Charles Henry Ham.

Manual training : the solution of social and industrial problems online

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cities. To support these speculative operations fresh
money is required to be constantly poured into the pool,
and it is drawn from every class in the community.
Very little of the " fresh money " is ever returned. Most
of it remains in the hands of the pool managers, of those
whose profession it is to manipulate the markets. Thus
the fever of speculation extends from centre to circum-
ference of the country, stimulating bad passions, creating
distaste for labor, relieving the countryman of his surplus,
and increasing the already overgrown fortune of the city
operator. A writer on current topics, discussing this sub-


ject, says, "Put your finger on one of our great fortunes,
and nine times out of ten you will feel underneath it the
cold heart of some one who has mined on the San Fran-
cisco Stock Exchange, or packed pork on the Chicago
Board of Trade, or built railroads in Wall Street." *

A sufficient number of the salient features of Ameri-
can civilization have been brought under review to show
that the new continent has not borne new social fruits.
Under extremely favorable physical conditions a coun-
try of vast resources, a wide range of climates, and a soil
of great fertility we planted old social forces, and old
social evils are in process of rapid development. "We are
transplanted Europeans, controlled by European mental
and moral habitudes. And the virile force, evoked by
the splendid physical opportunities of a vast new coun-
try, so intensifies the struggle for wealth and power, that
European social abuses are not only reproduced, but
sometimes exaggerated in this land of boasted equal
political rights.

But notwithstanding the fact that social tendencies in
America seem to be similar to those of Europe, it is upon
America, alone that the eyes of mankind rest with an ex-
pression of ardent hopefulness. Nor is this hope desti-
tute of a basis of rationality. It is in the United States,
for the first time in all the ages, that a good reason can
be given for indulging the sentiment of patriotism. Love
of country here is a due appreciation of the value of the
right of suffrage. The private soldier who goes forth to

* "America does not now suffer from this cause [standing armies],
but nowhere in the world have colossal fortunes, rabid speculation,
and great monopolies reached so portentous a magnitude, or exerted
so pernicious an influence." "Bad Times," p. 80. By Alfred Rus-
sel Wallace, LL.D. London : Macmillan & Co., 1885.


fight the battles of the United States is a man and citi-
zen, and upon his return from the field he may, with the
ballot, devote to the education of his children a share of
the estate of the army contractor who amassed a fortune
while he defended the country. All the property in the
United States, whether honestly or dishonestly acquired,
is subject to the order of the ballot of the citizen. It
may be taken for war purposes, and it may be taken for
educational purposes. In the universality of the right
of suffrage lies the power of correcting all social evils.
It is through the right of suffrage that the wrongs inflict-
ed upon a too patient people by corrupt and ignorant
legislation may be ultimately righted. By the suffrages
of the people the tax bill is voted ; and it is through the
tax bill that the vast estates of corporations and individ-
uals, whether obtained by dishonest practices or not, may
be made to contribute to the thorough education of all
the children of the country. And it is through the
sentiment of patriotism thus inspired that the right of
universal suffrage in the United States is destined to
preservation forever.

The late proposition to limit suffrage in the city of
New York is explainable only on the theory put forth
in this chapter, that our civilization is the product of
European ideas that we are Europeans in disguise. On
any other hypothesis it would be amazing. It is even
now sufficiently startling that the proposition to restrict
suffrage should precede the proposition to make educa-
tion universal by making it compulsory, and to purge
it of its glaring defects. Every attempt to restrict the
right of suffrage in the United States will, however, fail.
The right of self-government can be taken from the
American people only by force. The American citizen


will not vote away his right to vote, as the careless Greek
sold his freedom, and as the Chinaman sells his life.

That American social abuses do not spring from free
suffrage is evident, because similar abuses exist in coun-
tries where the masses have little or no share in the
government. Social evils are the product of defective
education. So long as European educational methods
prevail in this country, so long European social abuses
will characterize our civilization. Our education is scant
in quantity and poor in quality; hence the standard of
the suffrage is lowered by the presence of ignorance and
depravity. But when the suffrage shall be better in-
formed, it will be more honest ; and when it shall have
become more honest and more intelligent, it will have
gained the power to grapple with social abuses.

Such examination of history as we have been able to
make fails to disclose any radical change in educational
methods for three thousand years. The charge of Mr.
Herbert Spencer against the schools of England, to wit,
" That which our school courses leave almost entirely out
we thus find to be that which most nearly concerns the
business of life" this charge applies with almost as
much force to the schools of the United States as to the
Greek and Roman schools of rhetoric and logic. Ba-
con's aphorism " Education is the cultivation of a just
and legitimate familiarity betwixt the mind and things "
is two hundred and fifty years old, but it has as yet
exerted scarcely an appreciable influence upon the meth-
ods of our public schools. We still reverse the natural
order of investigation proceeding from the abstract to the
concrete, thus lumbering the mind of the student with
trash which must be removed as a preliminary to the
first step in the real work of education. We still impart


a knowledge of words instead of a knowledge of things ;
we still ignore art, notwithstanding the fact that it is
through art alone that education touches human life.
We still inculcate contempt of labor, and teach the stu-
dent how to " make his way in the world " by his wits,
rather than by giving an equivalent for what he shall
receive ; and, worst of all, we continue, through subjec-
tive processes of thought, to charge the mind with self-
ishness, the essence of depravity.

Meantime, social problems press for a solution, a solu-
tion here and now. Our social problems cannot be set-
tled as those of Europe have been, for two hundred
years, by emigration. "We have no Columbus, and if we
had such an explorer, there is no new hemisphere for
him to discover. The lesson of all history is, that selfish
people cannot dwell together in unity. The struggle to
secure more than a fair share of the products of the labor
of all is sure to end in a quarrel ; the quarrel ends in a
revolution, and the revolution, under the glare of flames,
drowns in blood the records of civilization. But in Amer-
ica the man must live with his fellows. As Mr. Henry
D. Lloyd well says, in " Lords of Industry," " Our young
men can no longer go West ; they must go up or down.
Not new land, but new virtue must be the outlet for the
future. Our halt at the shores of the Pacific is a much
more serious affair than that which brought our ancestors
to a pause before the barriers of the Atlantic, and com-
pelled them to practise living together for a few hundred
years. We cannot hereafter, as in the past, recover free-
dom by going to the prairies; we must find it in the
society of the good." *

* North American Review, June, 1884, p. 552.


If we are to find freedom only in the society of the
good, we must create such a society a society free from
selfishness ; for to the stability of society public spirit is
essential, and with a pure public spirit selfishness is at
war. Hence, in a system of education like the prevail-
ing one, which promotes selfishness, the germs of social
disintegration are present, and, from the beginning, the
end may with absolute certainty be predicted. It fol-
lows that any hope of social reform is wholly irrational
that does not spring from the postulate of a complete
educational revolution.



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 T)omestic Economy in the
Iowa Agricultural College. Manual Training in Tennessee, in the
University of Michigan, in the National Educational Association,
in Ohio. The Toledo School for both Sexes. The Importance of
the Education of Woman. The Slojd Schools of Europe.

THE principle of the manual training school exists in
the kindergarten, and for that principle we are indebted
directly to Froebel, and indirectly to Pestalozzi, Come-



nius, Rousseau, and Bacon. But it was reserved for
Russia to solve the problem of tool instruction by the
laboratory process, and make it the foundation of a great
reform in education. The initiatory step was taken in
1868 by M. Victor Delia- Yos, Director of the Imperial
Technical School of Moscow. The following statement
is extracted from the account given by Director Della-
Yos of the exhibit of the Moscow school at Philadelphia
(Centennial of 1876), and at the Paris Exposition in 1878,
as best showing the inception of the new education :

" In 1868 the school council considered it indispensa-
ble, in order to secure the systematical teaching of ele-
mentary practical work, as well as for the more conven-
ient supervision of the pupils while practically employed,
to separate entirely the school workshops from the me-
chanical works in which the orders from private indi-
viduals are executed, admitting pupils to the latter only
when they have perfectly acquired the principles of prac-
tical labor.

" By the separation alone of the school workshops from
the mechanical works, the principal aim was, however,
far from being attained. It was found necessary to
work out such a method of teaching the elementary
principles of mechanical art as, firstly, should demand
the least possible length of time for their acquirement ;
secondly, should increase the facility of the supervis-
ion of the graded employment of the pupils; thirdly,
should impart to the study of practical work the charac-
ter of a sound systematical acquirement of knowledge ;
and fourthly and lastly, should facilitate the demon-
stration of the progress of every pupil at every stated
time. Everybody is well aware that the successful study
of any art whatsoever, free-hand or linear drawing, mu-



sic, singing, painting, etc., is only attainable when the
first attempts at any of them are strictly subject to the
laws of gradation and successiveness, when every student
adheres to a definite method or school, surmounting little
by little, and by certain degrees, the difficulties encoun-

"All those arts which we have just named possess-^,
method of study which has been well worked out and
defined, because, since they have long constituted a^jpart
of the education of the well-instructed classes of people,
they could not but become subject tojscientific analysis,
could not but become the objects of investigation, with a
view of defining those conditions which might render the
study of them as easy and well regulated as possible.

"If we except the attempts made in France in the year
1867 by the celebrated and learned mechanical engineer,
A. Cler, to form a collection of models for the practical
study of the principal methods of forging and welding
iron and steel, as well as the chief parts of joiners' work,
and this with a purely demonstrative aim, no one, as far
as we are aware, has hitherto been actively engaged in
the working out of this question in its application to the
study of hand labor in workshops. To the Imperial
Technical School belongs the initiative in the introduc-
tion of a systematical method of teaching the arts of
turning, carpentering, fitting, and forging.

" To the knowledge and experience in these specialties,
of the gentlemen intrusted with the management of the
school workshops, and to their warm sympathy in the
matter of practical education, we are indebted for the
drawing up of the programme of systematical instruction
in the mechanical arts, its introduction in the year 1868
into the workshops, and also for the preparation of the


necessary auxiliaries to study. In the year 1870, at the
exhibition of manufactures at St. Petersburg, the school
exhibited its methods of teaching mechanical arts, and
from that time they have been common to all the tech-
nical schools of Russia.

" And now (1878) we present our system of instruc-
tion, not as a project, but as an accomplished fact, con-
firmed by the long experience of ten years of success in
its results."

For the introduction of the manual element in educa-
tion to the United States we are indebted to the intel-
lectual acumen of Dr. John D. Runkle, Ph.D., LL.D.,
Walker Professor of Mathematics, Institute of Technol-
ogy, Boston, Mass. In 1876 Doctor Runkle was Presi-
dent of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In
his official report for that year he gave an exhaustive ex-
position of the Russian system, in the course of which he

" We went to Philadelphia, therefore, earnestly seeking
for light in this as well as in all other directions, and this
special report is now made to ask your attention to a fun-
damental, and, as I think, complete solution of this most
important problem of practical mechanism for engineers.
The question is simply this, Can a system of shop-work
instruction be devised of sufficient range and quality
which will not consume more time than ought to be
spared from the indispensable studies ?

" This question has been answered triumphantly in the
affirmative, and the answer comes from Russia. It gives
me the greatest pleasure to call your attention to the ex-
hibit made by the Imperial Technical Schools of St.
Petersburg and Moscow, consisting entirely of collections
of tools and samples of shop-work by students, illustrat-


ing the system which has made these magnificent results

In conclusion Doctor Runkle made the following ear-
nest recommendation :

" In the light of the experience which Russia brings us,
not only in the form of a proposed system, but proved
by several years of experience in more than a single
school, it seems to me that the duty of the Institute is
plain. "We should, without delay, complete our course in
Mechanical Engineering by adding a series of instruction
shops, which I earnestly recommend."

In accordance with this recommendation the "new
school of Mechanic Arts " was created, and made part of
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In his report for 1877 Doctor Runkle said,

"The plan announced in my last report, of building
a series of shops [laboratories] in which to teach the
students in the department of Mechanical Engineering
and others the use of tools, and the fundamental steps in
the art of construction, in accordance with the Russian
system, as exhibited at Philadelphia in 1876, has been
carried steadily forward, and I have now the pleasure of
announcing its near completion.''

Reference is also made in the same report to the action
of the trustees of the Institute in acknowledging the re-
ception of certain models illustrating the system of Me-
chanic Art education, presented by the government of
Russia, as follows :

"At a meeting of the Corporation of the Massachu-
setts Institute of Technology, held November 20, 1877,
a communication from his Excellency, Hon. George H.
Boker, American Minister at St. Petersburg, was read,
announcing the gift to this Institute of eight cases of



models, illustrating the system of Mechanic Art educa-
tion, as devised and so successfully applied at the Impe-
rial Technical School of Moscow. The undersigned have
been charged with the agreeable duty of transmitting to
his Imperial Highness the following resolutions :

"jftesolved, That the Corporation of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology takes this opportunity to cor-
dially congratulate his Imperial Highness, Prince Pierre
d'Oldenbourg, that, at the Imperial Technical School of
Moscow, education in the Mechanic Arts has been for
the first time based upon philosophical and purely edu-
cational grounds, fully justifying for it the title of the
' Russian system.'

"JResolved, That this Corporation hereby tenders its
grateful thanks to his Imperial Highness for his most
valuable gift, with the assurance that these models will
be of the greatest aid in promoting Mechanic Art educa-
tion not only in the School of this Institute, but in all
similar schools throughout the United States."

Appreciating the value of the services rendered to the
cause of the new education by Dr. Runkle, in introduc-
ing to the schools of the United States tool practice by
laboratory methods, and desiring to inform the public of
the course of thought which led to results so important,
the author addressed him on the subject. His reply,
under date of May 22, 1884, is in substance as follows :

" From the first the course in Mechanical Engineering
has been an important one in the Institute of Technology.
A few students came with a knowledge of shop-work,
and had a clear field open to them on graduation, but the
larger number found it difficult to enter lapen. their pro-
fessional work without first taking one or two ;vears of
apprenticeship. This always seemed to me a fault in the


education, and yet I did not see the way to remedy it
without building up manufacturing works in connection
with the school a step which I knew to be an inversion
of a true educational method.

"At Philadelphia, in 1876, almost the first thing I saw
was a small case containing three series of models one
of chipping and filing, one of forging, and one of ma-
chine-tool work. I saw at once that they were not parts
of machines, but simply graded models for teaching the
manipulations in those arts. In an instant the problem
I had been seeking to solve was clear to my mind ; a
plain distinction between a Mechanic Art and its appli-
cation in some special trade became apparent.

" My first work was to build up at the Institute a series
of Mechanic Art shops, or laboratories, to teach these
arts, just as we teach chemistry and physics by the same
means. At the same time I believed that this discipline
could be made a part of general education, just as we
make the sciences available for the same end through
laboratory instruction.

" All teaching has in an important sense a double pur-
pose : first, the cultivation of the powers of the individ-
ual, and second, the pursuit of similar subjects, by sub-
stantially the same means, as a professional end. Now
we use our shops [laboratories] both for educational and
professional ends. ... In brief, we teach the mechanic
arts by laboratory methods, and the student applies the
special skill and knowledge acquired, or not, as circum-
stances or his inclinations dictate."

The second manual training school in this country was
founded as a department of Washington University, St.
Louis, Mo., by Dr. C. M. Woodward. In a paper read
before the St. Louis Social Science Association, May 16,


1878, Dr. Woodward discussed the subject of education
both philosophically and practically. In the course of
his address he gave a full account of the Russian system
of manual training as expounded by Dr. Runkle, en-
dorsed it, and recommended it to the people of St. Louis
as the true method of education in the following yQg
-nigt sentence : " The manual education which begins in
the kindergarten, before the children are able to read a
word, should never cease." *

In the same paper Dr. Woodward thus modestly de-
scribes the beginning of the school which is now one of
the most highly-esteemed educational institutions? of St.
Louis: ^X^ Gid<7>u^->^> J

/^Witk-the- aid of our stanch friend, Mr. Gottlieb
-Conzelman, we fitted up during last summer -* wood-
working shop, with work-benches and vises for eighteen
students ; a second shop for vise-work upon metals and
for machine -work; and a third with a single outfit of
blacksmith's tools. During the last few months system-
atic instruction has been given to different classes in all
these shops. Special attention has been paid to the use
of wood - working hand - tools, to wood - turning, and to

filing." .


These tentative steps promoted a healthy public senti-
ment, and attracted the attention of several wealthy men,
who in 1879 contributed the funds for the permanent
foundation of the school. The prospectus for the year

* The pressing problem of the time in methods of practical educa-
tion is to devise suitable manual exercises for the school period em-
braced in the interim between the end of the kindergarten series of
lessons and the beginning of the series of laboratory exercises de-
scribed in this work the grammar-school period for children of
both sexes from six to fourteen years of age.


1882-83 contains the following " historical note," which
shows great progress :

"The ordinance establishing the Manual Training
School was adopted by the Board of Directors of the
University, June 6, 1879.

"The lot was purchased and the building 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, was opened for
public inspection, and a class of boys was examined for
admission. On September 6, 1880, the school began
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.

" The third year of the school will open on September
llth, when three classes will be present.

" The large addition now in progress (June, 1882) is to
be completed and furnished by the day set for the exam-

Online LibraryCharles Henry HamManual training : the solution of social and industrial problems → online text (page 23 of 30)