justice. Defects of Education shown
in Reckless and Corrupt Legislation. Waste of an Empire of Pub-
lic Land. Henry D. Lloyd's History of Congressional Land Grants.
The Growth and Power of Corporations. The Origin of large
Fortunes, Speculations. Old Social Forces producing old Social
Evils. Still America is the Hope of the World. The Right of
Suffrage in the United States justifies the Sentiment of Patriotism.
Let Suffrage be made Intelligent and Virtuous, and all Social
Evils will yield to it; and all the Wealth of the Country is subject
to the Draft of the Ballot for Education. The Hope of Social Re-
form depends upon a complete Educational Revolution. .Page 301


The Kindergarten and the Manual Training School one in Principle.
Russia solved the Problem of Tool Instruction by Laboratory
Processes. The Initiatory Step by M. Victor Delia- Vos, Director
of the Imperial Technical School of Moscow in 1868. Statement
of Director Delia- Vos as to the Origin, Progress, and Results of the
New System of Training. Its Introduction into all the Technical
Schools of Russia. Dr. John D. Runkle, President of the Massa-
chusetts Institute of Technology, recommends the Russian System
in 1876, and it is adopted. Statement of Dr. Runkle as to how
he was led to the adoption of the Russian System.^Dr. Woodward,
of Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., establishes the second
School in this Country. His Historical Note in the Prospectus of
1882-83. First Class graduated 1883. Manual Training in the
Agricultural Colleges In Boston, in New Haven, in Baltimore, in
San Francisco, and other places. Manual Training at the Meeting
of the National Educational Association, 1884. Kindergarten and


Manual Training Exhibits. Prof. Felix Adler's School in New
York City the most Comprehensive School in the "World. The
Chicago Manual Training School the first Independent Institution
of the Kind its Inception; its Incorporation; its Opening. Its
Director, Dr. Belfield. His Inaugural Address. Manual Training
in the Public Schools of Philadelphia. Manual Training in twen-
ty-four States. Revolutionizing a Texas College. Local Option
Law in Massachusetts. Department of Domestic Economy in the
Iowa Agricultural College. Manual Training in Tennessee, in
the University of Michigan, in the National Educational Asso-
ciation, in Ohio. The Toledo School for both Sexes. The Im-
portance of the Education of "Woman. The Slojd Schools of
Europe Page 322




















"His tongue was framed to music,
And his hand was armed with skitt;
His face was the mould of beauty,
And his heart the throne of will."




Its Situation on the Boulevard. Its Tall Chimney. The Whir of
Machinery and Sound of the Sledge-hammer. The School that is
to dignify Labor. The Realization of the Dream of Bacon, Rous-
seau, Comenius, Pestalozzi, and Frocbel. Established by the Com-
mercial Club. The School that fitly represents the Age of Steel.

IN a conspicuous place on the principal boulevard in
the city of Chicago is situated the fine brick building, a
picture of which constitutes the frontispiece of this book.
It occupies an angle formed by the intersection of two
streets, and consists of four stories and basement. All
the walls are thickly pierced with windows, affording
abundant light for the interior, and a tall chimney rises
above the roof. Smoke issues from the chimney-stack,
and the hum and whir of machinery is heard, and the
heavy thud of the sledge-hammer resounding on the an-
vil smites the ear. Up and down the boulevard, as far
as the eye can reach, stretch miles of brick, stone, and
marble dwellings; and to the north-east, through the
branches of wide-spreading elms, there is a view of the
great inland sea on whose bosom floats the commerce of
an empire.

Has the secret of making diamonds been discovered,
and is this the inventor's factory ?


No. This is a school ; the school of the future ; the
school that is to dignify labor ; the school that is to gen-
erate power ; the school where every sound contributes
to the harmony of development, where the brain informs
the muscle, where thought directs every blow, where the
mind, the eye, and the hand constitute an invincible
triple alliance. This is the school that Locke dreamed
of, that Bacon wished for, that Rousseau described, and
that Comenius, Pestalozzi, and Froebel struggled in vain
to establish.

It is, then, a diamond factory after all. For if it be,
as claimed, the true school, it is destined to lift the veil
from the face of Nature, to reveal her most precious
secrets, and to divert to man's use all her treasures.

Yes; it is to other schools what the diamond is to
other precious stones the last analysis of educational
thought. It is the philosopher's stone in education ; the
incarnated dream of the alchemist, which dissolved earth,
air, and water into their original elements, and recom-
bined them to compass man's immortality. Through it
that which has hitherto been impossible is to be rendered

Is it a public school ?

Yes and no. Yes in this sense that it is founded for
the public benefit; no in this sense that it is not sup-
ported from the public revenue. It is placed conspicu-
ously and amid pleasant surroundings, that it may be in
the public eye a living fountain whence the propaganda
of the new educational evangel shall promulgate its doc-
trines and send forth its missionaries.

Who established it ?

The Commercial Club, an association consisting of six-
ty Chicago merchants. Their purpose in founding the


school was industrial, not educational reform. Being
men of large experience in practical affairs they realized
that the destruction of the apprentice system would tend
to a decline of American industrial power, hence they in-
stituted an inquiry on the subject, " How to increase the
supply of skilled labor ?" Several invited guests of the
club took part in the discussion of the subject on an even-
ing designated for the purpose. The discussion was car-
ried beyond the purely industrial scope of the question
submitted, into the domain of education, and a degree of
interest was manifested in manual training, the existence
of which had not been even suspected by the most ardent
friends of educational reform. Before the club adjourn-
ed, its members had pledged themselves to found a man-
ual training school, and guaranteed for its construction,
equipment, and support the sum of one hundred thou-
sand dollars. But in founding this school to secure bet-
ter mechanics more skilful workers in wood and iron
they " builded better than they knew," for they uncon-
sciously inaugurated an educational revolution. In lay-
ing the foundations of education in labor it is digni-
fied and education is ennobled. In such a union there
is honor and strength, and long life to our institutions.
For the permanence of the civil compact in this country,
as in other countries, depends less upon a wide diffusion
of unassimilated and undigested intelligence than upon
such a thorough, practical education of the masses in the
arts and sciences as shall enable them to secure, and qual-
ify them to store up, a fair share of the aggregate prod-
uce of labor.

If this school shall appear like a hive of industry, let
the reader not be deceived. Its main purpose, intellect-
ual development, is never Ictet sight of for a moment. It


is a system of object-teaching teaching through things
instead of through signs of things. It is the embodi-
ment of Bacon's aphorism "Education is the cultiva-
tion of a just and legitimate familiarity betwixt the mind
and things." The students draw pictures of things, and
then fashion them into things at the forge, the bench,
and the turning-lathe ; not mainly that they may enter
machine-shops, and with greater facility make similar
things, but that they may become stronger intellectually
and morally ; that they may attain a wider range of
mental vision, a more varied power of expression, and so
be better able to solve the problems of life when they
shall enter upon the stage of practical activity.

It is a theory of this school that in the processes of ed-
ucation the idea should never be isolated from the object
it represents ; (1) because the idea, being the reflex per-
ception or shadow of the object, is less clearly defined than
the object itself, and (2) because joining the object and
the idea intensifies the impression. Separated from its
object the idea is unreal, a phantom. The object is the
flesh, blood, bones, and nerves of the idea. Without its
body the idea is as impotent as the steam that rises from
the surface of boiling water and loses itself in the air.
But unite it to its object and it becomes the vital spark,
the animating force, the Promethean fire. Thus steam
converts the Corliss engine a huge mass of lifeless iron
into a thing of grace, of beauty, and of resistless power.
Suppose the teacher, for example, desires to convey to
the mind of a child having no knowledge of form an
impression of the shape of the earth; he says, "It is
globular." The child's face expresses nothing because
there is in its mind no conception of the object repre-
sented by the word globular. The teacher says, " It is a


sphere," with no better success. He adds, " A sphere is
a body bounded by a surface, every point of which is
equally distant from a point within called the centre."
The child's face is still expressionless. The teacher takes
a handful of moist clay and moulds it into the form of a
sphere, and exhibiting it, says, " The earth is like this."
The child claps its hands, utters a cry of delight, and
exclaims, " It is round like a ball !"

This is an illustration of the triumph of object-teach-
ing, the method alike of the kindergarten and the man-
ual training school. As the child is father of the man,
so the kindergarten is father of the manual training
school. The kindergarten comes first in the order of
development, and leads logically to the manual training
school. The same principle underlies both. In both it
is sought to generate power by dealing with things in.
connection with ideas. Both have common methods of
instruction, and they should be adapted to the whole
period of school life, and applied to all schools.

This school, situated on one of the most beautiful
streets in the world, in the city most precisely represent-
ative of the present age the age of steel is dedicated
to manual education, to the generation of power, to the
development of true manhood. And above all, this school
is destined to unite in indissoluble bonds science and art,
and so to confer upon labor the highest and justest dig-
nity. The reason of the degradation of labor was admi-
rably stated by America's most distinguished education-
al reformer, the late Mr. Horace Mann, who said, " The
labor of the world has been performed by ignorant men,
by classes doomed to ignorance from sire to son ; by the
bondmen and bondwomen of the Jews, by the helots of
Sparta, by the captives who passed under the Roman


yoke, and by the villeins and serfs and slaves of more
modern times."

When it shall have been demonstrated that the high-
est degree of education results from combining manual
with intellectual training, the laborer will feel the pride
of a genuine triumph ; for the consciousness that every
thought-impelled blow educates him, and so raises him
, in the scale of manhood, will nerve his arm, and fire his
brain with hope and courage.



Tools the Highest Text -books How to Use them the Test of
Scholarship They are the Gauge of Civilization Carlyle's Apos-
trophe to them. The Typical Hand-tools. The Automata of the
Machine-shop. Through Tools Science and Art are United. The
Power of Tools Their Educational Value. Without Tools Man
is Nothing ; with Tools he is All. It is through the Arts alone
that Education touches Human Life.

SACKED to the majesty of tools might be appropriately
inscribed over the entrance to this school for manual
education ; for its highest text-books are tools, and how
to use them most intelligently is the test of scholarship.
To realize the potency of tools it is only necessary to
contrast the two states of man the one without tools,
the other with tools. See him in the first state, naked,
shivering with cold, now hiding away from the beasts
in caves, and now, famished and despairing, gaunt and
hollow-eyed, creeping stealthily like a panther upon his
prey. Then see him in the poetic, graphic apostrophe
of Carlyle. "Man," he says, "is a tool -using animal.
He can use tools, can devise tools ; with these the gran-
ite mountains melt into light dust before him; he
kneads iron as if it were soft paste ; seas are his smooth
highway, winds and fire his unwearying steeds. No-
where do you find him without tools ; without tools he
is nothing, with tools he is all !"

What a picture of the influence of tools upon civili-
zation! It is through the use of tools that man has


reached the place of absolute supremacy among animals.
As he increases his stock of tools he recedes from the
state of savagery. The great gulf between the aboriginal
savage and the civilized man is spanned by the seven
hand-tools the axe, the saw, the plane, the hammer, the
square, the chisel, and the file. These are the universal
tools of the arts, and the modern machine - shop is an
aggregation of them rendered automatic and driven by

The ancients constructed automata which were ex-
ceedingly ingenious. In the statues that could walk and
talk, the Chinese puppets and the marionettes of the
Greeks there was a hint of the modern automatic tools,
which, driven by steam, fashion with equal accuracy the
delicate parts of the watch and the huge segments of the
marine engine. The ancients knew more of science than
of art. They were familiar with the power of steam,
but knew not how to apply it to the wants of man.
They knew that steam would turn a spit, but they had
not a sufficient knowledge of art to convert the power
they had discovered into a monster of force, and train it
to bear the burdens of commerce. They never thought
to apply the jet of steam used to turn a spit to great
automatic machines, and to fit into them saws and files,
and needles and drills, and gimlets and planes, and com-
pel them to do the work of thousands of men. But this
is precisely what the modern mechanic has accom-
plished. In making a slave of steam, science and art
have combined to free mankind.

"We marvel at the dulness of the ancients as shown in
their failure to utilize in the practical arts the discoveries
of science. That they should have studied the stars over
their heads to the neglect of the earth under their feet is


incomprehensible to the modern mind. But will not fut-
ure generations marvel at us ? Is it not an astounding
fact that, with a knowledge of the tremendous influence
of tools upon the destiny of the human race so graphic-
ally depicted by Carlyle, the nations have been so slow
in incorporating tool-practice into educational methods?
The distinguishing features of modern civilization sprang
as definitively from cunningly devised and skilfully han-
dled tools as any effect from its cause. And yet the
world's statesmen have failed to discover the value of
tool-practice as an educational agency. The face of the
globe has been transformed by the union of art and
science, but the world's statesmen have not discerned the
importance of uniting them in the curriculum of the
schools. If the ancients could see us as we see them,
they would doubtless laugh at us as we laugh at them.

We might take a lesson from the savage. He is taught
to fight, to hunt, and to fish, and in these arts the brain,
the hand, and the eye are trained simultaneously. He is
first given object-lessons, as the pupil of the kindergarten
is taught. Then the tomahawk, the spear, and the bow
and arrow are placed in his hands, and he fights for his
life, or fishes or hunts for his dinner. The young Indian
is taught all that it is necessary for him to know, and he
is educated, practically, in the savage's three workshops
the battle-field, the forest and plain, the sea and lake.
Thus the young savage enters upon the duties of his life
with an exact practical knowledge of them. He has not
been taught a theory of fighting, he has used the weap-
ons of warfare ; he has not studied the arts of fishing and
hunting, he has handled the spear and the bow and ar-
row, and their use is as familiar to him as the multiplica-
tion table is to the boy in the public school.


We have more and better tools than the savage pos-
sesses. With the aid of science and these tools we har-
ness steam to our chariot and compel it to draw us whith-
er we will. We steal fire from the clouds and make it
serve us as a messenger. We imprison the air, and with
it stop the flying railway train. With the aid of science
and these tools we reduce the most subtile forces of nat-
ure to servitude, but we neither teach our youth how
to master their elements nor how to use them.

Tools represent the steps of human progress in archi-
tecture, from the mud hut to the modern mansion ; in
agriculture, from the pointed stick used to tear the turf
to a thousand and one ingenious instruments of husband-
dry ; in ship-building, from the rudderless, sailless boat to
the ocean steamer ; in fabrics, from the matted fleece of
the shepherd to the varied products of countless looms ;
in pottery, from the first rude Egyptian cup to the ex-
quisite vase of the Sevres factory. And so of every art
that contributes to the comfort and pleasure of man ; the
development of each has been accomplished by tools in the
hands of the laborer.

Since, then, man owes so much to labor, he has doubt-
less educated the laborer and showered honors upon
him (?). On the contrary, the labor of the world has been
performed by the most ignorant classes, by bondmen, by
helots and captives, by serfs and slaves. The laborer has
been held in such contempt, and been so debased by ig-
norance, that he has often violently protested against im-
provements in the tools of the trades, and with vandal
hands destroyed the mill, the factory, and the forge erect-
ed to ameliorate his condition. At the top of the social
scale the sage has studied the stars and invented systems
of abstract philosophy ; at the bottom ignorance has dei-


fied itself and starved. This divorce of science from art
has resulted in such incongruities as the Pyramids of
Egypt and periodical famines; as the hanging gardens
of Babylon and the horrors of Jewish captivity ; as the
Greek Parthenon and dwellings without chimneys; as
the statues of Phidias and Praxiteles, and royal banquets
without knives, forks, or spoons; as the Roman Forum
and the Roman populace crying for bread and circuses ;
as Socrates, Plato, Seneca and Aurelius, and Caligula,
Claudius, Nero and Domitian.

On the other hand the union of science with art tun-
nels the mountain, bridges the river, dams the torrent,
and converts the wilderness into a fruitful field.

Science discovers and art appropriates and utilizes ;
and as science is helpless without the aid of art v so art is
dead without the help of tools. Tools then constitute
the great civilizing agency of the world ; for civilization
is the art of rendering life agreeable. The savage may
own a continent, but if he possesses only the savage's
tools the spear and the bow and arrow he will be
ill-fed, ill-housed, ill -clothed, and poorly protected both
against cold and heat. He might be familiar with all
the known sciences, but if he were ignorant of the arts
his state, instead of being improved, would be rendered
more deplorable ; for with the thoughts, emotions, sensi-
bilities, and aspirations of a sage he would still be pow-
erless to steal from heaven a single spark of fire with
which to warm his miserable hut.

In the light of this analysis Carlyle's rhapsody on tools
becomes a prosaic fact, and his conclusion that man with-
out tools is nothing, with tools all points the way to the
discovery of the philosopher's stone in education. For
if man without tools is nothing, to be unable to use tools


is to be destitute of power ; and if man with tools is all,
to be able to use tools is to be all-powerful. And this
power in the concrete, the power to do some useful thing
for mankind this is the last analysis of educational truth.
,- There is no better definition of education than that of
Pestalozzi " the generation of power." But what kind
of power? Not merely power to think abstractly, to
speculate, to moralize, to philosophize, but power to act
intelligently. And the power to act intelligently in-
volves the exertion, in greater or less degree, of all the
powers, both mental and physical. Education, then, is
the development of all the powers of man to the culmi-
nating point of action. "What kind of action ? Action
in art. What is art ? " The power of doing something
not taught by nature or instinct ; power or skill in the
use of knowledge ; the practical application of the rules
or principles of science." Again we have the last analy-
sis of education " skill in the use of knowledge ; the
application of the rules or principles of science." And
this is tool practice.

It is unnecessary, in an educational view, to divide
the arts by the use of the terms " practical " and " fine ;"
for the fine arts can only exist legitimately where the
practical arts have paved the way. In a harmonious
development the artist will enter on the heels of the
artisan. Art is cosmopolitan. It is not less worthily
represented by the carpenter with his square, saw, and
plane, and the smith with his sledge, than by the sculp-
tor with his mallet and chisel, and the painter with his
easel and brush. Both classes contribute to the comfort
and pleasure of mankind; for comfort is enhanced by
pleasure, and pleasure is intensified by comfort. It fol-
lows that the ultimate object of education is the attain-


ment of skill in the arts. To this end the speculations
and investigations of philosophy and the experiments of
chemistry lead. At the door of the study of the philos-
opher and of the laboratory of the chemist stands the
artisan, listening for the newest hint that philosophy can
.impart, waiting for the result of the latest chemical analy-
sis. In his hands these suggestions take form ; through
his skilful manipulation the faint indications of science
become real things, suited to the exigencies of human life.
It is the most astounding fact of history that educa-
tion has been confined to abstractions. The schools have
taught history, mathematics, language and literature and
the sciences, to the utter exclusion of the arts, notwith-
standing the obvious fact that it is through the arts alone
that other branches of learning touch human life. As
Bacon has so aptly expressed it, " The real and legitimate
goal of the sciences is the endowment of human life with
new inventions and riches." In a word, public education
stops at the exact point where it should begin to apply

Online LibraryCharles Henry HamManual training : the solution of social and industrial problems → online text (page 2 of 30)