Monday, November 17, 2014

Quentin Hogg

Yesterday a friend of mine who teaches in the social sciences at the University of Arkansas mentioned the difficulty he has in interesting his students in history. It seems that with the rapid changes in technology the good old days were just prior to whatever model iPhone you have, be it 3, 4 or 5. But history can be a source of courage and inspiration, if only kids were made aware to take advantage of it. The following story is from Charles A. Bennett's History of Manual and Industrial Arts, 1870-1917.
On leaving Eton in 1863, Quentin Hogg, (1845-1903), an athletic young man of eighteen, accepted a position with a firm of tea merchants. As he went about the city, he came across many poor and homeless boys and his heart cried out in pity for them. But he was wise enough to know that, if he were to help them, he must first get acquainted with them and, to do that, he must first be one of them. So he bought a second-hand suit of clothes, such as was worn by shoeblacks, and a shoeblacking outfit. After office hours, he would “sally forth to earn a few pence by holding horses, blacking boots, or performing any odd jobs that came his way.” “He used to get home in time for breakfast, and, for some time, Sir James (his father) knew nothing of the two or three nights a week when his son supped on ‘pigs trotters’ or ‘tripe and onions’ off a barrow, and spent the night curled up in a barrel, under a tarpaulin or on a ledge in the Adelphi Arches, learning to know the boys he meant to rescue, making their life his life, their language his language, in the hopes of changing their lives.”
Hogg went on to found one of the first Polytechnic institutes based upon his experience earned as a shoeblack, part time of course as he also became wealthy in the tea trade.

In the shop  I have 120 boxes packed and ready to be shipped by UPS.

Make, fix and create...

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