Chapter 1 1900 and Before 1:8 Education Programs that Support the Growth of Amateur Woodworking

[in progress 3-4-09

Back to Chapter 1

"The training of special teachers of manual arts is of comparatively recent origin...."

Albert F. Siepert, 1918, page 5. See Sources

    Overview of Chapter 1 1900 and Before - Education Programs that Support the Growth of Amateur Woodworking

    A. The Manual Labor Movement, 1820-1850

    B. Early Technical Training in Higher Institutions, 1850-?

    C. The Whittling School Movement, 1872-?

    D. The Manual Training Movement, 1876-1900: -- The Russian System

    E. The Manual Training Movement, 18??-1900: -- The Sloyd System

    G. On the Threshold of the 20th Century: The Arts and Crafts Movement, ca. 1900-1916

Overview for Chapter 1:8: The Evolution of Industrial Arts Programs During the 19th Century


Most of the institutions that Albert F. Siepert (quoted in box on left, above) studied organized definite curricula between 1910 and 1920. "It is therefore apparent", Siepert says, speaking in 1918, "that the pioneer days are still with us".

The Massachusetts Normal Art School, established in 1873, was among the first schools in the United States to offer courses of this sort. but discontinued the training soon afterward. The Trenton (N. J.) Normal School offered certain technical courses as early as 1890, or a little later, but, Siepert continues, "it was only the man of unusual ability who would be selected as a special teacher of manual arts". About the same time, Pratt Institute [in Philadelphia] developed a combination art and manual training course. However, for courses in pedagogy, for which adequate provision was not made at Pratt Institute at that time, some of these students later went to Teachers College, Columbia University.

The first definite organization of a course to prepare special teachers of manual training was made by Teachers College in 1891. Charles A. Bennett, principal of the St. Paul (Minn.) Manual Training High School, was appointed head of the department of manual training. Under his leadership, the first course in the pedagogy of the manual arts ever given for an advanced degree. In a large measure, he planned the Macy Manual Arts Building, which became the model in arrangement and equipment for many other schools.

Source: Albert F. Siepert, "Courses of study for the preparation of teachers of manual arts" Washington, DC: Dept. of the Interior, 1918, page 5 (United States Bureau of Education, Bulletin no. 37.) 30 pages

However, the institutions of which Siepert refers were built upon a foundation of technical education that traces back to Colonial times, a era generally labeled the Manual Labor Movement.

Chapter 1:8:-- Part A The Manual Labor Movement

Chapter 1:8:-- Part B Early Technical Training in Higher Institutions.

Organized shopwork instruction emerged slowly in America. On the one hand, industrial education was influenced to a large part by changes that occurred in Europe.

From Colonial times onward, on the other hand, the principle of elementary education for everybody and free public schooling for the poor was well established, and it was the latter institution that contributed to created a simpler evolution of the tradition process of industrial education.

As Bennett explains, chiefly, the State provided elementary level education.

Educational problems that remained – secondary, professional, and industrial education – became the purview of voluntary groups, that is, as well as individuals, collective philanthropic and association initiatives.

By 1870, the Mechanics Institute Movement, beginning in 1820 had done an important work in providing considerable instruction in secondary and technical education subjects.

For more background, check out these sources:

Charles A. Bennett, History of Manual and Industrial Education up to 1870, p. 269 and History of Manual and Industrial Education up to 1870 to 1917, pages 310-311, 317-325.

Maxine Berg, The Machinery Question and the Making of Political Economy, 1815-1848, 1982 page 146;

Wayne A. Wiegand and Donald G. Davis, Encyclopedia of Library History New York: Taylor & Francis, 1994, page 329

Bruce Sinclair's Philadelphia's Philosopher Mechanics: A History of the Franklin Institute  is not online fulltext

Among these institutes the most famous are the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen in New York City, and the Ohio Mechanics Institute in Cincinnati.

Beginning in 1827, the Gardiner Lyceum, Gardiner, Maine offered a three-year curriculum including surveying, navigation, mechanics, agricultural chemistry, and civil engineering, a move that helped usher in applied science as a component of curriculum . Founded in 1824, the Rensselaer School – later the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – became America's most famous school of civil engineering. In the tradition of Rensselaer, at Yale, the Sheffield Scientific School was established in 1847, at Harvard College in the same year, the Lawrence Scientific School, and at Dartmouth College in 1852, the Chandler Scientific School.

Impact of Morrill Act 1862

The famous Morrill Act, created in 1862, provided for the endowment of higher education in agriculture and the mechanic arts.

This development in applied science yielded results in America's industries. What remained? The increasingly important work of training more engineers, designers of machinery, factory managers, and other masters of both scientific principles and practical details. Such training involved instruction in the mechanic arts and the processes of manufacture as well as in mathematics and science.

[adapted from Bennett, v 2, pp 310-311]

Outside of Apprenticeships in the Guild, the "Manual Labor" Institutes -- about 1820 -- are the first evidence in America of shop instruction in an institution

Joseph Neef (1770-1854), an assistant to the famous Swiss educator, John Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827) and William MacClure (1763-1840), a wealthy retired merchant for Philadelphia, brought these ideas from Europe, ideas used in the schools conducted in Germany and Switzerland by another noted educator, Phillip Emanuel von Fellenberg. (Follow this narrative in Chapter 4 of Charles A Bennett, History of Manual and Industrial Education 1870 to 1917. We return to Pestalozzi below, in the discussion on the emergence of "Instruction Sheets", associated with implementing the Russian System in hte late 1870s.)

Founded by denominational and philanthropic societies, Fellenberg's Manual Institutes were, basically, nonprofit/charitable institutions where -- by doing manual work -- orphaned and low-income boys could earn their education. At the time, however, little effort existed to formalize this instruction.

Organized in 1865 at Worcester, MA, the Worcester County Free Insitute of Industrial Science was the first institution to make attempt shop instruction.

Its charter states its
aim ... shall ever be instruction in those branches of education not usually taught in public schools, but which are essential and best adapted to train the youth for practical life.
(For more detail, see pages 360 and following, Charles A Bennett, History of Manual and Industrial Education, Up To 1870.)

Earlier, around 1820, the Industrial Revolution had begun to break up the home and village industry, building up a city population. (For more on this signficant social change, click here.)

Growing up on the farms -- at the time, the demography of America is predominantly rural and the era itself is often called "The Wooden Age" -- boys learned how to mend wagons, to repair harness, and to do other manual work. These Manual Institutes, the thinking went, would give boys training of this same nature. Not long afterward, around 1840, most of these institutions located in the East had closed.

"Their backers had been too enthusiastic in their pronouncements that this work would support the classical school upon which it had been grafted."
In the Midwest, however, some of these institutes continued. In Illinois particularly, one of these furnished the nucleus of what later became the Illinois Industrial University, which, in turn, ultimately becomes the University of Illinois. See the thesis by Fred Harold Turner, "The Illinois industrial university", Urbana, IL: 1931.

By 1850, the frontier was almost gone.

The impact of the Industrial Revolution included the opportunity for wealth and advancement through manufacturing or other forms of economic activity.
And in these pursuits skill and technical knowledge played a great part.
For the immeasurable impact of technology upon woodworking, click here.

In 1870, following the theme noted above, the University of Illinois added woodworking to the architectural course. In the next two years, the Stevens Institute of Hoboken, NJ, and the Polytechnic School of Washington University in St. Louis followed this change ; See Russian system below

The Morrill Act of 1862 -- the Land Grant University System -- i.e., legislation giving land grants for the establishment of mechanical and agricultural colleges throughout forty-eight states -- added impetus to this movement, and the Colorado Agricultural College, Illinois Industrial University, College of Mechanical Arts of Cornell University, Agricultural and Mechanical Col­lege of Texas, and Boston Institute of Technology were soon established.

We know little of the nature of the woodworking offered in these institutions, except it was technical, and perhaps very formal. [documentation needed]

Chapter 1:8:-- Part C The "Whittling Schools" Movement.

Contemporaneous with this work in the higher institutions, but providing work for boys at an earlier age level, were the "whittling" schools for city boys.

The pocket knife was the tool used to the largest extent.

The best known of these institutions, the Boston Whittling School, opened in 1872.

Sessions -- held during the winter months for boys of 12 to 16 years of age -- consisted of twenty-four lessons in whittling and wood carving. The lessons were so arranged so that, economically, they achieved the greatest amount of instruction with the least expenditure of tools and materials.

The aim was to give general handiness, i.e., to give the students wholesome enjoyable work of a type that they would normally engage in, with the resulting value placed in the activity, instead of the tool skills learned.

As a rule, these schools were financed philanthropic men interested in such work. The Boston Whittling School is described in the following extract from a letter printed in the "Report of the Committee on Education of Rhode Island". This extract has to do with the first period of the school's life:

    BOSTON, 1877

    Our " whittling school " has opened its jackknife every winter for five years.

    Thirty or forty boys from 12 to 16 years of age have belonged to it, and with the aid of jig saws, a turning lathe, and a few simple tools they have made brackets, match boxes, small chests, checkerboards, and such trifling things. We have accommodated the school in our chapel and found no difficulty in accomplishing the little thus described with portable work benches, etc.

    The value of such a school is not in the amount of skill the boys attain to but in the bent it gives their leisure hours.

    The boys say they do six times as much work at home as they do at the school.

    Source: Letter of Geo. L. Chaney to committee on education of the State of Rhode Island, public document, Appendix (12), "Report of the Committee on Education of Rhode Island", Acts, Resolves, and Reports of the Gen'l Assembly, Jan. session, 1877, p. 28, as cited by Charles Penney Coates, History of the Manual Training School of Washington University (St. Louis Manual Training School) Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1923 page 50.

In the winter of 1876-77 the Whittling School united with the Industrial School, which had been conducted for two years in the Lincoln Building. The friends and supporters of both schools and others interested in the cause of industrial training formed an asso­ciation called the "Industrial Education Society." 7 This group of people developed and maintained the combined school. The city authorities gave the use of a ward room on Church Street, a location with which the Boston Whittling School is always connected in any reference to the school:

    The room was fitted up with workbenches, giving each boy a space for work 4 feet in length and 2.1 in width. Each bench was provided with a vise with common wooden jaws and an iron screw, etc.

    Thirty-two boys of from 12 to 16 were admitted, and as the school was open only in the evenings, some of them attended public schools in the daytime.

    A course of 24 lessons in wood carving was prepared, with special reference to securing the greatest amount of instruction with the least expenditure for tools and materials.

    The object of the school was not to educate cabinetmakers or artisans of any special name, but to give boys an acquaintance with certain manipulations which would be equally useful in many different trades.

    Source: J. P. Wickersham, Rep. State Supt. of Schools. Pa., 1877, p. XXI, as cited by Charles Penney Coates, History of the Manual Training School of Washington University (St. Louis Manual Training School) Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1923, pages 50-51.

In connection with the rise of manual training, this report was frequently cited and/or quoted.

According to Coates, the Boston Whittling School should be considered as two schools,

not merely because of the administrative change involved, but also because of the fundamental shift in the educational outlook of its projectors...

Following the claims in the 1877 letter of, the Boston Whittling School's goal was to give the students wholesome and enjoyable work of a type in which they would normally engage.

The value of the training rested, it is clear, in the activity and not in the tool process.

A major shift in the goal of the institition shifted, however, when the Boston Whittling School came under the influence of the Industrial Education Society.

Source: Report of the Massachusetts State Board of Education, 1875-1877, pages 193-94, as cited byCharles Penney Coates, History of the Manual Training School of Washington University (St. Louis Manual Training School) Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1923 page 50.

When the Society learned the theories and practice of the Russian educator, Della Vos, the goals were changed

to be instruction in the fundamental manipulations of tools.

The goal of the new venture was epitomized in the hackneyed catchwords, "instruction and not construction," a phrase attributed to Della Vos. According to Charles Penney Coates, History of the Manual Training School of Washington University (St. Louis Manual Training School) Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1923 page 51,

Its attitude changed from the practical to the theoretical. The school no longer called upon the constructive instinct of the child.

Obviously, Woodward's references to the Boston Whittling School had to do with the later stage. He did not appreciate the beginnings of the school which incorporated a notion of educational psychology entirely different from that proposed by him.

Due to his leadership, the theory outlined in the earlier account was rejected by the pioneers in the great manual-training movement that followed the educational conventions of the late eighties.

The student of recent educational literature will see at once that the fundamental principle of the early stage of the Boston Whittling School is the one now advocated.

The pupil is regarded as embodying a bundle of instincts the teacher must put to use.

Professor Meriam formulates this admirably in his stimulating chapter on handwork:
Handwork may be assigned an important place in the curriculum because it is a wholesome activity in which most children normally engage.
... Modern educational theory, based on a better knowledge of the original nature of man, has accordingly returned to the early doctrine of the Boston Whittling School.

    Handwork may also be so used at times, while whatever is made is of secondary value. Usually, however, things are made for the service they render. With proper training and even meager equipment boys and girls at home would have less leisure time because they would be busy in constructive work, or leisure time would be less wasteful by reason of handwork that would be done. Every boy should have some sort of shop at home, which may be equipped very meagerly at first; it will be better equipped when its value is discovered.

    Source:J L. Meriam, Child Life and the Curriculum, New York, 1920, page 371.

Chapter 1:8:-- Part D The First Real Instructional Woodworking.

The first systems -- there are two -- of woodworking instruction with impact were imports.

Installing the Russian System, Late 1870s:

(The Emergence of Applications of the "Project Method" in Russia and America)

Around 1870, Stillman H. Robinson, a Dean of Mechanical Engineering at Urbana's Illinois Industrial University, combined theory and practice:-- the student must be a craftsman in order to become an engineer. Robinson's students learned how

(1) to apply the laws of science and technology, and

(2) to develop machines, apparatuses, and turbines,

(3) to carry out the "complete act of creation."

This meant both drafting their "projects" on the drawing board and constructing them in the workshop.

For Robinson, "In practice instruction consists mainly in the execution of projects, in which the student is required to construct machines, or parts thereof, of his own design and from his own working drawings" "Through this 'construction' requirement", claims Knoll, "Robinson wanted to achieve two purposes: enable students to become "practical" engineers and "democratic" citizens (i.e., citizens who believed in the equality of men and the dignity of labor)".

Sources: Winton U. Solberg, The University of Illinois, 1867-1894: An Intellectual and Cultural History Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1968, pages 140-145; Michael Knoll, "The Project Method: Its Vocational Education Origin and International Development", Journal of Industrial Education 34, No. 3 Spring 1997 (In this article, Knoll cites a German-language article in where the details are outlined.)

E. The Manual Training Movement, 1876-1900: -- The Russian System

    Development of the Russian system of tool instruction had involved the linking of two key strategies. Master technicians had analyzed their production work, recognizing in their complex and specialized activities the essential tool skills involved in forging, wood and metal turning, joinering, and fitting activities. In concert with the identification of these essential tool skills, educators at the trade school had pursued the strategy of separating preliminary instruction in the use of tools from the student's involvement with factory-based production activities. The two strategies, thus linked, spelled out a new methodology. At no great expense, the school had established modestly equipped shops in which beginning students received systematic instruction in the care and use of tools relevant to fundamental activities in the mechanic arts.

    Systematic instruction involved students in a series of exercises graduated in levels of difficulty from basic operations to more complex combinations of tool skills. After each operation was demonstrated, students performed exercises in groups so that careful supervision could be kept. Group instruction supported by task analysis, thus, constituted both the economy and the efficiency of the Russian system.

    Source: William John Schurter, "The Development of the Russian System of Tool Instruction (1763-1893) and Its Introduction Into the U.S. Industrial Education Programs (1876-1893)" (Diss.) Baltimore: University of Maryland, 1982, pages 120-121.

The "Russian Exercises" system was known in this country as early as 1873, but in 1876 an exhibition of the work of the Imperial Russian Technical School at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, created a real interest in this form of technical instruction.

As shown by plate 1, the "Russian Exercises" were a series of abstract exercises, arranged in a logical manner, very technical, and calling for very exact measurements and tool execution. It was felt that these exercises were fundamental, that is, created a foundation, to all forms of advanced technical study. Another point about this system was that group instruction was possible, from 25 to 35 boys could be handled at one time by one instructor. It was welcomed, therefore, by the educators of the time, who, though they did not favor specific trade training in educational institutions, were aware of the growing demand for some sort of technical education on the part of the expanding manufacturing groups in this country. They felt that this system offered a good general mechanical training.

This photo is what Coates used in History of the manual training school of Washington University Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1923. (Published by the US Bureau of Education as Bulletin no 3, 1923.)

klein_1927-1a klein_1927-1

F. The Sloyd System

The Swedish "Sloyd" system was the second foreign contribution to our educational woodworking. (This is a link to a brief wikipedia entry on sloyd.) Its novelty: a focus on the student's interest in the project. (Slowly, step by step, woodworking instruction shifts from an instructor-centered course to student-centered course.

As Klein notes, when Sloyd was introduced, no books dealt with this system. Instruction depended upon models and charts.

Sloyd Anticipates the Project Movement and the Home Workshop Movement

The Sloyd system thus anticipates some of the motives that drove both the project movement and the home workshop movement , early in the 20th century. The box below reprints a fragment from Verne C Fryklund's article on the success of introducing instruction sheets into woodworking courses in the 1920s:

    ... [T]he newer philosophy of education ... [was] the shifting of the emphasis from class instruction supplemented by individual instruction to individual instruction supplemented by class instruction. Attempts were made at first to solve the problems of class instruction by means of individual oral instruction, but the method imposed considerably more work upon an already busy teacher. Since the period of the World War many forms of written instruction sheets have appeared in an effort to improve the efficiency of instruction.

    Source: Verne C. Fryklund, "Instruction Sheets and Principles of Teaching," Industrial Arts Magazine 16, no. 2 February 1927, pages 41-44.

As they said, "the objects (are) chosen with special reference to the interests of the boy."

America's first glimpse of this system was in 1885, at the Cotton Centennial Exhibition in New Orleans. Exhibited was the teaching and learning developed by Otto Salomon (1849-1907) at Naas, Sweden. klein_1927-2

The first Sloyd school was opened in 1888.

The characteristics of the "Sloyd" system may be summed up by stating that the system employs one-on-one instruction.

Sloyd, essentially, creates a setting where students learn by doing "projects", and doing projects breaks down into a sequence of steps :

At first, preliminary to work on projects, exercises are conducted; the work, mainly in wood, stresses physical exercise, hence-- as Klein notes -- the sequence of positions and movements made while the student works with tools is carefully worked out.

(For typical Sloyd projects, see Plate 2 above, from Paul E Klein's article in 1927; these images actually a composite of numerous images from throughout Otto Salomon's Teacher's Handbook of Sloyd.)

Equipment for Swedish Sloyd.

The equipment used in the educational Sloyd developed by Salomon was quite different from that employed by Della Vos because Salomon's system was (1) for individual instruction and (2) for children from ten to fifteen years of age. (For details on differnces in equipment for, respectively, Della Vos and Salomon, see pages 18-19 and 68 and following of Bennett, History of Manual and Industrial Education 1870 to 1917.)

Salomon considered that under usual conditions fifteen pupils constituted a class large enough for one teacher.

He thought six or eight enough for a beginning teacher and that under favorable conditions an experienced teacher might be successful in teaching a class of "fifteen, eighteen, or at most, twenty pupils".

Method of Teaching.

An outstanding characteristic of Salomon's educational sloyd was that all instruction must be given through individual teaching. His treatise, The Theory of Educational Sloyd, devotes a chapter to "class teaching versus individual teaching".

Salomon recommended a single fixed course as desirable for every student

To enrich the course for certain individual students by introducing supplementary models, he argued, is a waste of time, merely distracting attention from the real work of the course.

To meet the problem of individual differences in children, he encouraged each class member to go as rapidly as possible within the prescribed limits of the series of models, but he would not allow a member to do work outside of these.

Salomon believed in a fixed series of models -- a rigid course of instruction.

This naturally led him to contrast class and individual teaching in their extreme forms:

    Class teaching comprises the teaching of two or more children.

    Individual teaching comprises the teaching of one or more children.

    The aims of the teacher are not the same in the two cases.

    They differ materially.

    In class teaching, the teacher is apt to regard the class as a unit. It is not the development of the individual scholar, but of the individual class, that is aimed at.

    The minds of the scholars composing it are at various stages of intelligence;

    they differ also in ability.

    The efforts of the teacher are directed to assimilating these differences, and to securing a uniform rate of progress among all the members of the class.

    On the other hand, in individual teaching, the development of each child is the aim kept prominently in view.

    No effort is made to harmonize differences in ability, nor to advance the children with equal paces. The best teachers will make their methods approximate as much as possible to those employed in individual teaching.

In summarizing the principles which should be given in the teaching of Sloyd, Salomon gives the following list:


    (1) The instruction must go from easy to difficult.

    (2) The instruction must go from simple to complex.

    (3) The instruction must go from known to unknown.

    (4) The teaching must lay a good foundation.

    (5) The teacher should possess educational tact.

    (6) The teaching should be interesting in character.


    (7) The instruction should be given as far as possible through the senses, especially touch and sight.

    (8) The teaching should be individual in character.

    (9) The instructor should be a teacher and not a mere craftsman.

Educators of the day welcomed Sloyd, primarily because the system contains three components they valued for student learning: --

1) interest

2) utility

3) physical development

The aim of "Sloyd," following Salomon's leadership, was

"Pleasure in bodily labor, and respect for it.

Habits of independence, order,


attention, and


Increase in physical strength,

development of the power of observation in the eye, and

of execution in the hand ...

development of mental power,
or in other words, programmatically, Sloyd is disciplinary in its aim. "Disciplinary" in the sense that, as courses taught in schools of all levels, Sloyd comprises an accumulating body of knowledge -- about teaching practices, student exercises, grading standards, that it falls under the broader category of pedagogy called the Project Method, and so forth -- that can be passed on to others to apply in other situations. Evidence of the truth of the accumulating body of knowledge exists in the numbers of books listed in the Worldcat database.

Source: Otto Salomon Teacher's Handbook of Sloyd 1891; Paul E. Klein, "Fifty Years of Woodworking in the Ameican Schools", The Industrial Arts Magazine 16, no. 1, January 1927, pages 1-5. For more background, see Charles Bennett, History of Manual and Industrial Education, vol. 2, 1870 to 1917, Peoria, IL, 1937, pages 53-105 -- Bennett founded ; see also this UNESCO source by Hans Thorbjörnsson, originally published in Prospects: the Quarterly Review of Comparative Education (Paris, UNESCO: International Bureau of Education), vol. XXIV, no. 3/4, 1994, p. 471-485..

In its manner of presentation, at first, Sloyd was a bit formal, there were 88 exercises and models, and these were presented in a very inflexible order and manner. Gustaf Larsson, the great exponent of Sloyd in this country, deserves much credit for his modification of this rather formal, but very fine, work. Plates 3 and 4 illustrate some of his projects and ideas. We have many books and publications on sloyd, as:


    2. "Preliminary Sloyd," by Gustaf Larsson, 1893.

    3. "Elementary Sloyd and Whittling," by Gustaf Larsson, 1906.

    4. "Sloyd Correct Position Charts " which were hung on the wall of the classroom.


Chapter1:8:-- Part E The Manual Training Movement an Outgrowth of the Russian System

The two foreign systems mentioned above had great influence upon the type of woodworking instruction presented in the schools of America, but, remember, actual woodworking instruction had begun in this country in higher institutions as early as 1870.

Not begin until about 1880, however, did extensive instruction for boys begin.

The directors of Washington University of St. Louis, where technical instruction had been given college students since 1870, a school for boys, the St. Louis Manual Training School, opened in 1880. Directed Calvin M. Woodward. Woodward's school became well known, and inspired the starting of similar schools.

In the beginning, these schools were financed philanthropically -- for example, the Chicago Manual Training School was backed by the Chicago Commercial Club -- but soon the public schools injected this curriculum into high- and grammar-schools. (Plates 5 and 6 illustrate the Russian Exercises system). Below is a tabulation of those which seem from a study of various sources, to have been among the pioneers offering manual training:

The characteristics of this early manual training may be summarized by stating that

    it combined the abstract exercises of the Russians with the useful models of the sloyd;

    it was very formal, with elaborate tool analysis;

    much of the work was highly decorated in crude geometrical designs.

On the Origin of the Concept, "Instruction Sheets":

Now considered one of the standard means of employed in shop teaching, Instruction Sheets make possible changes in shop organization and layouts that allow a variety of mechanical activities in woodwork classroom schools in place of the old program activities.

"Instruction sheets actually came into prominence during the period when [there were] few or no textbooks ... ."

Source: Joseph William Giachino and Ralph Ora Gallington Course Construction in Industrial Arts and Vocational Education? - 1961, page 206. [ at wwu --1977 4th ed. English Book Book 355 p. : ill. ; 23 cm. Chicago : American Technical Society; ISBN: 082694065X 9780826940650 ]

Part D:-- Instruction Sheets

to read a more extensive account of Instruction Sheets, click on link:

Part D:-- Instruction Sheets

chapter 4:8 Education programs part d: -- From Instruction Sheets to Woodworker's Manuals

Schematic of an Instruction Sheet

[need to integrate theses by edison elbert field and hoyt h london; london yet to be photocopied, field in file folder]

Now considered one of the standard means of employed in shop teaching, Instruction Sheets make possible changes in shop organization and layouts that allow a variety of activities in woodwork classrooms, in place of the old program activities. [examples of old program activities]

However, the use of Instruction Sheets need not be confined to classroom settings. Instead, as proven by such authors of woodworker's manuals as Verne C. Fryklund and Armand J Laberge -- in General Shop Woodworking -- the concept of the Instruction Sheet can be incorporated into woodworker's manuals. As a demonstration of the enduring use of the Instruction Sheet concept, I created a page: Survey of Instruction Sheet Concepts, 1881 -- 2005

Ca 1800, was pestalozzi the first to use the concept "instruction sheet"?

Manual Work and Physical Training. Of this Pestalozzi says : "In endeavouring to impart to the child those practical abilities which every man stands in need of, we ought to follow essentially the same progress as in the communication of knowledge; beginning from an alphabet of abilities, if I may so express myself: that is to say, from the simplest practical exercises, which, being combined with each other, would serve to develop in the child a general fund of ability, to be applied to whatever purpose circumstances might render it necessary in after life.

"Such an alphabet, however, has not yet been found, and that from the obvious reason that it has not been sought for. I am not inclined to think that it would be very difficult to discover it, especially if the research were made with the same zeal with which even the trivial abilities connected with the operation of money-getting are attended to. If once discovered it would be of essential benefit to mankind. It ought to comprise the simplest performances of the bodily organs of action, such as striking, carrying, throwing, pushing, pulling, turning, twisting, swinging, etc. Whatever manipulations may occur in any calling may be reduced to some one or more of the simple actions and their combinations. The alphabet of abilities should therefore consist of a complete succession of them all, arranged in the order in which they follow each other ...

Many principles underlying manual training school practices come from kindergarten pedagogical theories, and for much of the theories , we are indebted Friedrich Froebel, and thus indirectly to Pestalozzi, but also , before 1900, Johann Amon Comenius, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and even Francis Bacon. But it was reserved for Russia to solve the problem of tool instruction by the laboratory process, and make it the foundation of a great reform in education. The initiatory step was taken in 1868 by Victor Delia-Vos, Director of the Imperial Technical School of Moscow. The following statement is extracted from the account given by Director Della- Vos of the exhibit of the Moscow school at Philadelphia (Centennial of 1876), and at the Paris Exposition in 1878, as best showing the inception of the new education:

If Pestalozzi had applied his idea of an alphabet of abilities to the teaching of the manual arts," argues Charles Bennett, "he would, in all probability, have developed a system similar to that outlined in Russia in 1868".

Sources: Henry Holman, Pestalozzi:An Account of His Life and Work London: Longmans, 1908; Charles Alpheus Bennett, History of Manual and Industrial Education Up to 1870?, page 122. After 1900, we can add to the earlier theorists, such names as John Dewey, Lev Semnovich Vygotski, and Jean Piaget.

(In my other life, these names were very familiar, because they are associated with the current literature of critical thinking, even though they worked in the first half of the 20th century. However, as this article -- Anuradha A. Gokhale, "Collaborative Learning Enhances Critical Thinking", JTE 7 NO. 1 Fall 1995 -- notes, the theories of Dewey, Vygotsky, and Piaget have also been appropriated into Industrial Arts scholarship.)


to read more, click on link

Part D:-- Instruction Sheets

The following is adapted from Paul E Klein:

In 1880, President E. E. White of Purdue University called attention to

"the decay of the apprenticeship system, which has been our chief reliance for the training of artisans. It is becoming more and more evident that if this is not made good by technical training in some efficient form, the American manufacturer will be at the mercy of the skilled labor of Europe. The day of muscle in industry is passed, and the day of mind with skill of eye and hand has dawned."
(For the decline of the guild system, which trained apprentices, click here.)


klein_1927-6 Yet, as presented in the schools, the purpose of this work was general rather than specific training. President White continues:"The primary and important duty of public schools is to provide training and teach knowledge of general application and utility. It recognizes no class distinctions-social or industrial. The elements of technical knowledge which are of general application and utility may clearly be taught in the public school."

Dr. Woodward, the great leader in this period of shop instruction, said "its object is to make men, not machines-to educate." Another writer said:
"The training of the brain and the hand -- the mental and the physical -- being the two great orders of faculty which make up the whole man."

A very good statement of the purpose of manual training was made by Sickels: 5
    "Manual Training has a place in the regular courses of study. By means of it, the reasoning power is more easily awakened; knowledge of objects and facts connected with them more readily understood and remembered; and above all, the accuracy and precision demanded by this (manual training) lead to closer observation and exactness in others; (also) an aid to mental development."

[from leutkemeyer]

The Russian System of tool instruction was an outgrowth of the work of Victor Della Vos at the Russian Imperial Technical School at Moscow in the late 1860's.

>Designed to teach engineering students tool skills required for their occupations, the system introduces systematically a series of exercises involving the various tools.
Skills were acquired in a two-step sequence:
  1. the analysis of tools, processes, trades, and materials into their elements
  2. the arrangement of these elements into courses of instruction
(check: Samuel J. Vaughan, and Arthur B. Mays, Content and Methods in Industrial Arts, The Century Company, 1924, p. 27).

Each distinct type of work had a separate instruction shop wherein each student was provided with a work place and set of tools.

Models and exercises were also provided and were used for teaching the manipulative skills. Upon completion of the program in the instruction shops, students worked in various construction shops -- in effect, operating factories attached to the technical school.

According to G. Eugene Martin and Joseph F. Luetkemeyer, the Manual Training program emerged in America from events at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876, where an exhibit of the work of the Russian technical schools displayed the various exercises used for tool instruction.

(For background on the Centennial Exhibiton, click on these links: (1) Free Library of Philadelphia; (2) The Internet 1996 World Expostion; (3) the entry on the Wikipedia website  -- A search with Google yielded so many hits that I have only listed a few near the top of the heap.)

Influenced by the display, two prominent officials in technology education at the time, John Runkle of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Calvin Woodward of Washington University, advocated the adoption of the Russian System into their respective institutions.
Through their influence, the School of Mechanic Arts of Massachusetts Institute of Technology opened in 1876, and the Manual Training High School of Washington University opened two years later. Both schools were designed as high school level preparatory schools for future engineering students or for those who wanted technical training for immediate employment.
This movement -- it became known as the Manual Training Movement -- became known through the speeches and writings of Woodward, Runkle, and others.(for an account of the numerous terms used, era by era, to designate industrial arts, click on this link )

Runkle succinctly states its five objectives as follows: 


The ideas involved in this system are, first, to entirely separate art from the trade, — the instruction shops from the construction shops; sec­ond, to teach each art in its own shop; third, to equip each shop with as many places and sets of tools, and thus accommodate as many pupils as the teacher can instruct at the same time; fourth, to design and graduate the series of samples to be worked out in each shop on educational grounds; and fifth, to adopt the proper proficiency and progress.

[Source: Massachusetts. 45th Annual Report of the Board of Education …, 1880-1881, 223 : 134, as cited by Strombaugh, 1936, ]


  (Woodward's account is laid out in his 1887 book, The Manual Training  School, comprising a Full Statement of Its Aims, Methods, and Results, With Figured Drawings of Exercises in Woods and Metals. Boston: D C Heath, 1887. Click on this link for an account in 1887 of Woodward's recall of these events.)

With Woodward's  leadership, coupled with support from other prominent educators, manual training rose to become "the first form of organized shop-type education in the American public schools" (check Olson, 1966, p. 2).

Influence of the School (from stombaugh)

The Manual Training School had been in existence only a short time before it attracted attention throughout the United States and Europe, and received visits from many persons interested in the methods and organization of the school. [199 : 78] Many requests came to Woodward asking for a list of the exercises used in teaching the shop courses. All of these requests were refused on the grounds that no one set of exercises was better than another, and in all cases the teacher should have a flexible enough course so that he could vary the exercises from year to year. [337 : 27] 

Woodward must have wished to withhold his material for his own publication, for in 1887 he published his book, The Manual Training School. It would be difficult to estimate the influence this book may have had on the spread of manual training. It placed in the hands of the teacher complete sets of exercises with directions for theiruse and execution. The book organized manual training as a teach­ing subject. For his illustrations, Woodward referred freely to the Manual Training School of Washington University, and, because of this fact, the book has value to the student of industrial arts who is interested in the early practices of that school. Every shop sub­ject taught in the school was treated so as to convey a conception of the methods and practices which had been adopted. [36 : 16–149]

Manual training was "based on a theory of formal discipline which stressed educating the mind through the hands" (check Cochran, 1970). It evolved into a subject area that was to be taught like other subjects in the curriculum, not as a trade.

The Manual Training Movement embraced the prevailing psychology of the era, faculty psychology.

Faculty Psychology

Prevalent in the 1880s, Faculty Psychology helped catapult manual training into the public schools' curriculum. Faculty psychology holds that fixed areas of the brain govern certain faculties and unless these faculties are trained, the brain cannot be fully developed. And, more worrisome, if all areas of the brain do not develop properly, the individual could become "unbalanced".

To overcome this threatened condition, educators "advocated the use of hand training to round out the education of youths and to supplement the seeming deficiencies of intellectual training.

"This early theory of learning held that the mind had certain faculties such as memory and reason which could be trained like a muscle, with proper exercise"

Source: William Noyes, 1904; 94 : 181; Charles Richards 1901; 176 : 678; Rex Miller and Lee H. Smalley, eds, Selected readings for industrial arts. Bloomington, Illinois: McKnight, 1963, p. 15, as cited by Susan Bartow.)

The result, says Strombaugh, page ?, is that "attention was diverted by educators from the practical benefits of handwork to the subtler cultural aspects of the work". [154 : 1; 165 : 35-36]

Richards puts this way: The first serious agitation for the inclusion of industrial education in the public schools was, naturally enough, when the prevalent attitude of the school men is considered, not for real vocational training, but for the inclusion of manual work in the general course of study as an element of culture and general efficiency.

Source: Charles Richards 176 : 677; Numerous pieces of literature contemporary to the period discuss the interrelation of the mind and the hand, as well as the coordination of the intellectual and the physical. Faculty psychology comprised three major concepts, or faculties of the mind: [have to check on these again -- it's in Stombaugh]

(1)--- (2) --- (3) elaborative faculties, including comparison, abstraction, generalization, judgment, and reason.

In 1889, in an article "Psychology of Manual Training", [reprinted from Education, may, 1889] William T Harris writes that
The best function of the manual training school is its training of the elaborative faculties of the mind -- its studies on the rationale of the construction (sic) and use of tools -- its study of mathematics of mathematics and science. This points out the road of permanent usefulness for such schools. They may fit master workmen for the several trades and occupations and thereby furnish overseers who not only can direct but can teach besides. ... [T]he elaborative function of mind is the true source of executive power.
In 1912, for example, Frank Leavitt notes that, 

The result of this discussion was to establish the claim that manual training had a distinct cultural value, and it was because of the general acceptance of this proposition by educators that the new form of educa­tional activity was so speedily and generally established. [frank leavitt 1912 15 : 13]

Woodward envisioned a new type of secondary school with shopwork placed on the same educational level as other school subjects. He saw "the mechanical arts analyzed, pedagogically organ­ized, and taught under the same principles that have influenced methods of teaching the sciences, mathematics, and even the languages" (Bennett, 1934, p. 337). Due to the nature of criticism of his early program, Woodward's emphasis changed to include more general education goals, and his objective became "to put the whole boy to school"

(Check Bennett, 1934, p. 367; Bawden, 1950, p. 13). Bawden summarized that the essential feature of manual training was a systematic study of tools, processes, and materials, and that such study would benefit all types of students.

The decade of 1880-90 was a period of progress and controversy for manual training. Why? Educators recognized that training of this type filled a gap in the American school system.  For example, evidently no tradition existed for requiring textbooks in woodworking courses. 



Several cities have expanded their courses of study so that they are used as manuals for the guidance of both teachers and pupils. Beardsley points to the printed course of manual training in Chicago as the first manual ever printed by any board of education. [266 : 206-- 266. CHICAGO, ILL. Forty-Fifth Annual Report of the Board of Education    1899. pp. 205-207.]



chicago schools manual training textbook 1899

Above and on the left, the images reprint fragments from page 206 of the 1899 "Report of R. P. Beardsley, Supervisor of Manual Training, Chicago Schools, as Cited by Stombaugh pp 157-158:

Contrast in the Goals of the Russian system and the Swedish System (as developed by Salomon): notes from bennett on sloyd vs russian system

The Russian system was definitely devised to train skillful, intelligent mechanics.

In modern terms, its purpose was strictly vocational.

The Swedish, on the contrary, was for purposes of general education; it was considered valuable for every child.

Moreover, the Russian system, devised by a government engineer, was put into operation like other engineering enterprises, with speed in learning and the engineering result constantly in view, and with little regard for individual capacities; it was a mass-production system of special education.

The Swedish system, on the other hand, was worked out by Salomon whose primary interest was the enrichment of the education at the elementary school level.

It recognized individual capacities and individual speeds in learning;

Its focus was on an individual-production system, not a mass-production system of general education.

As noted, Sloyd anticipates many modern child-centered teaching strategies.

In The Theory of Educational Sloyd, Salomon outlines his pedagogical aims in two groups:

    (a) formative

    (b) utilitarian

In the first group were:

    1. "To instil a taste for, and a love of, labor in general."

    To get these results, Salomon argues that:

      the models must be useful from the child's standpoint;

      the work should not involve fatiguing preparatory exercises;

      it must afford variety;

      children must be capable of doing the work them­selves;

      it must be real work, not a pretense at it; and

      the objects made should become the property of the child who makes them.

    2. "To instil respect for rough, honest, bodily labor."

    3. "To develop independence and self-reliance."

    In the development of self-reliance, he suggested that

      "the class must not be so large as to interfere with efficient individual supervision and instruction";

      "the work of each child must be independent of that of every other child, and to secure this end, the children in the class should receive individual attention during the progress of their work";

      "the teacher must not tell or show too much";

      "work must accord with the capacity of the child";

      children should endeavor to discover for themselves, by experiment, "the best methods of holding and manipulating the tools";

      "the teacher should allow as much free play to the judgment of the child as possible."

    4. "To train in habits of order, exactness, cleanliness, d neatness."

    To make this possible,
      "the work should be that the pupil can make it with order and exactness";

      the models must be carefully graduated according to their difficulties";

      "the work must be such that the teacher can easily control it."

    5. "To train the eye and sense of form; to cultivate dexterity of hand and develop touch."

    salomon would obtain these results using projects with "curvilinear models-objects whose outlines are free curves."

    6. To cultivate habits of "attention, industry, perseverance, o rid patience."

    7. "To promote the development of the physical powers."

In the second group of aims seeks to

    1. To directly give dexterity in the use of tools.

    2. To execute exact work.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Moreover, the survey, in classifying this broad range of studies as "manual training," revealed the rather striking extension that had occurred in the common definition of manual education.3 In addition to the tool work espoused by Runkle and Woodward, largely influenced by Swedish instruction in slojd (handwork, usually in wood), manual training had moved downward into the grades, appearing as a variety of arts and crafts in the elementary school. By 1890 some educators were contending that if the ordinary activities of the kindergarten could be joined to slojd at the elementary level and tool exercises or homemaking in the secondary school, the result would be an orderly progression of manual work to parallel intellectual activities throughout the twelve-year period of general education. In a proper balance of the two they saw a new vision of popular schooling suitable to the demands of an industrial age.4 manual training programs advanced dramtically during the nineties The businessmen, especially advocated and supported manual education. wanted was practical trade training to free them from growing union regulation of apprenticeships. And, notes Columbia University professor Lawrence A Cremin, "the students themselves seemed to care less about dignifying manual labor than they did about using the manual-training school to escape to some higher technical occupation".Source: (Transformation of the School, pages 33-34) A combination of technological and business interests became the driving forces that created the decline of the idealistic goals of both Sloyd and the Russian System In industry, as tool work increasingly shifted from wood to metals, particularly steel, the machine replaces the hand tool, with productive skill rather than artistic handcraft championed as the guiding ideal. Moreover, "as the schools themselves fell into the hands of a new class of administrators imbued with reformist enthusiasm for manual training", Cremin argues, "talk about a liberalizing balance between manual and intellectual activities became increasingly academic." A tension between idealism and production ensued, with idealism the loser. "In the end, the voracious manpower demands of an expanding industrial economy resolved the dilemma. ... by multiplying manual-training schools ... the problem of training all the mechanics our country needs" was solved. Source: Calvin M. Woodward, "Manual, Industrial, and Technical Education in the United States," in United States Bureau of Education: Report of the Commissioner of Education for the Year 1903, I, 1039, as cited by lawrence A Cremin, pages 33-34. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

G. The Arts and Crafts Movement, ca.1900-1916

Introuction to the Arts and Crafts Movement

klein_1927-7This movement, spread­ing over this country from about 1900 on, originated in Eng­land under the leadership of William Morris. It arose as a protest against the machine made ugliness of the period. It was an effort to bring back beauty-in the home, the furni­ture, clothes, everything. Its leaders harked back to the old guild system, where everyone made things by hand, expressing his own individuality through his craftsmanship. It associated design and construction into a serviceable and pleasing whole. It demanded beauty in line, in proportion, and in finish. Perhaps it went a little too far-there is no question that much of the work done was somewhat heavy and crude, and that some articles having utilitarian purposes only, were too "craft" appearing, but this was far outweighed by the benefits it brought. Its keynote was simplicity, and good proportions, and its designs have persisted to the present time.

< chapter1:5 technological development

The attached bibliography is interesting, because it shows the advances of manual training programs between 1880 and 1900. Why, though, woodworker's manual listed below on the left is absent is a mystery. Produced as a result of the impact of the Russian system upon America's technological education in the 1870s, in the sense of its impact, it is in many ways probably one of the most significant woodworker's manuals. Why? Because it is the first manual designed as a "how-to book", step-by-step guide for a person to obtain in the 1880s a skillful command of using the hand tools of the woodworking trade:

Secondary Education Bulletin By University of the State of New York 1900. page 247


Appendix 1

Bibliography [of recommended for purchase for high schools with woodworking programs]

Manual Training


Why is this title not included in this bibliography?1881: Industrial School Association, Wood-Working Tools: How to Use Them Boston: Ginn and Heath, 1881.

For testimony about how significant this manual was for the moment, click on the following hyperlink: Robert Seidel and Margaret Kelver Smith, Industrial Instruction: A Pedagogic and Social Necessity ; Together with a Critique Upon Objections Advanced Boston: D.C. Heath & Co., 1887

Clarke, Isaac E. Art and Industry. Education in the industrial and fine arts in the U. S. 3 v. Wash. 1895-07. U. Education. Bureau of.

V. 1 Drawing In the public schools.

V. 2 Industrial and manual training in the public schools.

V. 3 Industrial and technical training us voluntary associations and endowed institutions.

Compton, A. G. First lessons In woodworking. N. Y. 1888. Ivison 35c.

Goss, W. F. N. Bench work in wood. N. Y. 1899. Ginn 70c.

Hinckley, F. A. Woodwork in the common school. Springfield 1896. Bradley $1.

Hoffman, B. B. The Sloyd system of woodworking. D. N. Y. 1802. Am. bk co. $1.

Johansson, Alfred. Practical directions for making the high school series of Sloyd models. [not online] 0. Lond. 1892. Phillip 2s.

Kilbon, G. B. Knife work in the school room. D. Springfield 1890. Bradley $1.

Leland, C. G. Manual of wood carving. 0. N. Y. 1891. Scribner $1.75.

Leland, C. G. Practical education. 0. London. 1888. Whittaker 6s.

Morris, R. Anna. Physical education in the public school. 0. N. Y. 1892. Am. bk co. $1.

Nelson, William. Woodwork course for boys. 0. Loud. 1893. Philip 38 6d.

Rowe, Eleanor. Hints on wood-carving. [not online] 0. London 1892. Sutton is 641.

Salomon, Otto. The theory of educational Sloyd. D. Boston. 1898. Silver, Burdette & Co. $1.25.

Salomon, Otto. Teachers handbook of Sloyd. [not online] S. Boston, Silver. Burdette & Co., 1891. $1.50.

Sickels., Ivin. Exercises in woodworking. 0. N. Y. 1890. Appleton $1.25.

Tadd, J. L. New methods in education. Q. N. Y. 1899. Orange Judd Co. $3.

Upham, A. A. Fifty lessons in woodworking.[not online] S. N. Y. 1802. Kellogg 50c.

Wood, George. Manual instruction In woodwork. 0. London 1892.

Simpkin 5s.

Other Books of this period are:

[some titles are 1900-1910]

    1.Otto Salomon, "The Teachers' Handbook of Sloyd New York: Silver-Burdett, 1891.

    2. "Preliminary Sloyd</em>," by Gustaf Larsson, 1893.

    3. "Elementary Sloyd and Whittling," by Gustaf Larsson, 1906.

    4. "Sloyd Correct Position Charts," which were hung on the wall of the classroom.

    5 "Exercises in Woodworking," by Sickels, printed in 1890.

    6 "Proceedings of the N. E. A.," page 223-1880; speech of President E. E. White of Purdue University.

    7 "Manual Training in Education," by J. V. Blake, printed in 1886.

    8 "Manual training," by C. M. Woodward, printed in 1905 by Orr & Lockett Hdwe. Co.

    9 "Woodwork," by S. E. Ritchey, published in 1893.

    10 "Wood Turning," by Ross, published in 1909.

    11 "Bench Work in Wood," by Goss, published in 1887.

    12 "Manual Training," by C. M. Woodward, published in 1890.

    13"Wood Carving," by Gustaf Larsson, 1893-chip carving in connection with sloyd.

    14 "Chip Carving," by T. V. Morse, published in 1903.

    15 "Wood Carving in Its Many Branches," Hodgson, 1905.

    (16) "Wood Carving," Cassell, 1913.

    16 "Twenty-one Years of Manual Training," by Dr. James P. Haney in "Manual Training" Magazine for February, 1911.

    17 "Manual Training and Wood Turning," by M. J. Golden, printed in 1897.

    18 "The Arts Crafts for Beginners," F. G. Sanford, 1904.

    19 "Selected Shop Problems," Geo. A. Seaton, 1910.

    20 "Problems in Furniture Making," F. D. Crawshaw, 1912.

    21"Furniture Design for Schools and Shops," Crawshaw, 1914.

    22 "Handwork in Wood and Metal," Hooper & Shirley (England), 1913.

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