Charles Henry Ham.

Manual training : the solution of social and industrial problems online

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ination of candidates for admission, September 8th. The
number of pupils in the new first-year class is to be lim-
ited to one hundred. Nearly one-half of that number
have already been received."

The capacity of the school since the completion of the
"addition" alluded to in the "historical note" is two
hundred and forty students. The first class was gradu-
ated in June, 1883 ; the second class in June, 1884. The


establishment of this excellent school is due first to the
energy and educational foresight of Dr. Woodward, and
second, to the munificent money donations of three citi-
zens of St. Louis Mr. Edwin Harrison, Mr. Samuel Cup-
pies, and Mr. Gottlieb Conzelman. Other citizens em-
ulated their noble example, and the result was a sufficient
fund for the support of the school, whose purpose is to
demonstrate the practicability of uniting manual and
mental instruction in the public schools of St. Louis and
of the country. With a single further quotation from
the prospectus of the second great manual training
school in the United States, on the subject of labor, we
close this too brief notice :

"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 labor and the laborer. With the acquisi-
tion of skill in himself comes the ability and willingness
to recognize skill in his fellows. When once he appre-
ciates skill in handicraft, he regards the workman with
sympathy and respect."

Considerable progress in manual training has been
made in the State agricultural colleges of the country.
In twelve of these colleges drawing and tool practice
have been introduced. Generally the tool practice covers
pattern-making, blacksmithing, moulding and founding,
forging and bench-work, and machine-tool work in iron.
The most pronounced success has been achieved at Pur-
due University, Lafayette, Ind., under the directorship
of Prof. Wm. F. M. Goss, who graduated from the school
of Mechanic Arts of the Massachusetts Institute of Tech-
nology in 1879.


Manual training in connection with the public-school
system of education has been inaugurated in Boston
and Milford, Mass. ; New Haven, and the State Normal
School, New Britain, Conn. ; Omaha, Neb. ; * Eau Claire,
Wis. ; f Moline, Peru, and the Cook County Normal
School, Normal Park, 111. ; Montclair, N. J. ; Cleveland
and Barnesville, Ohio ; San Francisco, Cal. ; and Balti-
more, Md.

On the occasion of the annual meeting of 1884 of the
National Educational Association of the United States,
at Madison, Wis., manual training received a very large
share of the attention of educators. Yery creditable ex-
hibits of various manipulations in wood, iron, and steel
were made by the following institutions, namely, the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Purdue Univer-
sity, the St. Louis Manual Training School, the Illinois
Industrial University, the University of Wisconsin, and
the Spring Garden Institute of Philadelphia. There
were also about thirty kindergarten exhibits, and a large
number of exhibits of specimens of drawing from public
schools in various parts of the country.

Prof. Felix Adler's educational enterprise in the city
of New York The Workingman's School and Free Kin-
dergarten is unique in this that, while it is entirely a
work of charity, it is the most comprehensive education-
al institution in existence, as appears from the following
description of its course of instruction :

"The Workingman's School and Free Kindergarten
form one institution. The children are admitted at the

* In charge of Albert M. Bumann, B.S., graduate of the St. Louis
Manual Training School, class of 1885.

t In charge of William F. Barnes, B.S., graduate of the St. Louis
Manual Training School, class of 1885.


age of three to the kindergarten. They are graduated
from it at six, and enter the workingman's school. They
remain in the school till they are thirteen or fourteen
years of age. Thereafter those who show decided ability
receive higher technical instruction. For the others who
leave the school proper and are sent to work, a series of
evening classes will be opened, in which their industrial
and general education will be continued in various direc-
tions. This graduate course of the workingman's school
is intended to extend up to the eighteenth or twenty-first

" From the third year up to manhood and womanhood
such," says Prof. Adler, " is the scope embraced by the
purposes of our institiition !"

The following extracts from a late report of the prin-
cipal of the school, Mr. G. Bamberger, on its " purposes,"
show that they are identical with those of the so-called
manual training school, and also that its methods are sim-

" We, therefore, have undertaken to institute a reform
in education in the following two ways: "We begin
industrial instruction at the very earliest age possible.
Already in our kindergarten we lay the foundation for
the system of work instruction that is to follow. In the
school proper, then, we seek to bridge over the interval
lying between the preparatory kindergarten training and
the specialized instruction of the technical school, util-
izing the school age itself for the development of indus-
trial ability. This, however, is only one characteristic
feature of our -institution. The other, and the capital
one, is, that we seek to combine industrial instruction
organically with the ordinary branches of instruction,
thus using it not only for the material purpose of creat-


ing skill, but also ideally as a factor of mind-education.
To our knowledge, such an application of work instruc-
tion has nowhere as yet been attempted, either abroad or
in this country. . . .

" In the teaching of history to these young children
we hold it essential that the teacher should be entirely
independent of any text-book, and able to freely handle
the vast material at his disposal, and to draw from it, as
from an endless storehouse, with fixed and definite pur-
pose. We attach even greater importance to the moral
than to the intellectual significance of history. The ben-
efits which the understanding, the memory, and the im-
agination derive from the study of history are not small.
But history, considered as a realm of actions, can be made
especially fruitful of sound influence upon the active,
moral side of human nature. The moral judgment is
strengthened by a knowledge of the evolution of man-
kind in good and evil. The moral feelings are purified
by abhorrence of the vices of the past, and by admira-
tion of examples of greatness and virtue. Text -books
are not to be discarded, but their choice is a matter
of great difficulty. Thus, all books in which historical
instruction is given in the shape of printed questions and
answers are highly objectionable. They are convenient
bridges which lead to nothing."

The following extract from a late report of Prof. Ad-
ler shows the purpose of the establishment of what he
calls the "model school" to be identical with that of the
projectors of the St. Louis and Chicago manual training
schools, namely, the ultimate adoption by the public
schools of the country of a far more rational system of
instruction than that which at present prevails. He says,

"It seemed to us, therefore, far more necessary, far


more calculated to really advance the public good, that
one model school should be erected in which the entire
system of rational and liberal education for the children
of the poorer class might be exhibited from beginning to
end. We ventured to hope that such an example, hav-
ing once been set, would not be without effect upon the
common-school system at large, and that the extension
of our work would proceed by the natural course of the
' survival of what is fittest.' It was decided, therefore,
that the twenty -five graduates from the kindergarten
should be invited to remain with us, that a complete
school should be instituted, and that a teacher should be
at once appointed to take in hand the instruction of the
lowest class. The munificence of Mr. Joseph Seligmau,
to whose name we cannot refer without gratitude and re-
spect, at this stage enabled us to go on with our under-
taking, when the dearth of funds would otherwise have
compelled us to wait, or perhaps desist altogether. His
timely gift of ten thousand dollars was the means of
starting the school, and on this as well as on other ac-
counts his memory deserves to be cherished by those
who cherish the educational interests of the people."

The Chicago Manual Training School is the only in-
dependent educational institution of the kind in the
world. All the schools of this character to which refer-
ence has been made in this chapter are departments of
colleges or institutes of technology. The Chicago school
is unique in another respect : it owes its origin entirely
to laymen. Professional educators labored long and ear-
nestly to found the schools we have described, but the
Chicago school was inspired by men unknown in the
field of educational enterprise, advocated by a secular
daily journal, and established by an association of rner-


chants, manufacturers, and bankers. For many years the
Chicago Tribune had very freely and severely criticised
the educational methods of the public schools. Early in
the year 1881 its editorial columns were opened to the
author of this work, who began and continued, therein,
the advocacy of the establishment of a manual training
school in Chicago, as a tentative step towards the incor-
poration in the curriculum of the public schools, of more
practical methods of instruction.

The editorial advocacy of the Tribune was continued
for twelve months, articles appearing about once a week,
without apparent effect beyond provoking a controversy
with certain professional educators, who attacked the po-
sitions assumed by the Tribune. But a public sentiment
had been created on the subject, and the Commercial
Club was destined soon to embody that sentiment in ac-
tion. At its regular monthly meeting, March 25, 1882,
the subject of reform in methods of education was dis-
cussed by members of the club, and by men invited to
be present for that purpose ; the establishment of a school
was resolved upon, and $100,000 pledged for its support.

The Chicago Manual Training School Association was
incorporated April 11, 1883 ; the corner - stone of its
building was laid September 24, 1883 ; and the sessions
of the school commenced on the 4th of February, 1884,
with a class of seventy-two students, "selected by exam-
ination from one hundred and thirty applicants, under
the directorship of Henry H. Belfield, A.M., Ph.D."

The Board of Trustees consists of E. W. Blatchford,
president; E,. T. Crane, vice-president; Marshall Field,
treasurer ; William A. Fuller, secretary ; John Crerar,
John W. Doane, N. K. Fairbank, Edson Keith, and George
M. Pullman.


The object of the school is stated in the articles of
incorporation as follows :

" Instruction and practice in the use of tools, with such
instruction as may be deemed necessary in mathematics,
drawing, and the English branches of a high-school course.
The tool instruction as at present contemplated shall in-
clude carpentry, wood-turning, pattern-making, iron chip-
ping and filing, forge- work, brazing and soldering, the use
of machine - shop tools, and such other instruction of a
similar character as may be deemed advisable to add to
the foregoing from time to time, it being the intention
to divide the working hours of the students, as nearly
as possible, equally between manual and mental exer-

From the first annual catalogue, under the title " Build-
ing and Equipment," we extract the following :

"The school building is beautifully located on Mich-
igan Avenue, and contains ample accommodations, in
rooms for study and work, for several hundred pupils.

"The equipment in the mechanical department con-
sists mainly, at present, of twenty -four cabinet-makers'
benches ; bench and lathe tools of the best quality for
seventy-two boys; twenty-four speed lathes, twelve-inch
swing, thirty inches between centres ; a fifty-two horse-
power Corliss engine, twelve -inch cylinder, thirty -six
inch stroke ; two tubular boilers, forty inches in diame-
ter, fourteen feet long. The Corliss engine, boilers, and
lathes were made especially for the school.

" A very valuable scientific library of nearly five hun-
dred volumes, the property of the American Electrical
Society, has been placed in the school. To this library,
which is particularly rich in works pertaining to elec-
tricity and chemistry, but which contains also cyclope-


dias, dictionaries, and other works of reference, the pupils
have access.

" The Blatchford Literary Society, an organization of
pupils for improvement in composition, debate, etc., has
lately had a handsome donation of money for the pur-
chase of books to be placed in their alcove in the school
library. Several periodicals are regularly placed on the
library tables through the generosity of the publishers.

" By the kindness of Dr. Wm. F. Poole, librarian, pu-
pils are able to obtain books from the Chicago Public
Library on unusually favorable conditions."

Thus the Chicago Manual Training School, a practical
school, a school of instruction in things, a school after
Bacon's " own heart," sprang from the brain of a number
of plain, practical business men, full-armed, as Minerva
from the brain of Jupiter.

The Trustees were fortunate in securing Dr. Belfield
for the directorship of the school. Before the introduc-
tion of the new education to this country, eleven years
ago, while Russia was struggling with the problem of
tool practice by the laboratory method, Dr. Belfield urged
the need of manual training in the public schools of Chi-
cago, in which he was a teacher. He was met with de-
rision ; but the president of the Board of Education of
Chicago and the superintendent of schools are now advo-
cates of the new system of training.

In conclusion we present the following extracts from
the inaugural address of Dr. Belfield, delivered before
the Chicago Manual Training School Association, June
19, 1884, as embodying the results of his experience
and observation as to the value of the new system of
training :

"The distinctive feature of the manual training school


is the education of the mind, and of the hand as the agent
of the mind. The time of the pupil in school is about
equally divided between the study of books and the study
of things ; between the academic work on the one hand,
and the drawing and shop-work on the other. Observe,
I do not say between school-work and shop-work, for the
shop is as much a school as is any other part of the es-
tablishment. Nor do I mean that the shop gives an edu-
cation of the hand alone, and the class-room an education
of the brain ; but I mean that the shop educates hand
and hrain. That the hand is educated I need not stop
to prove ; but the shop educates the mind also.

"Had you been in the wood -working room of this
school a few hours ago, what would you have seen?
Twenty-four boys at work at lathes driven by a power-
ful engine. Are any idle? No. Are any inattentive
to their work ? No ; you notice the closest and most
earnest attention, frequently approaching abstraction.
Here, then, is the cultivation of a most important facul-
ty of the mind, attention, the power of concentration ;
and it is worthy of remark that this attention is not an
enforced attention, but is cheerful, voluntary, and unre-

"The young workman is engaged on a problem in
wood, just as, a few hours earlier, he was engaged on a
problem in algebra. He has before him a drawing made
to a scale. The problem is this : He must gain a clear
conception of the object represented by the drawing ; he
must imagine it ; he must select or cut a block of wood
of the proper dimensions and of the right quality. It
must not be too large, for he must guard against waste
of material and waste of time. It must be large enough,
for there must be no incompleteness about the finished



product of his labor. Observe him as the work grows
under his hand ; observe the selecting of the proper tools
for the different parts of the process ; observe the careful
measuring, the watchful eye upon the position of the
chisel, the speed of the lathe, the gradual approach of
the once rectangular block to the model which exists in
his brain and you must admit that this work demands
and develops, not manual dexterity alone, but attention,
observation, imagination, judgment, reasoning. . . .

"My own opinion is that an hour in the shop of a
well-conducted manual training school develops as much
mental strength as an hour devoted to Yirgil or Legen-
dre. . . .

"But of this I am confident, that three years of a
manual training school will give at least as much purely
intellectual growth as three years of the ordinary high
school, because, as has been said, every school hour, wheth-
er spent in the class-room, the drawing-room, or in the
shop, is an hour devoted to intellectual training. And I
am also convinced that the manual training school boy's
comprehension of some essential branches of knowledge
will be as far superior to that of the other boy's, as tho
realization of the grandeur and beauty of the Alps to tho
man who has seen their glories is superior to the concep-
tion of him who has merely read of them. . . .

" And here is the mistake of those who would degrade
a manual training school into a manufacturing establish-
ment. The fact should never be lost sight of for an
instant that the product of the school should be, not the
polished article of furniture, not the perfect piece of ma-
chinery, but the polished, perfect boy. The acquisition
of industrial skill should be the means of promoting the
general education of the pupil ; the education of the hand


should be the means of more completely and more effica-
ciously educating the brain. . . .

"Take two boys, one with little or no education, the
other a high -school graduate; let them enter the ma-
chine-shop of a large manufactory, beginning, as boys
ignorant of the technique of the trade must begin, at the
lowest round of the ladder. It cannot be doubted that
in three or four years the high-school graduate, if he had
been willing to do the drudgery incident to the place,
would have reached a higher position than the other boy,
and would be in a fair way to succeed to some responsi-
ble post in the establishment. But the graduate of the
manual training school, by reason of his superior knowl-
edge of machinery and materials, his skill in the use of
tools, added to his general mental training, would begin
at the point reached by the high - school boy after his
years of apprenticeship. From the day of his entrance
into the factory he would be conspicuous. While the
other boys would stand in the presence of the huge Titan
of the shop lost in the wonder of ignorance, the manual
training boy would gaze with delight on the marvel of
mechanism, wrapped in the admiration begotten of a
thorough understanding of its construction, and strong
in the consciousness of his mastery of it."

Manual training was introduced in the Pennsylvania
State College, experimentally, about three years ago. In
1883 the course was "greatly extended," and in Sep-
tember, 1884, it went into full operation. The course
is substantially the same as that of the Chicago school ;
and that it was the outgrowth of the Russian system,
and inspired by Dr. Runkle, is shown by the following
extract from a circular lately issued by Prof. Louis E.


" Some may think that the variety of operations in the
mechanic arts is so great as to make it impossible to give
the student any real knowledge in the time at his dis-
posal. It should be borne in mind, however, that this
multiplicity of processes may be reduced to a small num-
ber of manual operations, and the numerous tools em-
ployed are only modifications of, or convenient substi-
tutes for, a few tools which are in general use."

A course in tool practice by the laboratory method has
been made part of the curriculum of the College of the
City of New York.* I am permitted to make an extract
from a letter written in August last by Alfred G. Comp-
ton, Professor of Applied Mathematics of the College of
the City of New York, to Dr. Runkle. I print this ex-
tract to show the exacting nature of the demands made
upon instructors by the new education. It is as follows :

" We are anxious to find, by the opening of our term
in September, a competent instructor in wood-working
for our course in mechanic arts, now in its second year.
He should be a good and ready draughtsman, skilful in
perspective and projections, and ready in black-board
sketching, besides being acquainted with the use of tools,
and apt at class-teaching. He will have at first $1000 a

The lack of competent instructors is the most serious
difficulty which the new education is destined to encoun-
ter. The desire to adopt tool practice is so widespread
among the people that educators, whether willing or oth-

* "The first report of the Industrial Educational Association of
New York gives a list of thirty-one schools in that city in which in-
dustrial education is furnished." Address of Prof. S. R. Thompson,
Industrial Department of the National Educational Association, Sara-
toga Springs, N. Y., July, 1885.


erwise, are compelled to attempt to gratify the demand.
At the same time the force of competent instructors is
very small, and the danger is that the new system of ed-
ucation will be brought into disrepute through the failure
of its proper administration.

In 1882 Mr. Paul Tulane, of Princeton, K. J., made a
large donation, consisting of his realty in the city of
New Orleans, in aid of education in the State of Louisi-
ana. In 1884 the University bearing its donor's name
Tulane came into existence. In the deed of dona-
tion Mr. Tulane declared that by the term education he
meant to " foster such a course of intellectual develop-
ment as shall be useful and of solid worth, and not be
merely ornamental or superficial." Hence manual train-
ing has been made a prominent feature of the insti-

There is in operation at Crozet, Va., a manual training
school called, after its founder, Mr. Samuel Miller, " The
Miller Manual Labor School ;" but of the methods of
training pursued at this school the author is not accu-
rately informed.

Girard College, dedicated nearly forty years ago, has
adopted manual training. In response to a letter by the
author, asking for information, Mr. ~W. Heyward Dray-
ton, of Philadelphia, gives the following historical sketch
of the introduction and progress of tool practice by the
laboratory method in that noble institution :

* John M. Ordway, A.M., late Professor of Metallurgy and Indus-
trial Chemistry of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been
called to New Orleans to organize and direct the manual training
department of the institution; and he is assisted by Charles A.
Heath, B.S., and Everett E. Hapgood, graduates of the School of
Mechanic Arts of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


" From time to time some of the directors recognized
the importance of mechanical instruction, but after one
or two attempts further efforts in this direction were
abandoned, as those proved utter failures. It was not
until Dr. Runkle, of the Massachusetts Institute of Tech-
nology, at the instance of the late Mr. William Welsh,
then president of the Board of Directors of City Trusts,
delivered a short address on the subject in the lecture-
room of the Franklin Institute in this city, that any prac-
tical mode of introducing this branch of study into the
college was presented.

" . . . Following as nearly as possible the scheme suggest-
ed by Dr. Runkle, and aided by many suggestions from
him, in April, 1882, we began to instruct the larger boys

Online LibraryCharles Henry HamManual training : the solution of social and industrial problems → online text (page 24 of 30)