A Commission of Technical Education was appointed early in the present year by the Governor of Massachusetts to investigate the subject of technical education and report to the next General Court. Without attempting in any way to forestall the report of this commission, it can be stated that at the several hearings which were held, much evidence was given of the value of such schools, but more especially that class of schools which give evening instruction. Some doubt was shown relative to the success of a general system of technical day schools unless such schools were to replace, in part at least, the time given at present by pupils in the regular high schools. The value of the present manual training schools was strongly emphasized, but it was also plainly shown that much still remains to be done in the way of further development before attempting to add educational methods which would be even more expensive in operation than any at the present supported by muncipalities.
It was the general opinion, however, that a system of technical evening schools utilizing as far as possible the equipment of manual training schools, would be of great value to the many young men in the community who have come to realize the, value of such training but who neglected to obtain it during their younger years. Young men as a rule do not appreciate, until too late, the advantages to be obtained by becoming skilled in some trade or craft, and it is not until they have had a few years of business life that they realize their lost opportunities. To this class trade schools with evening sessions would be invaluable and the earnestness which would accompany their studies would make progress rapid and thorough, a condition which does not maintain with those of younger age. To amateurs, also, such schools would be of value, enabling them to perfect themselves in some line of work which, though followed for pleasure, would have many practical advantages.
There is but little doubt that such schools are sure to be instituted in time, and the report of this commission will be awaited with much interest, as it will undoubtedly be the basis for action not only in Massachusetts, but in many other States.
The work of forming the "American Society of Model Makers" is being pushed as rapidly as possible, and we are pleased to state that the number of letters received showing interest in the society is more than large enough to indicate an active and growing society. The membership will at first be general, and local branches started whenever a sufficient number in any one locality have signified their desire for such a branch. The work of organization will undoubtedly be completed so that full particulars can be given in the January number.
Many useful tools may be obtained by securing new subscriptions for Amateur Work.