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THE HALE ENGINEERING EXPERIMENT STA

TION BILL.

BY WILLIAM S. ALDRICH.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgan

town, W. Va.

This Bill was introduced into the first session of the fifty-fourth Congress; and in the Senate, February 27, 1896, by Hon. Eugene Hale. It proposes the establishment of Experiment Stations for investigations in the applied sciences and engineering industries. These are to be located in each of the several states at that college or university which is the beneficiary of the former national endowment of 1862 and 1890.

Engineering education is to be promoted by such stations affording facilities for undergraduate and postgraduate work in experimental lines; and like facilities are to be accorded accredited engineers for research work. Developing of the state's natural resources, and

promotion of the diverse industries dependent upon these, will follow in much the same manner as the agricultural experiment stations have benefitted these interests.

The publication of bulletins and reports, will detail the commercial tests, engineering researches and scientific investigations of these stations.

Following are the chief arguments already made against the Bill:

1. Engineering is not an experimental science; results once obtained may be applied in a fixed way to all similar cases, with exact formulæ.

2. Engineering experiment is independent of locality, it bears no analogy to agricultural experiment.

3. Government is not called upon to endow engineering experiment to develop the state's resources and industries, to promote technological education for the same considerations of public welfare as were advanced in behalf of the agricultural experiment stations.

4. Too many “engineering” schools are now turning out “mechanics"; the proposed Bill will intensify "rule of thumb" education; it is undesirable, worse than harmful, to fritter away more millions to enable these schools to talk and advertise themselves as “engineering schools."

5. Government should concentrate its endowments; one good engineering laboratory would be worth more than fifty duplicate and unnecessary plants, which would “remain in relatively incompetent hands.”

BRIEF OF THE BILL “To ESTABLISH ENGINEERING Ex

PERIMEMT STATIONS, In Connection with the Colleges Established in the Several

States under the Provisions of an Act Approved July Second, Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-two, and Acts Supplementary Thereto.

Three Bills, essentially the same, providing for such Stations have been introduced into the first session of the 54th Congress and referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs, in the following order:

H. R. 5836, introduced by Hon. D. K. Watson, of H. R. 6452, introduced by Hon. A. G. Dayton, of West Virginia.

S. 2301, introduced by Hon. Eugene Hale, of Maine.

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1. Object.—To promote scientific investigation, engineering research and experimental testing in the chemical, physical and economic sciences, with reference to their applications in the industries of life.

2. Relation to the Land Grant Colleges.—Such Stations are to be established at these federally-endowed educational centres, and placed under the same governing Board. They will afford facilities for instruction in experimental engineering and the post-graduate work of accredited engineers.

3. Relation to the Government.Advisory relations will be established through the Department of the Navy, with which such Stations are to be coördinated. This will be analogous to the relation of the Agricultural Experiment Stations with the Government through the Department of Agriculture.

4. Experimental Work for the States.—The determination of the composition and value of their minerals and fuels, constructive and other materials.

Investigation of the scientific and economic questions involved in the utilization of raw materials and of waste products; in the development and the application of water power, steam and electricity, in the production of manufactured products; in the preservation of forests and water powers; and in the improvement of roads.

5. Supervision of Engineering Inspection.—The work of these Stations will give scientific aid to the several states in such lines of inspection and of building construction, and in protecting life and property from engineering accidents, casualties and negligence.

6. Commercial Testing Work of these Stations.-Such work of experiment and investigation may be carried on for in

dividuals or manufacturers, upon payment of suitable fees to defray expenses.

Similar Testing Stations are found in connection with many of the German Universities and Technical Schools, of which the parent organization is the Physikalische Technische Reichsanstalt, at Charlottenburg, established in 1887.

7. Experimental Work for the Government. These Stations will prosecute such researches as will secure to the Government the best materials and highest types of motivepower and other machinery and accessories. Due regard will be had to the varying resources, conditions and needs of the respective states in which such work may be carried on to best advantage.

8. Publication of Bulletins and Reports.—Each Station will publish bulletins, quarterly or oftener, diffusing its work among the people and giving practical information on engineering science and the state's resources and industrial development. Annual reports are to be rendered to the Secretary of the Navy.

9. Endowment for Engineering Experiment.—To establish such Stations, each state and territory is to receive an initial endowment of $10,000 for the year ending June 30, 1898. An annual increase of $1,000 is to be made over the preceding year, for fifteen years, after which the annual amount is to be $25,000.

The accumulation of any surplus at such Station is to be prevented by deducting any unexpended balance from the next succeeding annual appropriation.

Mis-application of the funds debars from subsequent appropriations till the deficit is made good by the State. Funds are not to be applied, directly or indirectly, under any pretext whatever, to any other purpose than that set forth in the Bill.

10. Relation to Former Federal Endowments. This Bill is analogous to the Hatch act. It provides for engineering experiment as that act did for agricultural experiment. It estab

lishes experiment stations for promoting engineering science and industry as that act similarly provided for the agricultural interests of the several States.

The Hatch act and the present Bill are alike supplementary to the former national grants, of 1862 and 1890. These provide instruction in “such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts

with special reference to their applications in the industries of life.” The other bills provide for experimentation “respecting the principles and applications” of agricultural and engineering science and allied branches of investigation.

*

Endowment of Colleges

" to teach such branches of learning
as are related to Agriculture and
the Mechanic Arts," * by the Land Grant bill, of 1862;

by the Morrill act, of 1890.

Endowment of Experiment Stations :

" to promote scientific investiga-
tion and experiment respecting the

principles and application.”
OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE.
(in Agricultural Experiment Stations.)

by the Hatch act, of 1887. OF ENGINEERING SCIENCE, (in Engineering Experiment Stations.)

H.R. 5836

of H.R. 6462

1896. S. 2301

by bills

DISCUSSION OF PAPERS BY PROFESSORS HALL AND

ALDRICH.

PROFESSOR DEVOLSON WOOD wrote that he considered

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