1. Kindergarten work should be taught in the nurseries and infant schools of rich and poor.
2. Drawing should be taught in schools of every grade, till the hand uses the pencil as readily as the pen.
3. Every girl at school if not at home should learn to sew.
4. Every boy should learn the use of tools, the gardener's or the carpenter's, or both.
5. Well planned exercises, fitted to strengthen the various bodily organs, arms, fingers, wrists, lungs, etc., are good. Driving, swimming, rowing, and other manly sports should be favored.
What precedes is at the basis of good work.
6. With good teachers, quite young children may learn the minor decorative arts, carving, leather stamping, brass beating and the like, as is shown in the Leland classes of Philadelphia.
7. In towns, boys who begin to earn a living when they enter their teens may be taught in evening schools to practice the craft of carpentry, bricklaying, plastering, plumbing, gas fitting, etc., as is shown successfully in the Auchmuty schools of New York. Trade schools they are called; schools of practice for workmen would be a better name.
8. Boys who can carry their studies through the later teens may learn, while at the high school or technical school or college, to work in wood and metals with precision, as I have lately seen in the College of the City of New York, at Cornell University, and elsewhere-colleges or high schools with work-shops and practice classes. If they can take the time to fit themselves to be foremen and leaders in machine shops and factories, they may be trained in theoretical and practical mechanics, as in the Worcester Industrial Institute and in a score of other places; but the youth must have talent as well as time to win the race in these hard paths. These are schools for foremen, or, if we may use a foreign word like Kindergarten, they are Meisterschaft schools.
9. Youths who wish to enter the highest departments of engineering must follow advanced courses of mathematics and physics, and must learn to apply this knowledge. The better colleges and universities afford abundant opportunities for such training, but their scientific laboratories are fitted only for those who love long study as well as hard. These are schools for engineers.
10. Girls are most likely to excel in the lighter arts--to design (for furniture or fabrics), to embroider, to carve, to engrave, to etch, to model, to paint. Here also success depends largely upon that which was inborn, though girls of moderate talent in art, by patience, may become skilled in many kinds of art work. Schools for this instruction are schools of art (elementary, decorative, professional, etc.).
If there be those in this hall who think that hand-craft is adverse to rede-craft, let me ask them to study the lives of men of mark. Isaac Newton began his life as a farm-boy who carried truck to a market town; Spinoza, the philosopher of Amsterdam, ground lenses for his livelihood; Watt, the inventor of the steam engine, was mechanic to the University of Glasgow; Porson, the great professor of Greek, was trained as a weaver; George Washington was a land surveyor; Benjamin Franklin a printer.
Before I close let me draw a lesson from the history of our land. Some of you doubtless bear in mind that before the late war men used to say, "Cotton is king;" and why so? Because the trades which hung on this crop were so many and so strong that they ruled all others. The rise or fall of a penny in the price of cotton at Liverpool affected planters in the South, spinners in the North, seamen on the ocean, bankers and money-changers everywhere. Now wheat and petroleum share the sovereignty; but then cotton was king. Who enthroned this harmless plant? Two masters of hand-craft, one of whom was born a few miles east of this place in Westborough; the other was a native of England who spent most of his days a few miles south of this city. Within five years--not quite a century ago--these two men were putting in forms which could be seen, ideas which brought our countrymen large measures of both weal and woe. In 1790, Samuel Slater, once an apprentice to Strutt and Arkwright, built the mill at Pawtucket which taught Americans the art of cotton-spinning; and before 1795, Eli Whitney had invented the gin which easily cleansed the cotton boll of its seeds, and so made marketable the great crop we have spoken of.
Many men have made more noise in the world than Slater and Whitney; few if any can be named whose peaceable hand-craft has done so much to give this country its front place in the markets of the globe.
Let me come nearer home, and as I take my seat let me name a son of this very town who loved hand-craft and rede-craft, and worthily aided both--Isaiah Thomas, the patriot printer, editor, and publisher, historian of the printer's craft in this land, and founder of the far famed antiquarian library, eldest in that group of institutions which gave to Worcester its rank in the world of letters, as its many products give it standing in the world of industry and art.
Mindful of three such worthies, it is not strange that Salisbury, Washburn, Boylston, and many more have built up this high school of handicraft; it will be no wonder if others like minded build on the foundations which have been so fitly laid.