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back steps which cannot be recovered, as well as tendencies which may be corrected.

This Society, which is now widely recognized as a power for promoting technical education, has responsibilities. Our former Secretary has truly said that “the task which it has set itself to perform is nothing less than shaping the future of technical education, not only in America, but, by example, in all the world.” The body of the Profession may well call upon it to define “engineering education,” to formulate and uphold a high standard, to recognize admissible limitations, and to propound not an impossible, but a practicable ideal.

This responsibility of the Society, as well as of the schools, may be viewed best in the light of some other influences and accomplished results, brought about not by argument, nor only by expounders of natural science, but by the unanswerable logic of the example and fruits of the schools of technology.

The influence of technical education upon the older and traditional learning. We need only allude to the profound changes in the courses of study of all our leading colleges and universities. Out of this quasi-revolution has come the elective system, not as a mere expedient, but as a proper enlargement of the function of the college. However, this must carry with it a corresponding development of the power of the student to make intelligent choice. The distinguished President of one of our oldest and most wisely conservative colleges has said: “It is always and everywhere the function of the college to give a liberal education, beyond which and out of which the process of specialization may go on in any direction and to any extent. The college must continually adjust itself to make proper connection with every kind of specialized work, not to do it.” Quoting Virchow, who claims that “mathematics, philosophy and the natural sciences give the young minds so firm an intellectual preparation that they can easily make themselves at home in any department of learning,” he adds: “With few exceptions, the greater scientists among us are taking their place in literature. They are recovering the original qualities of style—simplicity, clearness, vividness. Some of them have caught with remarkably close ear the accents of the English tongue."*

Finally, under this head, we know how many observers have called attention to the strenuousness of endeavor exhibited by students in the engineering schools, and the greater effectiveness of the instruction, because the practical and fruitful ends in view offer more direct and, therefore, more sufficient incentive.

Progress is evident also in the inevitable reaction of the schools upon the profession. In the ranks of the profession the school graduates have passed from a hopeless minority to an influential majority. With a few brilliant exceptions, the great achievements in American engineering in the past twenty-five years have been wrought by men who have owed much to a broad education, or a technical training, or both. Conspicuous failures of important undertakings, and of minor works all over the land, mark the course of

Inaugural address of President Wm. J. Tucker, Dartmouth College, on “The Historic College."

some "practical" men who have gloried in their lack of technical education. Some of the very best treatises in the ever-widening range of special departments have come from the schools; we need not specify works on bridges, roofs and buildings, masonry construction, hydraulics, materials, sanitary works, experimental methods, etc., adjudged by critics both at home and abroad to be the best extant, and promptly adopted as standard or for reference by practising engineers. The schools have given the profession important results of special researches, especially on properties of materials, although such work is not a necessary function of the school. The graphical statics, that powerful and time-saving method of analysis and computation, is a gift from the schoolmen to the practicians, which was too long not half appreciated. The engineering societies now put large value upon school training in their requirements for admission to membership. It is also significant that some engineers refuse to employ as responsible assistants, men who have not had a full engineering course in a good school. The best men of so-called practical training now generally concede both the value and necessity of school training, and often regret their own lack of it.

A corresponding counteraction of the profession upon the schools is seen in the large recruitment of the force of teachers from the ranks of practicing engineers; in

} the cordial coöperation of the practicians and managers of works, by which students are given free access to every variety of plant and construction; in the

present availability of the Transactions of Engineering

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Societies and the current issues of the technical engineering journals; (for we must remember that there was very little of that kind published in America thirty years ago,-a few modest serials devoted to railroads, machinery and metallurgy). We may allude also to the array of manuals, field-books, special treatises and descriptive albums prepared by leading engineers, and embodying results of latest experience and research, not only for the profession at large, but often especially for the use of students.

In this connection we are forced to notice the unfavorable bearing of the excess of schools and graduates upon the relation between the schools and the profession. The superfious graduate is in danger of becoming an unwelcome intruder—a disturber of equilibrium -treading upon the heels of his senior, often crowding aside the more experienced and more competent man and lowering the rate of compensation, especially in the middle ranks. And yet Telford, in 1830, before either England or America had seen a graduate civil engineer, complained that the profession was overstocked, and tried to dissuade young men from entering it. Also at the Philadelphia conference in 1876, older engineers declared that engineering was then overdone.

In 1892, investigation showed that out of 3,540 graduates of engineering schools, 59 per cent. were strictly in engineering pursuits, 7 per cent. were railway officials, 62, per cent. managers of works, 2 per cent. contractors, and 251 per cent. in other occupations. At the same time the membership of the American Society of Civil Engineers showed only 56 per cent. in strictly full practice, 21 per cent. in related pursuits, and 2270 per cent. not specified, but mostly not practicing or in some other business. However unfavorably we may interpret these figures as showing an excess of supply, and a crowding out of a rather large percentage from regular practice, they illustrate the wellknown distinctive advantage of this profession that both the school training and the professional experience qualify men for a variety of other pursuits.

The true sphere and responsibility of the school to-day must be viewed in the light of its environment.

Mechanical engineering, while in some relations divided off as a distict province, invades the field of the civil engineer at every point, both limiting the conditions of his working and yet affording amazing appliances for almost incredible achievements. (We are reminded that Smeaton, the first titled civil engineer, was a skillful mechanic, who perfected and applied the rude machinery of that time in his larger professional field.) What was a mere department in the study of natural science two decades ago, has grown into the branch of electrical engineering, in which the practice is unusually dependent upon theory and exact knowledge. The engineer of to-day brings diverse science to his aid; he coördinates the labors of the chemist and biologist, and makes the results fruitful in works for restoring the purity of water for large communities. Photography serves him both as witness and recorder and chief observer in the field. Architecture is no longer wholly apart; the monstrous building calls for the engineer to make a sure foundation, as well as a safe design for the framework. These and other aspects

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