William Hawley Smith.

Walks abroad and talks about them online

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labor in vain, I cannot help asking myself if that is really
the best thing that can possibly be done in the way of
educating the rising generation. Is it? 'Do you think it
is? And if it isn't, what can we do that is better?




I was once riding through a town with a friend, see-
ing the sights, when all at once he remarked :

" By the way, there is something that you ought to
see — our Industrial School."

And I replied, "Surely ! I had rather see the inside
of that establishment than all the rest of the town." And
so we went to see this school.

Now I dislike to play the ro/e of Momus, and it is
ever so much pleasanter to say only nice things about
people and places. But truth is greater than superficial
politeness ; and in telling what we saw in this school I
shall stick to the facts and hold them responsible for the

The building W2 entered is one of the best of its kind
in this country. It is commodious, well equipped with all
sorts of machinery, and there were nearly two hundred
boys working within its walls. These boys were pupils in
the high school as well, and were doing the regular course
there, with this work as a sort of an extra. There was no
let-up in memory work, no matter what else was done !

The superintendent of the school greeted us cordially,
and detailed a member of the senior class to show us
around. I do not know that the guide he gave us did by
us as he was accustomed to do by others, but here is what
he did for us :

He began at the bottom, and took us first to the
boiler-room ; he showed us the boiler and furnace under-
neath, and explained that they put the coal into the fur-
nace, where it burned and made steam in the boiler ! He


called our attention to the name of the firm that made the
boiler, and said that it was the best firm of the kind in
this country.

Then he showed us the engine, where the steam went
when it left the boiler — the engine that made all the
wheels in the shop " go 'round." Then he took us to the
door of a large ground-floor room and let us look in, while
he said : " This is the blacksmith shop." We could see
boys hammering in rows in the distance.

Again, as we stood before another open door, our
guide explained : " This is the carpenter shop," and we
saw boys shoving planes, and there were shavings on the
floor. "This is the machine shop," he said, and it was so.
And in this way we "went through the building."

P^inally we were brought in front of a show-case which
contained some of the manufactured product of the estab-
lishment. The case was filled with beautiful things,
wonderfully made, and all made by pupils of this school.

We admired these things. We were glad to do so,
for they were well worthy of our admiration ; and having
done this, we were escorted back to the office, and I sup-
pose that it was counted that we had seen the establish-
ment. Anyhow, our guide was dismissed, and the super
intendent seemed to indicate by his manner that he was
willing to bid us good-day.

It is a busy world we all live in, and we cannot give
much time to strangers.

But the man was a gentleman, and, relying on that
fact, I ventured to ask if we might be permitted to go into
the blacksmith's shop and watch the boys at their work.
The request was granted, much after the manner of the
" Head Master " in the high school referred to when
asked if we might hear a class recite. But it was granted,
and so we went into the blacksmith's shop.


Wc found there about twenty boys workin

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Online LibraryWilliam Hawley SmithWalks abroad and talks about them → online text (page 12 of 16)