Annual report of the director of the drawing school of the Franklin Institute for the sessions 1898–1899

1899 Journal of the Franklin Institute  
The number of students this year has been 26 per cent. greater than last year, showing what a good indication the school gives of the condition and prospects of the mechanical interests of the city. Very few come to this kind of a school who do not possess mechanical instincts which they desire to develop. They are either cor~nected with some industry or desire to be, or they would not make the sacrifice necessary to learn this very important requisite. This feeling is a most promising thing
more » ... the country. The value of it was forcibly shown in the recent war with Spain, particularly in the naval engagements, where the forethought, care and mechanical knowledge and instincts of our officers and men won such signal victories over the intrigue~, diplomacies and vanities of the Spaniards. It is to be hoped that this condition will continue and increase, and that the great majority of our youth will be interested in physics, mathematics and mechanics, so that when emergencies arise they will be powerful to meet them. All institutions that tend to develop this condition should be fostered and encouraged, and young men should understand that, in whatever position circumstances and fortune have placed them, they should not neglect to cultivate, to some degree at least, a knowledge of mechanics and the laws which govern material things. My experience in teaching in this school has clearly shown me the great difference in human natures in this regard. The experience, associations and inheritance of one student has so influenced his mind that he can quickly and clearly conceive of the relations of lines, surfaces and solids in the abstract, while another student, with different gifts has great difficulty in understanding them even in the concrete. BUt time, thought and training almost always'overcome this difference to a great extent, and in many instances the improvement has been something remarkable, the most unpromising cases at the beginning ranking among the best at the end. This has often proved to me the wisdom of the system of individual instruction that we use~ modifying the course and the, speed to suit the character of each case. ~ Of course, many enter the school who have not the quality of mind, the instincts or the patience to ever take sufficient interest to profit by it, but most of these go no fa/-ther than the first term, and it is safe to assume that all who graduate have received what will be of great value to them in life, even thoug h they may never after make a drawing. They have received an impulse which will tend to develop in them such qualities as made the difference between the handling of the ships and guns of the Americans and the Spanish. The school is conducted for the benefit of the students, but to receive
doi:10.1016/s0016-0032(99)90079-0 fatcat:rbvn6xmognchbatzjxt2gvfnmm