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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/645

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AN AMERICAN MANUAL TRAINING-SCHOOL.

No one of the French plans exactly suits me. I prefer to incorporate manual with intellectual education, and include both under the name school. We do not have what you call school in the morning and shop in the afternoon; nor do we spend the forenoons with tools, and devote a few evening hours to study and recitation.

The Manual Training-School of St. Louis differs from all other technical schools with which I am acquainted. It much resembles the Boston School of Mechanic Arts, though it differs from it in admitting boys at fourteen instead of fifteen years of age; in having a three years' course instead of two, and in having a full and independent equipment of study and recitation rooms, as well as shops. I gladly avail myself of this occasion to publicly acknowledge our indebtedness to the able reports and papers published by ex-President Runkle on the Russian system of tool-instruction and the organization and work of his school.

Prospectus of the School.—A prospectus of our school has just been issued, giving in detail our course of study, and the methods of tool-instruction. I shall be happy to give a copy to every one who is sufficiently interested to ask for it. To those who do not care for the details, I will say that our course of study runs through three years, in five parallel lines:

1. A course in pure mathematics.
2. A course in science and applied mathematics.
3. A course in language and literature.
4. A course in penmanship and drawing.
5. A course in tool-work in woods and metals.

Our school is not managed on the assumption that all the boys who go through it will become mechanics, or that they will be manufacturers. Our graduates will doubtless be found in all the professions. We strive to help them find their true callings, and we prejudice them against none. I have no sort of doubt, however, that the grand result will be that many who otherwise would eke out a scanty subsistence as clerks, book-keepers, salesmen, poor lawyers, murderous doctors, whining preachers, abandoned penny-a-liners, or hardened school-keepers, will be led, through the instrumentality of our school, to positions of honor and comfort as mechanics, engineers, or manufacturers.

No Articles made for Sale.—For the purpose of discountenancing certain grave popular fallacies in this country, I will add a word, even at the risk of repeating what I have said elsewhere, as to our plan of shop management. We do not manufacture articles for sale, nor do we pretend to fully teach particular trades.

A shop which manufactures for the market, and expects a revenue from the sale of its products, is necessarily confined to salable work, and a systematic and progressive series of exercises is practically impossible. If the shop is managed in the interest of the student, he is allowed to leave a step or a process the moment he has fairly learned