Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Milton Bradley...

Most Americans will know the name Milton Bradley as being the original manufacturer of such games as Candyland, Operation, and Battleship. The man, Milton Bradley was also an early American advocate of Kindergartens, published books about Friedrich Froebel, and used his manufacturing capacity to make and market Froebel's gifts.

In 1890, he wrote the following about manual arts education.
"Teach the pupils to make things themselves; things which will be useful and which will be sold to admiring friends;' say the ardent advocates of this new application of an old idea.

"These people, however, although they include a good may educators of note, labor under a serious misapprehension regarding the end of manual training as it is understood by the thoughtful promoters of the so-called new Education. Indeed, it can be safely said that manual training is everywhere suffering form the almost universal misconception on the part of the p public that its end and aim is the teaching of trades, that it robs the pupil of certain hours which would otherwise be give to the common or higher branches for the sake of teaching him to 'make things' which are supposed to belong solely to the carpenter's or blacksmith's shop. But manual training proper, considered in its educational relations, must be at once and for all time separated from the idea of immediate financial, or money getting results. In other words, manual training in the public schools must be kept clear and distinct from trades schools or the teaching of trades.

"The mental education which we undertake to give our children at public cost is supposed to be equally valuable to the pupil whether he becomes a business man, manufacturer, lawyer, clergyman, physician or teacher. On the same principle the manual training which we are seeking to incorporate as a part of our public-school system is intended to benefit alike the future carpenter, machinist, blacksmith, manufacturer or general mechanical engineer; nay more, it is expected to help the boys who are to follow commercial or literary vocations just as much in rounding out their education and equipping them for life as it does the other class. For we can never 'send the whole boy to school' till we give those who are destined for the mechanical class of the world's workers a fair mental training, and also impart to those who are to make up the professional class the fundamental ideas of hand culture."

Today I've been working my way through edited chapters of my new book and beginning to write needed sidebar material. It is not as much fun as sawing and making things, but it ill help others to do so. At noon on Friday, October 25,  I will give a gallery talk at the Zarrow Art Center in Tulsa, on the show of my work that will be closing on Saturday. Please join me if you are in the Tulsa area, and bring a brown bag lunch.

On the SWEPCO front, I got an email from a company I've bought hinges from since 1978. They now have enough solar cells to run their meter backwards while manufacturing is in full swing. AEP/SWEPCO has made a mess of their own customer relations, and we hope they go to hell in a handbasket. It's what they deserve, and as they are rapidly proving themselves to be against our best interests, we can get along without them. If Craft, Inc. can go solar in Massachusetts, we can go them one better in sunny Arkansas.

Make , fix and create...


  1. Excellent. I love your Froebel posts and all the creativity you push. Thank you!

  2. Creativity is natural to kids and schools squelch it. Froebel recognized that through play, children were learning, and that by giving some direction to children's play, great fun could be had and the children would grow and learn at the same time.