Sunday, July 24, 2016

the bent for mechanical pursuits

The following is from the Course of Study, Manual Arts Training Department, Chicago Public Schools, 1899-1900
Skill in the use of tools is of incalculable advantage. It gives useful employment to many an otherwise idle hour. It prompts one to add a thousand little conveniences to the house, which, but for this skill would never be made. In a word, it is carrying out, in a fuller sense, the design of the Creator, when he implanted the faculty of constructiveness within us. A bent for mechanical pursuits usually manifests itself at a very early period in life; the inclination of the six-year-old boy to hammer and pound, to tear open toys and clocks to 'see what makes 'em go,' all so annoying to the careful parent, may be taken as indications of latent constructive genius, although now manifested in a very destructive form. In the youth the mechanical bias becomes still more apparent, manifesting itself in attempts to construct wagons, boats, small engines, etc. With such a boy a mechanical education is no doubtful experiment. Give your boys a box of good tools, and if possible a room or place for a workshop. Employed in it, they will not only be kept out of mischief, but they will be strengthening their muscles, exercising their mental powers, and fitting themselves for greater usefulness, when they shall be called upon to take their places in the ranks of men.
I am still in L.A. and must wonder how many children in this very large place get the kind of education they most need, and that fits best their natural inclinations.

Make, fix, create, and offer to others the love of learning likewise.

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