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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/218

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

in this country. There are in the extensive premises of the school no fewer than sixteen ateliers, each let out to an approved master or patron, who is usually also the proprietor of a separate business in the city. To him are apprenticed for a term of three, or in some cases four, years some ten or twelve boys, all of whom at the end of that time will be able to take good positions as intelligent workmen. The trades thus taught are those of carpenter, wood-carver, turner in wood, optical turner, compositor, printer, wood-engraver, map-engraver (on stone), marble-mason, brass-worker, bookbinder, carver and gilder, clock-maker, portmanteau-maker, philosophical-instrument maker, and maker of wind instruments. The master of each separate atelier provides the materials, devises the work of the apprentices, superintends its execution either personally or by an authorized contre-maître, and to him belong the products of the workshop. Nothing is made in the shops that will not sell; the apprentices learn the value not only of materials but of time; and, though the works that successfully pass under their hands are graduated to their capacity and experience, they are precisely of the same character as those which apprentices in any ordinary workshop would have to undertake. The masters and foremen of the various ateliers appear to take great interest in their pupils, and pride themselves on the success of their instruction. "These boys," said the foreman of the portmanteau-makers, "when they leave this room know the whole mystery of their trade from end to end. They can take the brute materials, and from them evolve a finished article." The apprentices of this same shop will earn at once from five to six francs a day, instead of the two, three, or four francs usually earned by young workmen just out of their time. They work as quickly as other workmen, for they know from the exigencies of their particular work that time is money. Several of the patrons and foremen of the little workshops are themselves former pupils of the establishment. The apprentices earn nothing during their term of service beyond a little pocket-money when they are satisfactorily advanced. During the whole period of their apprenticeship their parents must contribute thirty francs a month for their board and lodging in the school. Great importance is attached by the Frères to the complete isolation from exterior influences insured by this internment. The magnitude of the work will be understood when it is learned that the income and expenditure of this establishment amounted to about two hundred and thirty thousand dollars in the past year, the services of the fifty worthy Frères who conduct the school being given at a purely nominal rate. There is a large gallery in the building for drawing and modeling, and excellent systems of instruction in model drawing and geometrical drawing have been here developed. Spacious refectories, commodious well-ventilated dormitories, and a large gymnasium form features of the school. The results of the system are significant. The aim of making intelligent workmen is really attained, and though the