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greatly in appreciating the machinery they have to deal with and the problems that may arise on the farms. The men who take such courses do not all go back to small farms; many are employed on large farms and estates and look after affairs of considerable importance. I think a considerable amount of this sort of work can profitably be given if well organized, but it will take some time to organize it, however.
PROFESSOR KETCHUM: I quite agree with Dean Turneaure in his statement that there is a place in the agricultural course for the study of farm machinery, but I do not agree with the position that it is the proper place to train men for work in irrigation, in highway construction, or in machine design.
PROFESSOR ARTHUR L. WILLISTON: If I understand it correctly, the author of the paper does not claim that irrigation generally, or machine design in general, or highway engineering in general, should be taught in the department of agricultural mechanics. He claims that so much of these subjects as the students who are going to become agricultural engineers, if you pleaseso much as these particular students need, should be taught by men who should know something of agriculture. I think that this is the same point that was brought out so clearly by the last paper. The importance of teaching things from the right point of view is what is emphasized here. I have had agricultural students in the mechanical engineering classes, and have had to give them courses very similar if not exactly the same as those that were given to the mechanical engineering students. Under such circumstances, I don't hesitate to say the agricultural students suffer, because their work could not be presented from their point of view. And it is not likely to be presented from their point of view, so long as it is given in department the principal interest of which is totally different. It would be far better, I believe, if the work given the agricultural students could have been given by some one who had had years of experience and practice in the field of work in which these students were to be engaged after graduation, provided he were also competent to properly present this subject in hand.
EDUCATION OF MECHANICS.
BY HENRY M. LANE,
Formerly the mechanics or artisans for all departments of manufacturing derived their education first, by serving an apprenticeship, and second, by adding to the knowledge thus gained by traveling about and working in different shops. In the old days, when the proportion of hand work was much greater than now, this produced all-round mechanics in all branches. To-day we hear the cry from all departments that we can not find all-round workmen. The machine shop has in most cases become a manufacturing concern, with its many special tools, jigs and appliances. In the foundry the molding machine and a host of labor-saving devices have been introduced; the tendency of all which have been to make specialists of the men.
In the blacksmith shop the introduction of power hammers, forging presses and many similar devices has also tended to limit the variety of work which one man does. In other words, the modern tendency of manufacturing plants is to put the brains into the machines and then hire cheap labor to run them. It will always be necessary, however, to have a certain number of skilled workmen in each line, and also to have a force of broadly trained men from whom we can recruit our foremen.
In many shops the work has become so specialized that even if the management desired, it would be impos(12)
sible for them to teach a boy the trade as there is not a sufficient variety of work being done in the plant.
Another factor which has affected the apprenticeship question is that the rapid fluctuations of the amount of work of a given character done in a given plant so reduces the working force at times that the management is not warranted in carrying a considerable number of apprentices.
Apprentices have also been affected by the “big wages quick” mania. As a consequence, after a boy has spent about half of his time in one shop he is very likely to bolt and go into another shop where he gets journeyman's wages; or if he is taken under instruction, gets higher wages than he receives in the first shop. When the wages go up the amount of work he turns out must also go up, and hence the boy is kept, as far as possible, on one class of work. The result is that he becomes a poor workman with a limited amount of experience.
One prominent foundryman stated recently that while he employed over one hundred molders in his place, his work was so highly specialized that he could not conscientiously take on a single apprentice, as he knew he could not teach them the trade, no matter how much he might desire to do so.
The future supply of our foremen for all classes of work is even more important than that of the workmen, as the constant increase in the special appliances used necessitates a broader knowledge each year on the part of the men holding these positions.
As our manufacturing plants are run to-day, their principal product is tools, machinery and other devices. There is a small by-product of workmen, who are educated in these plants, we might almost call this an accidental product. The writer believes that the most feasible plan would be to install a plant for the manufacture of quite a broad line of machinery, with the understanding, however, that mechanics or artisans were to be the principal product and the machinery the byproduct, but by no means an accidental product.
Such a plant as this might manufacture the following line of machinery: lathes, planers, milling machines, drill presses, grinding stands, small steam and gas engines, and some wood-working machinery. This would give a broad range, including a large amount of foundry work, blacksmithing, etc. The machinery should be of good design, but of plain, strong, standard type, which would command a ready market. It is probable that the entire product could be disposed of without any difficulty through the large jobbing houses. So as to introduce practice in malleable casting, it would probably be well to manufacture a line of pipe fittings, or some hardware specialties.
One of the first objections which will probably be made to this proposal is that it would be in direct competition with the manufactories of the country, but it is certain that this would be far more than compensated for by the fact that the plant would be turning out a large number of skilled men who would take their places in the ranks in the leading manufactories throughout the entire country, and far more than compensate for the effect of the small amount of competition which would be introduced into the manufacturing field.
Connected with such an establishment there should