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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/221

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METHODS IN INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION.

in character, mechanics, physics, chemistry, and technology being added to the usual programme of literary routine, while drawing and modeling occupy a prominent place. The system of solid geometry taught in the schools is excellently conceived and admirably followed. M. Müller, the director, himself conducts this and some of the scientific branches of study. All the apprentices learn also to sketch bits of machinery or even entire machines, figure the sketch from actual measurement, and then with rule and compass draw them carefully to scale. There are two principal workshops, one devoted to the workers in iron, the other to workers in wood. The trades actually taught are forging, metal-turning, fitting, carpentry, wood-turning, and pattern-making. A small workshop for teaching the manufacture of philosophical instruments has also just been organized. During his first or preparatory year the apprentice, so called—there is, in reality, no formal contract—is making the round of the various shops, taking a fortnight in each in rotation. There is therefore no haste to specialize his work, and he has the opportunity of discovering the pursuit for which he is best fitted, while gaining information and intelligence. His first year over, he settles down to serious work in one of the six categories of labor: henceforth all the articles he makes are salable, and indeed of some value. Still, although the commercial element, eschewed in the Rue Tournefort, here steps in—to the profit of the municipality, be it said, rather than of the school—the apprentice does not sacrifice theory for practice. No single object must be attempted before the working drawing of it has been made out in plan and elevation; and the niceties of true surfaces and exact angles are scrupulously insisted on. Enter the forging and fitting shop, where over a hundred embryo workmen are busily, not to say noisily, employed, each on his all-absorbing task: they hardly look up as the stranger passes along. Here are three novices being taught to forge a hammer-head, learning to "strike," under the direction of a young foreman; and he does teach them, too, with a will. Here an older group are working out a piece by themselves at another forge. All down the long room are benches with vises, and in the middle the heavier machines, lathes, slotting-machines, and planing-machines—the latter designed and constructed only last year by the pupils themselves, and containing a valuable improvement first conceived in the brain of the able foreman of the workshops. Here, a large pinion is being turned; there, the parts of a vise, are being filed into shape, while in the corner an apprentice of one week's standing is trying to file up into perfect form a simple square bar of iron fresh from the forge. After that he will pass to a task a little more difficult, following the course prescribed by experience. Almost all the tools are made by the apprentices themselves. The steam engine which moves the heavy machines is under the charge of two pupils, of the second and third year respectively, their services being devoted for a fortnight to officiating as stoker and engineer. Healthy