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and can not be too expert in their use; whereas if he can be considered at all successful as an engineer, he will himself have to use hand and machine tools very little, and time spent in acquiring a high degree of facility in their use might have been much more profitably occupied by other subjects. All attempts to arrange an engineering course of study show conclusively that the great difficulty is to find enough time in four years for all the studies and work that are considered essential.
The principles and methods involved in forging, molding, pattern-making, casting, rolling and ordinary machine work should be understood by the civil as well as by the mechanical engineer, but few having in charge the arrangement of a civil engineering course would consent to give as much of their limited time to manual work in the shops as some of our mechanical engineering colleagues seem to think necessary in order to acquire sufficient knowledge of these subjects. Instruction in them should in large part be given in the class room, using as a text something like the first part of Lineham's Text-Book of Mechanical Engineering and restricting the work in the shops to what is necessary for impressing principles and methods on the mind of the student, and avoiding all that would simply increase his manual dexterity. Very little manual work at the bench and forge, in the wood shop and foundry, is believed to be absolutely necessary, and work in the machine shop should be only carried to the point where the machine itself really begins to do the work-in other words machine shopwork should be limited to what Professor Spangler designates “ laboratory work with shop appliances.” With this amount of shopwork, it would be impossible for students to make constructions themselves according to their own designs, but the writer believes that all benefits which can be derived from such constructions, except manual dexterity, can be obtained with much less expenditure of time by having the work done outside of the school-shops and, as far as possible, under the supervision of the student. He might describe fully the methods he would use in construction and compare them with those of a good mechanic; in this way he might really derive greater benefit than by carrying out the design himself. When work is done outside, proper blanks should be filled out, showing the amount of time taken in constructing each part, in order to give the student some data by which to estimate the cost of labor on different kinds of work.
One important claim made for manual work is that it cultivates the perceptive faculties and trains the hands and eyes. It seems to the writer that this can be better accomplished and with much more lasting benefit to the student by a thorough course in freehand drawing. By making free-hand sketches of machines in commercial establishments, putting on dimensions as estimated by the eye, and checking the estimated dimensions by actual measurements, the student may approach in ability the engineer who, according to Professor Flather (Vol. II., p. 116), “in several instances comprehended the details and dimensions of a machine so completely by inspection, that he was able to make working drawings and to duplicate the machine without making a single measurement or detail sketch."
The writer does not undervalue the benefits to be derived from manual work; he simply contends that, owing to the limited amount of time at disposal, all work of a merely manual nature should be eliminated from the courses in a technical college, and manual training, if deemed essential, should be regarded as a preparatory subject and required for admission. If a technical college be so situated that the majority of those entering have had no opportunity for taking a manual training course, a summer school might be established, in which such deficiency could be made up. .
According to Professor Storm Bull, no shopwork is required in the German technical schools, and it may be of interest and value to give here the amount of time for shopwork deemed advisable by such members of the Society as have expressed an opinion. Professor Marx would allow three periods of two hours each per week for four years, equivalent to twenty-four hours per week for one year; Professor Spangler, twelve to fourteen hours per week for one year for shopwork proper, as distinguished from “laboratory work with shop appliances ;” and Professor Benjamin, five hours per week for two school years, or ten hours for one year, for those who have had a course in manual training. The writer prefers about half of Professor Spangler's estimate, in addition to class room instruction and visits of observation and inspection to commercial establishments.
DISCUSSION. PROFESSOR M. E. WADSWORTH said that it seemed to him in listening to Professor Schuerman's paper that
the ordinary manual training which was referred to in it is the work that is done in most schools by boys of the age of 15 or 16; while the shop practice of engineering colleges, properly speaking, is more apt to be done by young men of more mature age, and is a work of a different grade and character. For ordinary manual training, the speaker could see no objections to the author's recommendations.
He wished, however, to give the experience of the Michigan Mining School in handling shop practice for students of engineering, averaging 21 years of age and upwards. The speaker did this in the hope of bringing out the practical experience of others in like work.
At the Michigan college, the shop practice is considered to be of great value and use. The mining engineers have many occasions to use their knowledge of shopwork in the mines and about their plants. The graduates frequently express themselves strongly in favor of this work, as something that has proved very useful to them in their subsequent practice.
In order to take the shop practice and receive any credit in it at the Michigan college, it is required of every student that he shall have previously completed the requisite work in geometry, algebra, plane trigonometry, mechanical drawing, physics, general experimental chemistry, and the properties of materials.
The time given to the shopwork is eleven weeks during the summer term. It occupies nine hours a day. Five and one half weeks of the eleven are given to practice in wood-working, and five and one half weeks to metal-working. The class is divided
into two sections which alternate ; that is, one half of the class works for five and one half weeks in the wood shop, while the other half works in the metal shop.
The preliminary practice in learning to handle the tools takes only a few days for the average student, usually two. After this introductory work, the time is spent entirely upon material that is to be used in the institution, i. e., upon work which is of practical value.
The shops are conducted upon the principles in vogue in outside shops, and the student is made to understand clearly the value of time, material, and quality of work done. Close record is kept of the time spent on each job, and any work which fails to pass inspection is promptly rejected. If any of the material has
. been destroyed by defective work, the student is required to pay the full value of the stock used up by his carelessness.
Experience shows that the students have a deep interest in their shop practice, because they feel that they are making something that can be used. In this way they receive the same mental training that comes in actual practice in planning and arranging work for their own or for commercial uses.
Lectures are given to the students upon the work and its principles, text-books are studied, and recitations are required, the same as is the case in the other departments of engineering.
After the shop practice has been completed it has been found by experience that it is of practical use as a preparation for more advanced subjects, like engi