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School-Shops vs. Workshops. We would here like to show the difference between mechanical shops of all kinds that should be established to teach a trade, art or calling, and the shops already established for doing work of that particular kind for profit. For example, we will speak of the machine-shop, which, as now arranged, is fitted up with the general tools and fixtures necessary to do a particular class of work, such as locomotive building, or steam-engine building of various sizes, or printing-press machinery, or factory machinery, or tool-making, etc., etc., neither of which would have every variety of tool or fixtures in any one shop for doing every kind of machine work. But when we fit up a machine-shop for the express purpose of teaching that trade or art, it should contain, not only planers, lathes, upright drills, gearcutting machines, etc., for doing work generally, but should contain every tool and appliance of every name and nature that is ever used in any shop whatever, so that the student would become acquainted with every manner of doing work and the management of every kind of tool or device ever used in any place or business for doing work. Also there should be a very particular selection of the kinds of work to be made at the school-shops, consisting of lathes and planers and other tools that are always kept on sale, large and small work of different kinds, making as great variety of work as possible for the pupil to practise upon in building, so that he would get a thorough knowledge of all and every part of the machine business ; and each pupil would be taught to make the whole, and put together every machine that was being constructed.
The School-Shop Training. In the school-shop the pupil would advance from a lower degree of instruction to a higher as rapidly as his thorough knowledge and good workmanship would justify. The instructor would be paid a satisfactory salary, and not be permitted to make merchandise of the time of the student. All machinery, or articles made by the students, could be put on sale, or be sold at auction, and the proceeds appropriated towards the expenses of the "school-shops.”
The great and rapid change in the division of labor and the introduction of machinery, and the great variety of appliances for doing all kinds of business, show plainly the importance of changing the system of instruction at the present time. We think it will be admitted that it will be of incalculable advantage to the youth, and would prove in the end to be very economical for the whole community.
AN AGE OF SPECIALISTS.
Formerly a carpenter was taught to build a whole house : he used to jack down his floor-boards, make sashes, blinds, doors, stick out his mouldings, build his stairs, split out the laths, etc.
Now this work is divided into specialties. We have planing-mills, where boards are planed by the wonderful "planing-machine” to an equal thickness ; tongued, grooved and jointed if desired; also, machines run by steam for sticking out mouldings of every size and description. There are special establishments for making blinds, sashes, and doors of every description and variety, by machinery invented and adapted to that special purpose. Stair-building, formerly a part of the carpenter's trade, is now a specialty or business by itself. Great changes have taken place in the machine business, caused by the subdivision of labor and the introduction of various machines and appliances to perform the labor formerly done by band. Instead of chipping and filing to make a straight edge or level surface, the material is now placed upon the planer for planing iron, where the edge is made perfectly straight, or the surface perfectly level, in one-tenth the time formerly required before the introduction of the planing-machine. This is true of other varieties of work, by means of upright drills, jig-saws, screw-cutting apparatus, polishing and emery wheels, universal chucks and other appliances to the lathe, together with other apparatus which facilitates the manufacture of the various parts of the work. It is well known there is no place at the present, nor has there been for some time past, where a boy could " learn a trade."
We boast of our liberal institutions, and our admirable form of government; nay, more, of our intelligence. It is admitted that we have done much for the cause of learning; but who cannot perceive how much remains to be done before we can justly lay claim to that noble, refined and practical excellence which ought to adorn a great, a prosperous and free people? We must strike out new paths. We must advance with the world. How many men know anything at all of the materials with which they work?
We are pleased to learn that we have the hearty approval and co-operation of Mr. John D. Philbrick, the experienced Superintendent of the Public Schools of Boston, in relation to the above-proposed plan.
In order to prevent misapprehension by those who have desired information in relation to the many articles published upon this subject in our public papers during the past year, we would wish to be distinctly understood that it is the object of the above plan to give to all the youth leaving our public or private schools the opportunity of obtaining a perfect knowledge of his chosen trade or occupation in the shortest possible time. Every boy, rich or poor, is, we think, as much entitled to be taught a good trade as to have an education in our public schools. We also believe the proposed plan would be self-supporting in a short time after being once put in successful operation.
To recapitulate :
First. There would be great advantage gained by selecting the right youth (by the Developing School) for the right business.
Second. The boys would be taught the trade, instead of getting their knowledge by observation, as was the case by the former plan; and not be kept on work which would be
most profitable for the master, as it would be his whole object to teach the boys, instead of making profit on their work.
Third. The school-shop would be much more perfectly fitted up (as described) to teach the business than any shop to do work for profit, as all shops heretofore have only been fitted with such tools and appliances as were necessary to do their particular class of work.
Fourth. The kind of work selected to be made by the boys would be both large and small, embracing as great a variety as possible, in order to give them a perfect knowledge of every branch of the business.
Fifth. There would be good moral discipline in the schoolshop, the boys not being mixed up with journeymen and all classes usually found in all shops as generally established.
Sixth. There would be no more expense to the boy while learning the trade and making him a producer, than there was while getting his public-school education.
Seventh. The worth of the work made by the boys would probably pay current expenses after a very short time.
REMARKS BY WENDELL PHILLIPS.
One of the great problems which confronts republican statesmanship is how to manage the population of cities. The tendency of our time is to gather men into cities. These treble and quadruple while the country only doubles. In every large town and great city is always present a vicious class, a burden and check on the welfare of the community, ready at any moment to become dangerous. The education and moral training of these is of the first importance. Lacking this, republican institutions are sure to be a failure. Every city has two kinds of education for this class : one is the schools ; the other is the tolerated temptations and houses of vice. These educate men just as much as other schools do. Their results are more immediately visible and more easily measured than those of the book-schools are. While there lies on our Chief of Police's table a perfect list of every house in the city devoted to vicious indulgence, and such houses are not closed, they must be considered a tolerated and recognized means of training the masses.
Now, idleness is one of the first temptations to vice. Children should be taught how to work, and, if possible, trained to love work. Again, one of the first safeguards against dishonesty is, to know how to make an honest living.
Seven out of ten who come out of our public schools will prefer a trade or be obliged to make their living by the work of their hands. My experience is that hundreds leave school at fifteen years of age, wholly unable to do anything for which any man would be willing or could afford to give them a dollar. Here is the ready and fruitful source of vice and danger in large towns and cities.
In my judgment, we have no right to take a man's child from bim and keep him until he is fifteen, or to induce a man to trust his child with us until be is fifteen, and then hand him back unable and unfit to earn his bread. We have done the boy and the city a harm rather than a good. Education means fitting a man for his life. We have rather unfitted than fitted such a boy for the life of labor which is to be his life.
Of course I do not object to any liberal knowledge we give him. Neither do I now and here intend to notice or criticise the perfection or imperfection with which this is done. On that I have my opinions, and I do not consider our success in that line anything to be proud of. But I maintain that as respects that large class of young men and women who are to earn their bread by the labor of their bands, our system is not as good as that which prevailed a century ago, and still prevails in our small towns.
The boy went to school six months, and helped his father on the farm or in his trade the other six. At sixteen or eighteen such a boy came into life able to maintain himself, to stand on his own feet, a help, not a burden or danger to the community;