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University Microfilms
300 North Zeeb Road
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106
A Xerox Education Company
Smith, Herbert Edward.
The historical development of techr.i,S5
cal education in the first nine
colleges founded in the United States,
New Yorl:, 1940.
vi,424 typewritten leaves.
Thesis (Ph.D.) - New Yorb university,
School of education, 1940.
Bibliography? p. c395,-421.
Shelf List
Xerox University Microfilms,
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106
( ?hesig accepted
D«t«JU>R 4 1940
UNITED STATES, 1636 - 1862
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree of Doctor of
Philosophy in the School of Education of
New York University
Some pages may have
indistinct print.
Filmed as received.
University Microfilms, A Xerox Education Company
The investigator wishes to express his indebtedness to the late
Frederick 0. X.McLaughlin, Professor of Civil Engineering in the College
of the City of New York, whose inspirational teaching awakened in the
investigator a profound interest in the engineering sciences and a desire
to attain his mastery of the art of teaching.
Professors John 0. Creager, Daniel C. Khowlton, Martin L. Robertson
and Herbert P. Smith of New York University have supervised the investiga­
tion and have given sincere, friendly, helpful counsel over a period of
many years.
One of the most pleasant aspects of the investigator's can­
didacy has been the association with these men.
Thanks in great measure are due Dr. Clifford K. Shipton, Custodian
of the Archives of Harvard University and his assistant, Mr. Robert Lovett,
for the genuine, friendly assistance rendered during the writer's visit
to Harvard.
The permission of the Corporation of Harvard University to
use and reproduce the documentary material of the Harvard University
Archives was secured through the kindness of Dr. Shipton.
Dr. Earl Gregg Swem, Librarian of William and Mary College placed the
resources of the library at the disposal of the investigator and contributed
materially to the progress of the study on many occasions.
Mr. Carl.Lohmann, Secretary of Yale University permitted inspection of
the archives and records of Yale University.
Professor George W. Pierson,
Historian of Yale University expressed a deep interest in the study and gave
A 54362
material and helpful advice on procedure.
Professor Pierson very kindly
secured Mr. Lehmann's permission to examine the documentary records of the
Professor Ellwood P. Cubberley of Stanford University was very con­
siderate and replied to the investigator's questions concerning procedure.
Ur. Alexander Leitoh. Secretary of Princeton University opened the
Reoords of the Meetings of the Trustees and Faoulty of the College of New
Jersey for inspection.
Grateful appreciation must be extended to Mr. E. W. Mumford, Secretary
of the University of Pennsylvania, who granted permission to examine the
Archives of the University of Pennsylvania and -the Reoords of the Trustees.
On the many oooasions that the investigator has visited Columbia
University, Hr. Milton Halsey Thomas, Curator of Columbiana has been most
helpful and considerate.
Dr. W.
. S. Demarest, former President of Rutgers College has discussed
this study with the investigator in addition to several aspects of the his­
tory of Rutgers College.
This discussion with Dr. Demarest has enabled a
more adequate interpretation of the historical background of Queens College.
Mr. George A. Osborn, Librarian of Rutgers University was most interested
in the researoh as it applied to Rutgers and assisted, substantially, in
many ways.
Thanks are also due Mr. Nathaniel L. Goodrich, Librarian of Dartmouth
College and Miss Mildred Saunders, Archivist of the library.
Dr. Ruth Coyner of the School of Eduoation of the George Washington
University and Dr. Anna Haddow of the National Eduoation Association in
Washington, D. C. advised the investigator on many points of prooedure.
The librarians of the Library of Congress, the Library Division of the
U. S. Offioe of Education and the 42nd Street Library in New York City have
made seemingly untiring efforts to be genuinely helpfUl..This assistance will
always be remembered with grateful appreciation.
Introduction ..................................................
Field for Investigation ....................................
Scope of this S t u d y ........................................
Definition of Terms ........................................
Sources of D a t a .........
Periodization of the Investigation...........................
General Character of the Study...............................
Probable Value of the S t u d y ...............
1, 2
Chapter I - Curriculum Offerings in Science and
Applied Science 1636-1776 ...........................
Harvard College ...................
William and Mary College...................................... 13
Yale College.....................
College of New Jersey........................
College of Philadelphia [University of Pennsylvania]............ 28
King's College [Columbia College] ........................... 36
College of Rhode Island [Brown University]..................... 39
Queen's College [Rutgers College] ........................... 41
Dartmouth College......................... . ................. 42
Summaxy...................................................... 43
Chapter II - A Description of Textbooks in Natural Philosophy
and Related Subjects in use 1636-1776 .............
Charles Morton's "Compendium physicae"......................... 45
Rector Pierson's "Manuscript of Physics"....................... 46
Jacques Rouhaultb"Systern of Natural philosophy" .......... . . 47
Willem van Gravesand^s"Mathematical Elements of
Natural Philosophy" .......... . . . . .
Benjamin Martin's"Philosophica Brittanica" ...................
William Smellie%"philosophy of Natural History'.1 ................50
John Lovefe"Geodaesia"
Summary...................................................... 32
Chapter III - The Status of the Industry and Commerce
of the Colonies 1636-1776.
Part I - Summary and Conclusions.........
Chapter IV - Curriculum Offerings in Science
and Applied Science 1776-1825 ........... . . . . .
Harvard University............................................ 66
William and Mary College.......................................76
Yale College...................
College of New Jersey...........
University of Pennsylvania...................
Columbia College................................
Brown University................................
Queen's College . . ............. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Dartmouth College.............
Chapter V - Description of Textbooks, Syllabi and
Theses In Use 1776-1825........ . . . . . . . . . . . 115
James Atkinson's "Epitome of the Art of Navigation"........... 115
J. Robertson's "Elements of Navigation........................ 116
William Enfield's "Institutes of Natural Philosophy"........... 116
William Nicholson "Introduction to Natural philosophy"......... 119
Tiberius Cavallo's "Treatise on Electricity".................. 122
Samuel L. Mitehill's "Outline of the Doctrines on Natural
History, Chemistry and Economics"......... 125
Harvard University Theses 1782-1839 ......................... 126
Charles Hutton's "A Course of Mathematics".................... 127
Abel Flint's "Surveying"..................................... 132
James Madison's "Compendium of Lectures"
. 134
Jeremiah Day's "Mathematical Principles of Navigation
and Surveying"................................ 134
William Henry's "Epitome of Chemistry"........................ 136
William Henry's "Elements of Experimental Chemistry"........... 138
John Gorham's "Elements of Chemical Science".................. 139
William T. Braude's "Manual of Chemistry...........
John Farrar's "Treatise on Surveying"
. 141
William Smellie's "Philosophy of Natural philosophy"........... 142
Tiberius Cavallo's "Elements of Natural Philosophy" . . . . . . 142
Summary............... '...........................
Chapter VI - The Status of Industry, Commerce and
Engineering 1776-1825 ............................. 148
Summary . . . . . ......... .
. . . . . . . . . 170
Part II - Summary and Conclusions.................
Chapter VII - Curriculum Offerings in Technical Education
Harvard University............................
William and Mary College...............
Yale College...........................................
College of New Jersey.......................................
University of Pennsylvania................................ .
Columbia College.............
Brown ttaiversity.
Rutgers College ............................................
Dartmouth College.....................
Chapter VIII - Description of Textbooks in Use
in Period 1825-1862 ............................. 277
James Renwick's "Outlines of Natural Philosophy"................277
Library of Useful Knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........ 278
John Millington's "Epitome of the Elementary Principles
of Mechanical Philosophy" .
James Renwick's "Treatise on the Steam Engine"............. , 285
Jacob Bigelow's "Elements of Technology"....................... 284
Charles Hutton's "A Course of Mathematics".........
John Farrar's"Elementary Treatise on Mechanics" .............
John Young's ^Elements of Mechanics"........................... 290
Charles Davies' "Elements of Surveying" .
................... 292
Jeremiah Day's "Mathematical Principles of Navigation
and Surveying"..........................
M. Boucharlat's "Elementary Treatise on Mechanics
............ 294
Dionysius Lardner's "Treatise on the Steam Engine"..............295
John Gummere's "Treatise on Surveying"......................... 296
John Millington's "Elements of Civil Engineering" . . . . . . .
James Renwick's "Applications of the Science of Mechanics
to Practical Purposes"......................... 303
James F. W. Johnston's "Lectures on Agricultural Chemistry
and Geology"
....................... 306
James Renwick's "First Principles of Natural Philosophy". . . . 307
Denison Olmsted's "Compendium of Natural Philosophy"............ 310
Denison Olmsted's "Compendium of Natural Philosophy"............ 311
Denison Olmsted's "An Introduction to Natural Philosophy" . . . 314
Frederick Simms' "A Treatise on the Principles and
practice of Leveling",
William Gillespie's "A. Manual of Roadmaking"................... 319
William Gillespie's "Manual of the Principles and
Practice of Road-Making"................... 321
Benjamin Silliman, Jr.'s "First Principles of Chemistry". . . . 322
Friedrich Knapp's "Chemical Technology" .....................
John P. Norton's "Elements of Scientific Agriculture" . . . . .
Dionysius Lardner's "Handbooks of Natural Philosophy" ........ 328
Dennis Mahan's "An Elementary Course of Civil Engineering". . . 333
W. H. C. Bartlett's "Elements of Analytical Mechanics". . . . .
Charles Davies' "practical Mathematics" ............... . . .
A. S. Smith's "A Manual of Topographical Drawing" . . . . . . .
William Gillespie's "A Treatise on Land Surveying".
........ 343 .
Jul ius Stockhardt's "Chemistry of Agriculture" .............
Herman Haupt's "General Theory of Bridge Construction".......... 345
John B. Henck's "Field Book for Railroad Engineers" .......... 349
Elias Loomis' "Elements of plane and Spherical Trigonometry". . 351
Summary...................................................... 353
Chapter IX - Sketch of the Development of Industry, Manufactures
Engineering 1825-1862
Summary ........
Chapter X - General Summary and Conclusions....................... 380
Appendix A ................................
The broad field of the historical development of technical educa­
tion in the Uhited states may logically be divided into three smaller
areas for purposes of investigation.
The first division or area is
concerned with the growth of education in technical science, before 1862,
in the first nine colleges founded in the Uhited States.
These colleges
are the nine institutions of higher learning established before the
American Revolution.
These colleges are important in any investigation
of the college curriculum because they exerted wide and significant
influence upon the growth of all higher education in this country.
It is
with this division of the history of technical education and with these
colleges that the present study is concerned.
The scope of the investigation of the second area of the total
development should include the origin and growth of technical education
in a group of institutions representative of all the other colleges
(excluding the colonial colleges) founded before 1862 or before the Civil
Colleges founded by private initiative or by public land grants or
government influence should be included in this group.
It will be noted that the suggested upper time limit for these two
areas or divisions of the history of the technical curriculum is 1862.
This date is significant.
It was in this year that the first Morrill Act,
the greatest single influence on the growth of technical education, became
It insured the emergence of technical education as an "independent
discipline" and its passage marks the beginning of the wide ramifications
that technical education has taken.
The crowded-years in the growth of
technical or engineering education beyond passage of this law provide
room for another independent investigation.
It is the growth of the
engineering curriculum in American colleges and universities from 1862
to some point in the 20th century that should be the subject of the third
area or division of the general history of technical education,
This study, then, is an historical account of the development of
technical education (both undergraduate and graduate) in the nine col­
leges and universities founded before the American Revolution.
The growth
of technical education is traced from its early beginnings in science and
applied science and the forces that have played a part in this growth are
The history will begin with the year 1636 and will close with
the year 1862.
Technical education is a phrase that now characterizes education in
the applied sciences.
nineteenth century.
The usage of this term, however, dates from the
Prior to that time what we now call technical science
or technology was called "applied science" or "science applied to the arts"
or "science applied to the useful arts".
The meaning of the phrase
"applied science" and the word "technology" are similar, today and they
characterize an effort to apply the results of scientific research (pure
science) to practical affairs of almost every description.
Applied science
h«d its origin in the pure sciences and has developed into "technology"
through wider and more intense applications of science to practical
Since technical education is education in science applied to economic
and utilitarian ends, it must of necessity have a scientific basis.
scientific basis in the curricula of the institutions selected for study
will be described, though not in the same detail that would be the case
if the investigation were concerned only with the science offering of
the curriculum.
Similarly, the many textbooks of science have been exam­
ined to discover attempts to apply science to practical, utilitarian ends.
Intensive and extensive searches among bibliographies and the litera­
ture of the history of higher education have revealed many short, super­
ficial histories of technical education.
brevity, incompleteness and limited scope.
These are characterized by
There are, however, two im­
portant publications involving research in the field of engineering
Charles Riborg Mann is the author of one,-*- and the second
publication is a report of the Society for the Promotion of Engineering
The purposes of these investigations were not historical but
were aimed at the improvement of instruction.
Elbert Vaughn Wills discusses the history of technical education as
well as other branches of the college curriculum.
The necessarily limited
scope of this book did not permit an intensive investigation of technical
Snow, a pioneer in the investigations of the history of the college
curriculum, has described the important sources for examination of the
courses of study of the past,
.... The only sources from which to study the
collegiate curriculum in the United States, are
the private records of the Trustees and Faculties
of the various colleges, so far as they have been
preserved, supplemented by the catalogs of the
institutions, 'laws and statutes', and 'rules for
the government?, printed reports of committees of
Charles Riborg Mann, A Study of Tftitrinp.prinpr Education. Bulletin No. 11,
1918, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
The Investigation of Engineering Education and Related Activities. 19221933.
Elbert Vaughn Wills, Growth of American wither Education. Liberal.
Professional and Technical.
one body or another, and such diaries and memoirs
as singular students have sometimes occupied their
seemingly abundant leisure in compiling...
In addition, there are many scholarly and official histories of in­
dividual institutions.
For the most part, however, these works are
concerned with affairs of college life other than classroom methods or
The examination of textbooks for the content of education of the
period under investigation is important for two reasons.
Firstly, there
is the necessity of going beyond the statements of courses of instruction
in some documents to reveal the meaning of the academic terms used in
applied science.
Secondly, these textbooks replace data of a detailed
nature on the curricula which cannot now be found.
Textbooks, though not
the ideal means, are a valuable and reliable means for reconstructing the
curricula of the past.
Only those textbooks mentioned in the records, in
official lists and publications of the nine colonial colleges as actually
having been in use, have been made the subject of analysis.
The major sources of data, then are trustees and faculty records,
catalogs, rules and statutes, committee reports, and textbooks.
These data
are supplemented by other contemporary evidence wherever this may be ob­
tained and by corroborated testimony of historians of the colleges.
cannot be asserted that these sources are without certain inherent limita­
Early sources in some instances are meagre and in many cases, the
formal terms (e.g., "useful science", "experimental philosophy","useful
knowledge".) may not indicate what was taught because the narration or
description of the actual conditions of things scholastic does not appear
to have been a conscious objective of some historians and college officers.
Louis Franklin Snow,The College Curriculum in the United States, p. 12.
An attempt has been made to seek out the forces within and without
the various institutions studied which were instrumental in promoting the
growth of technical education.
The social and economic conditions related
to the introduction of applied science into the college curriculum have
also been described.
During each period of the study, the connection bet­
ween the curriculum in technical education and the changing demands of
industrial activities has been pointed out.
.Another definite objective in
the study has been to detail the methods of instruction in the applied
Finally, the influence of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and
the United States Military Academy on the growth of technical education in
the colonial colleges has been described.
The study has been divided into three periods.
In the period 1636
to 1776, the pre-revolutionary character of the institutions is examined.
During this colonial period, the colonies were dependent both politically
and economically upon England, the mother country.
Even in the establish­
ment of these colleges, "we find the transplanting of the English-type
college and English collegiate traditions to the shores of the new world".
In the years after the Revolution, after the establishment of the new
nation, the colonial colleges were reorganized and an attempt was made to
adapt the curriculum to the changed conditions of the country.
The colleges
were feeling cautiously for something better suited than the Oxford curric­
ulum to the new demands made upon them.
The colonies now established as
an independent nation, were thrown upon their own resources.
trade and commerce ha<3 to be built up.
The demand for information to in­
crease production and for education of a practical nature is evident in a
Ellwood P. Cubberley, Public Education in the United States, p. 32.
large number of reports, memorials and petitions presented to legislative
In the latter part of the period 1776-1825, a trend toward uniformity
in the currioula of the nine oolonial colleges is noticeable.
By 1825,
the curriculum was definitely fixed and was made up of four essential divsionsj rhetoric and belle-lettres, the Latin and Greek classics, mathematics
and natural philosophy, moral and mental philosophy*
There were, as will
be pointed out in the study, many instances when the curriculum contained
provisions for the applications of science to agriculture and the useful
Another reason for placing the upper limit of this second period (17761825) at 1825 is because it was in this year that the engineering profession
really began in the United States*
The building of the Erie Canal (1817-
1825) laid the foundations of the profession of civil engineering in this
The development of the technical curriculum coincidental with the
growth of the profession of engineering and engineering praotioe is then
made the subject of the third period of this study.
from 1825 to 1862*
This period extends
From approximately 1825 onward, the college catalogs
contain mention of the courses of study.
This is a further important
reason for beginning the third period at the year 1825.
The catalogs, of
course, contain a detailed account of the college curriculum.
In each of these periods one chapter of the study has been devoted to
an account of the currioulum offerings in science and in applied or tech­
nical science.
Another chapter in each period is concerned with an exam­
ination of the textbooks in use in the colleges under investigation*
examination has for its purpose the definition and description of the
representative academic labels or terms in use in the subject matter of
applied science.
Finally, in each period, a third chapter has been given
over to a description of the social and economic conditions in the oommunity
outside of the colleges.
In this connection an attempt has been made to
show the relation between the industrial growth of the country and the
development of the curriculum in technical education.
The nine institutions selected for study have made a tremendous con­
tribution to almost every phase of American life.
Their leadership in the
development of American education cannot be disputed.
This unique position
makes these institutions significant in this study as well as any study
involving the college curriculum.
The student of the history of education
recognizes the importance of an historical account of the evolution of the
course of study in institutions of higher learning.
The field of higher
education has only recently been made the object of investigation by
educational historians.
Today, when higher education is criticized by
laymen and educators alike, a study of the background of a part of the col­
legiate curriculum and some of the forces that had a part in shaping its
present form seems particularly significant.
Furthermore, the development
described in this investigation is one that has not been adequately or
completely chronicled.
An interpretation of this development by means of
historical data has definite value.
Whenever it has been possible to indicate cause and effect relation­
ships, the effect has first been described and then an attempt has been
made to indicate the cause.
In the interest of uniformity, the seventeenth and eighteenth century
fashions of spelling have been abandoned.
However, the punctuation, and
capitalization of the early documents have been observed.
In some original documents, pages have not always been numbered.
has not been possible, therefore, to give pagination in some footnote
References to these sources have been made as specific as
The investigator has used the recently developed technique of micro—
photography in the collection of data wherever this has been possible.
1656 - 1776
During the Colonial Period the Colonies were
dependent upon the mother country, England, both
economically and politically.
The Colleges founded
during this period were patterned after English models.
The purpose of collegiate education, for the most part,
was to train a succession of learned men for the ministry.
By the middle of the 18th century the emphasis on divinity
waned and the college curriculum became something more than
a preparation for the ministry.
The non-importation agreements stimulated the industry
of the colonies.
While the industrial life of these
colonies was simple and of a domestic nature the necessity
for the development of the mechanic arts was slight.
Harvard College
Information concerning early collegiate curricula is meagre.
first evidence of the Harvard course of study is the Programme of 1642.
This information is derived from the "New England First Fruits".^The order of studies in this document indicates that physics, arith­
metic, geometry, and astronomy were part of the college studies.2
philosophy3, arithmetic, geometry and astronomy are mentioned^, in the
requirements for the second degree
at Harvard.
The programme of studies in 1655, a knowledge of
w h i c h is
the Laws of 1655, remained in force for over thirty years*®
mention mathematics hut there is no reference to physics.^
gained from
These laws
The Laws of 1686
taNew England i'irst Fruits, In Respect of the College, and the proceed­
ings of Learning therein", reproduced in full in Founding of Harvard
College by Samuel Eliot Morison, pp. 432-446. This was, essentially,
the curriculum of Oxford University* Cf. Ellwood P. Cubberley,
Public Education in the United States, p. 31.
Ibid., p. 435.
Physics up to the 18th oentury was called Natural Philosophy in many
Ibid., p. 436.
This was the Master of Arts degree.
A Manuscript copy of the laws of 1655, made in 1683 appears in the
Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol. XIV, pp.
210-211* These laws were still in force, and were superseded by
the laws of 1686*
Copy of the Laws of 1655 with an Introduction by Samuel A. Green, p* 7.
and 1692 say nothing of the course of study for the undergraduates.
The account of President Benjamin Wadsworth of the Programme of
1723^ indicates that natural philosophy, geography, astronomy and math­
ematics consisting of arithmetic and geometry were all taught.
Wadsworth also mentions Charles Morton's Compendium Physicae.
This work
was an introduction to natural science and came into use about 1687.
The Laws of 1754® do not reveal any change in this course of studies
in plan but in substance a change must be noted.
In 1726, Thomas Hollis
addressed a letter to the Corporation of Harvard College expressing his
desire to institute a Professorship of Mathematics and Experimental p
Philosophy which was considered by the Corporation of the College.^
was not until 1728, however, that Isaac Greenwood was installed in that
The rules and orders of this professorship reveal the intent of
the founder, for they were dictated by him.
were also prescribed.
The subjects to be taught
The Hollis Professor was to give instruction in,
This is in President Wadsworth's own handwriting and has been re­
produced in Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts.
Vol. XXI, pp. 455-456.
Samuel Eliot Morison, Harvard College in the 17th Century. Vol. I,
p. 258.
Reproduced in Benjamin pierce, History of Harvard University.
Appendix, p. 128.
Corporation Meeting of April 4, 1726, reprinted in Publications of
the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. Vol. 16, 1925, p. 535.
.... a system of Natural Philosophy, and a
course of Experimental Philosophy, in which
are to be comprehended Pneumaticks, iftrdrostaticks, Hechanicks, Staticks, Optics, etc.;
in the elements of Geometry, together with the
doctrine of Proportions, the Principles of
Algebra, Conick Sections, Plane and Bpherical
Trigonometry, with the general principles of
mensuration, Planes and Solids; in the prin­
ciples of Astronomy and Geography, viz., the
doctrine of Spheres, the use of the Globes, the
motions of the Heavenly Bodies according to the
different hypotheses of Ptolemy, Tycho Brahe, and
Copernicus; with the general principles of
Dialling, the division of the world into its var­
ious kingdoms with the use of maps, etc.-*These statutes provided that the incumbent professor was to lecture
once a week (at least) publicly, to all students that would attend, on
such topics relating to the science of mathematics, natural philosophy or
experimental philosophy as he shall judge "most necessary and useful".
The desire of the founder to establish this professorship on a firm and
independent basis is seen from the provision,
That the said Professor.... while in that
office shall not be a Tutor in any other science,
nor take upon him the Pastoral Office in any
church, nor be obliged to any other attendance
in the college....2
Greenwood was succeeded in 1758 by John Winthrop who occupied the
Hollis professorship for forty years.
Winthrop was one of the most famous
and accomplished scientists in the pre-revolutionary era.
On January 24, 1764, fire destroyed Harvard Hall together with all
its contents consisting of the library and the philosophical apparatus.
The loss was a great one and was described in the Massachusetts Gazette
of February 2, 1764.
This account listed apparatus under headings of
Pierce, o£. cit.. Appendix, p. 97.
mechanics, hydrostatics, pneumatics and optics.
The apparatus consisted
of such items as machines for experiments with falling bodies; apparatus
for experiments to demonstrate centre of gravity, centrifugal forces, the
several mechanical powers; engines; glass models of pumps; syphone; airpump; barometer; instruments for demonstration of the laws of refraction
and the Newtonian theory of light and color.^
If it be assumed that
this apparatus figured in the instruction, then the scope of the natural
philosophy was extensive.
There is nothing to indicate that this instruc­
tion was given a practical bias, in any degree.
However, the surveying
instruments and apparatus for astronomy were extensive.
The College Laws of 1767^ state that natural philosophy, geography,
astronomy and the elements of mathematics were part of the course of
Amendments to these Laws up to 1788 indicate that no appreciable
change was made in this programme.
Theses and disputations were an integral part of the college educa­
tion in the period under investigation.
appeared first in 1653.
The "technological" theses^
This technology was far different from the m odem
The seeming promise held out by these theses for the in­
vestigation of technical education is deceptive.
Technology is defined
in the theses of 1691 (no. 3); "Technologia tradit habitudinero & sedes
Artium" ("Technologia treats of the nature and foundation of the arts".)'*
Again, in 1708, the term is defined, "Technologiae Objeetum est Omnes Ens"
Account in the Massachusetts Gazette reproduced in Pierce, op. cit.f
pp. 282-287.
:ibid.. p. 287.
Reproduced in the Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts.
Vol. XXI, 1935, pp. 347-355.
Morison, op. cit., Vol. II, Appendix B, pp. 589-638.
("The object of Technology is all entity".)'*'.
spoken of as the Encyclopedia of the Arts.
In 1717, Technology is
"Technology is the understand-
ing both of the Arts and of the disciplines".
Another investigator
summarized and integrated these individual meanings into a definition of
technology, "a discussion of the aims, methods, content, and interg
relationship of the arts".
Technologia was, therefore, a philosophical
consideration "of the basic significance of the Arts, the seven liberal
Theses technologicae also appeared at Yale.
At Princeton, where
similar theses were defended, the meaning of "technologia" does not
differ from those already presented.
Since the purpose and significance of early technology are as pointed
out, the theses technologicae need be no further concern of this study.
Although there are several instances in the theses technologicae and
theses mathematicae in which a practical note appears, the evidence is of
fragmentary a nature and subject to so much dispute, due to inter­
pretation of the word "scientia" (general knowledge vs. science or special
Ibid.. p.
161, Appendix Q, p.655.
Ibid.. p.
Edward K.
p. 559.
Rand, New England Quarterly.Vol.VI,No. 3, September, 1933,
Porter G.
Perrin, New England
1934, p. 718. professors Morison, Perrin and Rand have analyzed
the theses technologicae with essentially similar findings.
Ibid.. p. 718.
Rand, op. cit..p. 555.
James J. Walsh, Educationof the
Founding Fathers of theRepublic.
p. 136. The definition oftechnologia at Yale is similar to that
at Harvard.
knowledge), as to be without significance.
One of the theses at Harvard (1689, No. 2) defines Geodesy as
"practical Geometry".^"
"The triangle is the basis of geodetical instru­
ments" (1687, No. 2). These theses suggest that plane surveying was
taught. Morison reproduces a page from Charles Morton's "Compendium
Physicae" (1687) where instructions in boxing the compass are given.
Further, the College library is known to have had several practical trea­
tises on navigation dated in the 17th century.
Since Boston was a
seafaring community, the conclusion that some attention was paid to navi­
gation before 1700 is not without some foundation.
However, there are no
definite data which show that either surveying or navigation were part of
the regular curriculum before 1700. Yet it is known that Yale patterned
its early curriculftm directly after that of Harvard and that surveying
was taught in the Connecticut college soon after its founding.
William and Mary
William and Mary College was established-in 1693 in the fifth year
of the reign of William and Mary.
The charter granted by these sovereigns
gave to the Trustees of the College and their heirs an important office,
.... the office of Surveyor-General of our said
colony of Virginia, if the said office be now
void or whensoever it shall thereafter fall void,
to be had, held and executed, with all its issues,
fees, profits, advantages, conveniences, liberties,
places, privileges and preminences whatsoever,
belonging to the said office, in as ample form and
Morison, Vol. II,
cit., Appendix, p. 619.
Morison, Vol.I, oj>. cit., p. 248.
See below, p.20, 21.
William Walter Hening, Virginia Statutes at Large. Vol. 22, pp. 122,
maimer as any other person, who has
heretofore had, executed, or possessed.
According to the charter, after the college was founded and erected,
this office of.surveyor-general was to be held, forever, by the president
and masters or professors and their successors together with all its
profits and appurtenances as previously mentioned.
It was further stated
in the charter that the trustees, president and masters or professors,
.... for the time being, shall, from time to
time, nominate and substitute such as so many
particular surveyors for the particular counties
of our Colony of Virginia, as our Governor in
Chief and the Council of our said Colony of
Virginia, for the time being, shall think fit
and necessary.2
These provisions constituted a union of the college with the prac­
tical interests of the Colony of Virginia.
However, it does not appear
that this union was realized at once for until about 1712 only the Grammar
School was in operation.
In that year a Professorship of Natural
Philosophy and Mathematics was established.
Nevertheless the possibility
exists that the licensing power was exercised from the beginning.
Charter. Statutes and Transfers of William and Mary College.
Williamsburgh, 1758, p. 57.
Leon G. Tyler, Early Courses and Professors at William and Mary
College, William and Mary College Quarterly. Vol. XIV, So. 7, 1905,
p. 71. Cf. also "Education in Colonial Virginia". William and
Mary College Quarterly. Vol. VI, No. 3, January, 1898, p. 176.
Cf. Further, Galen W. Ewing, "Early Teaching of Science at the
College of William and Mary in Virginia", Bulletin of the College
and Mary. Vol. 32, No. 4, 1938, p. 5. The plan of
organization of the College was patterned directly from the
accepted orderin English Universities. There were three schools,
a Grammar School, a Philosophical School and a Divinity School.
cit., p. 59.
significance of this interaction with the interests and affairs of the
Colony is increased, however, with the presence of a mathematics
professor, who in all likelihood taught surveying.'. That this function
of nominating, certifying, examining surveyors was not mere form or that
it was not allowed to lapse into disuse is seen in the fact that George
Washington was nominated surveyor in 1749,^ and in the provisions of the
Laws of Virginia for May 1779, it is stated,
.... A surveyor shall be appointed in every
county, to be nominated, examined, and certified
able by the president and professors of William and
Mary College, and if of good character, commissioned
by the Govemour, with a reservation in such com­
mission to the said professors, for the use of the
college, of one sixth part of the legal fees which
shall be received by such surveyor, for the yearly
payment of which, he shall give bond, with sufficient
security to the president and masters of the said
Surveyors were also required to file a list of all surveys made each
year with the president and professors of the college.
Similar provisions
may be found in the Statutes of 1783.^
Professor Hugh Jones, who occupied the chair of Natural Philosophy
Mathematics from
1717-1729, advocated that the college should serve,
in essence, as a training school for the public service of the colony.
He suggested an arrangement or establishment according to his own views,
1. See below, p. 16.
2.. Hening, op. ;it., Vol. 10, p. 543. The custom of paying one sixth of
the fees of county surveyors to the college was abolished in 1819,
according to the Statutes of Virginia. Cf. Hening, Code of
Virginia. 1873, p. 710.
5. Hening,
op. cit.. Vol. 10, p. 55.
4. Hening, Statutes, op. cit.. Vol. 11, p. 310.
.... especially if for greater encouragement the
surveyors of each county were to be appointed by
the president and masters, out of such as have taken
a Bachelor of Arts degree there; and if the Governor
and Council were to elect a certain number of Bach­
elors for clerks into the Secretaries office, out of
which clerks attending and writing there at certain
times, the county clerks should be appointed.l
There is no evidence to indicate that this remarkable suggestion
was carried into practice.
Joshua Fry was Professor of Natural Philosophy and Mathematics from
Together with Colonel Peter Jefferson, father of Thomas
Jefferson, Professor Fry surveyed the boundary line of Virginia and
North Carolina.
Thus, it may be seen that Professor Fry was identified
with the practical affairs of the colony.
Whether this was reflected
in hisinstruction cannot be said with any certainty.
The licensing powers of the college authorities provided George
Washington with his first public office.
He received his commission as
a county surveyor in
Adams^ maintains that this commission was
equivalent to a degree in civil engineering. Another investigator makes
the same statement.
There is no evidence, at hand, that can be presented
to prove that such an equivalence was recognized in 1749.
The writers
cited, have doubtless concluded that these early surveyors were, in fact,
Hugh Jones, The Present State of Virginia. London: 1724, Appendix, p. 89.
Autobiography of
Thomas Jefferson. 1743-1790.
Introduction and
by Paul L. Ford, New York: 1914, p. 4. Cf. also, Herbert B. Adams,
The College of william and Marv. Circular of Information, No. 1,
1887, Bureau of Education, p. 36.
Adams, op. cit.. p. 30. Cf. George Washington. Colonial Traveler,
1732-1775, Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis: 1927, edited by John C.
Fitzpatrick, wherein the Culpeper County (Virginia) Records are
reproduced showing that Washington had received a commission as
surveyor from the college.
Adams, op. cit..p. 50.
Charles Coleman, William and Mary College Quarterly, Vol. VIII,
No. 3, January, 1900, pp. 158, 159.
civil engineers because of the similarity of the duties of these colonial
surveyors to those of civil engineers of their own day.
That this is not
an untenable conclusion can be shown by the fact that surveying and map
preparation were an important part of the county surveyors job.
this, however, surveyors of highways were appointed,
.... who shall first lay out ways to the church,
to the court, to James Towne, and from county to
county, and make the said ways forty foot broad, and
make bridges where there is occasion, and the ways
being once thus layed out, and the bridges made they
shall cause the said ways to be kept clear from logs,
and the bridges in good repair that all his majesties
subjects may have free and safe passage about their
This evidence, concerning the powers to license and examine surveyors
and the
exercise thereof, has not been presented in an effort to advance
the belief that technical
education was a conscious part of theoriginal
design of the college or, as such, appeared so early in the program of the
Certainly, however, the latter condition was approached.
union of the college with the practical affairs of the Colony of Virginia
is, nevertheless, undeniable.
In regard to the original design of the institution, it can be stated
that the object of founding colleges in Virginia as well as in New England
was to provide a seminary for training ministers of the gospel.
The Statutes of 1756 of William and Mary College do not give a
definite idea of the program of studies.
The laws contain the following
significant statement,
Hening, Statutes* Vol. 2, pp. 102, 103.
See below, p. 106.
Charter of William and Mary College, op. cit., p. 5j Cf. also, (for
Harvard) New England First Fruits, reproduced in S. E. Morison.
Founding of Harvard College, p. 432 and Thomas Clap (for Tale)
BaHprimig Constitutions of Colleges, pp. 7, 12, 15.
Forasmuch as we see now dally a farther
Progress in Philosophy, than could be made by
Aristotle*s Logie and Physios, which reigned so
long alone in the Schools, and shut out all
others; therefore, we leave it to the President
and Masters, by the Advice of the Chancellor, to
teaoh what systems of Logic, Physics, Ethics, and
Mathematics, they think fit in their Schools...
The faoulty need no longer be bound by the scholasticism of times
past or by the peripatetic physics of Aristotle.
liberal system was made possible.
The adoption of a more
The Statutes of 1758 do not reveal that
the rigid system which permitted little deviation was breaking down.
These laws state that there was to be,
One master to teach Hhetoric, Logic and Ethics.
The other Physics, Metaphysics and Mathematics.^
An entry in the Faculty Minutes of 1758 indicates, however, that
William Small was elected Professor of Natural Philosophy and Mathematics
in 1758.®
With his coming, natural science came into its own.
friend of James Watt and Erasmus Darwin.
He was a
That Professor Small (1758-
1764) must have been a great man may be seen from the following quotation
from Thomas Jefferson’s autobiography.
Jefferson, a student of Professor
Small, wrote,
It was my great good fortune, and what
probably fixed the destinies of my life that Dr.
William Small of Scotland was then professor of
mathematics, a man profound in most of the useful
branches of science, with a happy talent of com­
munication, oorrect and gentlemanly manners, and
an enlarged and liberal m i n d . . . .4
William and Mary College Quarterly, Vol. XXII, No. 4, April, 1914,
p. 289.
William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. XVI, No. 4, April, 1908, p. 248.
Minutes of the Faculty, William and Mary College Quarterly, Vol. Ill,
No. 1, July, 1894, p. 62.
Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, op. cit., pp. 5, 6.
Professor Small left a lasting impression on the college by the
introduction of the lecture system and by his work in natural philosophy.
The Trustees in the meeting of May 2, 1770 defined the plan of study
of the college,
.... the college is not designed to be the
sole Place of Resort for Education in the Colony,
but the best place for training up youth, who are
intended to be qualified for any of the three
learned Professions; or to become Gentlemen, and
accomplished Citizens in a regular Course of Study.
That the Plan, or method for this regular
Progress in study hitherto approved of in the most
famous universities as well as in the Statutes of
William and Mary College, consists in the Pursuit,
first of Classical Knowledge; secondly, of philos­
ophy# Natural and Moral; and lastly of such
sciences as are to become the Business of the
Students during the Remainder of their lives.
This is a statement of policy and is accompanied by no details.
is no basis, therefore, upon which an adequate interpretation of this plan
might rest.
Whether the College was empowered to license surveyors becausd it
would be provided with a source of income or because it was believed that
the varied difficulties encountered with and existing among surveyors
before the establishment of the College,
would be eliminated is not
Yet this power was an important factor in the growth of the Col­
lege and caused it to have a close connection with the practical affairs
of the colony.
Leon G. lyier, oj>. cit.. p. 75;
Galen Ewing,
cit.. p. 7.
Reproduced in William and Mary College Quarterly. Vol. XIII# No. 3,
January, 1905, p. 152.
Hening, Statutes, op. cit.. Vol. 1, p. 518; Vol. 2, pp. 102, 235.
An. Act of the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut of
October 9, 1701 granted full liberty to a group of petitioners to found
and erect a collegiate school.
These petitioners, a group of ministers,
were desirous of upholding and propagating the religion of the colony by
a succession of learned and orthodox men in the ministry.
The college was
to be a school wherein youth were to be instructed in
the Arts and Sciences who through the blessing of
God may be fitted for Public employment both in
Church and State3
Snow^ states that Yale owed its policy and methods and continued
existence to Harvard for nearly half a century.
The curriculum was cer­
tainly patterned closely after that of the older institution.
Trustees of Yale, on November 11, 1701, resolved,
That the Rector or Tutors until the Trustees
do otherwise farther provide shall make use of the
orders and institutions of Harvard College for the
Instructing and Ruling of the Collegiate school so
far as he or they shall judge them suitable and
wherein we have not at this present meeting made
Accordingly, besides the Latin and Greek languages, some instruction
was given in mathematics and surveying.
Rector Abraham Pierson was in use.
In physics, the textbook of
Charter. Legislative Acts. By-Laws and Other Official Documents of
Yale tittlverslty. 1915, p. 7.
Thomas Clap, Annals of Yale College, p. 7.
Charter. Legislative Acts. By-Laws and Other Official Documents of
Yale College, op. cit..' p. 7.
Snow, o£. cit.. p. 57.
Proceedings of the Trustees, November 11, 1701, reproduced in Franklin
B. Dexter, Documentary History of Yale University, p. 32.
The emphasis on divinity did not preclude the introduction of other
Moreover, not all graduates entered the ministry.'*'
that such courses as did not contribute directly toward this end
of training for the ministry were valued as aids to discipline.
ing the mind, "not expanding or broadening it, was the ideal of contemporary
Samuel Johnson, first President of Kings College and a graduate of
Yale in 1714, writes in his autobiography that common arithmetic and a
little surveying were the ne plus ultra of mathematical requirements.
letter from a classmate of Dr. Johnson to President Ezra Stiles of Yale
confirms the fact that but little more than the rudiments of mathematics
were studied.
The early Laws of Yale College were not printed but were copied by
each student upon entrance.
A copy of the laws made in 1726 by one of
the students reveals that in the second year logic and Greek and Hebrew'
were studiedj the third year was devoted principally to physicsj and the
fourth year was occupied in metaphysics and mathematics besides the
further study of languages.**
Kingsley, describes this programme as an
Franklin B. Dexter, Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale
Collcgg and Annals of College History.
Alexander Cowie, Educational Problems at Yale in the 18th Century.
Tercentenary Commission State of Connecticut, Committee on
Historical Documents, p. 11.
Herbert and Carol Schneider, Samuel Johnson. President of Kings
College. Vol. I, p. 6.
Letter of Benjamin Lord to President Stiles, May 28, 1779, written in
reply to President Stiles' inquiry concerning the subjects studied
by Lord when a student. Reproduced in Dexter, Annals, Vol. 1,
op. cit., pp. 115-116.
Dexter, Annals. Vol. 1, op. cit., p. .49.
reproduced in their entirety.
This copy of the laws is
22nenlarged curriciilum of academic studies
In 1754, th4 college was provided with a considerable gift in the
form of philosophical apparatus consisting of a complete set of surveying
instruments, a microscope, a barometer nand other mathematical instruc
ments" in addition to books in mathematics.
As far as the manuscript laws of 1745
and the contemporary College
Laws issued in printed form in 1748, 1759, 1764 go to show^ few changes
were made in the curriculum during this period.
The science and math­
ematics in the course of study reconstructed from these laws consisted of
geometry, geography, natural philosophy, astronomy, "and the other
Branches of the Mathematics".
From a contemporary account of the college and its method of instruc­
tion written by President Thomas Clap (1739-1766) we gain a more complete
knowledge of the educational programme as it existed in 1765.
.... In the first year, they learn Hebrew; and
principally pursue the study of the Languages,
and make a Beginning in Logic, and some Parts of
the Mathematics. In the second year, they study
the Languages; but principally recite Logic,
Rhetoric, Oratory, Geography and Natural Philosophy;
and some of them make good Proficiency in Trigon­
ometry and Algebra. In the third year, they still
pursue the study of Natural Philosophy; and roost
Branches of the Mathematics: Many of them well under­
stand Surveying, Navigation and the Calculation of
some of them are considerable Proficients
in Conic Sections and Fluxions. In the fourth year they
principally study and recite Metaphysics, Ethics and
William L. KingBley, Yale College. £ Sketch of Its History. Vol. I,
pp. 56-57.
Dexter, Annals, Vol. I, op. cit.. p. 521.
Kingsley, pp. cit.. p. 62.
£bid., Vol. 2, p. 5.
Laws of 1748. p. 5; Laws of 1759. p. 5; Laws of 1764. p. 5.
Thomas.Clap, finnals of Yale College. Appendix, p. 81.
Titus, the study of mathematics was somewhat extended toward the end
of this period.
More time was devoted to the study of
science. The
science and mathematics of the years 1745, 1748, 1759, 1764 were limited
almost exclusively to the third year.
While there is no evidence to indicate that the emphasis on divinity
was materially decreased, an expansion of the scope of the curriculum is
This expansion is a significant one.
Witness the statement of
President Clap,
The principal Design of the Institution of this
College, was to educate Persons for the work of the
Ministry; .... Yet inasmuch as more have been educated,
than are necessary for the immediate service of the
Churches, and are designed for various other public
and important stations in civil life; the President
therefore frequently makes public Dissertations upon
every Subject necessary to be understood, to qualify
young Gentlemen for those Stations and Employments;
such as.... Agriculture, Commerce, Navigation, with
some general sketches upon physick, Anatomy, Heraldry
and Gunnery, so far as it falls under the Rules of
Philosphy and Mathematics; that to every one educated
here might have, at least, a general and superficial
knowledge of every important affair of life....l
There is shown a tendency to train for positions other than the
In all likelihood, however, these lectures were subsidiary to
the mainline of instruction and represented
an exploitation of the
favorite pursuits of President Clap.
Douglas describes President Clap,
This is an ingenious gentleman, mathematically
learned; at this time, 1750, contriving some
other improvements in Astronomical
Calculations. Many of the students are expert in
Astronomical Calculations from the solid good
tuition of the worthy, Mr. Clap, a credit to the
Again, Holmes states,
Ibid.. p. 84.
William Douglas, Historical and Political Summary of New Tijng l and t
Boston: 1753, p. l66.
He was a man of extensive and profound
learning, in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy
he was surpassed by few, if any, of his contempor­
aries in this country. He constructed the first
orrery or planetarium, made in America. His labors
and services in the Presidency were very extensive
and important, as well as indefatigable.^
That President Clap was equalled by few men in mathematics and
natural philosophy, is also the opinion of Ezra Stiles.
President Clap is known to have been the author of several treatises
on scientific subjects.
These have been lost or destroyed.
That his
knowledge of scientific affairs sometimes assumed a very practical character may be seen from, a contemporary work on agriculture.
In this
treatise, President Clap is reported to have improved an invention of a
wheat drill.
This device was an elaborate affair and was brought to Yale
by Eliot for the President's opinion.
Thus, the public lectures on
agriculture, commerce, navigation, etc., of Rector Clap which he described
in his Annals, may have had a very practical bias.
In 1771, the Trustees of Yale voted to found a Professorship of
Mathematics and Natural Philosophy.
With Nehemiah Strong as professor,
the senior class was directed to attend four times a week for instruction.
The Statutes of Yale College for 1774 do not alter the course of
study as printed in the Laws of 1764, to any significant extent.
American Annals.
Abiel Holmes,
Vol. 2, p. 281.
Abiel Holmes, Life of Ezra Stiles. Bostons 1798, Appendix, p.395.
Stiles was a tutor under President Clap. Holmes has given a sum­
mary of Stiles' characterization of Clap in this work.
Jared Eliot, Essays on Field Husbandry, p. 116.
Trustees Minutes. Meeting of October 16, 1771, Vol. I, p. 191.
Ibid.. p. 195.
Laws of Yale College. 1774, p. 7.
mere statement of the course of study may not tell the whole stody.
will be remembered that the actual programme of instruction as indicated
in the Annals for 1765 was considerably broader than the statement of the
programme in the Statutes of
The College of New Jersey
The first charter was granted to this collegiate society in 1746.
Another was granted in
1748 and the College of New Jersey existed as a
legal corporation from that year.
Little is known of the curriculum
during these early ydars of the college's existence.
Indeed, very little
is known of the curriculum until after the administration of president
Aaron Burr (1757); at least, official statements are lacking.
It has
been said that the early curriculum of the College of New Jersey was most
likely patterned after that of Harvard and Yale.
The College Laws of 1748, compiled by Aaron
the curriculum.
Burr, have no data on
Fortunately, however, a brief but contemporary account
of the studies under President Burr is found in the letters of Joseph
Shippen to his father, Judge Edward Shippen.^
From these letters written
1750, 1751, 1752 it appears that astronomy, natural philosophy
Laws of Yale College. 1774, p. 7.
Throughout the entire period under investigation in this study,
Princeton University was known as the College of New Jersey,
The change to the corporate title of Princeton University occurred
October 22, 1896.
Snow, pp. cit., pp. 38, 39. This isconfirmed
by Varnum L.Collins,
Princeton, p. 296 and by John MacLean,History of the College of
New Jersey. Vol. i, p. 140.
MacLean, op. cit.. pp. 140-142.
Snow, op. cit.. pp. 38-39.
Collins, op. cit.. p. 296.
Walsh, pp. cit., pp. 154-156.
(Benjamin Martin's textbook), geography, mathematics and navigation were
This latter subject does not appear to have been part of the
regular programme but rather an optional subject.
An account of the college published in 1754, does not give a definite
or detailed description.of the subjects taught.
The aim of training for
the ministry is emphasized and divinity is described as nthe Mistress of
the Sciences".^
The first official statement of the curriculum is contained in an
account, prepared by Samuel Blair and printed in
1764 by order of the
From this document it appears that the freshman year was given
over completely to the study of the Latin and Greek languages.
In the
sophomore year, geography, mathematics, logic and rhetoric were added to
the languages.
Natural and moral philosophy, mathematics, chronology,
metaphysics were the concern of the junior year.
devoted entirely to reviews and composition.^
The senior year was
These extracts show the
course of instruction during the Presidency of Smauel Finley (1761-1766).
At a meeting of the Trustees on October 2, 1767, the members present
proceeded to the consideration of the choice of a faculty to consist of
professors "in the most necessary branches of education".®
ships of Divinity and Moral Philosophy, Mathematics and Natural Philosophy,
Languages and Logic were authorized but only the Divinity chair was filled
at this time.
When funds were available to support the other professor-
A General Acoount of the Rise and State of the College of New Jersey
— lately Established in the Province of New Jersey. London: 1754,
p. 5.
Account of the flollege of New Jersey.
Trustees, pp. 25, 24.
Trustees Minutes. Vol. I, p. 135.
Published by Order of the
ships, the men elected in this meeting, were to be calledupon to
thefaculty.'*’ It was not until the Annual meeting of 1771 thatfurther
action on the Professorship of Mathematics and Natural philosophy was
The Trustees resumed consideration of the measure for establish­
ing a faculty and
.... Conceiving it to be expedient that a
mathematical Professor is most immediately
requisite, be now chosen in Place of one of
the Tutors, proceeded to the election of a
Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy,
when William Ch. Houston .... was declared to
be unanimously elected to that office.^
Professor Houston discharged the duties of this office for twelve years.
John Witherspoon, of Glasgow, became president of the college in
August, 1768.
On behalf of the college, Dr. Witherspoon, addressed an
appeal to the inhabitants of Jamaica and other "West India" islands.
regular course of instruction is contained in this document dated 1772,
The regular course of instruction is in
four classes, exactly after the manner and bearing
the names of the classes in the English Universities;
Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior. In the first
year they read Latin and Greek, with the Roman and
Grecian antiquities, and Rhetoric. In the second,
continuing the study of the languages, they learn a
complete system of Geography, with the use of the
globes, the first principles of Philosophy, and the
elements of mathematical knowledge. The third,
though the languages are not wholly omitted, is chiefly
employed in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. And
the senior year is employed in reading the higher
classics, proceeding in the Mathematics and Natural
Ibid.. p. 138.
Ibid.. p. 181.
William A. Dod, History of the r.nliage of New Jersey. 1 746-1783,
p. 30; MacLean, og. cit.. Vol. I, p. 387.
philosophy, and. going through a course of
Moral Philosophy....^
This curriculum is distinctly stronger and more cultural than any
previous one.
There is, of course, no reference to the application of
mathematics and natural philosophy to the practical affairs of the
Surveying is not mentioned.
If it was taught, it was probably
taught as part of the mathematics course.
The College of Philadelphia^
Benjamin Franklin, In 1749, wrote his famous essay, "Proposals
relative to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania".
circulated and attracted considerable attention.
This work was widely
Indeed, influential
citizens of Pennsylvania determined to carry these proposals into effect
and organized themselves as Trustees of such an institution.
Trustees drew up a set of regulations for the government of
the institu­
tion and on November 13, 1749 signed the "Constitution of the Public
Academy in the City of Philadelphia".^
The Academy flourished and the Trustees applied to the Proprietors
of the Province of Pennsylvania for a charter.
This was granted and the
institution was incorporated, July 13, 1753 as, "The Academy and Charitable
Address to the inhabitants of Jamaica on Behalf of the College of
New Jersey, by John Witherspoon in 1772, pp. J.5, 16.
The corporate title of University of Pennsylvania was authorized by
Act of the Assembly of Pennsylvania on September 30, 1791.
George B. Wood, History of the University of Pennsylvania from its
Origin to the Year 1827. p. 8.
Frances N. Thorpe, Beniamin Rranklin and the university of Pennsylvania,
Bureau of Education, Circular ofInformation, No. 2, 1892, pp. 40,
41, 95.
Wood, op. cit.. p. 9j Thorpe, op, cit., pp. 63-67 (for a reproduction
of the constitution).
School in the province of Pennsylvania". "*■
The Trustees were granted an additional charter on May 14, 1755
further changing the scope and title of the institution.
Thus the
Academy and Charitable School became "The College, Academy, Charitable
School of Philadelphia, in the Province of Pennsylvania".
This addition­
al charter authorized the granting of degrees and the appointment of
professors in the various branches of the arts and sciences.
Academy was not discontinued but the graduates were provided with further
education in philosophy and science in the College.
Franklin*s "Proposals" contain a description of the programme of
studies to be followed in the Academy which was proposed therein.
Constitution of the Academy (founded as a result of this essay and the
influence of Franklin) also has an outline-of the course of study in
general terms.
Both of these plans of education have as an objective, education for
The "Proposals" provide,
.... as to their studies, it would be well if they
were taught everything that is useful, and everything
that is ornamental: But Art is long and their Time
is short. It is therefore proposed that they learn
those things that are likely to be most useful and
most ornamental, Regard being had to the„several
Professions for which they are intended.
The programme indicated in the Constitution included the Latin and
Greek languages, English, the most useful "living foreign languages",
Thorpe, op. cit.. pp. 68-70, William Smith, Discourses on Public
Occasions in America. 1762, Appendix Second, No. 2, p. 110.
Thorpe, op. cit.. pp. 71-77;
Smith, pp. cit.. Appendix Second, No. 2, p. 111.
Benjamin Franklin, Proposals for the Education of Youth in Pannsylvania, facsimile reprint issue of the William L. Clements Library,
Ann Arbor, Michigan: March, 1927, p. 11.
history, geography, chronology, logic, rhetoric, writing, arithmetic,
algebra, the several branches of mathematics, natural and mechanical
philosophy, drawing in perspective, and "every useful part of learning
and knowledge".^
The advertisement which appeared in the Pennsylvania
Gazette, of December 11, 1750 contained this same outline but also in­
cluded the study of merchant’s accounts, surveying, gauging, navigation,
and astronomy in addition.
Theophilus Grew, who was later made Professor of Mathematics, is
mentioned in the Trustees Minutes as Master in arithmetic, astronomy,
With this knowledge and with the continued interest of Franklin
in the institution, it is reasonable to assume that this very practical
education for citizenship was carried into prac^:e.
Although these documents pertain to the Academy founded in 1750
which was. essentially a secondary school, they are important because they
indicate the basis upon which the Academy was founded.
It was this
Academy which was enlarged and expanded into the University of Pennsylvania
under the influence of Franklin.
The utilitarian ideas of Franklin
appear frequently throughout his writings and are well known.
When the question of establishing a college in the Province of New
York was being discussed, an essay, "A General Idea of the College of
Mirania" appeared.^
This essay was addressed to the Trustees nominated
by the Legislature to receive proposals relating to the establishment of
Thorpe, o£. cit.. p. 69.
Thomas H. Montgomery, Jl History of the University of Pennsylvania .
from its Foundation to A. D. 1770. p. 139.
Trustees1 Minutes. Vol. I, p. 7j and p. 55.
In 1753.
a college in New York.
This extraordinary document is a comprehensive
plan of a college course and sets forth a new ideal or objective for the
college, namely, education for citizenship.
Since this document has a very direct bearing on the development
under discussion and the history of higher education in general, it will
not be improper to quote at length from it.
With regard to learning the Miranians^ divide
the whole body of people into two grand classes.
The first consists of those designed for the learned
professions by which they understand divinity, law,
physic and the chief offices of state. The second
class are those designed for the mechanic professions,
and all the remaining people of the country.
Such a division is absolutely necessary for,
if the shortest way of forming youth to act in their
proper spheres as good men and good citizens ought
always to be the object of Education, these two
classes should be educated on a very different
plan ....
Any scheme then, that either proposes to teach
both these grand classes after the same manner or
is wholly calculated for one of them without re­
garding the other, must be very defective. And yet
so it is, that colleges are almost universally cal­
culated for the first class; while a collegiate
school for breeding Mechanics is rarely to be met
These considerations give rise to what is called
the Mechanic's School in this Seminary [College of
Mirania], It might, however, as well have been called
a distinct college, for it is in no way connected with
what is called the college, (by way of distinction)
than by being under the Inspection of the same Trustees
and the Government of the same head.... Most of the
Branches of Science taught in the College are taught
in this school but they are taught without languages
and in a more compendious manner.... This school is so
much like the English School in Philadelphia, firsts
sketched out by the very ingenious Mr. Franklin ....
Miranians were the inhabitants of the imaginary Mirania.
This implies a familiarity with that scheme which was presented to
the Trustees of the Academy by Franklin.
.... In this school, nine years complete the
Mechanic's Education; proportionable to which there
are nine Forms or classes. In the three lowest,
English is taught grammatically, and as a language
with writing. In the six higher classes, English
and Writing are continued, at the same time that
Accounts, Mathematics, Ethics, Oratory, Chronology,
History, the most plain and useful parts of natural
and mechanic philosophy, are taught; to which is
added something of Husbandry and Chemistry
This roust have been an extraordinary proposal in its day.
The prin­
cipal design of colleges, up to this time, had been preparation for the
Here, however, an institution under collegiate control and
guidance was proposed which did not stress the study of the learned lan­
guages and whose objective was to train its students for citizenship and
for pursuits directly connected with the social, economic and practical
affairs of the community or province.
Although the "Mechanics School" did
not find expression in the University of Pennsylvania as did the college
plan, the college plan of this pamphlet resembles the "Mechanics School"
very closely in its aim to train for citizenship
and, to a lesser degree,
in economic, social and practical affairs.
A Latin preparatory school was also set up in this scheme of educaO
tion in Mirania.
The graduates of this Latin School were to be admitted
to the first class of the college.
In this class,3
the Greek language,
arithmetic, merchants accounts, algebra and geometry are studied.
In the
second class,^ algebra and geometry are continued, astronomy, chronology,
navigation and the "other most useful Branches of the Mathematics",
a small Space of Time" serves for logic and metaphysics.
William Smith, A General Idea of the College of Mirania. pp. 13-16.
In season, "when the Weather permits, this Class is exercised in
praotical Geometry; in surveying lands, Waters; and in plotting and orna­
menting the Maps of such Surveys".
The third class'*’ studies ethics and physics, including, under the
latter, natural history, mechanic and experimental philosophy for which
apparatus was to be available.
Writing and speaking are the business of the fourth class.^
studies of this class are rhetoric and poetry "from which arise Criticism
and Composition".
The study of agriculture and history are the concern of the fifth
The structure of plants, animal anatomy, food, health and the
mineral wealth of the earth are studied.
Illustrations with chemical and
statical experiments supplement this plan of studies.
The agriculture to
be studied was of a very practical nature,
The Theory of Vegetation once explained,
and tolerably understood; what remains in the Study
of Husbandry is not very difficult. For after ob­
taining a good Insight into the vegetable Economy,
the Quality of Soils, etc., by the Analysis of
Plants, Fossils and Air, the Xouth are enabled to
judge what Effect every Manure will have on every
Soil; what is the proper Manner of preparing the
Ground for the Seeds; and what Seed or Plant should
be assigned each natural Earth. In this chiefly
consists the Husbandman's Art....4
The study of history concluded the studies in the fifth class and thus
the college programme.
The author of this pamphlet was William Smith, later Provost of the
University of Pennsylvania.^
The opportunity to put these theories of
education into practice was, therefore, provided in Philadelphia and not
in New York.
Benjamin Franklin had received a copy of this work in 1753.
Franklin was in sympathy with the author's ideas on education and when Dr.
Samuel Johnson declined the invitation to become Provost of the University,
this post was offered to him.
The College of Mirania existed only on paper and in the mind of
William Smith.
The value of the sketch of its general character would be
materially lessened if the ideas expressed therein were not carried into
On April 15, 1756, the Trustees agreed that a "Scheme of liberal
education" offered by the Faculty [for approval] should be tried for three
years and that the Provost, Mr.
Smith, publish the same to obtain the
criticism of "Persons of learning and experience".
This 1756 programme remained essentially unchanged up to the Revolu4
tion. Snow, says that this course of study bears many points of resem­
blance to the plan of the College of Mirania.
Foster is the authority for
the statement,
This course of study is virtually the Miranian
Plan adapted to the practical requirements of a
three year course.®
Elected by the Trustees in March, 1755.
p. 49.
Thorpe, op. cit.. p. 143.
Trustees* Minutes. Vol. I, p. 68.
Trustees* Minutes. Vol. I,
Letter to William Smith from Franklin.
ext., p. 67.
William T. Foster, arininiatration of the College Curriculum, p. 29.
Finally, William Smith says in his preface to the second edition of the
.... it contains a pretty exact representation
of what the author is now trying to realize in
the seminary over which he has the honor to
As outlined by Provost Smith^ the course of studies in the Philosophy
Schools® consisted, in the first year of algebra, arithmetic and geometry
besides the study of languages and rhetoric.
Surveying, navigation,
dialling, architecture with fortifications were part of the second year
course with a beginning in natural philosophy with the mechanic powers,
hydrostatics, pneumatics.
In the third year, the studies included optics,
color and light in natural philosophy, chemistry, chemistry of agricul'S
ture and of fossils, natural history of vegetables and animals and an
introduction to trade and commerce.
Supplementing these studies of prac­
tical bias were history, ethics, latin. and greek, law and government,
logic, English and composition.
Provost Smith evaluated this program,
Thus we see that this institution is placed
on a most enlarged bottom, being one great Collec­
tion of Schools, under a general government; in
which all the branches and species of education
are carried on that can be conceived necessary for
any community, whether in the learned Professions,
in Merchandize, in the mechanic Arts, or inferior
The limit of three years for the college course undoubtedly deprived
the 1756 programme of much detail contained in the Mirania Sketch for
Smith, Discourses, op. cit.. Appendix Second, No, 1, p. 2.
printed in 1762.
This was
Smith, Discourses, op. cit.. i&ppendix Second, No. 2, pp. 116, 117.
The Moral, Natural and Instrumental philosophies. There was also a
Latin and Greek School at this time. Only those subjects having a
bearing on the topic are presented here.
Smith, Discourses, op. cit.. Appendix Second, No. 2, pp. 122, 123.
Provost Smith himself agreed that a longer period appeared necessary.'*'
Montgomery points out a resemblance of this programme to that of the
revised schedule of studies at Kings College, Aberdeen in Scotland, where
William Smith had studied.
Whether he obtained a copy of the new regula­
tions when in Europe in 1753 is difficult to prove.
Whatever the source
of the Miranian essay and the programme of 1756 which embodied many
features of it, the plan of 1756 is the
first complete curriculum for a
Science applied to practical affairs, to agriculture, to
architecture and fortifications; and the mechanic arts are given large
place, particularly in a day when divinity and classical languages held
In the plan of 1756 there is a complete absence of any special em­
phasis on theology and training for the ministry.
The stress on utilitarian
needs subordinated this time honored aim and while the classical languages
were taught, they were not the backbone of the curriculum.
We have Provost Smith's own authority for saying that his scheme did
not exist merely on paper but that it was faithfully carried out in its
details during the whole period of his connection with the College.
Kings College
The legal existence of King^ College dates from October 31, 1754 when
the Royal Charter was granted.
The religious purpose, dominant in colleggs
like yale, Princeton and Harvard, is prominent here but it is not all
Ibid.. p. 121.
0£. cit.. p. 234.
Smith, pisoourse8. op. cit.. Appendix Second, No. 1, p. 2; and Horace
W. Smith, T.lfe pnd Correspondence of the Reverend William Smith.
Vol. 1, p. 125.
The college opened in July, 1754 with Dr. Samuel Johnson as its
presiding officer.
Benjamin Franklin had made overtures to Dr. Johnson
to head the College of Philadelphia.^*
He declined this post and accepted
the appointment at Kingfe College which was made by the Trustees nominated
by the Assembly of the Province.
On the advice of these Trustees, an
advertisement was prepared by Dr. Johnson and appeared in the New York
Mercury, of Monday, June 3, 1754, addressed to the parents of children
prepared to be educated in the College of New York.
From this advertisement the proposed curriculum of the college may
be learned,
.... it is the further Design of this College,
to instruct and perfect the Youth in the learned
Languages, and in the Arts of Reasoning exactly,
of Writing correctly, and Speaking eloquently;
and in the Arts of Numbering and Measuring, of
Surveying and Navigation, of Geography and History,
of Husbandry, Commerce and Government; and in the
knowledge of all Nature in the Heavens above us,
and in the Air, Water and Earth around us, and
the various Kinds of Meteors, Stones, Mines and
Minerals, Plants and Animals, and of everything
useful for the Comfort, the Convenience, and
Elegance of Life, in the chief Manufactures relat­
ing to any of these Things....2
This proposed programme of studies claimed "the entire field of the
technological and of the non-professional schools of the modern university".
One history of Columbia University states that it goes without saying that
the greater part of this field remained untilled.
E. Edwards Beardsley, Life and Correspondence of Samuel Johnson,
p. 157 et seq. for correspondence between Franklin and Johnson.
Columbia Literary Monthly. Vol. 1-2, 1893-1894, April, 1894, pp. 335.
Cf. also Snow, op. cit., p. 57.
History of Columbia University. 1754-1904, p. 205.
The source of this programme is difficult to establish*
undoubtedly, received a copy of the College of Mirania Sketch.
Dr. Johnson,
He, like­
wise, was familiar with Benjamin Franklin's utilitarian ideas on education.
He corresponded with Franklin on forming a scheme of education and was,
as stated above, urged to take the presidency of the College of Philadelphia.
Yet in his work "Elementa Philosophica", he discusses his views on educa­
In this essay, which in one edition (1754) was printed by Franklin
and edited by the Beverend William Smith, the very practical and util­
itarian ideal expressed in the advertisement is not to be found.^
The Laws of 1755, adopted on June 3, 1755, gives the first official
statement of the curriculum.
The Latin and Greek classics, rhetoric,
geography, chronology and Hebrew are listed in the first year.
business of the second and third years is listed as,
.... after a small System of Logic to study
the Mathematics and the Mathematical and Experi­
mental Philosophy in all the several branches of it,
with Agriculture and Merchandize, together with
something of the classics and criticism all the
The fourth year is devoted to studies of metaphysics, logic, moral philos­
ophy with "something of criticism and the chief Principles of Law and
Government to-gether with History Sacred and Profane".3
This curriculum was narrower in scope than the plan of the advertiser
ment announcing the opening of the college.
Yet something of the tendency
to include science and its applications to the life of the community is in
Carol Schneider, op. cit.. Vol. II, Chapter VI, for the
entire essay.
Minutes of theGovernors of the College of the Province of Hew lark in
the City of jgew York in America. Meeting of June 3, 1755.
Ibid.. Meeting of June 3, 1755.
evidence as well as the absence of divinity as a dominant aim.
The Trustees, heard the report of the Committee "to Visit and
Overlook" the College, in the meeting of November 8, 1757.
On the recom­
mendation of this committee, the Trustees appointed Daniel Treadwell to
instruct in mathematics and natural philosophy.^
The Plan of Education of 1763 superseded that of 1755.
plan shows a narrowing of the curriculum.
classical languages, logic and metapbysics.
This later
This plan lists only the
Yet there must have been a
wider programme in practice for Robert Harpur, who had succeeded Daniel
Treadwell as Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, is mentioned
in the Trustees Minutes up to the meeting of February 6, 1767, when his
resignation was received.
In the meeting of March SO, 1770, Samuel Bard
was appointed "Professor of Chymistry".
This appointment was in connec­
tion with Medical instruction, however.
The Minutes of the period from
March SO, 1770 to the closing of King's College due to the Revolutionary
War are lost.
It is, therefor^
almost impossible to detail the curric­
ulum further and to attempt to show that the published or printed plan
does not give a complete account of the course of study pursued.
College of
Rhode Island
In the Charter, granted in 1764, the following statement may be
Ibid.. Meeting of November 8, 1757.
Snow, op. cit.. pp. 58, 59. Cf. also, History of Columbia University
1754-1904. op. cit., pp. 450, 451.
Ibid.. Meeting of March 1, 1763 (The plan of 1763 was adopted in this
meeting), Meeting of January 5, 176S and Meeting of February 6, 1767.
In 1804, the College of Rhode Island became Brown University.
.... Institutions for liberal Education
are highly beneficial to Society, by forming
the rising Generation to Virtue Knowledge and
useful Literature and thus preserving in the
Community a Succession of men duly qualify'd
for discharging the Offices of Life with use­
fulness and reputation they have therefore
justly merited and received the attention and
Encouragement of every wise and well regulated
State ,.«««^*
The General Assembly of the Governor and Company of the Colony held
in February 1764 believed that the erection of a college for such a pur­
pose as stated in the extract just quoted, would be for the general ad­
vantage and honor of the Government of the Colony.
The learned and
vernacular languages, the liberal arts and sciences were to be taught
according to the charter.2
Notably absent in the charter, is the tradi­
tional emphasis on divinity and training for the ministry.
Little is known of the early curriculum of the College of Rhode
Island before the Revolutionary War.
The first president of the institu­
tion, James Manning, was educated at the College of New Jersey.
assumption that the course of study in this college was a reproduction of
the New Jersey programme in Manning*s day is made by historians.®
The first definite official statement of the academic exercises is
found in the Laws of 1783, although Bronson^ gives a brief, incomplete
account of them about the year 1770.
This account is derived from a
memorandum of a student of the class of 1773.
There is no radical depar­
ture from the usual offering of Latin and Greek, mathematics and natural
The Charter of Brown university. Granted 1764, Providence: H. H. Brown,
1834, pp. 3, 4.
Charter, op. cit., p. 4.
Walter C. Bronson, History of Brown University. 1764-1914. p. 101.
This is verified, by Snow, op. cit.. p. 108 and by James J. Walsh,
op. cit.. p. 254.
Bronson, op. cit., p. 102.
The paper did not include the studies of the senior year.
David Howell was Professor of Natural philosophy from 1769-1779
corroborating the fact that natural philosophy was taught before the
Queenfe College*2
It was out of a demand for an educated ministry for the Dutch
Reformed Church in America, that the movement to establish Queens College
Although the institution was chartered in
1766, the College was not
opened until November, 1771.4
What the curriculum was when
the College opened is
Queens programme conformed to the course of studies at the College of
New Jersey and Kingfe College is the opinion of the historian of the
Such information on the curriculum as there is are the few letters
of John Bogart to his friends and
from his college friends. Those letters
that mention the course of studies are dated 1779 and later.
Historical Catalog of Brown University. 1764-1914. p. 5b. Cf. also,
Celebration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Founding of
Brown University. Providence: Sidney S. Rider and Brother, 1865,
Extracts from the Records of the Corporation, Meeting of September
7, 1769, p.'95.
Rutgers College was known as Queens College until November 50, 1825.
William H. S. Demarest, History of Rutgers College, p. lj Charter of
Oueeris College in New.Jersey. 1810 edition (1770 Charter), pp. 1,2.
4. Demarest, op. cit.. p. 1. Cf. also, pocuments Relating to the
Colonial History of the State of New Jersey. Edited by William
Neilson, 1770-1771, Vol. XXVII, 1st series, pp. 607-608.
5. Demarest, op. cit..
p. 87.
Dartmouth College
The Charter of Dartmouth College is dated December 13, 1769.1
It is not certain, however, when the college began its active existence.
One historian believes that instruction began in December 1770.
The curriculum at Dartmouth appears to have been substantially the
same as in other American Colleges of the same time.
This view is
corroborated by another historian of the college,
.... The classical curriculum, which had been
evolved years before and which was to last for a
century to come, was taken for granted by all and
was accepted by [president] Wheelock without question.
We have no mention of the course of studies before
1796, seventeen years after his death. It then
included the ’learned languages’ through the first
three years, mathematics (of very elementary type)
through two years, the rudiments of speaking and
writing in freshman year, English and Latin composi­
tion, metaphysics, and the elements of natural and
physical law in senior year. Without question such
was the curriculum of Wheelock’s day. No one of
consequence seems to have objected to it or to have
wished it modified...A
Charter of Dartmouth College. p. 14.
Baxter Perry Smith, The History of Dartmouth College, p. 57. Again
the first date in the. Trustees' Minutes is July, 1770.
Smith, op. cit.. p. 58.
Leon B. Richardson, History of Dartmouth College. Vol. I,pp. 119120. Eleazar Wheelock was the first president of the college.
The investigator has supplied the word in parentheses.
Chapter Summary
The colonial
colleges were patterned after the universities in
The programme of 1642, Introduced at Harvard by president Dunster,
was the curriculum of Oxford University.
The only colleges which did not
adopt this programme in its entirety were the College of Philadelphia and
King's College.
The course of study at Yale was patterned after that of Harvard; the
College of Hew Jersey imitated both Harvard and Yale.
The College of Rhode
Island (Brown) adopted the curriculum of the New Jersey institution and
the programme of studies at Queen's College conformed to that in use at
both the College of New Jersey and King's College.
The curriculum at
Dartmouth was substantially the same as in other American colleges of the
The "radical" departure from this widely accepted plan of learning
which was introduced at the University of Pennsylvania in 1756, embraced
applications of science to practical affairs; to the mechanic arts, to
agriculture and fortifications.
This course of study originated either in
the fertile brain of the Reverend William Smith or was adopted by him from
the revised course of study of 1753 at Aberdeen University in
The establishment of this new schedule of subjects was made possible by
the effect created by Smith's "A General Idea of the College of Miranla"
and, without question, by the support of Benjamin Franklin.
The opening announcement of King's College and its early curriculum
also contained stress on education of a utilitarian nature.
The influence
of the "Mirania Sketch", Benjamin Franklin and the Reverend William Smith
are also evident in this instance.
The College of Miranla was projected as
one suitable for the Province of New York.
The sketch was addressed to the
trustees nominated by the legislature of the province to receive proposals
relating to the establishaent of a college in New York.
Franklin had sought to persuade Dr. Johnson to become Rector of the
University of Pennsylvania and corresponded with him on the subject of
Thomas Clap, Rector of Yale College, gave extraordinary lectures on
agriculture, commerce, navigation, gunnery and heraldry.
in science appear to have been a favorite pursuit of Rector Clap and these
lectures undoubtedly represent an exploitation of his interest in science.
These departures from the accepted course of study indicate that by
the middle of the 18th century, the curriculum was becoming something more
than mere preparation for the ministry.
The licensing powers of the College of William and Mary College
provided the institution with a close union with the practical affairs of
the Colony of Virginia.
Ordinarily, physics or natural philosophy together with astronomy
comprised all the instruction in science given in the colonial colleges.
Few, if any, of the early textbooks of science devote much space to any
applications of science.
It is, therefore, not essential
to outline the
contents of the textbooks of the peripatetic or scholastic physics.
early treatises should play a large part in the historical development of
physics because it will be possible to indicate by an analysis of these
works, when the sway of scholastic or Aristotelian physics ended and just
when physics evolved into a science (generally believed to be about 1740).
It is not the purpose of this investigation to discover and present such
Early historians and official documents did not, in most instances,
include the titles of the textbooks in use in the colleges.
Even the
programme of 1756 of the College of Philadelphia failed to mention the
texts in use but only listed supplementary books recommended to the stu­
The Compendium Phvsicae of Charles Morton^ was one of the first books
i n natural science which took cognizance of the changed attitude toward
the physical world (i.e., the change from the Aristotelian view to one
N ot issued in p rin te d form b u t copied by: sthestudents.
based on the works of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, etc.).
This treatise
was in use at Harvard as early as 1687 and remained in favor for almost
forty years.^
There are a few practical notions or hints in the work.
It could not be concluded on the basis of these few instances that
practical science was taught but as already pointed out, the boxing of the
compass was discussed.
In addition, water pumps, the practical uses of
water for making soap, beer, bread and washing, the siphon, the water
engine (hydraulic ram) and Archimedes screw are also mentioned.
The first physics at Yale was derived from Abraham Pierson1a
Pierson was a graduate of Harvard and it is certain that his
notebook reflected the science teaching of Harvard in the late 17th century.
Rector Pierson’s "Manuscript of Physicks" would reveal the nature
of the scientific notions of the tines, if a copy of it could be found.
A manuscript copy of a notebook of a Harvard student of 1708 enables us
to gain some idea of what it was like.
That it was Aristotelian in
nature almost goes without saying.
Oviatt^ characterizes the early scientific study at Yale as "....
much of the antiquated supernatural rubbish of an earlier scholastic
It should be remembered, too, that Yale followed the example
set by Harvard in the matter of the curriculum.
The textbooks in use at
Yale were most likely in use at Harvard, for the most part.
Less meta­
physical works than Abraham Pierson’s manuscript treatise followed at Yale
Samuel E. Morison. Harvard College in the 17th century* Vol. I, p. 238.
Edwin Oviatt, The Beginnings of Yale 1701-1726, p. 422.
Louis Franklin Snow, £he College Curriculum in the United States, p. 37;
James J. Walsh, Education o f the Founding Fathers o f the Republic.
p. 130.
beginning in about 1725,^
System of Natnral Philosophy by Jacques Rouhault.
This textbook,
taken mostly out of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy, was in use at Yale from
The work is divided into four parts.
In the first part, the
general nature of "natural bodies" is treated together with their prin­
cipal properties such as divisibility, motion and rest, motion'in general,
elements of "chymists", optics, sound, heat and cold.
The second part is concerned with cosmography.
Cosmography is
defined as a general idea of the world, a description of the number, situ­
ation, magnitude, figure, and some other properties of the principal parts
of the visible world.
The notion of the noon, the sun; the nature of the
stars and oonets, "the flux and reflux of the sea" (the tides) are des­
Mathematical Elements of Natural Philosophy by Willem van Granesande
was in use from 1745-1759 at Yale.
It is composed of six books or sec­
The first bock contains general ideas about matter, a general
discussion of simple and compound machines (lever, pulley, wedge, screw,
etc.) and their uses in various experiments and illustrations.
of notion and a study of motion in general are included.
The laws
Book II treats
of the collision of bodies and the laws of elasticity with many experiments
on elastic bodies.
Book III deals with fluids, their motion, pressure,
resistance, Archimedes principal motion of waves, the time required to
empty a vessel, river courses,
the author).
and visoosity(although not termed such by
It is surprising to see thatmuch of the material
J. C. Schwab. The Yale College Curriculum 1701-1901, The Educational
Review, Vol. 22, No. 5 (June 1901), p. 5.
Printed in London, 1725.
Printed in London in 1726, 1757, 1747.
(hydrostatic as well as hydrodynamic) in the m o d e m hydraulics textbook
is found here, at least in simple fora.
Book IV describes air as an
elastic fluid, the air pumps and sound ("the undulatory motion of the air
where we treat of sound").
of Bound are mentioned.
The intensity, velocity and the propagation
Heat and light are given considerable attention
both as to their general nature and by experiments and illustrations, viz.,
the refraction of light, lenses, eyeglasses, telescopes, microscopes, etc.
In Book V the reflection of light is discussed.
Here, the Gregorian and
Newtonian telescopes find places as well as a discussion of mirrors.
explanation of colour and the rainbow concludes this book.
Astronomy and
particularly the notion of celestial bodies and the earth are the subjects
of Book VI.
This treatise is a scientific work and relies on numerous experiments
and demonstrations throughout to establish the truth of its principles.
Little vise is made of Mathematics in the book,, however.
Philosophia Britannica by Beniamin Martin^ was in use at Princeton,
at least, in 1750, at Yale in
1753, and at Brown in 1772.
This truly
scientific book was a comprehensive work based on the Newtonian philosophy
and included astronomy, geography and notes on the physical, mechanical,
geometrical and experimental proofs and illustrations of the principal
propositions of natural science of the day.
It contains accounts of the
invention, structure improvement and uses of all known instruments, engines
and machines (their nature, power and operation).
The whole subject matter
of the book was collected from the principal authors of the day and was
arranged and "edited" by the author.
The 1771 E d itio n p rin te d in London
Martin, at some length, describes the Mechanical powers or aachines
which increase the power of a human being to move or raise heavy bodies.
These aachines are six in number; the lever, the pulley, the wheel and
axle, the inclined plane, the wedge and the screw.
These are the familiar
devices included in every book of elementary physics today.
greater importance in the 18th century.
They assumed
Martin believed that one third
part of "the effect of the machine" is destroyed by friction.
aachines cure the combination of one or aore of the simple aachines.
The aoaantua of falling water is the power of water wills.
1 combin­
ation of wheels and axles renders this power useful in grinding c o m , etc.
The breast and overshot wheels are described.
Mills to utilize the "power
of the wind" (windmills) are described.
The whole theory of wheel carriages is reduced to five statements:
wheel carriages meet with less resistance than any
other carriage.
the larger the wheels, the easier "the draught" of the
a carriage upon four equal large wheels is drawn easier
than one with unequal sized wheels.
the load should be placed on the larger wheels for easier
friction free wheels make for easier "draught".
Hydraulics and hydrostatics find a place in this work.
The motion of
fluids, the nature of aqueducts, reservoirs and springs are described.
The general theory of pumps with specific explanation of the force and
lift pumps follow.
pump is stated.
The greatest height to which water may be raised by a
Archimedes' screw and several other strange pumps and
fire and water engines are described.
Another section of the book deals with pneumatics as commonly tinderstood today.
The elasticity of the air, the barometer, thermometers in
general including one o f the author's o wn invention are included.
discussion of the wind, sound and music is followed b y an explana­
tion of the nature of light (Newtonian corpuscular theory) and colour.
This encyclopedic work uses both illustration, experiment and math­
ematics to demonstrate the correctness of its general principles.
course, some ideas expressed have, in many cases, become outmoded, but a
strong, complete treatment is given to the various sections.
It was one
of the first books in which we recognize physics as a science.
The Philosophy of Natural History by William Saelliel was in use at
Yale after 1776 but also at Harvard after 1740.
selection of passages from Aristotle and others.
This book is simply a
"The productions of
Nature" are arranged under general heads, Some of these are the "Distinc­
tion between Plants and Animals and Minerals", "Organs and General
Structure of Animals", "Respiration", "Motion", "Sex of Plants and Animals".
In each of these divisions the known facts collected and modified in the
form of discourses by the author are set forth in encyclopedic fashion
with the end" .... that * n the useful and amusing views arising from the
different subjects should be exhibited in such a maimer as to convey both
pleasure and information".
Volume II is given over to
a description of the general and distinc­
tive properties of the vegetable kingdom.
A description of the figure,
manners of animals including man is included.
emphasis is placed on the varieties of human species in every region of
the globe.
Smellie explains (by relating the findings of others) such
p rin te d in London in 1740.
things as dreams, the language of beasts and reproduction with the
principal theories of the ancients.
One of the earliest surveying textbooks was written by John Love.^"
This book was in use at William and Mary College some tine after 1720.
The first chapters are concerned with arithmetic, geometry as a prepara­
tion for surveying.
The accepted measures of the time are set forth
(perch, chain, etc.) and their relation is demonstrated by examples.
Several tables for reducing or changing one unit into another are includ­
ed in the land measure section.
Another chapter is devoted to the description of surveying instru­
ments and their use.
These consisted of the chain (tape in m o d e m use),
the "plain table" (a crude forerunner of the m o d e m plane table), the
semicircle and the circumferentor.
essence, early transits.
These latter two instruments were in
The circumferentor was equipped with a magnetic
The emphasis was on the semi-circle.
The application of all the foregoing matter to practical surveying
of a field, woods, in different ways is the subject of another chapter,
considerable emphasis being placed upon chaining.
Five chapters are given over to the measurement of areas, laying out
of new lands, surveying of a "manor", county or country, the division of
lands and the "reduction” of land measurement to plots or maps.
surveys were drawn to a "reduced" scale on the map paper.
Following a chapter on trigonometry, the measurement of heights and
distances is taken up.
These measurements were simple, viz., the height
of a tree, tower or steeple, etc.
Directions for drawing a map of a
was entitled Geodaesia or the Art of Surveying: it
published i n 1688 and reissued i n 1720 and 1771.
harbour or river are given.
A practical application of leveling to
determining whether spring water n a y b e brought from one place to
another b y gravity f lo w is described.
Tables of logarithms a nd the natural functions of angles conclude
the treatise.
Chanter Summary
The variety of subjects comprehended under natural philosophy in
these early times while containing such topics as the mechanic powers and
hydraulics (hydrostatics and hydrodynamics) which might be termed prac­
tical science, did not allow for elaboration and overflow into practical
applications to a very significant extent.
Such items as the simple machines, water mills and description of
aqueducts, etc., nay seem insignificant today.
let these things must have
had greater importance in the 18th century because they were part of the
simple mechanical and industrial development of the day.
In this chapter, a brief account of the industrial
conditions of the colonies based upon contemporary testimony will be
Only a short account can be given because of the meagre data
available and because it is not the purpose of the present investigation
to survey the development of industry and manufactures in the United
States in detail.
let, in a study of education in applied science or
technical education, it would seen expedient
proper to give some ac­
count of industrial growth, if only to discover whether the provision for
education in technical, subjects in college curricula kept pace with the
growth and expansion of the industrial activities of our country.
Clark gives an excellent evaluation of the sources of data from which
some idea of the state of the industry and commerce of the colonies may be
The volume of colonial manufactures can not be
measured accurately because at that time no industrial
statistics were gathered, nor could the extent of homespun and dispersed rural manufactures well have been ex­
pressed in other than conjectural figures. Contemporary
accounts of these industries were descriptive rather than
statistical. They were seldom based on special investiga­
tion, but rather represented facts of common knowledge.
As a rule they were not founded upon broad enough observa­
tion of different localities and classes of people to
carry complete authority. They contain many apparent
contradictions, due sometimes, to different conceptions
of what constituted manufactures, sometimes to faulty in­
formation or to the assumption that what was true of a
single locality was trae of an entire province,
and sometimes to the difficulty experienced by
Europeans newly arrived froa older countries in
appraising conditions in new communities.
.... Froa 1700, when the British Govemaent
began consciously to discourage Anerican manufactures, until the Revolution, reports upon
colonial affairs wade by royal officials to the
Board of Trade constitute our principal source
of industrial information. While sonetiaes
alarmist, and sometimes disparaging, according
to the temperament of the writer and the fora
taken by his solicitude to win favor with politi­
cal superiors, these documents generally err more
from limited information than from lack of
An essay of Secretary van Tienhovan, dated March 4, 1650, contains
information for prospective colonists respecting settling on lands in
New Netherlazd.^
He describes the lands in New Netherland most convenient
and suitable for occupation and cultivation.
A short summary of the ex­
tent of agriculture cud cattle raising is given.
advice to prospective colonists.
This is followed by
This advice took the form of information
on the necessary supplies and farm implements (everything save plow and
wagon) that must be brought from the colonist*8 home and the crude homes
which must be erected before the colonist could establish himself in the
new country.
The colonists desired were industrious country people conversant
with the working and cultivation of land and possessing a knowledge of
The most necessary mechanics desired were wheelwrights, coopers,
"carpenters who can lay brick", smiths conversant with heavy work, curing
cattle and provided with suitable medicines.
Victor S. Clark, History of Mumifaoturaa in the United states. Carnegie
Institution, 1916, Vol. I, p. 194.
E. B. 0 1Callaghan, ftocunents Relative to the Colonial History of New
York procured in
finyjiawri- France. Vol. 1, pp. 365-371.
This quiet pastoral scene of the agricultural communities of the
early colonies where life was rigorous and in which diligence and hard
work were necessary for survival is described in two other contemporary
accounts of Hew England, Virginia and Maryland. ^
Some idea of agriculture in the South in 1686 is gained from William
Fitzhugh's letter to Doctor Ralph Smith of Bristol, England, dated April
22, 1686.
Fitzhugh describes his large plantations and his chief
agricultural crops of c o m and tobacco and his cattle holdings.
Ho men­
tion is made of manufactures in any of these documents.
ITom a Report to the Lord Commissioners of Trade and Plantations of
September 8, 1721, we learn of the state of manufactures and industry at
that time.5
In Hew Hampshire there was much shipbuilding.
but very little was forged.
Iron was mined
Exports of lumber and fish to the West Indies
and of lumber, tar and turpentine to Fngiand (in exchange for manufactures)
were shipped from this colony.
In Massachusetts Bay Colony, the most important branch of trade was
The report declared this industry was the one which the
colonists were best able to carry on.
There was some working of mines but
very little of the ore found its way to the iron works.
Indeed, ironwas
imported from abroad for the shipbuilding trade, according to the report.
Ho data concerning Connecticut and Rhode Island was given.
l(J)oumall by Edward Winslow. (London: 1622). In Chronicles of
Mitring gathers by Alexander Young, pp. 250-258. (For Virginia and
Maryland). Cf. "Leah and Rachel, or Che Two Fruitfull Sisters;
Maryland" by John Hammond (London: 1656). Reprinted
in Original narratives of Early American History. Vol. XI, pp. 289291.
Letters of William Fitzhugh, in Virginia Magazine of History and Biog­
raphy. Vol. I, Richmond, 1895, pp. 595-596.
0 ‘Callaghan, po e v e n t s. etc., op. cit.. Vol.
V, pp. 591-650.
N e w Jersey produced n o Manufactures of h er own.
In the Province of New York, the report conceded that iron could be
produced but obviously none was nined.
Natural produce, and provisions
were shipped to the British Vest Indies and whale-oil, peltry were sent
There were no Manufactures "that deserves sectioning" before
1721 in New York.*1'
The report informs us that there were no Manufactures in Pennsylvania,
but that the volune of shipbuilding was large.
Trade consisted of ex­
ports of wheat, cattle and limber to the West Indies and Europe.
Iron was n o t "wrought" i n Maryland for want of facilities and skilled
labour to engage in the undertaking.
the colony.
Tobacco was the principal crop of
"Whilst Tobacco answers in its price, (while a favorable price
prevails) the planter's labour, all Manufactures and all other trade that
night arise from the product of the country are laid aside".^
Virginia exported tobacco, pitch, tar, pipe, skins and furs, drugs
and hogshead staves.
Professor Hugh Janes of William and Mary described
the state of Virginia (in 1724) in the following words,
The colonists are n ot very easily persuaded
to the Improvement of useful inventions (except
a few, such as Sawing Mills) neither are they
great Encouragers of Manufactures, because of the
certain Expence i n Attempts of this
irfwH with uncertain Prospect of Gain; whereas b y
their staple commodity, Tobacco, they are certain
to get a plentiful Provision, nay, often very
great estates.3
There was little commerce in the province of North Carolina.
Ibid.. Vol. V, p. 556.
Ibid.. p. 606.
Hugh Jones, Present State of Virginia, p. 42.
Governor Cosby in a letter to the Board of Trade of December 18,
1732,^ explains that he made a strict enquiry "in respect to the Manu­
factures set up, and Trade carried on in this Province of New York", and
discovered nothing which in any way would affect or prejudice the trade,
navigation and manufactures of Great Britain.
The manufactures extended
no further than what was consumed in the families of the colony.
hat-making trade was discouraged by Parliament.
The Report to the Board of Trade of 1732 contains information conceraing the other colonies.
The several governors reported the state
of trade and manufactures in their colonies.
There were no settled
manufactures in New Hampshire and lumber and fish constituted the prin­
cipal items of trade.
Extensive manufactures of various kinds of cloth, nails, bar iron,
iron castings, hats, leather were reported in the Massachusetts Bay
The Surveyor-General reported that there were six furnaces and
nineteen forges for making iron in New England.
The building of many
ships which were sold to the French, and Spanish in return for other
commodities was reported.
The report for New York states that "they had no manufactures that
deserved mentioning".
trade of Great Britain.
At least the manufactures did not affect the
The manufactures of New Jersey were in a simil­
arly low state.
The trade of the Province of Pennsylvania consisted chiefly of the
exportation of provisions and lumber, having no manufactures established.
O'Callaghan, Documents,
cit.. Vol. V, p. 938.
A. Anderson, £n Historical and Chronological Deduction of the Origin
of Commerce. 1790 edition, Vol. Ill, pp. 451-455.
M a n y ships were built i n the province which were sold to the West Indies.
The Governor of Rhode Island reported no established manufactures in
the province, only a supply of iron which does not Beet the needs of the
No report was received froa the Governor of the Province of
"We find by sone accounts" that the produce of the colony
was tinber, boards, grain, tobacco and cattle.
exported to the West Indies.
Lumber and horses were
The manufactures were inconsiderable, the
people of the province being generally employed in agriculture; some few
of thou in tanning, shoemaking, building and smiths work.
Governor George Clinton described the manufactures of New York in a
letter to the Board of Trade of Kay, 1749.^
factures is mentioned.
variety of simple manu­
No one of them was extensive.
He mentions the ban
on the exportation of the products of the hat-makers in the colony.
Edmund Burke (in 1760) described Boston as follows,
There is not one of our settlements which can
be compared in the abundance of people, the number
of considerable and trading towns, and the manufactures
that are carried on in them, to New England.**
The commodities which the colony produced were masts and yards (many
of them for the royal navy), pitch, tar and turpentine, all sorts of
provisions, hats and cattle.
The woollen and linen manufactures of the
colony were the most extensive of any of the colonies.
Shipbuilding was
p*Callaghan, op. pit.. Vol. VI, p. 511.
Edmund Burke, An Account of the European Settlements in America.
Vol. II9 p.
Ships are sometimes built here upon commission;
but frequently the aerohants of New England
have then constructed upon their own account;
and loading then with the produce of the colony, .
.... they send then out upon a trading voyage....
The account does not contain detailed information concerning the
other colonial settleaents which is of value for this account of cobuderee
and trade.
Governor H. Uoore forwarded to the Board of Trade (in 1767) an
account of the several manufactures set up and carried on within the
Colony of New York since 1734.
He reported a small industry in the manu­
of linens, general manufacture of woollens, that the custom of
making cloth in private families still prevailed, and the manufacture of
He did not believe that this latter industry could survive because
the price of labour was "so high"*
This high cost of labour, he says,
.... will always prove the greatest obstacle
to any manufactures attempted to set up here, and
the genius of the People in a Country where every one
can have land to work upon leads them so naturally
into Agriculture, that it prevails over every other
A small foundry was also reported in operation.
Comptroller Weare's letter to the Board of Trade written before the
Revolution is believed by Clark3 to give a truer impression of colonial
manufactures than provided by the official reports and to be applicable
to conditions up to the Revolution.
Weare states^ that the colonists
Ibid.. p. 175.
0 fCallaghan, op. pit.. Vol.
V. S. Clark, pp. cit., p. 213.
Letter of Comptroller Weare to the Board of Trade, Massachusetts
Historical Society Collections for the year 1792, 1st series,
Vol. I, pp. 74, 79.
VII, pp. 888-889.
clothed themselves
the ir own Baking and that, in general,
they were "sliding" (engaging) into manufactures proper to the Bother
believed the assurance that no nanufactures were carried on
t o be without foundation and the iapression that the people of the
colonies would always confine theaselves to agriculture to b e ridiculous.
One of his statenents is significant,
It would be ridiculous to assuae that people
bred in all improvements of Europe should, by
crossing the Atlantic, so unaccountably lose all
remembrance of former skill and knowledge, as to
betake themselves entirely to agriculture, and not
once dream of improving those advantages, or
applying those materials with which the country
abounds, to the common use of human life,
Weare states
that because exports of various items such aspaper,
hats, bottles, etc., appeared on lists of British exports, it would be
untrue to assume that there were no hatters, paper mills, "glass houses",
foundries, etc., in several of the colonies.
Chapter Summary
During the colonial period, manufacturing in the colonies was in a
simple stage of its development.
The dependence of the colonies on the
mother country for manufactures and the scarcity of skilled labor were
influences that prevented extensive growth of manufacturing.
Clark describes the effect of the lack of skilled labor,
At a tine when individual skill was so
such more important than machinery in manufacturing ,
there was greater difficulty in acclimating new
arts than there is at present; for the workman,
being more adaptable than a machine, was often in­
fluenced, after he had immigrated, to turn his
attention and labor to other fields.*^
chief industries of the colonies were agriculture, shipbuilding
in New England and Pennsylvania;
scattered throughout the colonies.
and cloth making and ironfoundries
The industries grew more rapidly
after 1765 because of the non-importation agreements.
These agreements
reduced the imports from England and promoted colonial industry because
of the necessity of using and the preference for homemade goods.
even with this stimulus, the first American factory was not established
until 1787.2
While manufacturing was not highly developed and was discouraged by
England, the planting of the mechanic arts in this country was not a
Therefore, it is not surprising that little or no mention is
made of education in the mechanic arts for the purpose of promoting
domestic industry, in all the documents presented in this chapter.
Clark, oj>. cit.. p. 153. Cf. also, 0 1Callaghan, op. cit.. Vol. VII,
pp. 612, 888; Vol. I, pp. 484, 489.
Carroll D. Wright, "Report on the Factory System of the united States,
in Report of the ffnpnfmrfcnrag of the United states. Tenth Census.
1880 (General Statistics Volume), p. 6. Cf. also, Ellwood P.
Cubberley, public Education in the United States, p. 144.
PART I - Summary and Conclusions
The pre-revolutionary character of the colonial colleges has been
The early college curriculum was patterned after the course of
study of Oxford University in England.
Harvard in 1642.
This programme was introduced at
The only two colleges which did not accept this pro­
gramme in its entirety were the University of Pennsylvania (the College
of Philadelphia) and King's College.
Gifts, books and teachers also came
from abroad to strengthen these institutions.
The colonies were closely
tied to the mother country in matters of college education.
The traditional view that these colleges, for the most part, were
founded primarily for the education of a clergy is sound.
The significance
of the emphasis on divinity in the period from 1636 to 1750 is therefore
In the 17th century and for the first two decades of the 16th century
instruction in science was weak.
Science was surrounded by a metaphysical
Aristotelian or peripatetic physics was the order of the day.
With the establishment of the Hollis Professorship of Mathematics and
Experimental Philosophy at Harvard in 1728 and with the advent of Profes­
sor Hugh Jones as Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at
William and Mary College in 1717, a real beginning in science may be noted.
Less metaphysical textbooks further strengthened the scientific offering
of the colleges.
While manufacturing and industry were not highly developed and when
the colonies were dependent upon England, economically as well as political­
ly, there was little or no necessity of planting the mechanic arts in this
The dominant aim in collegiate education was the training for
the ministry.
Education was fostered on the ground of religions neces­
It is not surprising) therefore) that the colonists did not look
to the colleges for education in the mechanic arts (see no. 6, below).
Skilled labor appears to have been a sore crying need than formal
education in applied science.
The religious influence waned after 1750
and sympathy with the more practical studies is noticeable (see nos. 3,
4 and 5, below).
By the Biddle of the 18th century) the curricula of the
colonial colleges had become something sore than a preparation for the
The trade of the colonies with the British West Indies,
Europe and the Spanish and French possessions in the New World and the
shipbuilding trade in New England and Pennsylvania attached commercial
importance to the study of navigation.
However, it should be stated
that whether graduates engaged in the practice of trade and commerce
with these lands overseas, is not known.
The settlement of new lands,
the survey of new lands and boundaries gave a practical bearing to
mathematics under which heading surveying was most frequently taught.
The power to examine and license surveyors gave William and Hazy
College a close union with the practical affairs of the Colony of Virginia .
Something of a new tendency to provide education for citizen­
ship and to include in it science and its applications to the life of the
community is in evidence by the middle of the 18th century.
programme of the College of Philadelphia of 1756, contained provision for
instruction in trade, commerce, architecture, fortification, surveying
and navigation.
The advertisement heralding the opening of Kingh College served
notice that agriculture, commerce, surveying and navigation, and manu­
factures were to be part of the regular course of study.
This broad
programme became more narrow as time went on, however.
At Tale, Thomas Clap taught or lectured on selected subjects
outside the regular curriculum which may be termed practical science.
Agriculture, commerce, gunnery and navigation were among these.
While a
clergyman, Rector Clap was known for his scientific pursuits and this
applied science may have been only an exploitation of his favorite pur­
Manufactures were simple, of many kinds and spread over the
Whether this instruction in science applied to practical
affairs was effective in promoting the economic and industrial life of
the colonies cannot be said with any certainty.
This is so because there
is no exact knowledge of the relation of the course of study to current
life in the colonies.
1776 - 1825
The Period 1776-1825
After the Revolution, the colonies now organized as
the Union were thrown upon their own resources.
and commerce load to be built up.
The planting of the
mechanics arts became a necessity.
The demand for informa­
tion to increase production and for education of a practical
nature is contained in a vast number of memorials, reports
and petitions presented to governmental bodies.
were organized to promote agriculture and the useful arts.
These organizations published transactions which contained
valuable data bearing on these pursuits.
They, therefore,
discharged an educational function.
The foundations of the engineering profession were
laid during this period.
The years 1776 to 1825 were a
period of beginnings in applied science education.
Harvard University1
President Quincy states that after 1780, Harvard College now raised /
to the rank of a university,
.... began to regard itself, and to be regarded by others,
as an institution devoted exclusively to the advancement
of science and general literature; as a tree destined to
support and develop all the objects of human knowledge
and pursuit in proportion to their respective value and
importance. Of which Theology should be always a branch,
but no longer the stem.2
No far-reaching change in the programme of studies was realized
until after 1800, however.
A student at Harvard in the 1780's expressed
his opinion of the instruction in a letter dated October 20, 1782,
.... May Father Time ameliorate
desired Period when I shall bid
Jargon of a superstitious Synod
ramble in the fields of liberal
his tardy Pace and hasten the
adieu to the sophisticated
of pension'd Bigots and
believes that this statement is none too vigorous.
college suffered from neglect during the Revolution and underwent the decay
The use of this corporate title began in 1780 when the Constitution of
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts referred to Harvard as a
Josiah Quincy, History of Harvard University. Vol. I, p. 5.
Samuel Eliot Morison, The Life and Letters of Harrison Gray Otis.
1765-1848. Vol. I, p. 24.
Ibid. p. 25.
that inevitably followed "a period o f social convulsion".
The curriculum described in the Laws of 1790^ and that in the Laws
of 1798^ is almost identical.
This course of study consisted of
theoretical and practical astronomy (both in the regular curriculum and
b7 private lectures), natural and experimental philosophy, geography, sur­
veying, navigation, applications of mathematics to astronomical problems,
and mathematics in addition to the learned languages and other non-seientifie subjects.
This schedule does not represent a substantial change
over the plan outlined in the Laws of 1767.
The College Laws of 1807
make no important change in these regulations concerning academic instruc­
In 1784, the King of France, through his Consul General in New York,
M. St. John, offered to furnish specimens for a botanic garden provided
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts supply the site and mentioned Cambridge
as a proper place because of its University.
The President and Fellows
of Harvard addressed a memorial to the Legislature of the State in an
effort to secure the establishment of this garden.
In their petition,
they expressed the opinion that this establishment would be greatly
beneficial to the State.
By this means it was thought that,
.... [the] valuable purposes to whi ch the
valuable productions of America m a y be applied
be more accurately ascertained than has ever yet
been done. And the doing of this w il l probably
extend, i n its beneficial consequences, to further
improvements i n agriculture, the mechanical arts, m
medicine and commerce, on which the prosperity and
happiness of the citizens of America principally
Laws of 1790. pp. 11, 13, 16, 17.
Laws of 1798. p. 17.
Lfiwg. of 1807. pp. 12, 14, 15, 19.
Records of j&fi Corporation
Vol. 3, p. 188.
The word "the" in parentheses has been supplied by the
The political and financial confusion of the tines accounts, no
doubt, for the failure of the legislature to act favorably upon this ap­
plication of the college authorities.
Twenty-one years later, in 1805, with the establishment of the
Massachusetts Professorship of Natural History, the foundation for instruc­
tion in natural history and agriculture was laid.1
This Professorship was
instituted not only to provide instruction in natural history but also to
promote the interests of the country.
The Board of Visitors of the
Professorship were authorized,
.... to make and cause to be executed all such rules and
regulations as in their judgment, will render the said
Professorship most useful in promoting the interests of
the University of Cambridge, and the Arts and the Agricul­
ture of the State.^
The foundation for this Professorship was laid by a group of citizens
of Boston who raised thirty thousand dollars by subscription.®
Massachusetts Society for the Promotion of Agriculture was one of the con­
tributors to this fund and in the constitution of the professorship, the
Trustees of this Society together with the President of Harvard College,
the President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the
President of the Massachusetts Medical Society were named as a Board of
William Dandridge Peck was elected to the chair and embarked for
Europe immediately thereafter to obtain a knowledge of the best and most
Ibid.. Vol. 4, p. 46.
Ibid.. p. 51.
Quincy, op. cit.. Vol. 2, Appendix, pp. 542-545.
Records of the Corporation of Harvard University. Vol. 4, p. 50.
economical means of carrying the objects of the. professorship into action.
In October 1807, a site for a garden was purchased.
Professor Peck
occupied this position until his death in 1822.
In November 1822 the Board of Visitors addressed a letter to the
Corporation which Explained that,
.... in consequence of the state of the funds of the
institution [of the Professorship], it will not be in
the power of the Visitors, for some years to come, to
grant a full or any considerable salary to any Professor
who may be elected by the College, and that the board
have resolved to assign the care of the garden to a
committee, one of whom shall be a Curator, charged with
such general duties relating to the garden, as those
which devolved upon the Professor by the statutes of the
No successor to Professor Pdck was appointed.
Graduated from Harvard
in 1782, Peck spent many years in the study of botany, entomology and
No exact knowledge of the character of the instruction in agriculture
has been discovered.
The Trustees of the Massachusetts Society for Pro­
moting Agriculture were members of the Board of Visitors of the Professor­
ship and supervised the professor.
This Board was empowered to make such
rules and regulations as to render the professorship useful in promoting
the agriculture of the country.
These facts coupled with the knowledge of
the background of the one and only occupant of the Massachusetts Professor­
ship of Natural History form the basis for the assumption that some
instruction in the applications of science to agriculture was actually
It can only be assumed, however, that such instruction was a part
of the programme of the professorship.
Ibid.. Vol. 6, p. 82.
Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 2nd Series,
Vol. X, pp. 161-170.
Just as the> philanthropy of the citizens of Boston was responsible
for the establishment of the professorship just described; philanthropy
was the basis for the foundation of the Rumford Professorship in the
Applications of the Sciences to the Arts.
This Professorship was named in
honor of the famous scientist Benjamin Count Bumford who gave the following
instructions in his will,
I give and bequeath to the University of Cambridge
in the State of Massachusetts in North America, my native
country, one thousand dollars per annum forever for the
purpose of founding under the direction and government of
the. Corporation, Overseers, and Governors of the University,
a new institution and Professorship in order to teach by
regular course of academical and public lectures accompanied
with proper experiments, the utility of the physical and
mathematical sciences for the improvement of the useful
arts, and for the extension of the industry, prosperity,
happiness and well-being of Society... .-*•
In 1815, the executors of the estate of Count Bumford informed the
University authorities of the bequest but it was not until October 1816
that the legal transfer of property was made and the establishment of the
Professorship authorized.
Jacob Bigelow, H. D. was elected to the Professorship in this meeting
(October 31, 1816).
He requested a year in which to prepare for the
delivery of the lectures in the required field.
The Corporation instructed
Dr. Bigelow to prepare a full course of lectures on the subjects pointed
out in the Statutes of the Professorship but for the two years following
1816, he was bound only to deliver four lectures "Comprising the Histories
of Discoveries and Improvements".
Will of Count Bumford. Harvard University Archives, Volume-Donations,
p. 56. The will is signed and dated September 28, 1812.
Records of the Corporation of Harvard University. Vol. 5, p. 255.
Loc. pit.
Corporation Records, oj>. cit., Vol. 5, p. 254.
In the Beating of November 12, 1 8 1 6 the Corporation approved the
Statutes of the Bumford Professorship.
They are of suffioient importance
to reproduce them here,
1. It shall be the duty of the Professor to execute the will
of the Founder; his bequest being made for the purpose of
founding under the direction and management of the
Corporation and Overseers and Government of the University,
a nev Institution and Professorship in order to teach by
regular courses of aoademioal and Public lectures accom­
panied with proper experiments, the utility of the Physical
and Mathematical sciences for the improvement of the useful
arts and for the extension of the industry, happiness and
well being of society.
In pursuance of this general design of the founder it shall
be the duty of the Professor to explain and as far as may be
to elucidate by experiments and demonstrations the manner
in which the mathematical and physical sciences are or
have been actually applied both to the Arts and to the
purposes of life, to describe with illustrations by the ex­
hibition of experiments and models, valuable improvements,
inventions and discoveries not generally known, or
introduced into use; to engage as opportunity or occasion
may suggest, or the Corporation may point out in partic­
ular investigations for making discoveries relating to the
theory or practice of the useful arts, and for ascertaining
the value of proposed improvements, communicating the
results of his enquiries, examinations and experiments in
his lectures or from the press.
It will be the duty of the Professor to point out the
sources of information in the various subjects, comprised
in the general design of the Rumford Professorship and
which subjects may not be particularly displayed and
treated in the lectures of the Professorship.
He shall annually at assigned periods direct the attention
of his hearers, and of the public to the valuable dis­
coveries and inventions which have been offered to the
world in the year preceding, and shall, point out the
most prominent objects of attention and enquiry in
philosophical, agricultural and eoonomic subjects which
may be present but,
Ibid.. p. 258
In the coarse of his lectures, he shall take due
notloe of the labours and services of the Founder in
this departsent of knowledge, and the important
results of his researches and experiments....1
Thus the field to he covered by the Bumford Professor was defined
by the Corporation.
It very definitely included the elements of technology.
That an approach to this broad outline was made by Professor Bigelow about
1820 is seen in his description of the apparatus used in the lectures at
this date.
By 1825, the lectures consisted of illustrations of the
Applications of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Natural History and some
parts of Mathematics "to the useful arts, and to objects of productive
The subjects of the lectures had increased in variety and
number over the early programme of the Professorship.
This may be seen
from the description of the lecture headings for the year 1825.
In May 1824, a committee of the Overseers of Harvard University ap­
pointed in 1825 to inquire into the state of the University, made their
report to the Overseers.
Among the recommendations some of which have no
bearing on the subject under investigation, we find the following:
the President should be the effective head of the
University and that as far as practicable, he should
be separated from ministerial duties.
the college studies were to be divided into two
general classes; those indispensable to a degree and
those concerning which a choice might be permitted.
the Professors and Tutors should be divided into
separate departments, each embracing similar or
analogous studies and having a Professor at its head.
Records of the Corporation,
cit.. Vol. 5, pp. 258-259, and
Records of the Overseers of Harvard University. Vol. VI, pp. 202-207.
Letter of January 21, 1®21 to President Kirkland in Harvard University
Archives. Jacob Bigelow Papers. 1815-1827.
See Appendix
Loo, cit.
to oast the deaands for scientific knowledge in the
nechanioal and useful arts, students should be
adaitted for instruction who do not wish a degree
and to pursue particular studies to qualify then for
scientific and aedhanical employments and 'the active
business of life’. ^
The Report aroused objection because it was believed the powers of
the President and department heads were increased inordinately and un­
Another committee of the Overseers was appointed to consider
the whole field of the University administration.
on January 6, 1825.
in June 1825.
Their report was made
Formal sanction of the Board of Overseers was granted
The departmental division of the course of study as recom­
mended in the 1824 report was retained.
The powers of the President were
only superficially enlarged and the University was again opened to persons
who were not candidates for degrees
and who desired to study inparticular
departments only.
Thus, Harvard University was willing to comply with the demands of
the times, which the Overseers acknowledged in their report of 1824, for
education in scientific knowledge necessary in the mechanical and useful
This training was not arranged in a complete programme but con­
sisted of attendance on the lectures of the Hollis
Professor ofMathematics
and Natural Philosophy, the Rumford
Professors of Natural
Professor, the
Report of a Committee of the Overseers of ftarvard University. May 4,
1824, pp. 5-8.
For the admission of these special students, see Report of a Committee
of the Board of Overseers. January 6, 1825, Section III, p. 30.
A contemporary definition of Mechanics Arts is given in the
Transactions of the Society for the Promotion of Useful Arts in the
State of New York. 1807, Vol. IV, Appendix, p. 29. "Mechanic
Arts - comprising almost every species of handicraft, relating
either to the necessaries and conveniences, or the elegancies of
life; also all those arts and sciences which depend on mathematics
for illustration, as mechanics, optics, astronomy, pneumatics, etc."
and Chemistry.
Instruction in Chemistry to undergraduates began in 1810. ^
instruction consisted of a course of lectures delivered by the Professor
of Chemistry and Materia Medica.
These lectures did not at that time
allow for consideration of the applications of chemistry to practical
affairs as they did in 1825, for Dr. Gorham who was in charge of the
Chemical Department in 1817 recommended a course in "Practical Chemistry".4
What, if anything, came out of this proposal cannot be determined.
The lectures in natural history (after 1822) could not have adequate­
ly covered the subject of agriculture because President Kirkland, in his
report to the Corporation of 1825, recommended making some provision for
"the application of science to agriculture."*’
The curriculum reconstructed from the College catalogs of 1819-1825,
consisted of natural philosophy, chemistry, natural history, surveying,
topography and nautical astronoqy besides the customary language and
mathematical requirements.
Vacant after 1822 but the Curator of the Botanic Garden lectured
privately. Report of the Overseers, 1825, op. cit.. Section II,
p. 24.
Founded in 1785 as part of the Medical Fqculty.
Quincy, op. cit.. Vol. II, p. 306.
Records of the Corporation of TfarvardUniversity. Vol. 5, p. 274.
Ibid.. Vol. 6, p. 251.
The apparatus used during the first fev years of the Rumford
Professorship is very interesting.
The description of the apparatus
is contained in the report of Professor Bigelow to President Kirkland
previously mentioned.
Models illustrating the elementary parts
of architecture, in columns, walls, arches,
roofs, etc. - models of five architectural
order - model of two antique temples. Models
of different parts of dwelling houses, and
of chimneys, stones and fireplaces of various
kinds. Specimens of various materials used
in building.
Machines used for drawing in perspective.
Apparatus and designs for illustrating the
principles of perspective and the effects of
light and shade. Specimens of colouring
materials. Engravers1 tools, plates and
materials, with specimens of the different
styles of the art.
Specimens of antique pottery, of
porcelain, glass, etc.
Apparatus and material used in printing
and writing.
Models illustrating the application of
moving powers; windmill, watermill and operat­
ing machinery of different kinds.
Two models of steam engines of different
construction, one of which is a complete work­
ing model with furnace, boiler and double
cylinder, operating by force of steam and
capable of being at any time put into action.
Three large working models of the
Waltham cotton factory completely fitted up,
so as to perform upon a small scale the
operations of the factory. One of these is
seven feet long, the other five.**'
The reader will recognize in the lecture headings of this
and in the description of this apparatus, the basis
for Dr. Bigelow's textbooks, "The Elements of Technology", which
appeared in 1851 and which
is described in Chapter VIII. The
lecture headings published
in 1825 and contained in the Appendixare
very similar to the chapter headings of this book.
It is quite clear
that Dr. Bigelow understood the elements of technology and that these
elements were included in the
sciences to the arts which
lectures in the applications
he and his successors delivered
of the
William and Mary College
Thomas Jefferson was appointed Governor of the Commonwealth of
Virginia on June 1st, 1779.
Jefferson states in his autobiography^
that being also elected one of the Visitors of William and Mary, he
Harvard University Archives. Jacob Bigelow Papers. 1816-1817.
Letter of January 21, 1821 to President Kirkland:
"I send you a brief inventory of the articles
used by me in the Rumford lectures, and shall
be much gratified as well as obliged, if you
can afford them a resting place within college
walls; as the room in which I now lecture
will never contain them."
Very respectfully yours,
(signed) Jacob Bigelow
See Appendix A.
The investigator suggeststhat the reader consult this description.
See below, p. 284.
Writings of Thomas Jefferson. Vol. I, p. 74.
effected a change in the organization of the college.
The Professor­
ships of Divinity and Oriental Languages vere abolished.
The other
professorships were in Law and Police; Anatomy, Medicine and Chemistry;
Modern Languages; Ethics and Belles-Lettres; Natural Philosophy and
Mathematics. ***
President Madison had charge of the department of Natural and
Moral Philosophy.
He was a graduate of the College of New Jersey and
also studied natural science in England with the famous Cavallo.
the department of Natural Philosophy he excelled, his enthusiasm
throwing a peculiar charm over his labors".
The Statutes of 1792 describe the requirements for the Bachelor
of Arts degree.
The curriculum of the period may be ascertained from
a study of these regulations,
.... the Student must be acquainted with
those branches of the Mathematics, both
theoretical and practical, which are
usually taught, as far as Conic Sections,
including, viz: The first six books of
Euclid, Plain Trigonometry, the taking
of Heights and Distances, Surveying,
Algebra, the eleventh and twelfth books
of Euclid, Spherics, Conic Sections;
must have acquired a knowledge of Natural
Philosophy as far as it relates to the
general principles of Hatter, Mechanics*
Electricity, Pneumatics, Hydrostatics,
The letter of President James Madison to president Ezra Stile
of Yale, dated August 1, 1780, in The Literary Diary of
Ezra Stiles. Vol. II, p. 447, contains the same information.
. Leon G. Tyler,
"Early Courses and Professors at William and Mary
Optics, and the first principles of Astronomy....1
No details are given but no appreciable change from the colonial
programme is evident.
At least, the formal terms of the Laws of 1792
indicate no such change.
In 1796, the curriculum again contained math-
ematies, natural philosophy.
The letters written to David Watson constitute the remainder of the
evidence on the course of study in the 18th century.
These letters written
in 1799 indicate that natural philosophy, with William Nicholson's textbook
and Tiberius Cavallo's Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, was taught
to the great credit of President Madison. 3
Mathematics is also mentioned
in these letters but nothing beyond the contradictory statements concerning
the ability of the professor was found.^
The course of study endorsed by the Board of Visitors at their con­
vocation on July 4, 1815 placed chemistry and the elements of mathematics
in the first year.
Natural philosophy was added and mathematics was con­
cluded in the seoand year.
No further mention is made of science or math­
ematics in the last two years of the college course.5
This appears to be
only a partial statement of the college course for the requirements for the
first degree (B. A.) as given in the 1817 catalog prescribed that
College Quarterly. Vol. XIV, 1905, p. 76; Vol. VI, p. 181.
William and Mary College Quarterly. Vol. XX, No. 1, July 1911, p. 58.
Due de La Rochefoucault, Travels through the United States of North
America. Vol. Ill, p. 48, wherein this French nobleman describes
his visit to the college on June 4, 1796.'
Letters to David Watson, Virginia Magazine of History andBiography.
Vol. 29 (1921), pp. 139, 140, 148, 149, 266.
Ibid.. pp. 140, 149.
William and Mary College fl*mT-fc«rriyr vol. 25, No. 4 (April, 1917),
pp. 240-241.
For the degree of Bachelor of Arts, the student
must have a complete knowledge of Mathematics,
including Algebra, Fluxions (Calculus) and the
projections of the Sphere; vast have acquired a
knowledge of Mechanical and Chemical Philosophy,
Optics, Astronomy* must be well acquainted with
logic, Belles-Lettres, Rhetoric, Law of Nature
and Nations, Metaphysics, Politics and Political
Although mention has been made in many documents of mechanios,
mechanical and chemical philosophy, surveying, practical mathematics, no
specific mention has been made of the applications of science to practical
Furthermore, there is no mention of any applied science in the
remainder of the period under investigation.
veying did obtain, however.
Practical exercises in sur-
In 1825, the Faculty Minutes also list the professorships constitut­
ing the Faculty of the college,
.... 3. A Professor of Mathematics - comprehending
the Elements of*Geometry, Algebra, Plane and Bpherical
Trigonometry, Surveying and Mensuration, fluxions
and Astronomy.
4. A Professorship of Natural Philosophy;
embracing Dynamics, Mechanics, Hydro-dynamics,
Pnaumatics, Acoustics, Optics, Magnetism and Electric­
ity, Meteorology, etc.
A Professorship of Chemistry....
Although the power to license surveyors was still in existence, no
evidence has been discovered which would indicate to what extent this
aspect of college administration enabled the college to maintain or gain
a contact with the practical affairs of the Commonwealth of Virginia
closer than that pointed out in Chapter I.
P. 59,
The word in parentheses has been supplied by the investigator.
Faculty Minutes of William and Mary College. 1817-1830, Volume,
Meeting of July 21, 1821, p. 96.
Faculty Minutes, op. cit.. p. 208.
Yale College
In so far as the curriculum is concerned the Laws of 1787 are almost
a verbatim repetition of the Laws of 1774.1
Natural philosophy, astronomy,
mathematics and geography remained an essential part of the curriculum.
Benjamin Martin's Philosophia Brittanica was the textbook in use in natural
philosophy whan Ezra Stiles became president in 1778.
This scientific
work was replaced by William Enfield's Institutes of Natural philosophy in
The Laws of 1795 mention surveying, navigation, astronomy and
Although this is the first mention of surveying in the
college statutes, this subject was taught early in the college's existence
as already pointed out.
The course of study reconstructed from these college laws indicates
that no substantial change occurred in the plan of education in the period
The classical languages still held sway for the seniors, in
1785, debated the propositions,
Whether Latin and Green are studied too much
in America.
Whether Latin and Greek are studied too much
in Yale College6
The students of the college were concerned with the encouragement of
agriculture, manufacturing and commerce.
In 1781, the following proposition
was debated,
Laws of lale College 1787, pp. 8-9.
Lfosngy BAwar. s£ Eaca SiAlsa, vol. ii, p. 387.
Ibid.. Vol. Ill, p. 312.
The Laws of Yale College 1795, p. 17.
Chapter I, pp. 20, 21.
Stiles, Literaxy Diary, op. cit.. Vol. Ill, p. 152.
Which will demand the greatest attention and
Encouragement in the present period of the American
States* Agriculture* Manufactures or Commerce?
Again In 1782* the students argued the topio*
Whether Agriculture or Commerce needs the most
encouragement in the United States at present
President Stiles* in his diary* added that neither needed greater
encouragement than they had at the moment*
The outcome of these dis­
putations is not stated in the diary*
These propositions indioate that the students were alive to the new
demands made on the young country but no evidence has appeared to
indicate that this oonoera for the practical matters of the country found
expression in the curriculum in the form of instruction in either com­
merce, agriculture or manufacturing beyond the textbook passages devoted
or applicable to these branches of industry*
In 1792, the Report of the Committee of the General Assembly of
Connecticut concerning Yale College was read at the May 25th Meeting of
the Trustees.
The Committee recommended that a Professorship of Math­
ematics be added to the faculty of the college*
This recommendation
supported by a grant of funds was, in reality, an endowment of the
In September 1798, the Trustees of Yale College voted to institute a
"Professorship of Chymlstry and Natural History as soon as funds shall be
Ibid.* Vol. II, p. 547.
Ibid.* Vol. Ill, p. 18.
Loc. cit.
This was not the first time that a professorship in mathematics and
natural philosophy (as the professorship authorized at this time
was afterwards called) was established in the college. As early
as 1771* Nehemiah Strong was appointed as professor in mathematics
and natural philosophy. Cf. Trustee*s Minutes* Vol. I* p. 193.
sufficiently productive to support it”.'*' This did not obtain until
September 9, 1802, when Benjamin Silliman.was appointed to fill the post,**
The College Laws of 1800 did not alter the curriculum as described
in the Laws of 1795.
The Laws of 1804 mention chemistry, botany,
natural history and mathematics and natural philosophy.^
The curriculum, as outlined in the early college catalogs and the
Laws of 1817,^ contained surveying, navigation, chemistry and natural
philosophy (theoretical and experimental). After 1822, lectures in
minerology, and geology were given by Professor Silliman, in addition to
the instruction in chemistry.
The curriculum of Tale College from 1776 to 1825 was conservative
in nature.
The course of study remained uniform in that it embraced the
main divisions of the learned languages; mathematics and natural philos­
ophy; rhetoric and belle lettres; mental and moral philosophy with
lectures on geology, mineralogy and other scattered subjects.
There were
no radical departures from this pattern and in the documents available no
formal provision was made for applied science instruction nor is there
any indication that any special attention was given to this discipline.
Trustees Minutes. Vol. I, p. 373.
Trustees Hinutes, op. cit.. Vol. 1, Meeting of September 2,1802.
Laws of Yale College 1804, p. 1.
The Laws of Yale College 1817, p. 17. Catalog of YaleCollege
pp. 24, 25; 1824, pp. 23, 24; 1825, pp. 23, 24.
The College of gew Jersey
John Witherspoon was president of the College of New Jersey from
1768 to 1795.
During his presidency mathematical science received "an
extension that was before unknown in the college".^*
This statement is
Again, in the September 25, 1787 meeting, the Trustees con­
sidered the importance "to the interest and reputation of the institution
of perfecting the course of mathematical and philosophical science.
institution of a professorship of mathematics was ordered at this time.
The Laws of 1794 provided for instruction in geography, practical
geometry (surveying), navigation, natural philosophy and astronomy.®
In September 1795 the Trustees established a Professorship of
Chemistry and elected John MacLean to the professorship.
Samuel S.
Smith, President of the College of New Jersey had this to say concerning
Professor MacLean,
William A. Dod, History of the College of New Jersey 1746-1783, p. 32.
President Witherspoon is authority for the statement that the third
year of college studies ".... is chiefly employed in Mathematics
and Natural Philosophy...." and in the senior year there was a
further advance in Mathematics and natural philosophy. This
statement appeared on pp. 15-16 of his Address to the Inhabitants
of Jamaica on beh£tf of the College of New Jersey, issued in 1772.
Trustees1 Minutes. Vol. I, p. 270.
This was not the first time that an election to such a professorship
took place. It was pointed out in Chapter I that William Houston
was elected to such a chair in 1771. The action of the Trustees in
this meeting of September 1787 formally instituted the professorship
as part of the faculty and provided for a regular salary for the post.
The professorship was thus permanently established. Walter Minto
was elected by the Trustees.
Laws of the College of New Jersey 1794, pp. 25, 36, 37.
Trustees Minutes. Vol. I, p. 355.
.... He brings with bin the highest recommendations
from Europe; and from personal acquaintance and from
attending a short course of chemical lectures, I can
assure the public, that of that subject, and of the
newest improvements that have been made in it, he is
a perfect master. He has made it an object of cul­
tivation, not only in it reference to medicine, but
particularly in its application to agriculture and
manufactures, so useful in every country, but
especially in a new one....1
When Professor Minto died in 1796, Professor MacLean was elected
Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, and the Trustees ordered
chemistry and natural history taught as branches of natural philosophy.
The reputation which Professor MacLean gave to the college led to applica­
tions from many students who desired to pursue only the scientific part
of the curriculum.
These applications were granted by the Trustees,
Resolved that students may be admitted to read
in the College in such subjects of science as they or
their parents may select and shall receive certificates
of their proficiency in said sciences which shall be
publicly delivered to them on the day of Commence­
Surveying, natural philosophy, chemistry in addition to mathematics
are mentioned in the Laws of 1802.^
These provisions for science and
mathematics remained essentially unchanged in 1803 although astronomy and
natural history which are not mentioned in the Laws of 1802 are listed in
A letter to Wood’s Newark Gazette and New Jersey Advertiser from
Samuel S. Smith in October 1795. Reproduced in John MacLean,
History of the College of New Jersey. Vol. II, p. 10. The John
MacLean referred to is not the author of the reference. The author
of this authoritative history of the College of New Jersey was the
tenth president of the institution and the eldest son of the John
MacLean referred to above.
Trdstees’ Minutes. Vol. II, p. 5.
John De Witt, "Planting of PrincetonCollege", Presbyterian and Reformed
Review. October, 1897, p. 639, and Varnum L. Collins, Princeton, p. 104.
Trustees♦ Minutes. Vol. II, p. 33.
The Laws
the College fl£ New Jersey 1802, p. 36.
the pamphlet issued in 1803 by President Smith.^
Additional information concerning the curriculum of this period is
provided by the Report of the President of the college to the Trustees of
The Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy reported
teaching the elements of speculative and practical geometry, trigonometry,
surveying, conic sections, algebra, natural and experimental philosophy,
astronomy, and chemistry with such parts of natural history that are
"immediately concerned with this science".
There was no significant departure from this pattern in 1815 or 1819
for the Laws of 1813 provided for surveying, navigation, astronomy, natural
philosophy, chemistry.
The Laws of 1819 added only natural history to
this array of scientific subjects.
According to the College Catalogs of 1821,® 1822,® 1823,^ and 1825,®
the course of study for the remainder of the period contained such subjects
as navigation, surveying, mechanics, natural history, experimental phil­
osophy (heretofore natural philosophy) astronomy and chemistry.
was listed as a distinct study although previously it was an integral part
of natural philosophy.
Reproduced in Louis F. Snow,
pp. 118-119.
Trustees1 Minutes. Vol. II, pp. 127-128.
Laws of the College of New Jersey 1813, pp. 16, 25.
Laws of the College of figs Jersey 1819, p.28.
Pp. 9, 12.
Pp. 9, 12.
P. 12.
College Curriculum in the United States.
Throughout the entire period 1776-1825, liberal provision was made
for science in the College of New Jersey.
The interest in science was
At one time, the president and faculty were requested to state
in their report to the Trustees whether in their opinion the end and
interest of the institution would be better promoted by requiring greater
proficiency in the languages when students entered the college, "in order
that hereafter more time may be allowed for the sciences."^
Although this broad provision for science is completely borne out
by documentary evidence, no direct evidence has been discovered which wouh
indicate to what extent the applications of science to utilitarian ends,
to the mechanic arts, to agriculture or to manufactures found place in the
In the lectures of John MacLean (1795-1812) there was most
likely some provision for applied science.
His skill in applying chemical
science to agriculture and manufactures was acknowledged by President
Samuel S. Smith.
Although the ultimate goal of the special students ad-
mitted to study science subjects only
is not known, it seems unlikely
that they were desirous of following a shallow, formal programme of study
in science.
Professor UacLean was a Doctor of Medicine and had practised
"physic and surgery" at Princeton, New Jersey, prior to his appointment
to the college.4
The possibility exists that physicians and others con-
Trustees* Minutes. Vol. II, Meeting of April 5, 1806, p. 1770.
See above, p. 84.
This privilege was repealed by the Trustees in their September 27, 1809
meeting. No reason for this action is given in the records.
MacLean, oj>. cit.. Vol. II, p. 9.
earned with medicine attended these leotures, for the most part.
would mean that the special students were, in effect, graduate students.
Nothing in the records of the Trustees supports this view.
On the con­
trary, the certificate prepared for the special class of students by a
committee of the Trustees makes no mention of medicine but refers to a
programme of study in
"Geography, Logic, Mathematics, speculative and
practical, Natural and Moral Philosophy, Astronomy, Chemistry, BellesLettres...."^
Again, in the resolution authorizing the admission of students who
desired to study only the science subjects of the college, the Trustees
indicated that the course to be pursued by these students was to be dictated
either by their parents or their own preferences.^
These considerations
would seem to preclude the predominance of medicine in this extraordinary
plan of lectures by Professor MacLean.
In the later years of the period (at least, after 1813), the science
already described was crowded into the last two years of the college course.
These many science subjects coupled with the other scholastic requirements
in the classics and other disciplines would hardly have allowed the student
to probe deeply into any of them.
Under these circumstances, the possibil­
ity of any overflow of science instruction into practical applications of
theoretical and experimental science seems remote.
Reproduced in MacLean, o£. cit,. Vol. II, p. 29.
See above, p. 84.
Dhiversity of Pennsylvania
The character of the instruction in natural and experimental philoso­
phy in 1778 nay be learned from a contemporary document.^
Lectures on the
properties of natter, the lairs of gravitation, pendulum, the theory of
projectiles and first principles of gunnery, the mechanic powers, air,
hydrostatics, hydraulics, fire, light and colour, reflection and refraction
of light, telescopes and optical instruments, microscopic and optical ob­
servations, astronomy and astronomical instruments and observations were
The combinations of the "different simple mechanic powers" in the
construction of compound machines such as cranes and wheel carriages were .
included in the lectures on mechanic powers.
In hydrostatics such things
as determination of specific gravity of fluids and solids, examination of
metals by using the hydrostatic balance were subjects of the lectures.
hydraulics the flow of water through pipes and orifices, pumps and "other
hydraulic engines" were included in the lecture on hydraulics.
In addition,
the force of steam in working certain engines was discussed, according to
this document.
It should be remembered that the general idea of the programme of
1756 remained in force while Provost William Smith remained in office
(to 1791).
On December 26, 1791, the Report of the Committee appointed to deter­
mine the number of professorships necessary and the duties of each reported
to the Trustees.
General Heads and Plan of a Course of Lectures in Natural and Experi­
mental Philosophy. Given in the College of Philadelphia. 1778.
Issued in broadside form.
Trustees1 Records. Vol. V, p. 31.
The Professor of Natural Philosophy was to teach the elements of
natural history including therein the elements of agriculture, and
natural philosophy including the elements of chemistry.
The Professor of
Mathematics was to teach navigation, surveying as well as the familiar
branches of mathematics including the use of globes and maps.
Trustees did not act upon this report at this meeting but on December 28,
1791 gave further consideration to the Report.^
The duties of the
Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy were again outlined.
elements of natural history, chemistry, agriculture and such branches of
astronomy as are applied to navigation and geography were to be within
the province of this professor.
Further, the general properties of matter,
the laws of motion, mechanics, projectiles with their application to gun­
nery and fortification, electricity, hydraulics, pneumatics and optics
were also to be taught.
However, the Report did not receive final
approval in spite of the revisions but the Committee was continued and
made a further report on March 29, 1792.
No reason is given in the
record for requesting the Committee to continue deliberations.
March date the Committee Report was accepted.
On the
The professor of Natural
Philosophy was ordered to teach the elements of natural history and
chemistry and to complete the instruction of the students in the higher
branches of mathematics.
to teach surveying,
The Professor of Mathematics was instructed
navigation, the use of globes and modern
geography, and mathematics through the calculus.
was the final statement of the duties of the two professorships which are
properly the concern of this investigation.
It will be noted that the
names or titles of the professorships changed in the course of the dis­
It will be noted also that in the final statement (of the duties
of the professorships) there is no mention of agriculture or fortifications
both of which had been mentioned in the previous statements as well as in
the programme of 1756.
Moreover, the outline of the final statement of the
subjects is not as broad as the two previous statements.
Either the
Trustees were desirous of restricting the range of subjects in the curric­
ulum or they may have believed it unnecessary to give complete details or
instructions because their views had already been spread on the record of
their meetings.
This latter belief is vitiated by the fact that the
record shows'^ that the Trustees agreed upon the final statement, the sub­
stance of which has already been given.
Presumably this final statement
was to be given to the various professors as. a final summary of their duties
and they were to be governed accordingly.
This view that the curriculum Was to become more narrow in scope than
the earlier programmes of the college is supported by the course of study
prescribed by the Laws of 1811.
The science was confined to the senior
year and consisted only of astronomy, electricity, natural philosophy and
the principles of chemistry.
Surveying and navigation cure not mentioned.
In 1816, however, the Trustees considered a plan for establishing a
"Faculty of Natural Science5*.
The Professorship of Natural History was
Ibid.. p. 57.
Rules and Statutes. University of Pennsylvania 1811, pp. 11-13.
Trustees1 Records. Vol. VI, p. 188.
divorced from the Medical Faculty and a Professorship of Mineralogy and ’
Chemistry Applied to Agriculture and the Arts was established.
Hewson was elected to the former post and Thomas Cooper was selected for
the latter chair.^
Professor Cooper wrote many practical treatises on dyeing and calico
printing, gas lighting, etc.
Much of his writings were intended to extend
scientific information to subjects of practical concern.
Cooper's lectures on applied chemistry appear to have been supported
by subscription.
Some of his lectures were printed in "The Portfolio".
From an introductory lecture, his approach to the applications of
chemistry to the useful arts may be learned.
He advanced® the belief that
chemistry was intermingled with every important manufacture of the old and
new world, with domestic comforts and pleasures, with conditions of health
and of illness, and with almost everything that interest human beings.
Further, he believed that chemistry furnished the basis
.... for almost every other manufacture, for printing, for
the type foundry, for the ink manufactory, for the bleaching
of rags for the paper maker, for the manufacture of soap, of
candles, for the purification of oil, for the extrication of
oarburetted hydrogen, for the making of charcoal, of gun­
powder, of starch, of sugar, for every manufacture of which
metals are the material, for the extraction of alum, of salt,
of green vitriol, for the making of white lead, and sugar of
lead, and red lead, and what is of more consequence than any,
for the invention and improvement of that permanent source of
mechanical power, the steam engine.... I say it is unnecessary
Ibid.. p. 196.
Dumas Malone, The Public Life of Thomas Cooper 1783-1839, pp. 408-409.
Ibid.. p. 231. Particularly is this true of his "Emporium of the Arts
and Sciences", a series of volumes issued in 1813-1814.
In his letter to Thomas Jefferson of April 1818, Cooper mentions his lec­
tures and subscribers. The letter is reproduced in Collections of the
Massachusetts Historical Society. Jefferson Papers. Series 7, Vol. 1,
p, 271.
The Portfolio. Series 4, Vol. 3, March 1817, p. 199.
for me to go into an individual detail of these objects
of chemical knowledge. The bare enumeration suffices to
show their dependence on chemistry, and their prodigious
importance even in a national point of view.l
The outline of his course is also stated in this introductory lecture,
The chief use of a chemical lecture is to enable a student
to read with advantage the books that treat on the subject,
to show these experiments to the eye that would be unintel­
ligible from mere description on paper. It will be impossible
to exclude oral instruction, but I shall dwell briefly on
what the book will tell you, and more amply on those
applications of chemical knowledge which the books usually
met with do not supply.
I propose to give the natural history of the substances
which are the objects of chemical investigation: then their
artificial history; how to procure them: then their
chemical properties when procured; and lastly, their uses
in medicine, in the arts, or in manufactures.*
Another of the introductory lectures (to the 1818 course) of Professor
Cooper contained these same ideas.
He elaborated on the usefulness of
chemistry to both sexes for the intention is expressed to admit women to
the lectures.
The publication of the lectures when the subject matter of
applied chemistry was treated by Professor Cooper as he outlined in these
introductory lectures, does not appear to have taken place.
A syllabus of
his lectures on geology and mineralogy was published in "The Portfolio",
These lectures on geology and mineralogy do not appear to have had
any practical implications.
At least, an examination of the syllabus does
not reveal any.
Ibid.. p. 199.
Ibid.. p. 201.
The Portfolio. Series 4, Vol. 3 (Hay,1818),
The Portfolio. Series 4, Vol.
6 (August,1818),
11, pp. 117-120.
Cooper resigned in 1819.
Until William H. Keating was appointed in
1822, the professorship remained vacant.
It is not surprising therefore
that the Laws of 1820 do not mention the applications of chemistry to
agriculture and the arts.
These statutes provided for instruction in
navigation, astronomy, natural history, natural philosophy and chemistry.^
William Keating graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in
Before his appointment in 1822 to succeed Thomas Cooper as Professor
of Mineralogy and Chemistry Applied to Agriculture and the Arts, Keating
studied in the polytechnic schools of France and Switzerland.
In 1824,
together with Samuel V. Merrick and others, he assisted in the establisho
ment of the Franklin Institute.
It has not been possible to produce a record of the lectures of
Professor Keating at the University similar to the record of those of
Thomas Cooper.
With Keating being closely identified with efforts to apply
chemistry to agriculture and the mechanic arts and with efforts to promote
Reproduced in Louis F. Snow, The College Curriculum in the United States
pp. 139-140.
Persifor Frazer, The Frank!in Institute; Its Services and Deserts. The
Franklin Institute, 1908. A reprint from the Journal of the Franklin
Institute, Vol. CLXV,(April 1908), pp. 248-249. Cf. E. H. Oberholtzer
Philadelphia. A History of the City and Its People. Vol. I, pp. 77
and Charles Riborg Mann, The American Spirit in Education. Bulletin,
1919, No. 30. Bureau of Education, p. 28. Among the objects of
founding of the Franklin Institute were the delivery of lectures
in arts and sciences and the application of science to them; the
establishment of schools in which architecture, mechanical drawing,
and chemistry applied to the arts and mechanics were to be taught.
If possible a high school for giving a liberal and practical
education to young men, was to be established.
and encourage manufactures and the mechanic arts, It seems reasonable to
suppose that this activity was reflected in his lectures in applied
Particularly is this so when his educational background is taken
into account and when it is established that he was actively connected with
the college ( 1 8 2 2 - 1 8 2 8 ) Whether these lectures were supported by sub­
scription or not cannot be ascertained with any definiteness.
The Trustees' Minutes provide a statement of the course of study in
The science included in this schedule were geography, astronomy,
chemistry and natural philosophy.
Navigation and surveying are also men­
Preceding this schedule of subjects is a very interesting statement
of the educational philosophy of the Trustees,
Liberal education must rest for its basis on an
accurate and extensive knowledge of the learned languages.
When the acquisition of them has cultivated the taste,
strengthened the memory and stored the mind with terms
and the capacity to analyze them, adapted to every branch
of knowledge, an introduction of the precise sciences, of
mathematics and the art of reasoning is peculiarly reason­
able, with a preparation thus valid the progress is
natural and easy to the study of philosophy, properly so
called, to an acquaintance with the laws of nature, with
the principles which regulatd the human intellect, which
influence the conduct of man as an individual and with
the rules which establish and govern his connection with
his fellow beings in every variety of relation and with
the Author of his existence.5
While public interest in the encouragement of manufactures and in the
promotion of the mechanic arts through education in the applications of
science was being awakened in Philadelphians to a degree sufficient to
The Catalog of the Trustees, Officers and Graduates of the Department
of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania. 1799-1880.
p. 19.
Trustees1 Records. Vol. 7, p. 85.
ensure the successful establishment of the Franklin Institute (1824), the
Trustees were placing education on the basis of discipline and resting the
whole structure of education on a foundation of the learned languages*
Columbia College'*'
The Committee appointed to inquire into the state of -the finances of
Columbia College and to report a plan of education, recommended the
establishment of seven professorships and "nine extra professorships" in
the Faculty of Arts in addition to several professorships in a Faculty of
Law and a Faculty of Medicine*
Among the nine extra professorships
recommended by this committee were one in architecture, one in commerce
and another in agriculture*^
The professorships that were filled were the following: Latin and
Greek, Mathematics, Logic and Rhetorio, Geography, Moral Philosophy, and
Natural Philosophy*
Although the proposal to create additional posts in
architecture, commerce and agriculture was not realized at this time, the
opportunity awaiting such instruction was appreciated in 1784*
had just reopened its doors*
The college
The establishment of such a wide programme
would have required far greater resources than the college had at its dis­
Natural philosophy consisting of the general properties of matter,
the laws of motion, the mechanical powers, hydrostatics, hydraulios,
King's College was reopened in May 1784 as Columbia College.
Trustees' Minutes, Vol. II, p* 15* The volumes of the Trustees'
Minutes of Columbia College referred to in this study are those
to be found in the Columbiana Collection*
Snow, op. oit., p. 92*
Cf* also the Broadside Plan of Eduoation for
pneumatics, optics, astronomy, electricity, magnetism was provided for
in the Plan of Education adopted in 1785.^
In 1789, the Trustees adopted a resolution authorizing the Professor
of' Mathematics and Natural Philosophy,
to give instruction as follows,
Freshmen class (twice a week)
Extraction of the Roots - Algebra as far as cubic
Sophomore class (three tiroes a week)
Euclid's Elements, Plain Trigonometry, its applications
to the mensuration of Heights and Distances, of solids and
surfaces, Land Surveying, Navigation, etc.
Jhnior class (once a day)
Conic Sections and other curves, Projections of the
Sphere, Spherical Trigonometry - its applications to
astronomy; The higher parts of algebra. The applications
of algebra to Geometry; General Principles of Fluxions.
Senior class (once a day)
General Properties of Matter, Mathematical Laws of
Motion, Mechanical Powers, Constriction of Machines,
Hydrostatics, Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Optics, Astronomy,
Electricity and Magnetism.
In 1792, the Committee appointed by the Trustees of Columbia College
"to consider and report what new Professorships were requisite in said
College," reported that a Professorship of Law, a Professorship of Ancient
and Modern History, a Professorship of Natural History, Chemistry, Agric­
ulture and the other arts depending thereon were required.4
The schedule of the Professorship of Natural History, Chemistry,
Agriculture and the other arts depending thereon was to comprehend the
following aspects of chemistry and natural history,
Issued in broadside form.
Instruction in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy had been merged
together as early as 1787. Cf. Trustees1 Minutes. Vol. II, p. 87.
Trustees' Minutes. Vol. II, pp. 122-123.
Ibid.. p. 174.
Geology or the natural and chemical History of the
Earth considered with respect to its formation,
shape, component matter, alterations in the
course of Ages; its several Theories; its
Strata; elevations, Depressions, Heat,
Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Climates, Seasons.
Meteorology or the natural and chemical History of
the Atmosphere with regard to its component
parts, fluidity, expansion, its Winds,
Tides and other Motions, its use, influence;
Theories of Rain, Dew, Fog, Mist, Snow,
Frost; Evaporation and Precipitation of Water;
Explanation of the Phenomena of Lightning,
Aurora Borealis and other igneous and phos­
phorescent meteors.
Hydrology or the natural and chemical History of Waters.
The congelation and fluidity of Water;
ijualities and properties of pure Water; its
admixtures of foreign ingredients in Rain
Water, River Water, Spring Water, etc.
History of the Seas and particularly of the
oceans, its incroachments, derelictions,
currents. Formation of Springs, Rivers,
Fountains. History of Mineral Springs,
particularly those of our own country.
Mineralogy or the natural and chemical History of Fossil
substances, containing the description and
arrangement of minerals, under the divisions
of Earthv. Metallic, Saline, and Inflammable
Bodies, to be accompanied with Specimens
exhibiting the Body itself, and elucidated
by the chemical qualities of the same with
its use, preparation and application to the
useful Arts; particularly as regards painting,
dyeing, making, making of Glass, Porcelain,
Salt, Vitriol, Extraction of MetsJs.from their
Ores, and their applications to economical
Botany or the natural and chemical History of Plants;
as far as regards their organization, structure,
economy, use, functions, vegetable Statics;
Theory of Vegetation and application of its
principles to practical Agriculture; Nutrition
and food of plants, with the History of Manures,
Multiplication, Dissemination and Habitation of
Plants. Chemical History of various vegetable
products, Sap, Gum, Resin, Farina, etc., with
their preparation and application to the uses of
Man. Vegetable Colors, Vegetable Poisons, Baking,
Brewing, Tanning, etc.
Zoology or the natural and chemical History of
Animals. Classification and. description of
Animal Bodies, according to the classes of
Beasts, Birds, Amphibia, Fishes, Insects,
Worms, with Histories of such particular
Animals as are most useful or noxious to Han.
Chemical History of Blood, Milk, Honey, Wax,
Spermatid, Human Calculus, Animal Gluten, etc.,
with their several uses and products as con­
nected with human convenience and economy. 1
Samuel Latham Hitchill was appointed Professor of Natural History,
Chemistry and Agriculture and the other arts depending thereon on July 9,
On several occasions the Trustees ar their authorized committees
conceded the advisability of establishing professorships in applied
science (i.e., in agriculture, architecture and commerce).
These plans or
reports exemplified many of the principles contained in the opening ad­
vertisement of King's College and indicate that some attempt was being made
to put this original design into practice.
It was not until the establish­
ment of the professorship just described that any definite step was taken
to provide instruction in the applications of science to the useful and
common purposes of life.
The Committee appointed "to inquire into the State of Learning at
Columbia in 1794" reported to the Trustees.
From this report the organ­
ization of the college in 1794 may be learned.
The college consisted of
two faculties; the Faculty of Arts, composed of the President, William S.
Johnson, and seven professors; the Faculty of Physic, comprehending the
Dean of the college and seven other professorships.
The Professor of
Trustees' Minutes. Vol, II, pp. 175-177.
Ibid.. p. 178.
Professor Mitchill prepared a syllabus of his course of lectures
in natural history, chemistry, etc. This will be discussed in
the next chapter.
Mathematics (John Kemp) gave instruction in land surveying and naviga­
tion. ^
The Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy (John Kemp)
divided his course into mechanics (strictly so called), hydrostatics,
hydraulics, pneumatics, optics, electricity, magnetism and astronomy**.
The various topics and objects which belong to each of these headings were
minutely treated in a set of lectures which began in June and continued
daily until April.
The College is provided with an elegant and
extensive apparatus for Mechanical Philosophy and
Astronomy. There are about 600 experiments performed
each year during the course....3
The report calls attention to the Professorship of Economics^
(Samuel Latham Mitchill, Professor).
The course is described,
.... This course of which a syllabus is published, is
conducted upon the new French system. A few weeks ago,
Mr. Mitchill gave an edition of the New Nomenclature of
Chemistry, in French, German and English, for the use of
the students. This Professorship comprises not only the
classification and arrangement of natural bodies, but also
treats of a great variety of facts which form the basis of
Medicine, Agriculture, and the other useful arts, as well
as of manufactures.6
In November 1802 James S. Stringham was elected to succeed S. L.
Mitchill when the latter was elected to the House of Representatives in
Report of a Committee Appointed to inquire into the State of Learning
at Columbia in 1794. Dr. Samuel Latham Mitchill, Chairman, p. S.
Ibid., p.
Loc. oit.
This title was applied, at times, to the Professorship of Natural
History, Chemistry and Agriculture, etc.
Ibid.. p. 9.
Trustees1 Minutes. Vol. II, p. 306.
In 1810, a committee
appointed lay the Board of Trustees to inquire
into the state of education and to report their opinion as to the proper
measures for carrying the design of the institution into effect and to
revise the statutes of the college, rendered their report.
The Committee
stated that the primary principles of all sound education were the "evol­
ution of faculty and the formation of h a b i t D u r i n g the whole course of
.... the youthful faculties are to be kept upon the
stretch. As they develop themselves and gain strength,
they are to be employed in work demanding severer tension and
more dauntless rigor. As in mathematical science every
preceding proposition is an instrument in the demonstration
of those which follow, so in all branches of education every­
thing which being learned is an end, becomes when learned,
a means, and is to be applied, in its turn, to the remoter
and obscurer investigations....3
The Trustees considered the course of study recommended by the
Committee and resolved to adopt it on April 10, 1810.
The science in
this curriculum consisted of natural philosophy, astronomy, geography.3
In the same meeting the Professorship of Chemistry was detached from the
Faculty of Arts and "appropriated to the Faculty of Medicine."
The Statutes of 1811 provided for the same subjects in science as
prescribed by the Trustees in 1810.^
The curriculum was broad in the sense
The Committee also reported on February 8, 1809. This was a prelimin­
ary report, which called specific attention to the fact that the
course of instruction in the College was not in accordance with the
statutes and recommended a revision of these laws. The committee
was given this task and reported further in 1810.
Report of the Committee of the Trustees. Columbia College. February 28,
1810, reproduced in Snow, op. cit.. pp. 102-104.
3. Ibid.. p. 103. Cf. also extracts from this report in
1821. pp. 23, 26.
the Statutes of
Trustees1 Minutes. Vol. II, p. 378.
5. Ibid.. pp. 379-380.
Ibid.. p. 383.
7. Snow, op. cit.. pp. 107-108, wherein the Statutes of1811
that it contained a great variety of subjects (which have not been
reproduced here) but in science, it was narrow and United.
This becomes
particularly evident when it is compared to the programme of studies
adopted in 1792.
Whether or not Professor Stringham continued instruction
in applied chemistry is not known.
With the assignment of the Professorship
of Chemistry to the Faculty of Medicine, the possibility of instruction in
the applications of chemistry to manufactures and agriculture appears
In 1812, Dr. Kemp, the Professor of Mathematics and Natural
Philosophy died.
Robert Adrain was elected to the vacant chair in 1813.
In 1817, the Board of Columbia College (the Faculty) reported to the
Trustees on "the present state of the college".
Professor Adriin instructed
students in surveying, navigation, geography, theoretical and experimental
natural philosophy and astronomy.^
From the report of the President on the state of the college presented
to the Trustees on February 2, 1818, the character of the natural philoso­
phy may be learned.
In this report, this subject is referred to as
"theoretical and practical Natural Philosophy".
Under this heading were,
.... (the) Laws of Motion, Doctrine of Gravitation, Statics,
mechanic Powers, Laws of falling Bodies, Theory of Projec­
tiles, Resistance of Mediums, hydrostatics, Specific Gravities,
Theory of Tides. Figure of the Earth, with Optics, Electricity,
Magnetism, etc.*
Further, on December
1819, the Trustees referred a recommendation
of their Committee of Visitation to establish distinct Professorships of
Trustees* Minutes, Vol. II2, p. 657.
Ibid.. p. 606.
Mathematics and Natural or Experimental Philosophy and Chemistry to
another committee for study.
In 1820, the Trustees approved this split.
Professor Adrain was made Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy and James
Reawick was appointed Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and
Renwick, a graduate of Columbia College in 1807, had already
served the college for he conducted the studies of the senior class in
natural philosophy in the interval between the death of Dr. Kemp and the
appointment of Robert Adrain.
Early in 1821, the Trustees approved a new body of statutes which
raised the requirements for admission and enlarged and improved the cur4
According to these statutes, the instruction in science con­
sisted of chemistry and natural philosophy and astronomy.
No mention of
surveying or navigation can be found in these laws but if they were taught,
the instructor was either Professor Adrain who had taught these subjects
before or Professor Renwick who earlier in life had been a topographical
engineer for the United States Government.
The Presidents Report to the Board of Trustees presented on March 7,
1825, contains a brief statement of the actual course of instruction at
that time.
Ibid.. p. 696.
Trustees1 Minutes. Vol. Ill1, p. 725.
History of Columbia University. 1754-1904, p. 99.
Early Columbia Engineers. p. 19.
Trustees1 Minutes. Vol. Ill1, pp. 764-766.
Trustees * Minutes. Vol. Ill1, pp. 974-979.
Cf. also J. K. Finch,
The Junior class studied the theory of surveying in the mathematical
For the first time, a treatment of calculus and mechanics
is mentioned under the heading of Analytical Mechanics.
The course in Chemistry and Natural and Experimental
Philosophy has been improved, in the junior class, by
the introduction of a text book that for the most part
is purely chemical. A textbook more elementary, and
better suited to the age and information of those who
compose that class.^
Brown University
Bronson states that for some time after its founding, the College of
Rhode Island reproduced the curriculum of the College of New Jersey, the
alma mater of James Manning, first president of Brown.^
The instruction
in the college was interrupted, for the most part, from Deoember
1776 -
June 1782 by the Revolution. ®
The Laws of 1785 give the whole course of study at that time and
provided that the President and Tutors,
.... according to their judgments, shall teach and
instruct the several classes in the learned Languages
and in the liberal Arts and Sciences, to-gether with
the vernacular tongues.®
Surveying, navigation, astronomy and natural philosophy and geography are
listed in these laws.
Benjamin Martin's Philosophia Brittanies was the
1. This adds weight to the belief that surveying was taught in 1821 by
Professor Adrain although not prescribed by the statutes.
2. Ibid.. p. 979.
5. The College of Rhode Island became Brown University on September 6, 1804.
4. Walter C. Bronson, The History of Brown University. 1764-1914, p. 101.
This is verified by Snow, op. cit.. p. 108.
5. Bronson, op. cit.. p. 68, wherein the Corporation Records indicating
this suspension of academic activities are reproduced.
6. Ibid.. Appendix B, p. 509, and
Snow, pp. cit.. pp. 109-110.
textbook In natural philosophy.
Love’s Surveying was used in that
The Laws of 1793 provided for instruction in trigonometry with its
applications to surveying and navigation.
William Nicholson's book on
natural philosophy supplanted Martin's text.
The Professor of Experimental
Philosophy (Perez Forbes) was authorized to deliver a complete course of
lectures to the two upper classes.
The Laws of 1803 are almost an exact repetition of these statutes of
The same general outline is repeated, even the textbooks remained
the same.
Bronson describes
the 1823 curriculum (prescribed by the Laws of
1825) as "considerably enriched".
curriculum was chemistry.
Nicholson's textbook.
The only addition to science in the
William Enfield's Natural Philosophy supplanted
Surveying and navigation were continued.
Professorship of Chemistry was established in 1811 as part of the Medical
Evidently instruction in chemistry for undergraduates was estab­
lished some time before 1823 for provision for it was made in these
The curriculum of Brown University before 1825 exhibits an emphasis
on the classics.
Although some attention was paid to science, there was
no provision for practical education in science.
The instruction in
science seems to have consisted of experiments and recitations in textbooks.
Loc. cit.
Snow, op. cit.. pp. 110-112.
Bronson, op. cit.. p. 167.
Bronson gives a vivid statement of a student of the class of 1825
which gives some idea of the method of instruction at that time.
•Our professors were more partly men, going on to 60.
Sitting cross-legged in an arm-chair, against which a
silver-headed cane leaned, they would insist on you
giving them the exact words of Blair (false English and
all), or of Kames, and of Stewart and Hedge. Our
president (Messer), who heard us in Enfield's Philosophy
was more communicative and even facetious....'^
This excerpt, of itself, oannot be considered conclusive.
The small
change in the curriculum over forty years and its narrow scope (from the
modern point of view) have already been established by documentary
Queen's College
The John Bogart letters provide the first evidence of the course of
study at Queen's College at the time of its opening.
The letter from John
Taylor to John Bogart in 1779 mentions natural philosophy, arithmetic,
geometry, Euclid as part of the course of study in addition to the ntime
honored" learned languages.
Another letter from Simeon Van Artsdalen
to Bogart also mentions natural philosophy.
The General Catalog of
Rutgers College, 1766-1916, lists John Taylor as Professor of Mathematics
and Natural Philosophy from 1781-1791.
Demarest believes that Taylor gave to Queen's College
.... a quality of mathematical training, a basis for
early engineering, which may have differenced the
college a little from its fellows in that early time
Ibid.. p. 167.
The John Bogart Letters, p. 18.
Ibid.. p. 28.
P. 34.
and given the college some real distinction.
On August 13, 1794, the Trustees resolved to suspend the collegiate
exercises after the commencement following this date.
The first step to revive the college exercises occurred on March 25,
1807 when the Chief Justice of the State offered the following resolution,
Inasmuch as the present situation of,
rapidly increasing in wealth and population, and
anxiously desiring the promotion of knowledge and sound
education, presents a hope of reviving this college, and
placing it on such a foundation as will comport, not only
W. H. S. Demarest, History of Rutgers College, p. 88. The investiga­
tor has discussed this point in conversation with Dr. Demarest
(President of Rutgers College 1905-1924). His belief is based on
the knowledge that the early surveyors were active in many
aspects of what developed into civil engineering, professor
Taylor taught mathematics under which subject heading surveying
was often taught. This instruction in surveying was not peculiar
to Queen's College. It cannot be shown that this mathematical
training in surveying was a major objective of Queen's College or
its contemporaries. If this could be established as fact, then
this training would be sore significant. All students who attended
college received instruction in surveying when this subject was
listed in the curriculum. That some of these students became
proficient in this art and engaged in the practice of the art is
For further proof that the early surveyors were in essence civil
engineers, see Richard S. Kirby, "Some Early American Civil
Engineers and Surveyors", Papers and Transactions for 1950. The
Connecticut Society of Civil Engineersr pp. 26-47. Cf. also,
Desmond Fitzgerald, "Early Engineering Work in the United States",
Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Vol. 41,
June 1899, pp. 598 ff., and J. Elfreth Watkins, "Beginnings of
Engineering", Transactions of the American Society of Civil
Engineers, Vol. XXIV, May 1891, pp. 532-380. Cf* William Waller
Hening, Virginia Statutes at Large. Vol. 10, pp. 53, 54; Vol. 12,
p. 379; Vol. 13, p. 203.
Trustees' Minutes for the Meeting of August 15. 1794.
with the design of the original founders, but also
with the expectations of public utility which have
been placed upon it.*
By 1809, the instruction in the college was completely revived.
Robert Adrain was made Professor of Mathematics in 1809.^
The Laws of
1810 contain no direct mention of the curriculum but do mention mathemat­
ics and the philosophical apparatus which were placed under the care of the
Professor of Mathematics.
An 1810 edition of the charter mentions Robert
Adrain as Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy.
The document
provides further,
There will also be taught in the institution
Political Economy,'Ancient and Modem History,
Chronology, Ancient and Modem Geography, Chemistry
and English Grammar.
The chemistry mentioned in this edition of the charter was either
not actually taught or came under the instruction in natural philosophy for
the Trustees, upon receiving a letter from F. Aigster, M. D., in which he
enquired about the possibilities of an appointment as Professor of
Chemistry, resolved,
That the President be requested to inform him
that the funds of the Board do not enable them to
employ such a professor.5
Henry Vethake succeeded Adrain as Professor of Mathematics and
Natural Philosophy in 1813 and remained until 1814 when he assumed that
chair at the College of New Jersey.**
Trustees1 Minutes. Meeting of March 25. 1807
Ibid.. Meeting of November 24. 1809.
Page 4.
The Charter of Queen»s College in New Jersey. New Brunswick: Printed by
Abraham Blauvelt, 1810, p. 2.
\ .
Trustees1 Minutes. Meeting of February 15. 1812.
6. The General Catalog of Rutgers College,
Meeting of June £, 1815.
cit.. p. 36; and Trustees1
In 1816, the Trustees considered an important report of one of
their committees,
The committee to whom was referred the accounts
of the Treasurer, to report what measures it would be
advisable to adopt in the present state of the funds of
the college beg leave to report,
That your committee from a view of the statement of
the college funds as exhibited to them are of the opinion
that the income of the funds with such sums as may
probably be received for the tuition of students are en­
tirely insufficient to support the present establishment
of the Professors and Teachers in the college....^
On September 25, 1816, the Trustees again voted to suspend the college exercises "on the rising of this Board".
These exercises were not
resumed or revived until 1825.
In the September 15, 1825 meeting of the Trustees, there is mention
of an appointment "without delay" of a Professor of Mathematics and Natural
Robert Adrain returned to the college in this post.
The college exercises were ordered begun on November 14, 1825
on December 5, 1825 the name of the institution was changed to Rutgers
The Statutes of November 1825 indicate that geography, surveying,
natural philosophy, practical and physical astronomy were among the sub­
jects in the course of study at the beginning of this new era in the
history of the college.
Trustees1 Minutes (September 26, 1824-July 16, 1835 Volume), p. 21.
Ibid., p. 31.
Ibid.. p. 125.
Ibid.. p. 130.
Ibid.. p. 136.
Ibid.. p. 141.
Dartmouth College
The Laws of Dartmouth College of 1796, provided,
It shall be the duty of the Students to study
the languages, sciences and arts at the oollege in
the following order, vizi The Freshmen, The Latin and
Greek classics, Arithmetic, English Grammar, and the
Elements of Criticism* The Sophomores - the Latin and
Greek Classics, Logic, Arithmetic, Geography, Geometry,
Trigonometry, Algebra, Conic Sections, Surveying, Men­
suration of Heights and Distanoes and the Belle Lettres.
The Juniors - the Latin and Greek classics, Geometry,
Natural and Moral Philosophy and Astronomy* The
Seniors - Metaphysios, Theology and Natural and Political
Law *«tt^
In 1811, the Trustees published a statement in which the curriculum
is described*^ The classical languages were studied in the first three
Mathematics (geometry, arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry), sur­
veying, astronomy and natural philosophy are also mentioned.
Richardson gives an interesting criticism of the curriculum, ap­
plicable to the latter part of the period of John Wheelock’s presidency
Once admitted to the institution, the student
found the curriculum of the college to be as rigid and
inexorable as fate* Each man regardless of his tastes
or interests, must follow implicitly the arrangement
fixed by the powers above* There was nothing taught
which every student must not study; no course was given
which was not prescribed to all* For three years, twothirds of the time was devoted to Latin and Greek. The
other third was assigned to arithmetic, English Grammar,
logic, geography, geometry, trigonometry, algebra, conic
seotions, surveying, mensuration, natural and moral phil­
osophy, and astronomy; a multiplicity of subjects which
makes it apparent that the acquaintance gained by a
student with any one of them must have been of the slight­
est *•*• Traditional the curriculum was and (as) fixed as
the rock of ages*.**3
Trustees* Minutes, Vol. I, p* 198*
Reproduced in Baxter Perry Smith, The History of Dartmouth College, p. 84.
Leon Burr Riohardson, History of Dartmouth College, Vol. I, p. 248.
Cf* also, B. P. Smith, 0£. cit*, p* 83; and Frederick Chase, A
History of Dartmouth College and the Town of Hanover, Vol. I,
pp. 5W,~B2S1
The course of study in 1814 exhibited the ease emphasis on the
Surveying, navigation, natural philosophy (Enfield’s text­
book), astronomy and chemistry (introduced in 1815) were among the sub­
jects taught.^
In 1820, the Trustees voted and unanimously chose James Freeman
Dana, Professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy and the Application of Science
to the Arts.
Further, the Trustees voted to allow an additional stipend
to the professor for remaining at Hanover, N. H. and for giving lectures
on the subject of the application of chemistry to the arts.** Dana was a
practical chemist and was interested in many of the applications of
science to practical affairs.4
The College Catalog of 1822^- lists surveying, navigation, chemistry,
astronomy, natural philosophy.
These subjects and the remainder of the
schedule do not differ markedly from the previous outlines.
tions of chemical science are not mentioned.
The applica­
Professor Dana was at
Dartmouth then (until 1826) but is listed in the 1824 catalog® as Profes­
sor of Chemistry, Mineralogy and pharmacy and Lecturer on Legal Medicine.
No data can be presented to show just what the character of the instruc­
tion in applied chemistry given by professor Dana was during his connection
with the college.
1~. Documents Relative~to the History of Dartmouth College. Concord (?),
1816, p. 32.
Trustees’ Minutes. Vol. II, p. 148.
Ibid.. p. 153.
Samuel I. Prime,Life ofMorse, p. 162 ff., for his friendship with
S. F. B. Morse and work in electromagnetism and his flineralogv and
Geology of Boston and Its Vicinity.
Pp. 2, 3.
P. 16.
The catalogs of 1824 and 1825 list the schedule of courses for
these years.
There was no change of any significance from the programme
of 1822.
P. 16.
Pp. 18, 19
Chapter Summary
The colleges with which this study is concerned were closely
related in the colonial period, because of their common allegiance to
the Oxford curriculum. After the establishment of the Union, some
attempt was made to adapt the curriculum to the changed conditions of
the country.
The emphasis on divinity waned.
The colleges appear to
have been searching cautiously for something better suited to the
needs of the new nation than the venerable Oxford curriculum.
In this period of adjustment, it might well be asked whether or
not these colleges again had a common inspiration or whether they
again followed the example set by Harvard or another of their contem­
poraries .
A H the available evidence indicates that they did neither.
At Harvard University the Massachusetts Professorship of Natural
History was established in 1805 as a result of the philanthropic
interest of a group of citizens of Boston.
The Massachusetts Society
for the Promotion of Agriculture was one of the contributors.
thropy was also the direct cause for the establishment of the Rumford
Professorship in the Applications of the Sciences to the Arts in 1816.
Furthermore, to meet the demands for scientific knowledge in the
mechanical and useful arts, students were admitted to Harvard to pursue
particular studies to qualify them for scientific and mechanical
These provisions for applied science were purely indigenous.
At the College of New Jersey, the period 1795 - 1812 were the
years of the influence of John MacLean.
Science and even applied science
received an impetus tor the presence of this man.
cane to this country from Scotland.
Professor MacLean
Students who desired to study only
the science aspects of the curriculum were admitted to the college (up
to 1809).
The emphasis on science and applied science was dependent
upon the presence of Dr. MacLean at the college because with his
departure and with the appointment of Ashbel Green as president of the
college in 1812, a return to the traditional, classical curriculum ob­
The Reverend William Smith remained at the University of Pennsylvania
until 1791.
While Smith remained, his programme of studies introduced
in 1756, continued in existence.
With his departure, the curriculum of
the institution became considerably more narrow in scope.
Although there
was considerable discussion attendant upon the establishment of the new
curriculum, no reason is given in the records for eliminating the
features (the provisions for practical education) which distinguished the
Programme of 1756.
In 1816, the "Faculty of Natural Science" was author­
ized by the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.
A Professorship
of Mineralogy and Chemistry Applied to Agriculture and the Arts was
Although the institution of this professorship took place
in the same year that the Rumford Professorship was founded at Harvard,
the investigator has not discovered any evidence which would indicate
that the University of Pennsylvania was influenced by the example set by
Harvard University.
The plans and reports of the Trustees of Columbia College or their
authorized committees which either projected or recommended the estab­
lishment of professorships in applied science, indicate that some effort
was being made to carry the original design of the institution into
practice rather than imitating either European practice or the
programme of contemporary colleges.
Samuel Latham Mitchill was
appointed Professor of Natural History, Chemistry and Agriculture
(and the arts depending thereon) in 1792.
At Iale, Brown and Dartmouth emphasiswas
placed on the classics.
However, in 1820, the Trustees of Dartmouth College voted and unanim­
ously chose James F. Dana, Professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy and the
Applications of Science to the Arts.
Dana was a practical chemist and
was interested in many applications of science to practical affairs.
In the years before 1825, Queen's College was forced to suspend
academic exercises on two occasions.
The question of mere subsistence
undoubtedly precluded any radical innovation in the curriculum.
The College of William and Mary still exercised the power to
examine and license surveyors, thus, retaining its close union with
the practical affairs of the commonwealth.
Epitome of the Art of Navigation. t>7 James Atkinson, London: Printed
for V. and J. Mount, etc., 1762.
This book was in use at Yale after
practical Geometry is the first major division of the treatise.
The applications of geometry to mensuration, to practical measuring of
land, timber, glass, board, paving, etc., are discussed.
Plane trigonometry is considered as pure mathematics (logarithms,
natural functions, etc.), and in its applications to the problems of
plane and Mercator sailing.
The use of Mercator's charts is included
and there are problems to demonstrate these uses.
Spherical trigonometry as such and as applied to problems in naviga­
tion follows.
Geography is defined as the application of spherical
trigonometry in finding the true distance of places on the globe.
ed also is a description of and use of the globes in navigation.
are numerous problems in finding latitude and longitude.
Another section is devoted to great circle sailing; another to the
corrections for the variation of the compass necessary in navigation.
The book proper is concluded with a detailing of the manner and fora
in which a ship's log book should be kept with an example of a seven day
journey set forth.
Numerous tables of use in sailing are appended.
in the colleges selected for study in this investigation.
Alexander Cowie, "Educational Problems in Yale College in the 18th
Century", Educational Review. 1901, p. 6.
Elements of navigation, by J. Robertson, London: Printed for
J. Nourse, 1772.
2 volumes.^" The whole treatise (the two volumes) is divided
into ten major divisions or books.
Most of the first volume is given over
to mathematics; i.e., geometry, plane trigonometry, arithmetic, and spherics.
Geography and solar and terrestrial astronomy complete the list of topics
included in the first part.
The second volume is an extensive treatise on navigation with detailed
descriptions of sailing and the solution of practical problems in this art.
The topics included are plane sailing, globular sailing (chiefly Mercator
sailings and charts with some great circle sailing) and fortifications.
Under this latter heading are found descriptions of fortification works of
simple construction and major fortifications of towns, harbours, roads, and
a general discussion of the size and plan of forts.
Institutes of Natural Philosophy. Theoretical and Experimental.
by William Enfield, London: Printed for J. Johnson, 1785.
Under mechanics the general laws of motion, gravitation, centre of
gravity, the laws of freely falling bodies and the laws of bodies falling
down inclined planes, are considered.
A full chapter is devoted to motion as directed by certain instruments
called mechanical powers.
These instruments are the familiar lever, wheel and
axle, pulley, inclined plane, the screw, and the wedge.
These are defined
It is difficult to understand the reference to this treatise in the Laws
of the University of Pennsylvania for 1820. Robertson died in 1776, and
the investigator has not discovered any later edition. What most likely
happened is that the book enjoyed long favor at the University and the
professor in charge edited the work and brought it up to date (where this
, was necessary) in his lectures. Mr. C. Seymour Thompson, Librarian of
the University of Pennsylvania has not been able to shed any light on
this point.
This treatise is mentioned in the Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles, Vol. Ill,
p. 312 as being in use at Tale in 1788. It is also declared to be in
use at Harvard in 1793 (cf. Records of the College Faculty, Vol. VI,
p. 184).
and different aspects of them are considered (viz: position and definition
of the fulcrum in the case of the lever, etc.).
Projectiles and their paths are discussed.
Under hydrostatics the weight and motion of fluids are treated in
proposition form (as is the whole subject matter of the treatise).
Some of
these propositions are interesting,
When the surface of a fluid is level, the whole mass will
be a rest.-*When a fluid flows through a tube which is wider in some
parts than others, the velocity of the fluid will, in every section
of the tube be inversely as the area of the section.^
The momentum with which any fluid runs out of a given orifice
in the bottom or side of a vessel, is proportional to the per­
pendicular depth of the orifice below the surface of the fluid.
The velocity with which any fluid runs out of an orifice in
the bottom or side of a vessel is as the square root of the depth
of the orifice from the surface of the fluid.4
A stream of any fluid which spouts obliquely forms a
If a river flows uniformly, the same quantity of water passes
in an equal time through every section.®
The resistance of fluids, their specific gravities and densities are they
Under pneumatics the weight and pressure of the air are generally con­
Propositions such as air has weight; air presses equally in all
P. 84.
P. 85.
P. 93.
P. 94.
P. 95.
P. 98. The similarity between these propositions and the beliefs held,
today, in hydraulics or fluid mechanics is striking.
directions; air is an elastic fluid; the pressure of the atmosphere varies
at different altitudes; the elasticity of the air is increased by heat; are
discussed in detail.
The explanation of the nature and use of diverse
hydraulic and pneumatic instruments follows.
These instruments were the
syphon, the syringe, the common pump, forcd pump, condenser, air pump.
Under the headings of optics, astronomy, magnetism and electricity there
is little or nothing that is the proper concern of this investigation.
reader will no doubt be interested in Enfield*s definition of electricity,
.... there is in nature a substance, called the
Electric Fluid, which, being excited, becomes perceptible
to the senses.^
Institutes of Natural Philosophy. Theoretical and Practical, by
William Enfield, Boston: Thomas and Andrews, 1811.
This edition was edited
by Samuel Webber who had been president of Harvard University.
indicatd that it was in use at Harvard at this time.
need not
be detailed here.
This would
The corrections made
It is sufficient to know that the work was
revised in accordance with the growth of the scientific knowledge and beliefs
of the times.
The most important corrections and additions occurred in the
section devoted to pneumatics.
the air are again considered.
Here the weight, pressure and elasticity of
The syphon, syringe, common pump, force pump,
condenser, air pump, barometer, thermometer, hydrometer, hygrometer and steam
engine are discussed.
The steam engine is defined as a machine which derives
its moving power from the elasticity of the steam of boiling water and its
importance is advanced,
P. 341. The whole technological field of electro-magnetism was
undeveloped at this time, of course.
This book is mentioned in the 1814 Laws of Dartmouth College.
..., the high importance of this machine to the mechanical
arts of life, especially where immense powers are required, has
given birth to many considerable improvements both in its
construction and mode of operations.^*
There followed a description of some of the earliest steam engines which
exhibited the general principles involved in this engine.
The section on magnetism was expanded.
New material here included the
dip, declination and variation of the magnetic needle, a discussion of
magnetic poles of a magnet, and the axis and equator of a magnet.
Electricity is again defined as a quantity of an ''exceedingly” elastic
fluid which every body contains.
There are no practical implications,
A third edition of the book appeared in 1820.
The general outline of
topics covered remained'exactly as in the 1811 edition.
The major corrections
aae tabulated at the beginning of the work (i.e. in the preface) and
insignificant and inconsiderable changes were made throughout the work.
was admitted by the publishers that the articles on magnetism and electricity
were much behind the (then) present state of science.
The corrections in
this edition were not made by President Webber but by James Dean.
corrections made are specific rather than general.
The general ideas of
natural philosophy expressed in the two editions already analyzed and given
above, remained the same.
An Introduction to Natural Philosophy by William Nicholson,
P. 127.
2. -This treatise is again mentioned in the 1822 and 1824 Catalogs of Tale;
the Statement of tbs Course of Instruction at Harvard University,
1823; the Laws of Brown for 1823.
Philadelphia} Printed by T. Dobson, MDCCXCV, 2 vols.^
This treatise contains a general enumeration of the general properties
of matter.
Motion is considered, "being that affection of matter by which
changes are brought about".
Mechanics and astronomy, the properties and
motion of light and optics complete the subject matter of Volume I.
Under "mechanical powers" there is a discussion of simple instruments.
.... by means of which weights or forces are made
to act in opposition to each other....2 .
These simple instruments or mechanical powers were the lever, the axle and
wheel, pulley or tackle, the inclined plane, the wedge and screw.
applications of these "machines" to useful purposes is pointed out.
in these illustrations were the use of the screw in stamping coins; the use
of the wedge in cleaving wood; etc.
Nicholson stated that these instruments
were of such general utility that it was needless to point out any particular
instance wherein they were to be used.
It was pointed out that the properties
of the mechanical powers depended on the laws of motions laid down in the
first chapters of the volume.
Nicholson makes a rather interesting observation,
.... since no real gain of force is acquired from mechanical
contrivances, there is the greatest reason to conclude, that a
perpetual motion is not to be obtained. For in all ixsbruments
the friction of their parts and other resistances continually draw
a part of the moving force, and at last put an end to the
Further topics included a study of pendulums, centripetal force,
The second volume is dated 18 . The book is mentioned in the Watson
Letters as being in use at William and Mary College in 1799. The Laws
of Brown of 1793 also mention it. The Laws of Princeton of 1794 pres­
cribed it. The Records of the Corporation of Harvard University, Vol. 4,
p. 551, authorised its use in place of Enfield's book.
P. 54.
p. 74.
astronomy, and the physical causes of celestial motions.
Approximately one third of the treatise is devoted to astronomy.
moon, the figure and motion of the earth, eclipses, the length of day and
night, the seasons are treated at some length.
Under light and optics, the familiar lecture topics such as the motion
of light; the rainbow; vision; the eye; reflection and refraction of light;
refracting microscopes and telescopes and the remedy of the imperfections of
these instruments are found.
Nicholson dwelt at some length on the uses to which science is applic­
able, in the preface to his book.
He has not, however, made this a dominant
aim of his work unless he believed that the data presented therein was the
basis for applications to architecture, agriculture, commerce, etc, for he
expressed his opinion that Man,
.... Ignorant of architecture, of agriculture, of commerce,
and of all the numerous arts which depend upon the mechanic
powers, he exists in the desert, comfortless and unsocial.3Further, the author of the treatise believed that everyone was acqudnted
with the benefits derived from study of "the science of hydrostatics".
useful inventions were based on this body of knowledge and included the
wind and water mills, pumps, fire-engines, steam engines, etc.
Chemistry, too, was considered productive of "great and singular ad­
vantages" to society.
Metallurgy, dyeing, glass and pottery making and
materia medica were given as examples.
The sdcond volume of this work is concerned with a wide variety of
physical facts.
The effects arising from the gravity of fluids (hydrostatics),
specific gravity, the motion of fluid, the resistance which fluids make to
bodies moving in that are treated.
V o l. I , P refac e, p . v i i i .
The general properties of the air, the
dimensions of the atmosphere, the measurement of mountain heights by means
of a barometer (barometric leveling),. the refractive power of the air, the
cause of twilight also find place.
A portion of the book is devoted to
the "instruments" which depend on the properties of the air for their effects.
These are the thermometer, the common pump, the fire and the steam engines,
the air pump and the air balloon.
One section of the book is devoted to magnetism and electricity.
branches of physical science, so vital in modern technology, were given no
practical connotations by Nicholson.
The comprehensiveness of the work is shown by the sections devoted to
chemistry, the nature and effects of chemical affinity (with references to
water, the acids, alkalis and simple earths), fermentation, the "perfect"
and "imperfect" metals.
Nicholson’s definition of the classical "phlogiston" is interesting,
.... ell bodies which can be subjected to the act of combustion,
contain a substance capable of being exhibited in the form of
inflammable air; .... inflammable air, when free from foreign
admixtures is one and the same principled whereon the
inflammability of bodies depends, or phlogiston.1
^ Complete Treatise on Electricity in Theory and Practice by
Tiberius Cavallo.
This treatise is divided into three volumes and is an elaborate review
of the state of electricity in 1795.
A considerable portion of the first
volume is devoted to the theory of electricity.
Cavallo believed electricity
to be an elastic, "subtle", invisible fluid existing in all bodies of the
Vol. II, p. 167.
The 4th edition printed in London in 1795. This work is mentioned in
the Watson letters as being in use at William and Mary College in
Cavallo speculated on the nature of this electric fluid.
He believed
that some current notions which made electricity similar to fire or phlogiston
He based this assertion on three reasons.
First, if
electricity were fire it would be present when fire was present.
not conform with experiment.
This did
Secondly, fire penetrates every substance
while the "electric fluid" penetrates only conductors.
In the third place,
the "electric fluid" goes through a long conductor almost instantaneously;
but fire is very slowly propagated.
Fart III of the first volume is devoted to practical electricity.
section is not devoted, however, to any important applications.
theoretical explanation,
After his
Cavallo states,
Electricity being a science that requires a more practical
management, than perhaps any other branch of natural philosophy,
it is necessary that we should now treat of it practically, and
give the best directions we are able, both in regard to the
construction of the necessary apparatus, and to the performance
of the experiments not only requisite in proving the foregoing
Propositions, but such also as are pleasing and entertaining.^
Electrical apparatus was divided into three class.
which produce electricity.
significant extent.
First, instruments
Needless to say, it was not produced in any
Certainly the apparatus had no commercial importance
and no technical applications.
The second class of apparatus was concerned
with those instruments which accumulate, retain and employ it.
"coated electtics" or glass coated with "conductors".
plates are mentioned.
A battery is mentioned.
They were
Thin coated jars or
It consisted of glass plates
coated with tin foil, sheet lead or gilt paper, etc.
The third class of
apparatus were those instruments used to measure the quantity and quality of
These were electrometers of the elementary type including the
familiar pith balls, a single thread and cork.
V o l. I , pp. 123, 134.
This discussion is followed by a description of "some particular
electrioal machines."
These machines were in reality nothing more than
simple apparatus constructed to produce static electricity.
An interesting property of electricity is contained in this volume.
Cavallo pointed out the fact that a point has the remarkable property of
receiving and throwing off electricity silently.
The use of this "property
of points" is applied to the use of lightning rods on buildings.
A long series of experiments with the "electrical kite" is discussed
in diary fashion in Volume II.
A careful record of weather and the presence
of electricity (as determined by an electrometer) was kept by Cavallo.
electricity was considered positive and varied in amount with presence and
absence of clouds and other weather phenomena.
In Volume II there is also a large section devoted to the practice of
"Medical Electricity". He gives elaborate directions for the practical ap­
plication of electricity in the cure of various diseases.
very clear on how these applications were to be made.
Cavallo is not
It appears that
patients were to be subjected to shocks from an electrical machine.
ly enough Cavallo prescribed this treatment for gout, St. Vitus' Dance,
tooth-ache, deafness, rheumatic disorders, etc.
Volume III of this treatise contains an account of the action of elec­
tricity on the vegetable kingdom.
There are no applications included, in
the technical sense, in this discussion.
effects on electricity on plants.
It is rather an exposition of the
Cavallo exploded the notion that electricity
would cause plants to grow faster and more luxuriantly through experiments
and the reports of experiments of others.
By and large, this treatise presents little that can be termed applied
As one of the first books on electricity, it must necessarily have
great value in the history of science.
Outline of the Doctrines on. Natural History. Chemistry and
Economics [delivered at Columbia College] by Samuel Latham Hitchill, New
York: printed by Childs and Swaine, 1792.
This course outline divided its subjects into five general heads or
kingdoms; aerial, aquatic, mineral, vegetable, animal.
Corresponding to
this arrangement, the doctrines of natural history and chemistry with the use­
ful arts depending thereon were grouped in the following order:
I - Geology; or the general history of the earth.
II - Meteorology; or the natural and chemical history of
the atmosphere.
Ill- Hydrography; or an account of the waters found on
our planet.
17 - Mineralogy; or the arrangement and description of
the fossil kingdom.
V - Botany; or the natural and chemical history of
VI - Zoology; or the history of animals.
Under geology Professor Mitchill discussed heat.
Heat was considered
as caloric or a substance inherent in every body in greater or small quantity.
The effects of caloric on bodies are enumerated as follows: expansions,
softening, fluidity (change from solid to fluid), elasticity (assumption of
an elastic form), ignition (a luminous quality), oxygenation (caloric and
"vital" air), and animation (speeding up of processes).
Hydrography comprised a discussion of ocean, spring, river, mineral
and atmospherical (rain, hail, snow, etc.) waters.
Under mineralogy there was a general discussion of the earths with an
account of lime and gypsum as cements and manures, accounts of making pottery,
glass and porcelain.
A general account of the metals followed containing, a
statement of their qualities and their uses in the arts.
PP. 6 , 7 .
There was also a
brief account of the natural and chemical aspects of each metal.
The salts
in use at the time were analyzed.
Under botany vegetable poisons, farinaceous matter of plants; fibrous
parts of plants, plant colouring material; saccharine substance (and the
manufacture of sugar); and the saline parts of plants were considered along
with brewing and distillation (under the subject of fermentation).
Under the
topic of the astringent parts of plants, the tanning of leather was considered.
Agriculture or the cultivation of plants formed a special part of the botany
Under zoology, the functions digention, respiration, etc.) of animals
were discussed.
Mathematical Theses of the Junior and Senior Classes. 1762-1859.
by Henry C. Badger, Library of Harvard University, Bibliographical Contribu­
tions, No. 32, Cambridge, Massachusetts: 1888.
This publication contains the titles of theses of students of Harvard
While only the titles are mentioned, these data provide the
knowledge that practical exercises in surveying formed a part of the instruc­
The general nature of these theses is given here in abbreviated form.
- 1782 - an accurate survey of Cambridge Common [with a plan].
No. 17 - 1787 - this same survey was repeated.
No, 51-
1793 - a plan of a piece of land in Cambridge.
No. 60 - 1796 - a survey of the court house and the house of Samuel Webber.
No. 72 - 1798 - the survey of Cambridge Common was repeated.
No. 76 - 1800 - a description of the c o m mill on the Concord River
belonging to the proprietors of the Middlesex Canal, with
a calculation of its powers and velocities.
No. 77 - 1800 - surveying and mensuration of heights (with a survey of
part of Cambridge Common and a determination of the height
of Harvard ff«n and Church Steeple).
No. 83 - 1800 - another survey
No. 96 - 1802 - a survey of a large tract of land and drawing of the
No. 107 - 1803 - another survey.
No. 113 - 1804 - a survey of part of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
No. 164 - 1811 - a plan of the botanic garden of Harvard University.
No. 184 - 1813 - a report on geodesic operations (determining the height
and location of Blue Hill).
No. 190 - 1814 - determination of the elevation of White Hill, and the
bearing of Boston Light from Harvard Hall.
No. 205 - 1816 - Measuring altitudes by means of a barometer.
No. 220 - 1816 - further geodetical operations (determinations of the
heights of hills in the Cambridge Area).
No. 232 - 1819 - another exercise in measuring altitude by barometric
No. 234 - 1819 - a problem in architecture (no details are given).
No. 265 - 1822 - the theory of the calculation of altitudes by the
A Course of Mathematics by Charles Hutton. London: Printed for
J. Johnson; by W. J. and J. Richardson, etc., 1807.
Volume II of this treatise is concerned with mensuration of all descrip­
tions (heights, plane, solids, etc.)
In the sections devoted to land surveying, the description of and use of
surveying instruments may be found.
The Gunter*s chain or a tape of sixty-six
Today, this method of leveling is called barometric leveling.
feet with one hundred equal links is defined.
acres, roods and perches.
fortieth of a rood.
Land vas usually estimated in
A rood vas one quarter of an acre and a perch one
The theodolite is defined,
A brazen circular ring
with sights or a telescope,
the index is moveable; also
point out courses and check
divided into 360°, having an index
placed on the centre, about which
a compass fixed to the centre, to
The practice of surveying consisted of the measurement of a line or distance,
measuring angles and bearings.
The survey of a field with or without a
theodolite by various methods around the boundaries or from a point within
the field is described.
Following these survey methods, the survey of a
county or large tract of’land, a town or a city is discussed, in addition to
the computation of the contents of fields (area).
Methods of copying plans
by means of a pantograph, tracing through glass illuminated from below or
by pricking points through the plat onto the drawing paper, are included.
Another topic dealt with was the measuring of timber and a discussion
of artificerfs works.
This consisted of the units of measurement at the time
with numerous examples to be solved.
Another section of the work was devoted to conic sections or figures
made by a plane cutting a cone, ellipse, parabola, etc.
The book has a section devoted to the general laws of motion with
This section also contained sundry problems and rules in
practical gunnery.
The most important rules or problems given were
to find the velocity of any shot or shell
to find the range at one elevation; to find the range at
another elevation;
given the range for one charge; to find the range for another charge,
or the charge for another range.
V o l. I I , p . 55.
Hutton explained that there was not yet enough experimental data
on which to establish true rules for practical gunnery, independent of
the familiar parabolic theory.
The mechanical powers or the lever, inclined plane, wheel and axle,
screw, are included and described in a manner similar to that of other
authors mentioned above or to be considered in the remainder of this
Under hydrostatics such topics as pressure, weight and equilibrium
of water and other non-elastic fluids, are found.
The treatment has the
form of propositions (or statements of principles) and subdivisions of
these principles or corollaries).
The properties of air or other elastio fluids which are oondensible
and expansible; the pressure of the atmosphere; the barometer; the ther­
mometer; the air pump; and the syphon were included under the heading of
In addition, the measurement of altitudes by barometer and
thermometer and the measurement of distance by the velocity of sound
method were part of pneumatics.
This was followed by many practical
exercises in mechanics, statics, hydrostatios, sound, motion, gravity,
projectiles and other branches of natural philosophy.
This treatise contained many topics other than mathematics.
It was
a much more comprehensive work than that of Flint to be discussed
In 1811, another edition a p p e a r e d . I t was desoribed as a collection
and arrangement of the most useful known principles of mathematios put in the
most convenient and practical form.
The material in the treatise is declared
Charles Hutton, A Course of Mathematics composed for the use of the
Royal Military Academy, London* Printed for F. C. and J. Rivington,
etc., 3 vols. 1811.
to have a direct tendency and application to some useful purpose in life or
Volume II is very similar to the 1807 edition.
in this printing.
There is morecalculus
It appears in the last part of the work.
Chapter V of the third volume is entitled "Geodesic Operations."
purpose of trigonometrical surveys was defined as the determination of the
geographical situations of places, the magnitude of kingdoms and the figure
of the earth.
This chapter is divided into two sections: the first being a
general account of this kind of surveying; the second being asolution of
the most important problems connected with these operations.
Two chapters are given over to the principles of polygonometry.
related to the division of lands and other surfaces both by means of geomet­
rical constructions and by direct computations.
Another chapter dealt with the pressure of earth and fluids against
walls and fortifications.
This involved the rudiments of earth pressure and
the principles of hydrostatic pressure due to a head (height) of water.
Other considerations were the pressure of water on a dam or sluice made to
"pen up" a body of water; the best position of gate's for a lock in a canal
or river; the form and dimensions of a gunpowder magazine.
One chapter is given over entirely to the theory and practice of gunnery.
Another edition of this work appeared some fourteen years later^.
The second volume contained much of the material described above; viz:
the principles of polygonometry, geodesic operations, practical gunnery, the
Charles Hutton, A Course in Mathematics. 3rd American edition, New York:
George Long, printer, 1822. This edition was revised corrected and
improved hy Robert Adrain, Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philos­
ophy in Columbia College. This indicates that the work was in use at
Columbia College. Professor Adrain also added a elementary essay on
descriptive geometry.
the mechanioal powers, the pressure of earth.
There was one important addition and it had as its purpose, the study
of strength and stress of beams.
In this chapter an attempt was made to de­
termine the strength and stress of beams and bars of timber and metal in
different positions.
These ideas (strength and stress) were defined as the
force or resistance which a beam or bar makes to oppose any "exertion"
(force) made to break it; and the force or exertion tending to break it.
Both of these will be different depending upon the place and position of
the centres of gravity (of the beam and of the loads).
Hutton defined
absolute strength of a beam,
.... the absolute strength of any bar in the direction of its
length, is directly proportional to the area of its trans­
verse section.
This statement is not unlike the views on beam theory held by engineers
In general, the strength of beams would not be described as dependent
upon transverse area so much as section modulus (which involves the moment
of inertia) but in wooden beams of rectangular section, the statement is
substantially correct.
For considerations other than bending moment (i.e.,
shearing stress) the transverse area may be the controlling factor in stress
Descriptive geometry was defined as the art of determining by con­
structions "performed on one plane, the various points of lines and
surfaces which are in different planes."
The treatment was strictly
academic and involved no practical applications.
Vol. II, p. 182.
Ibid.. p. 561.
System of Geometry and Trigonometry together with a Treatise
on Surveying by Abel Flint; Hartford: Printed by Lincoln and Gleason, 1808.
The essential purpose of this book was to teach common field surveying.
Flint admits that many questions may arise for which the surveyor will find
no specific directions for their solution.
He believed that it was not
possible to give directions for every possible question but rather in survey­
ing as "in all other practical sciences" much must be left to the practitioner
of the art who will be able to apply his knowledge to particular cases if
he is well acquainted with the general principles of his art.
The work is chiefly a compilation of other books but claims a more
adequate explanation of the natural sines and a fuller explanation of
rectangular surveying or the calculation of areas of fields by arithmetic
rather than graphically through use of scale and dividers and a plot of the
Preceding the section devoted to land surveying are sections devoted to
geometry and trigonometry.
The system of geometry is concerned with defin­
itions of lines, angles, areas, etc.
This is followed by a series of prob­
lems in geometry useful for understanding both trigonometry and surveying.
Flint defined geometry as the science which "treats of the properties of
Trigonometry is concerned with the solution of problems of
triangles by using logarithms or by means of natural functions of the angles.
The treatise on surveying is divided into three parts.
is preparatory in nature.
The first part
It contains problems in mensuration (measurement)
and in finding the areas of geometrical figures.
The second part contains
descriptions of the different methods of surveying fields, and how to
protract (draw) then, and for finding the area of these fields by arithmetical
and trigoaoaetrical calculations.
Surveys of a triangular field, of a
trapezoidal plot and of a field with more than four sides by means of tape
only are described.
These surveys were more theoretical in nature than
The area of the surveyed field was determined by dividing the
area into triangles.
The survey of a field with chain and compass consisted
of measuring the length of the sides by chain and taking the bearing by
Variations of these conditions are given for study of other surveys
as "cases" for examination.
Important among these is the purvey of an in­
accessible field (the corners being inaccessible).
The third part of the treatise on surveying is an explanation and demon­
stration of rectangular surveying.
.... an accurate method
a Field Arithmetically, from
necessity of protracting it,
and Dividers, as is commonly
Rectangular surveying is defined as,
of calculating the Area of
the Field Book, without the
and measuring it with a Scale
This computation was accomplished by means of the double area method
(using latitudes and departures familiar to engineers of today). The method
has been refined, of course, but the principle remains the same.
several examples to demonstrate this method.
Flint gave
The second part of the chapter
is devoted to land division and the laying out of land.
Land was laid out in
dividing land consisted of cutting off a given number of acres from a square
or parallelogram or triangle or a "multangular" field.
Flint granted that other methods of surveying were taught by other
authors on the subject.
Those methods given in the treatise,
.... will be found most useful in actual practice. Other
instruments besides those mentioned in this Book are also
sometimes used; such as the Plain Table, Semicircle,
P. 59.
Peraabulator, Theodolite, etc. But of these instruments
very little use Is made In New England; and they are not
often to be met with.^
The author omitted descriptions of surveying Instruments because he
believed that actual practice with them was essential.
The treatise is concluded with the statement that the general principles
expressed may be applied to the surveying of townships, roads, rivers,
harbors, etc.
The appendix contains a discussion of compass variation and
the attraction of the magnetic needle.
£ Compendium of Lectures as delivered by James Madison, President
of William and Mary.
This work is in manuscript division of the Library of
William and Mary College.
The treatise was prepared by Robert Murchie in
1809, most likely from his own lecture notes. The lectures included the
mechanical powers; compound mechanics; wheel carriages; electricity (the
electric fluid) and its Affects upon plants and vegetables; hydraulics;
hydrostatics; pneumatics; optics; light; color; microscopes and telescopes;
and heat (again considered as a "subtle" and elastic fluid dispersed through­
out all bodies.
This is the familiar caloric belief).
The Mathematical Principles of Navigation and Surveying. Part IV
of a Course of Mathematics by Jeremiah Day, New Haven: Printed by Steele and
Gray, 1817.
This course of mathematios was in use at Yale from its first
It is specifically mentioned in
It had a wide appeal.
the 1824 Catalog of Yale College.
It probably was in use at the contemporaries of Yale.
In the introduction to this volume, Professor Dpy announced that it did
not contain
all the details requisite for a practical navigator or surveyor
because it had been prepared for college classes,
P . 76.
.... The object of a scientific education is rather to
teach principles, than ninute rules which are called
for in professional practice. The principles should indeed
be accompanied with such illustrations and examples as will
render it easy for the student to make the application for
himself whenever occasion shall require....!
It was assumed by the author that the student was familiar with geometry and
trigonometry before entering on the study of surveying or navigation for the
volume contains little more than the application of those principles [of
geometry and trigonometry] to some of the most simple problems in heights and
distances, navigation and surveying.
Under navigation, plane sailing,paral­
lel and middle latitude sailing, Mercator's sailing and traversesailing are
discussed in brief and accompanied by nautical definitions.
In addition,
methods of plotting a course, of resolving a compound zig-zag course into a
simple one were included.
Under the miscellaneous grouping of topics were
placed the construction of the plane chart, the Mercator chart (the Mercator
projection, today), oblique sailing, current sailing and the use of Hadley's
Quadrant for observation on the heavenly bodies for position (celestial
Under surveying, methods of surveying ard described.
These included the
surveying of a field by measuring around it, by tape and bearing, by offsets
from a line (direction known) or by chain alone.
not highly developed at this time.
Surveying instruments were
Surveys by chain or tape alone could not
have been satisfactory then just as they are not accepted today by the civil
engineering profession.
In the light of modern practice, the most efficient
and trustworthy survey method mentioned here is the "tape and bearing" method.
The bearing of a line may be defined as the direction of any line with respect
to a given meridian (always an acute angle).
Further, the dividing of land,
Introduction, pages unnumbered.
the laying out of land and leveling are described in this treatise.
leveling described by Day is what is known today as differential leveling or
the determination of the difference in elevation of points some distance
The instruments used were not precise (compared with those in use
today) and large errors must have been the rule rather than the exception.
Vertical control in the surveys of this date (1817) was, of course, not as
important as today.
These errors then, if they existed, were not greatly
Horizontal control or the measurements made to determine the
location and position of points was important then as now.
The accuracy of
the old surveys was really amazing, indicating that some of the early survey­
ors were possessed of considerable skill in the use of their transit instruments.
Under the magnetic needle definitions of declination and variation were includ­
The angle between the true meridian and the magnetic meridian is spoken
of as the magnetic declination.
The "variation" referred to is simply a
variation in the magnitude of the declination.
The fact that these ideas were
understood and taught is undoubtedly one of the reasons for the accuracy of the
early surveying.
An Epitome of Chemistry by William Henry.
Hew lork: Printed by
Collins and Perkins, 1808.1
The first part of this treatise is a series of experiments to be formed
and processes to be followed by the student of chemistry.
The topics included
are solution,.caloric, light, gases, water, alkalies, earths, acids, metals,
vegetable substances and the results of vegetable decomposition.
Henry's Chemistry is mentioned in the Laws of 1820 for the University of
Pennsylvania. It is not clear whether this volume is the one referred
to or the one which follows directly below. Both of them have been
included here.
In Fart II the analysis of aineral waters and minerals is discussed.
The aineral waters were to be tested by means of evaporation and chemical
The analysis of minerals included the examination of minerals,
stones, earths; the analysis of metallic ores; and the method of examining
an unknown mineral.
Part III is devoted to the applications of chemioal tests and reagents
to various useful purposes.
There is a chapter on the method of detecting
poisons, viz: arsenic, lead, copper and corrosive sublimate (muriate of
Another chapter is given over to rules for determining the purity
of chemical preparations employed in medicine and for other uses.
were chiefly tests of specific gravity, distillation tests and detection
tests through the formation of precipitates.
The third chapter of this
part is devoted to the use of chemical reagents to certain artists and
To point out all the beneficial applications of
chemical substances to the purposes of the arts, would
require a distinct and very extensive treatise. In
this place I have no farther view than to describe the
mode of detecting adulterations in certain articles of
commerce; the strength and purity of which are essential
to the success of chemical processes.1
Following this statement is an account of the mode of detecting adultera­
tion of manganese, potashes and other alkalies.
Henry prefaced the chapter on the application of chemical tests to the
uses of the farmer and country gentleman with the following statement,
The benefits that might be derived from the union
of chemical skill, with the extensive observation of
agricultural facts, are, perhaps, incalculable. At
present, however, the state of knowledge among farmers
is not such as to enable them to reap much advantage
from chemical experiments;
the chemist has, himself
scarcely ever opportunities of applying his knowledge
to practical purposes in this way. It may, perhaps,
however be of use, to offer a few brief xlirections
for the analysis of marls, limestones, etc.2
P. 588.
P. 592,
General directions for testing the purity of line and the direct inference
to what kind of soil it is best adapted follows.
The composition of marls is
A section is devoted to the analysis of soils which was believed
to be useful to the practical farmer.
This analysis included the composition
of soils; the mode of collecting soils for analysis (soil to be taken from
different locations and from two to three inches below the surface and dried);
determination of the specific gravity of soils; method of ascertaining the
quantity of water contained in soils (through the use of heat); and the
separating out of the stone, gravel, vegetable fibres, clay, sand, loam; and
the examination of some of these parts.
The chemical composition of soils
suitable for corn crop, trees and bulbous roots is described.
Elements of Experimental Chemistry by William Henry, 1st American
edition, Philadelphia: Published by Robert Desilver, 1819.
attraction or chemical affinity is the first topic treated.
The doctrine of
All bodies were
believed to have a mutual tendency to approach each other whatever the distance
between them.
This is followed by the influence of heat on the form and
properties of matter.
Heat was opposed to affinity.
were considered repulsive agents.
Heat, light, electricity,
The action of electricity consisted
(according to Henry) chiefly in effecting the disunion of chemical compounds.
Following this section devoted to affinity, there is a discussion of electro­
chemistry (principally galvanic electricity).
Another chapter is devoted to the gases.
Gases are defined as consisting
of matter and partly of an extremely "subtle fluid" which impressed the human
organs with the sensation of heat.
The composition, decomposition and properties of water; combustion; the
acids; the alkalies (general qualities and preparation); the theory of the
changes produced by galvanic electricity were further topics discussed in
Volume I.
In the second volume the general properties of metals, malleability,
fusibility are considered.
Other sections are devoted to vegetable substances
(fermentation, etc.), animal substances (blood, milk, bone, etc.) and to the
examination of mineral waters and mineral bodies in general.
Indeed, many of
the topics in this second volume are the same as in Henry*s Epitome of
Thus the examination of minerals; the analysis of ores; the ap­
plication of chemical tests and reagents to various useful purposes; the use
of chemical reagents to certain artists and manufactures; and the application
of chemical tests to the uses of the farmer (and the uses of chemistry to
agriculture in general) and the country gentleman are repeated.
In his introduction to this 1819 treatise, Heniy dwelt at great length
on the applications of chemistry to the useful arts.
He emphasized the im­
portance of the union of theory and practice and the application of theory
to the practice of the arts.-*- He pointed out the applications of chemistry to
agriculture, to medicine and to "economical" chemistry (metallurgy, tanning,
bleaching, dyeing, manufacture of glass, etc.).
Elements of Chemical science by John Gorham, 2 vols., Boston: 1819.
This work, in two volumes, appeared in 1819 to accompany his lectures at
This extensive work was a compilation of the general principles of
It contains an exhaustive fund of information.
Its purpose was
to provide a book in which chemistry was adapted to a class of readers
(Harvard students) who might wish to acquire a knowledge of the laws of
chemistry without entering too much into.its practical details.
Pp. x iv , x v .
Manual of Chemistry by William T. Braude, Nev York: Printed and
Published by George Long, 1821.1
Expressed by Brands, the object of chemistry
"is to investigate all changes in the constitution of matter, whether effected
by heat, mixture or other means".
In the first chapter of this compendium
the leading facts concerning the general laws of chemical changes are treated
under headings such as heat, attraction, and electricity.
The second chapter
relates to the properties of matter (radiant) and its influence upon the
composition of bodies.
properties of the simple
The third and fourth chapters contain the sources and
supporters of combustion, the elementary "acidifiable"
substances, and their mutual combinations.
account of metals and their compounds.
(the alloys) and with other substances.
In the fifth chapter there is an
These compounds were with other metals
The sixth chapter contains an account
of the assay and analysis of "metalliferous" compounds.
Here Brande has des­
cribed the results and labours of others in this chemical study of metallic
The processes detailed were submitted to test in the laboratory
of the Royal Institution and those which were not thus substantiated were
drawn from sources "of the highest authority".
means of analyzing mineral waters is described.
In the seventh chapter the
A short account of the tests
and apparatus necessary in testing mineral waters in field locations is given.
In this chapter Brande also placed a discussion of the art of analysis basdd
in large part on the "Traite de Chimie" by M. Thenard (in the Children trans­
The eighth and ninth chapters are given over to a study of animal
and vegetable products.
Here the structure and growth of plants is described.
Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen are given as the principal or ultimate components of
vegetables with some nitrogen, sulphur, lime and potassa (potash).
At use at Brown around 1825, according to the Laws of 1827.
P. 1 .
formation of vegetable substances and their chemical physiology are treated
In these chapters, In addition to an analysis of vegetable products.
phenomena and products of fermentation were further topics assigned to this
section on vegetable and animal products.
ject for the tenth and last chapter.
Geology formed the principal sub­
The arrangement of the mineral world,
the mutual relations of the substances constituting the surface of the earth
together with an examination of the character and composition of these subg^ances form the object of this chapter and of geological science in general.
An Elementary Treatise on the Application of Trigonometry to
Orthographic Projection, surveying, etc.. by John Farrar, Cambridge: Printed
at the University Press by Hilliard and Metcalf, 1822.
This is Volume II of
the Cambridge Course in Mathematics (Trigonometry and Topography) and was
designed especially for the students at Harvard University.^*
The applications
of trigonometry to chart making, the mensuration of heights and distances and
to dialling a re considered.
tion and Mercator’s chart.
The chart making involved stereographic projec­
This latter chart is a graphic development of a
cylinder placed over the earth, its axis coinciding with that of the earth
and its diameter equal to that of the equator.
ing of
Dialling is defined as the draw­
lines to represent the intersections of the planes of the meridians
with any surface.
It* is sometimes termed gnomonic projection.
The mensura­
tion of heights and distances is accomplished through the use of trigonometric
functions and a measured base line.
Spherical trigonometry and several propositions in latitude and longi­
tude are considered under the topic of navigation.
See title page.
According to Farrar'*' surveying comprised three distinct operations.
The first of these consisted of measuring lines and angles in the field to
be surveyed; the second operation required the representation of these
lines and angles on paper; and the computation of the area of the fields
or territories thus represented was the final step.
The calculation of
the area of fields by geometrical calculation and by means of the latitude
and departure method are ddscribed along with land division.
Under leveling, a description of differential leveling is found.
Two or more points are declared to be on the same level (at the same
elevation) when they are equally distant from the centre of the earth.
Trigonometrical surveying is defined as the term applied to those
surveying operations which have for their object an accurate determination
of the geographical locations of places or points, and the magnitude and
figurd of the earth.
This is geodesy, of course.
Triangulation is des­
cribed, also.
The surveying instruments in use are described.
These are the level
(not strictly so called), Hadley's Quadrant, the sextant, and the theodolite.
The theodolite consisted of a compass; a horizontal circle and vertical arc
graduated to degrees and minutes; telescopic sights; and a spirit level for
the adjustment horizontal plate (it could then be used for a level).
Hadley's Quadrant was, in essence, a sdxtant.
It was used for measuring
angles with their planes inclined in any manner with the horizon, in addition
to vertical and horizontal angles.
P. 85.
The Philosophy of Natural Philosophy by William Smellie,
Printed by Thomas and Tappan, and Samuel Bragg, January.
Troy, New York: 1808.
Boston, and
The Ware edition was printed by Cummins, Hilliard
and Company, Boston: 1824.^
This work has general views of the animal and vegetable kingdoms and
a brief sketch of the structure and classification of the whole animal
kingdom (ie: vertebrate, mammal, etc.).
will be seen below.
The emphasis was on animals as
The treatise was divided into sections devoted to
instinct; motion of animals; respiration, senses, infancy, growth and food
of animals; habitations, hostilities and artifices of animals; the sex of
plants; the distinguishing character of animals; plants; minerals; a
general section on the "society of animals" and the docility and migration
of animals.
As an encyclopedia of information on the animal and vegetable
worlds, this book must have been invaluable to those interested in agric­
John Ware made various alterations and additions and adapted it
to the state of knowledge in 1824.
The contents were not changed to any
appreciable degree.
The Elements of Natural of Experimental Philosophy by Tiberius
Cavallo, Philadelphia: Towar and Hogan, 1825.
A section of this work is
devoted to the laws of motion and the application of parts of these laws
to the construction of wheel carriages.
This involved considerations of
centre of gravity, friction, breadth of carriage wheels and axles.
Another section is devoted to barometric leveling.
The application of the theory of fluids to the construction of machines
occupies another portion of Volume I.
These machines included the syphon,
At use at Harvard in 1825 according to the catalog of that year.
In use at the University of Pennsylvania in an earlier edition in 1820,
See the Laws of 1820. This work was in use in William and Mary
College, too. Cavallo was popular there because of President
Madison's association with him.
water pumps (lift and force), Archimedes screw engine for raising water,
a rope machine for raising water, anemometer or wind gage, barometer, air
pump, and condenser.
Cavallo defined chemistry as,
.... the science which endeavors to ascertain the number,
the quantities, and the properties of the sonstituent
principles of all natural bodies.!
The principles of chemistry and some general observations on the agents
in natural and chemical processes are briefly discussed briefly.
The most
important chemical processes described are combustion and reduction.
In Volume II there
is an elementary discussion of the production of
This is followed
by an exposition of the artificial production of
coid by ventilation; evaporation; application of ice; utilization of the
natural temperatures of
caves and wells; etc.; use of salt solutions.
The use of salt solutions was
described as the means which
a refrigeration as any known means.
produced as great
The use of the expansion of air as
a means of refrigeration was discounted because it was not applied to any
economical uses.
A section is devoted to some general ideas of electricity.
is examined through its effects such as attraction, repulsion, sparkling,
Included in the vast number of topics in this treatise is a dis­
cussion of the mariner's compass and aerostation or the art of flying.
This discussion is concerned with the history of flying before 1825 (chief­
ly the experiences of the Montgolfier brothers and air balloons).
1. Vol. I, p. 416.
Chapter Summary
Science, as such, began by being theoretical.
nature had to be discovered.
The elementary laws of
The ground had to be cleared of the notions
of theologians concerning nature and the habit of observing nature as it
actually existed had to be begun for science to emerge from the metaphys-vW^ ? j
shell which surrounded it.
By the end of the 18th century, the work of
the early theorists was so far advanced that the applications of science
to everyday affairs became possible and very numerous.
The colonial
period, the late 18th century and the early 19th century, saw the develop­
ment of the preliminary scientific theories (caloric, electricity, etc.)
and the discovery of elementary scientific laws.
In this chapter, a description of the subject matter of applied
science contained in the textbook and syllabi in mathematics, science,
navigation and surveying in use in the colleges under investigation has been
set forth.
The academic labels of the period have been examined in so far
as it has been possible.
The investigator has limited the analysis of text­
books to those actually known to have been in use.
This restriction is
essential because the study is concerned with the development of the curric­
Only bool^s in use can be considered as part of the curriculum.
associate the principles and ideas contained in textbooks (in existence but
not definitely known to have been in use) with the statements of courses in
official documents would not only be misleading but unscientific.
However, it should not be regarded as strange that few textbooks were
in use.
In the first place some of the early texts enjoyed a long life at
some institutions and appeared in many editions.
Secondly, the plethora
of textbooks in existence today did not obtain in the late 18th and early
19th centuries.
Textbooks were considerably more expensive, too.
these textbooks are to be found today in almost every library of the
nine colonial colleges.
This is neither sufficient nor satisfactory
evidence to support the belief that they were once in use, although
this is not an unreasonable assumption.
It is unfortunate that the college officials of the past did
not extend the diligence with which they noted the authors of the
treatises on the learned languages, to the science aspects of the course
of study.
The investigator believes that it would be a violation of scien­
tific procedure to generalize at length on the contents of the textbooks
reviewed in this chapter.
Yet the description of these sources is
valuable because it permits the examination of the representative
academic labels used in the period.
Just to state that navigation was a
subject of study is not sufficient.
The variety of topics comprehended
under this general heading (or academic label) should be known in order
to properly understand what navigation really was.
This is true also of
the other subjects of study.
Navigation consisted of the applications of mathematics and science
to sailing; chart making; and in some cases, fortifications (military
Under natural philosophy, the aspects of science that may
be considered as applied science were the mechanical powers (elements of
machinery), the steam engine; hydrostatics and hydraulics (hydraulic
machinery such as pumps,
etc.); the uses of chemistry in applications to
agriculture and the useful arts.
The analysis of soils and minerals;
the purity of chemical preparation; the analysis of ores; the chemistry
of metals and chemistry in agriculture were topics discussed in textbooks.
Under surveying, the use of instruments; geodetical operations in the
survey of fields, the division of land; barometric and differential
leveling; and the reduction of these surveys to scaled drawings were
significant aspects of this technical art.
Some authors acknowledged the importance of these features in
the mechanics! and useful arts.
The Revolution out the colonies off from the mother country.
Foreign trade was diminished and the colonies were forced to exploit their
resouroes and to develop their own industries.
Manufactures sprang up,
"being stimulated by tariff protection, by government bounty"and by the
importation of foreign workers,
Brissot de Warville gives^- a too rosy picture of the state of the
manufactures of the colonies
According to the account, the principal industries of the Confedera­
tion were agriculture (flour, rice, tobacco, cotton, sugar, wheat), manu­
factures and ship-building.
Manufactures included articles of steel and
iron, forges,- oarriages, paper woollens, linen, hemp and cotton, hats,
works in brass, oopper and lead.
all the necessary equipment,
The ship-building was extended to include
De Warville refers to the infant woollen man­
ufactory® at Hartford, Connecticut and another in Massachusetts (Watertoro)•
Brissot de Warville, New Travels in the United States of America Per­
formed in 1788, New Yorkt Printed by T. and J. Swords, 1792, pp. 254255.
Bogart and Thompson, in Readings in Eoonomio History, p, 253, believe
that his aocount is too glowing. This is a Justified criticism be­
cause de Warville*s account would make it diffioult to understand
the passage of America*s first tariff legislation in 1789, It will
be remembered that the first protective tariff was enaoted in 1789*
If the industries or manufactures were as robust as described by de
Warville, they would hardly have required protection. This fact does
not destroy the value of the source beoause the general nature of the
manufactures and commerce and their widespread location rather than
their exact state of development or prosperity is the concern of this
introduction to the industrial life of the country immediately
after the Revolution,
The first factory in America was believed to have been erected at
Beverly, Massachusetts in 1787. Cf. Carroll D. Wright, "Report on
He also mentions the use of Arkwright cotton spinning machinery as being
"veil known here".
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware are given
particular notice for their production of steel and paper.
also manufactured paper.
Glass works were increased in number; the one
on the Potomac employing five hundred people.
Twenty-one powder mills
existed in Pennsylvania.
When in Boston, de Warville visited Harvard University.
evaluation of the curriculum is interesting.
The regulation of the course of studies here, is
nearly the same as that at the university of Oxford. I
think it is impossible but that the last [late] revolu­
tion must introduce a great reform. Free men ought to
strip themselves of their prejudices, and to perceive,
that, above all, it is necessary to be a man and a citiaen;
and that the study of the dead languages, of
philosophy and theology, ought to occupy few of the moments
of a life which might be usefully employed in studies more
advantageous to the great family of the human race.l
Further, there is the statement that "the arts that respect navigation"
received encouragement in Boston and that there eiisted societies for the
encouragement of agriculture and manufactures.^
Phineas Bond, British Consul in Philadelphia, in a letter to the
Duke of Leeds dated November 10, 1789, gave an exhaustive analysis of
American manufactures.^
Bond expressed the opinion that,
Where the raw material however can be taken from
the earth and converted into an article of immediate
use or speedy demand with little expence and art and
where the bulk
the Factory System of the United States", in Report on the Manu­
factures of the United States. Tenth Census, 1880, p. 6.
Brissot de Warville, op. cit., p. 60.
the word "late".
Ibid.. pp. 62, 65.
Report of Phineas Bond [to his Government], November 10, 1789, Annual
Report of the American Historical Association. Washington: 1897,
Volume I, pp. 630-657; 650-655.
The investigator has inserted
or weight of the foreign manufacture, the expence which
■ay attend the carriage is great, the American manufactures will have the advantage of the European
manufactures, and in this line the Americans do and will
Tinder the articles of immediate use and speedy demand were included
coarse manufactures of iron, agricultural tools, tools used h y handicrafts­
men and in architecture.
Tinder the description of articles of h ea vy bulk
anvils, forge hammers, anchors and cast irons of various kinds for Bill
carriages and other purposes were mentioned.
The report contains a reference to the encouragement given to artisans
to emigrate to America and the great pains taken
"to seduce them from
foreign countries".^
The manufactures of New England included woollens, the coarser manu­
factures of iron, linen, glass, paper.
A cotton manufactory at Beverley,
Massachusetts produced "all sorts of cotton goods in imitation of Manchester
goods" to such ah extent that the importation of these articles diminished
by half.
These cotton manufactures were supplemented by widespread home
The manufacture of glass had not yet been placed upon a firm
footing in New England.
Spinning jennys and carding machines from the English
models are in great use and well made in Massachusetts Bay
and in other parts of New England, as are wool and cotton
cards so as to exclude all others. The manufactures in
Hertford Norwich and other parts of New England are upon a
better footing than in any part of this continent ....5
Loc. cit.
Band, op. cit.. p. 651.
Bond speaks of a manufacturing society in New York.
The principal
manufactures and industry in this state were sugar-refining, iron casting,
glass making, and cordage.
The iron manufactures of New Jersey were considerable.
Leather, in
sufficient quantity to constitute an article of commerce was made in this
state along with a variety of glass articles.
Pennsylvania steel, iron, and cotton goods were manufactured in
considerable quantity.
Indeed, the most extensive manufacturing of all
the states was carried on in Pennsylvania.
Leather, sugar-refining,
gunpowder, tobacco, chemical products were among these manufactures.
InDelaware, the advancement of
domestic manufactures was encouraged.
Hemp, flax, wool were raised but the articles manufactured "bear no sort
of proportion to the wants of the labouring part of the people".^In the States of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,
South Carolina and Georgia little regard is paid even to
the advancement of domestic manufactures. Some little
flax and wool and hemp is raised in Maryland and Virginia
for private use and some little cotton and wool is
manufactured in the Carolinas in the country but there
are no public institutions to encourage manufactures in
any of these states, their soils are prolific, their
staples are valuable, and the people of these states
particularly Maryland and Virginia and South Carolina
gratify themselves in following European modes and in
consuming European manufactures, particularly British.
Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury drew up a report
on manufactures in 1791 which was presented to the Congress of the United
It is a dissertation on the economics of manufacturing; a treatise
Jbid., p. 654.
Loc. cit.
on the protective tariff and encouragement of Amerioan industry*
writes, significantly,
The expediency of encouraging manufactures in
the United States, whioh was not long since deemed
very questionable, appears at this time to be
pretty generally admitted ...*1
Hamilton admitted that agrioulture was a most benefioial and productive
object of human industry and that it had a strong olaim to preeminence over
other industry*
Furthermore he maintained that the olaim,
.... to anything like an exclusive predilection
in any country, ought to be admitted with great
caution; that it is even more productive than
every other branch of industry, requires more
evidence than has yet been given in support of
the position.^
Hamilton answered all the arguments tending to prove the impractica­
bility of success in manufacturing with incisive logio and at great length*
In the disoussion of the "manufacture of iron" which had greatly
increased, he recommended an increase in tariff duty to protect American
The steel and iron works used water-power and made an assortment
of meohanics tools, agricultural implements, fire arms and other military
weapons, etc*
Coopersmiths and brass foundries were numerous*
mined but not to a significant extent*
Lead was
Coal mining was not yet developed*
Shipbuilding flourished as well as the construction of cabinet ware*
Hamilton recommended a program of timber "preservation" even at that time*^
Skins, wool, cotton, flax, hemp, the grains (and their milling into flour
Documents Relative to Amerioan Boonomic History - Selections from the
Offioial Reports of Alexander Hamilton, Arranged by Felix FlUgel,
University of California Press, Berkeley, California* 1929, p* 5*
and distillation into liquors) occupied of course, the attention of a
large number of the citiaens of the states.
Manufactories of cotton goods
were said to exist in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
cloth for ship-building was manufactured at Boston and elsewhere.
silk, glass and gunpowder also were principal industries.
The report also concluded that the progress of particular manufac­
tures had been much retarded by the scarcity of skilled workmen.
Hamilton recommended government aid in overcoming this need and for
bringing superior men from abroad.^
These three sources^ check rather closely.
They provide an insight
into the manufactures and industry of the new nation immediately after
its creation.
The war had stimulated the growth of the economic life of
the country.
There is another document that may be called upon both to verify the
accounts given above and to supplement them.3
On August 9, 1787, Coxe delivered an address to an assembly (in the
University of Pennsylvania) convened for the purpose of establishing a soci­
ety for the encouragement of manufactures and the useful arts.
He said,
The situation of America before the Revolution
was very unfavourable to the objects of this institution
[the Society for the promotion of Manufactures and the.
Useful Arts]. The prohibition of most foreign raw
materials - considerable bounties in TCngi*md for carrying
away the unwrought productions of this country to that, as
well as on exporting British goods from their markets - the
preference for those goods, which habit carried much beyond
^[bid•, p. 98.
The Account of Brissot de Warville, the letter of phineas Bond and
the heport of Alexander Hamilton.
Tench Coxe, £ View of the Uhited States. Philadelphia: Printed 1794.
Although printedTh 1794, the author's observations go back as far
as 1787. Coxe was a manufacturer and was instrumental in bringing
Samuel Slater to the United States. Slater reproduced, from memory,
the machinery of the Arkwright factory in England. Slater built a
factory, ruing this machinery, at Pawtucket, R.I., in 1790. Cf.
Wright, op. cit.. p. 7.
what their excellence would justify, and many other
circumstances, created artificial impediments which
appeared almost insuperable* Several branches were
carried on with great advantage. But as long as we
remained in our colonial situation, our progress was
very slow; and indeed the necessity of attention to
manufactures was not so urgent, as it has become
since our assuming an independent station....!
The shipbuilding of the United States was declared "greater in the
year 1792, than in any former year since the settlement of the country,
and it is greater in the current year, than it was in the last".2
described the general character of the industry,
The manufactures of the United States consist
generally of Articles of comfort, utility, and nec­
essity. Articles of luxury, elegance, and show are
not manufactured in America, excepting a few kinds.3
The value of the manufactures was declared greater than double the value
of their exports in native commodities and they have "increased very
rapidly since the commencement of the revolutionary war, and particularly
in the last five years" A
steam and horse power.
The manufactures were carried on by water3 and
Machines were in evidence (after the European
Household manufactures were carried on within the families of al­
most all the farmers and planters and in a great proportion of the homes in
the villages and towns.
Coxe mentions
the emigration from Europe as being
of assistance to the manufactories of the new nation.
His references to
education do not mention the colleges of the country as having any part
Coxe, oj>.cit.. p. 37.
Ibid., p.430.
Ibid.. p. 431.
Loo, pit.. The "last five years" would be 1788-1793.
The earliest application of water power to general manufacturing is
believed to have been at Paterson, New Jersey where the Society for
Establishing Useful Manufactures was founded in 1791. Cf. James B.
Francis, [Address], Transactions of the American Society of Civil
Engineers, Vol. X (June 1881), p. 189.
Coxe, ££. cit.. pp. 58, 42,
The currentyearmentioned
printed by the Society.
in the pronotion of the industrial life of the nation.
The education of youth has engaged a great share of
the attention of the legislatures of the states.
Night schools for young men and boys, who are em­
labour or business in the day ties, have been
long and beneficially supported, and the idea of Sundayschools has been zealously adopted in s o b s places. Free
schools for both sexes have been increased. Greater at­
tention, than heretofore, is paid to feaale education.
ployed at
The people of the United States are ingenious in
the invention, and prompt, and accurate in the execution
of mechanise and workmanship for purposes in science, arts,
manufactures, navigation, and agriculture ....1
is examples he mentions Rittenhouse's planetarium, Franklin's electrical
conductor, Godfrey's quadrant improved by Hadley, Bumsey's and Fitch's steam
engines, the construction of flour-mills, Folsom and Brigg's machinery for
cutting nails out of rolled iron, Mason's engine for extinguishing fire,
W. Winterbotham2 also discusses the spread or rise of manufactures.
He also explained that the expediency of encouraging them had at one time
been deemed questionable but that the advantages of them appeared at that
time to be generally admitted,
.... The embarassments which have obstructed the progress
of their [the United states] external trade with European
nations, have led them to serious reflections on the
necessity of enlarging the sphere of their domestic com­
merce t the restrictive regulations which in foreign markets
have abridged the vent of the increasing surplus of their
agricultural produce, have served to beget in them an
earnest desire, that a more extensive demand for that surplus
may be created at hone: And the complete success which has
rewarded manufacturing enterprise, in some valuable branches,
conspiring with the promising symptoms which attend some less
Ibid.. p. 440.
An Historical. Geographical. Commercial and Philosophical View of the
American United states. Printed for the Editor, J. Bidgway, York
Street; H. D. Symonds, etc., London: 1795, Vol. I, pp. 295-297.
mature essays in others, justify a hope, that the
obstacles to the growth of this species of industry
are less formidable than they were apprehended to be....
It is well to pause and to discuss briefly the societies formed to
promote manufactures, the useful arts and agriculture.
The objects of
founding of these organizations is obvious and requires little or no
The objects of investigation for the societies were
agriculture, manufactures, the useful arts together with such subjects of
inquiry which explained or made more understandable the principles
(scientific and economic) involved.
The American Philosophical Society
from its establishment in 1769** issued a publication called "Transactions."
These volumes have been issued with few interruptions down to the present.
The New York State Society for the Promotion of Agriculture, Arts and
Manufactures was established in 1792 and issued four volumes of transac­
In Part I of these Transactions the establishment of a Committee
of Publications was ordered to prepare such of the transactions of the
Society as merited publication.3 Samuel Latham Mitchill in an address be­
fore the Society on February 7, 1798, defined the object of the institution
as the promotion of interests of practical science and public utility.^
Ibid.. p. 293. The phrase in the parenthesis was supplied by the
present writer.
There was some antecedent preparation for the establishment of this
society as early as 1743 but the investigator has reference to the
society which has existed from 1769 to the present date. A most
valuable essay on the "Origin and Destination of the National
Scientific and Educational Institutions of the United states" by
George B. Goode contains the historical background of the American
Philosophical Society. Goode was Assistant Secretary of the
Smithsonian Institution and his essay is printed in the Annual
Report of the Smiths-™-Un Tnatitutian 1897, The National Museum,
Vol. II, pp. 265-354.
Transactions of the Society Trmtituted in the state of yew York for
the Promotion of Agriculture. Arts and Manufactures, New York:
Printed by Childs and Swaine, MDCCXCII, p. iv.
Simeon De Witt (Surveyor-General of New York,) in an address before the
Society (in 1799) protested that "too little attention" was paid to "use­
ful philosophy and works of ingenuity"
The Society for the Promotion of Agriculture in the State of Connecticut
was organized in 1794, and also issued printed transactions.
These trans­
actions were a collection of experiments and observations published for
the "free communication of that information, which experimental and practi-
cal farmers are constantly acquiring."
Many similar organizations rnnre
George Logan, M. D., issued an appeal to the citizens of Pennsylvania
to follow the example set in the establishment of county societies dedicated
to the promotion of the mechanic and useful arts.
The Lancaster County
Society for promoting Agriculture, Manufactures and Useful Arts (which
Dr. Logan urged the Pennsylvanians to emulate) had as an important object,
the exchange and dissemination of information acquired or received "tending
to improve agriculture, manufactures, and useful arts."
The volumes of the proceedings of these societies were, in general,
a clearing house of ideas on manufactures, inventions.
These practical
Ibid.. Part IV, p. 17.
Transactions of the Society for the Promotion of Agriculture in the
State of Connecticut. Hew Haven: V. W. Morse, 1802, p. 3.
Loc. cit.
The Society for the Promotion of Agriculture in Philadelphia (1785),
the Boston Association of Mechanics and Tradesman (1787), the Sociely
of Mechanics and Tradesmen of Hew York (about 1785), the Franklin
Institute (1824), the Columbian Institute (1819) are examples. Many
of them published proceedings.
£ Letter to the Citizens of Pennsylvania on the necessity of Promoting
Agriculture, yannfaa-hm’aa and the Useful Arts. Philadelphia: Printed
by Patterson and Cochran, May 1, 1800, p. 3.
Ib id . . pp. 2 1 , 2 2 .
aspects of science were detailed, discussed and spread abroad in the
land by this special agency.
The societies were, in effect, educational
Ken like Simeon De Witt, De Witt Clinton, Stephen Tan
Rensselear, professor S. L. Mitchill, and Robert Livington were leaders
in these associations.
Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury in 1810 communicated a
Report on Manufactures to the House of Representatives on April 17,
His statements are authoritative,
The following manufactures are carried on to an
extent which may be considered adequate to the con­
sumption of the United States, the foreign articles
annually imported being less in value than those of
American manufacture belonging to the same general
class, which are annually exported, viz:
Manufactures of wood, or of which wood is the
principal material,
Leather, and manufactures of leather
Soap, and tallow candles
Spermaceti oil and candles
Flaxseed oil
Refined sugar
Coarse earthen ware
Snuff, Chocolate, hair
powder and mustard
The following branches are firmly established, supplying,
in several instances, the greater, and, in all, a considerable,
part of the consumption of the United States, viz:
Iron, and manufactures of iron
Manufactures of cotton,wool, and
Paper, printing types, printed
books, playing cards
Spirituous and malt liquors
Several manufactures of hemp
Window glass
Jewelry and clocks
Several manufactures
of lead
Straw bonnets and
Wax candles
progress has also been made in the following branches, vis:
Paints, and colors, several chemical preparations and
medicinal drugs, salt, manufactures of copper and brass,....
earthen and glass wares, etc.2
American State Papers. Series Finance, Vol. II, pp. 425-450,
Washington: ISM.’
Ibid.. pp. 425-426.
lenoh Coxe prepared a series of tables on. the manufactures of New York
State in 1810 under the direotion of the Secretary of the Treasury*
manufactures exceeded $14,000,000 in value and from the tabular view,* the use
of a considerable amount of machinery is evident*
James Mease, M. D., has reproduced
abstraots of marshals* reports of
manufactures in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania*®
From these reports, it is
certain that muoh machinery was in use in the city and county of Philadelphia*
LoomB numbered 273, spinning-wheels, 3,648, and the total value of manufactures
in Pennsylvania in 1810 exceeded $44,000,000*
The House Committee on manufactures reported to that body in 1815,
*.*• The dimunition of manual labor, by means of machinery
in the cotton manufactures of Great Britain was in the year
1810, as 200 to one* Our manufactures have already availed
themselves of this power, and have profitted by it* A little
more experience in making machines and in managing them with
skill, will enable our manufactures to supply more fabrics
than are necessary for the home demand* Competition will
make prices of the articles low, and the extension of the
cotton manufactories will produce that competition*..
The report points out that one striking and important advantage of labor
saving machinery® is that they require few men and therefore there need be no
apprehension that agricultural workers would be withdrawn to enlist in industry*
D. B.
Consul for the United States at Paris wrote a descripg
tive account of the United States*
Transactions of the Society for the Promotion of Useful Arts in the State
bf Hew "fork, VoTT TV (Revised EditionJ, p. 141.
In Picture of Philadelphia, an Account of its Origin, Increase, and
Improvement in Arts, Sciences, Manufactures, Commeroe, and Revenue,
Philadelphia! 1811*
Ibid., pp. 79, 80*
Annals of Congress, 14th
This is the exact phraseused*
D. B. Warden, A Statistical, Political andHistorical Account of the
United States of North! America, bdinburghi Printed for ArchiBsTl3
Constable and Company, 1819* Statistical aspects of this account
were based on offioial documents.
Congress,1st Session, 1815-1816, p* 965.
Warden described the great stimulus given to American manufactures by the
War of 1812 and by the restrictive commercial regulations of Europe,
The immense capital which had been employed in
commerce, previously to the restrictions, was trans­
ferred to manufactures, and workshops, mills, and <
machinery for the fabrication of various commodities,
were erected, as if by enchantment. Foreign artists
and tradesmen were encouraged to settle in the country.
The Implements, tools, and even the furniture of
emigrant mechanics, were made free of duty. In
Pennsylvania such persons were admitted as freeholders
on the day of their arrival, provided they declared their
intentions of beoooing citizens within the time pres­
cribed by law. A knowledge of machinery, and processes
for the saving of labour, were communicated through the
daily journals, to all descriptions of people ....*
In the chapter entitled "On the State of Knowledge, Manners and the
Arts", Warden described the status of education of the country.
He makes a
most significant observation,
.... Various societies have been lately established,
for the advancement of knowledge; particularly of
those branches which are connected with agriculture,
arts, and manufactures ....
Clark also mentions the emigration of workmen from Europe to America
both before and after the War of 1812.
George Blowe published his "View of the United states" in 1820.
account, based in part on census figures does not alter the general con­
ditions of industrial life already established.
According to his report,
manufacturing was carried on to a greater extent in Pennsylvania than in
any other state of the Union.4 The manufactures of New York state "were
Ibid.. p. 263.
Ibid.. p. 456. A list of the
volumes on scientificsubjectspublished
by some of these societies is mentioned.
V. S. Clark, History of Manufactures in the UnitedStates. 1607
pp. 400, 401.
P. 425.
- 1860
considerable and increasing".'*'
In Virginia, the manufactures were mostly
of a domestic nature. Ho manufactures were established upon an extensive
New England, with the exception of New Hampshire and Vermont,
was credited with manufactures of importance and in considerable variety.
There is substantial agreement among these documents.
The consistent
rise of manufactures in New England, New York and Pennsylvania (where
greatest manufacturing obtained) is clearly outlined in these references.
They support and supplement each other and where documents have appeared
after a lapse of a number of years, subsequent sources support the general
picture described in the previous source.
Again, many of them are based
on the first official statistics of the United States and were written by
mem who had access to them.
Manufactures received a stimulus both as a result of the non-importa­
tion agreements; the Revolutionary War; the embargo preceding the War of
1812; and by the War of 1812 itself.
The nation was thrown upon its own
resources and developed an industry in addition to commerce and agriculture.
What are the significant facts in the data presented above that are
pertinent to an investigation of technical education?
To achieve the
change from an economy basically agricultural to one in which industry
played a most important part, required a substantial degree of technical
ability and knowledge [in addition to considerations of capital, the entre­
preneur, etc.]
The basic processes [inventions, machinery,technique, etc.]
were imported from abroad.
Some aspects were, however, produced and
originated by American genius.
Many artisans and tradesmen [used instead
Ibid.. p. 582. It should be pointed out that although Blowe gives a very
detailed account; only some of the highlights are pointed out here.
He also believed that manufactures were carried on to an extent
greater than indicated in the census reports.
Ibid., p. 468.
Ib id . . pp. 291, 309, 317, 554.
of "mechanics" in the documents analyzed] were also induced to emigrate
to the United States.
The accumulation and dissemination of valuable
knowledge of importance in the growth and development of manufactures was
accomplished by numerous societies established to promote manufactures,
agriculture and the useful arts.
These organizations discharged, in
effect, an educational function.
This cannot be denied.
The contribu­
tions to the published transactions of these societies were made by men
prominent in the practical affairs of the nation [viz.; Tench Coxe, Simeon
De Witt, Samuel Latham Mitehill, Count Rumford, etc.].
Many contributions
were received from abroad and were analyzed in these journals.
The part
played by the leading colleges of the country in this development does
not appear to have been considerable.
The use of the term "civil engineer" antithetically opposed to the
term "military engineer" dates from the 18th century. is said to date from 1760.®
The profession of
It is quits probable that
there was some use of the term "civil engineer" in the colonies and in the
early history of the country.
Kirby states,
.... It is not quite true to say that no one
practiced the profession in America previous to the
nineteenth century, but is approximately true at least.4
See below, p. 175.
J. A. H. Hurray, Hew 'English Dictionary on Historical Principles. Vol.
Ill, Part 1, p. 178.
Richard S. Kirby and Philip G. Laurson, Early Years of Modern Civil
fiiyjrtwaajPiTig. New Havens Yale University Press, 1932, p. xvi.
J. Elfreth Watkins, "Beginnings of Engineering" Transactions of the
American Society of Civil Engineers. Vol. XXIV, May 1891, p. 333.
Richard S. Kirby, "Some Early Civil Engineers and Surveyors", Papers
and Trunmnvhimnn for 1980 of the Connecticut Society of Civil
Engineers, p. 28.
Colonel Christian Senf (a Swedish engineer) was chief engineer of
the construction of the Santee Canal in South Carolina (1795-1800).
Deswond Fitzgerald has reproduced parts of the reports of Colonel Senf,
'You and the Board of Directors will be pleased
to remember that from the beginning of the work I have never
been able to meet with a tradesman or any other person to
assist me who had ever been employed upon similar work. Of
course, being obliged to layout every kind of work myself,
and to direct its execution, I have not been able to give
you from time to time my progress as is usual.
The second real canal finished in the United States was the Middlesex
Canal in New England.
A charter to build this waterway was obtained in
1795 and the organization was entitled "The Proprietors of the Middlesex
The Board of Directors (or the Proprietors) met with a great
obstacle at the very start of the project,
.... the Committee was met by an almost insurmountable
difficulty; the science of Civil Engineering was almost
unknown to any one in this part of the country. They
were, however, determined to persevere, and appointed „
Mr. Samuel Thompson, of Woburn; who began his work....
Again, Watkins concludes,
Before the establishment of the Military Academy at
West Point (1801), the few prominent American engineers
were men of general and scientific attainments who
received not defined engineering education; but obtained
the information, which guided them in their work, from
the reports of scientific societies, and the very scant
supply of engineering literature, then extant. And a
similar condition of affairs prevailed in England....
Although America depended largely upon the West
Point Military Academy for civil engineering talent in
the early part of the century, this condition could not
long continue. As canal and railway projects grew
apace, men whose education was obtained in the schools
1. Desmond Fitzgerald, '[presidential Address] Transactions of the American
Society of Civil ffnpinearH. Vol. 41, June 1899, p. 600.
2. Caleb Eddy, Historical Sketch of the
canal. 1794-1805 [with
remarks for the consideration of the Proprietors], p. 4. The Samuel
Thompson referred to, afterwards became Count R o m f o r d , count Romford
established the professorship bearing his name at Harvard university,
it will be remembered.
of experience were necessarily called to responsible
positions, .... and it was owing to the possession of
those admirable traits of early American charaoter,
energy, perseverance and close observation that led
some of the young men .... to rise in the profession ....
Kirby believes that "the status of American civil engineering at the
beginning of the nineteenth' century can be summarized in a very few words".^
There were no railroads, stone arch bridges of importance, no suspension
The bridges built were of wood framed together into trusses by
There were short canals and a promising beginning
in the building of turnpike roads.®
very few waterworks systems.
There were no sanitary sewers and
Charles V. Sherman writes,
Before 1800 comparatively little was known about
hydraulics, and nearly all the experimental research
had been done in Italy, France and Germany. 5 what
little hydraulic work had been done in this country related to
crude waterpower developments, canals for transportation and
a few small city water supplies....6
Watkins, oj>. cit.. pp. 341, 342. Cf. also [for England] W. L. LoweBrown, "Pioneers of Civil Engineering", Engineering News Record.
December 20, 1928, Vol. 101, No. 25, pp. 906-912.
Kirby, op. pit., p. 26. There had been no major engineering project
except the Santee Canal.
Kirby and Laurson, op. cit.. pp. 62-69. Thomas H. MacDonald, "History
of the Development of Road Building in the United States", Transac­
tions of the American Society of Civil ffn^ineerfl. Vol. XCII (1928),
p. 1181.
J. A. L. Waddell, in Bridge f^glnaaring. Vol. I, p. 21, says that the
real development of bridge engineering began after the introduction
of railroads in 1829.
Edward Wegmann, The Water Supply of the City of New York. 1658-1895.
New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1896, pp. 3-35.
The truth of this statement can be verified by reference to almost any
modem work on hydraulics or fluid mechanics. The reader is referred
particularly to George E. Russell, Textbook on Hydraulics. New York:
Henry Holt and Company, 1925, 311 pp.
Charles W. Sherman, "Great Hydraulic Engineers of New England* s Classic
Period", Engineering News-Record. September 24, 1931, Vol. 107, No. 13,
p. 475.
A large proportion of the progress made in this branch of engineering
science was made in New England.
One of the greatest contributors to the
science of hydraulics was Laommi Baldwin, a graduate of Harvard in 1800.
After study in England he returned to America and began work as a civil
perhaps the greatest engineering achievement of the first quarter of
the nineteenth century was the construction of the Erie Canal (1817-1825).
It is remarkable because of the magnitude of the task but also because it
was the first major engineering feat accomplished by American engineers.The
engineers in charge of this undertaking were James Geddes, Benjamin Wright
and Charles Brodhead.
All of them lacked formal engineering training.
Welch states,
Many of the distinctive characteristics of
American engineering originated with those Erie canal
engineers. We practice their methods today, though
most of their very names are forgotten
They were
not scientific men, but they knew by intuition what
other men knew by calculation.... What science they had,
they knew well how to apply to the best advantage. Few .
men have ever accomplished so much with so little means.
The Erie Canal was "carried to a successful termination in a land
where there was apparently no engineer capable of the task".2
Ashbel Welch, Address, Transactions of the American Society of Civil
Engineers. Vol. 11 (May, 1882), p. 168.
Fitzgerald, op. cit., p. 608. President Fitzgerald believes that this
long task created the new profession of engineer. He further
points out that the Erie Canal was virtually a training school for
engineers for many of the engineers who were engaged on its construc­
tion were later identified with principal engineering works.
Kirby and Laurson, op. cit.. p.
Erie Canal to the engineering
as a training school. A large
early railroads of
on the Erie Canal under Judge
47, state, "the significance of the
profession in America lay in its value
proportion of the men who built the
the country served an apprenticeship
Wright or his colleagues or adjutants-.
Of. also Charles Riborg Mann, £ study of •Rnpinaerinp Education. Bulletin
No. U , Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1918,
p. 4.
There was considerable progress in the invention and improvement of
Everyone is familiar with the invention of the cotton gin in
1795 by Eli Whitney.
In 1787, Oliver Evans revolutionized the production
of flour by introducing new machinery.
Evans also invented (in 1801) the
first high pressure steam engine.^ Nicholas Boosevelt perfected a double
action steam pump in 1800.
Robert Fulton perfected the steamboat in 1807
and made his historic voyage in the Clermont.
Joseph Smith demonstrated
the possibilities of anthracite coal in 1812.
This is but a brief list of
the mechanical projects of the early United states.
They were the begin­
nings of mechanical engineerirg although no formal
to these developments as mechanical engineering.
Much of what is now mech­
anical engineering was embraced in the practice of civil engineering.
Watkins believes that the beginning of mechanical engineering, as such,
began in the use of the lever, the inclined plane, the roller,
and then the
and Mann, The American Spirit in Education. Bulletin, 1919, No. 30,
Bureau of Education, pp. 24-25. George Geddes, "The Erie Canal,
Origin and History of the Measures that Lead to Its Construction",
Buffalo Historical Society Publications. Vol. 2 (1880), p. 264,
states that "engineering as a profession had no existence in the
country" at the beginning of this great project.
Henry Howe, Memoirs of the Most Eminent American Mechanics (1852), pp.
68-82. This invention or improvement is most significant since most
of the subsequent developments in steam machinery required high
pressure cycles.
J. H. B. Latrobe, £ Lost Chapter in the History of the Steamboat (March,
1871), pp. 14-44. Cf. also "Josiah Horablower and the First Steam
Engine in America", proceedings of the Hew Jersey Historical Society.
2nd Series, Vol. VII, pp. 225-30.
Fulton called himself a civil engineer. See the title page to his
Treatise on the Improvement of Canal Navigation.
Watkins, oj>. cit.. p. 356.
The investigator believed, at first, that an analysis of the
memorials, petitions and reports to various legislative bodies seeking
support for efforts to institute education of a very practical nature,
could be presented in this study.
The enormous number of these documents
presented to the national government and various state governments has
prevented such an undertaking.
The analysis of these memorials and
petitions for their educational philosophy, for the ways and means out­
lined for obtaining their purpose, for the type of institution described
therein are proper subjects for an independent study.
Many of these memorials, etc., were concerned with the establishment
of a national university.^*
These efforts to found a national university
originated in the Constitutional Convention and were motivated by a
desire to promote agriculture, trade and commerce, and manufactures.
Charles Riborg Mann writes of the ever increasing demand for further
enlightenment concerning applied science and for better practical train5
ing for workers .
In another place, he states,
The demand for scientific information to increase
production and domestic manufactures is voiced in an
enormous number of memorials, petitions and committee re­
ports to the various state legislatures. Of these the
Report of the Committee on Agriculture presented by Jesse
Buel to the New York State Legislature on March 29, 1823,
is perhaps the most complete and expressive....4
John W. Hoyt, Memorial in Regard to the National university. Miscellan­
eous Documents of the Senate of the United states for the Fifty
Second Congress, 1891/1892, pp. 27-54. Cf. also B. A* Hinsdale, Docu­
ments Illustrative of American Educational History. Report of the
Commissioner of Education for the Year 1892-1893, Vol. 2, "Early
Views and plans Relating to a National university", pp. 1293-1312,
and Edgar Bruce Wesley, Proposed? The University of the United
States. University of Minnesota Press, 1936, pp. 22-23.
Hinsdale, o p . cit.. pp. 1293-1301, 1302. Cf* also Goode, op. cit..
Appendix A, p. 325 (Plan of a Federal University, which appeared in
the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1788); Appendix B, p. 328 (Address to
the People of the United States, by Benjamin Rush, M.D., 1787);
Appendix C, p. 329 (Prospectus of National Institution to be
established in the United States by Joel Barlow, 1806).
Mann, Study of Engineering Education, gn. d t . t p. 4. The Buel report
recommended & tax supported school of agriculture patterned after the
American Spirit in Education, op. cit., p. 25.
Simeon De Witt, Surveyor-General of New York, published an essay on
considerations on the necessity of establishing an agricultural college
in 1819.
He recommended a school of agriculture.
He writes,
Thousands of wealthy citizens of New Jersey send
their sons to college for a liberal education and so
ouch instruction in the dead languages and the ordinary
sciences as they axe compelled or disposed to attend to....
After completing this education, De Vitt declared they were only three
professions from which to choose: law, divinity and physic (medicine).
These professions were already overcrowded and the other provisions pos­
sible for those who were not destined for these three professions are
Mechanical employment was considered "too degrading1*.
ing has been tried and proved ruinous.
The mercantile business was **over­
stocked" and there was "little room" in army and navy.
Nothing it was
said by critics can be made by farming.^
L. Kandel2 gives an analysis of some of the important memorials
and petitions presented to legislative bodies.
These efforts to influence
government to support education in applied science were climaxed, of course,
in the passage of the Morrill Act in 1862. But Kandel is of the opinion that,
.... There is ample evidence .... to prove: first,
that the recognition of the value and importance of
agricultural and industrial education was already
widespread when Senator Morrill became associated with the
movement; and secondly, that the advocacy of federal aid- in
support of this type of education had been persistent for a
Fellenberg School in Switzerland. The legislature rejected the
plan even though Stephen van Rensselaer offered to donate the
necessaxy land.
Simeon De Vitt, Considerations on the Necessity of Establishing an
Agricultural College. Albany, New York: Vebster and Skinners,
1819, p. 4.
Ibid., p. 5. De Vitt draws up a "blueprint" sketch of a college of
theoretical and applied agriculture which he held out to the
wealthy as a proper object for their consideration.
Federal Aid for Vocational Education. Carnegie Foundation for the
Advancement of Teaching, Bulletin, No. 10, 1919, pp. 73-79.
number of years before the act of 1862 sas passed.^
Farther, Wllllaa C. Wlckenden stakes the statement,
.... The school of applied science as a distinctive
type, arose out of the economic changes which narked the
first fifty years of American independence, and in response to
a rising demand for improved neans of communication and
transport, for public works essential to urban living, and
for nore specialized and refined industrial production.
The early American colleges were still under the sway
of traditions brought down from sionastic origins and were
too far removed from the economic current to sense new needs
or make any effective response....3
Again, another writer supports this view,
In a general way, the colleges [the early colleges]
imbued with an unyielding traditional classicism, up to
the middle of the 19th century did not show any eagerness
to favor the development of the applied sciences. On the
other hand, the country felt keenly the need of scientific
education, and in a very utilitarian form.3
Ibid.. p. 73. The reader should not believe that Dr. Kandel has
attempted to depreciate the contribution to education made by
Justin Morrill. The ground-work for his efforts (Morrill's) had been
laid over a period of many years. The Morrill Act of 1862, great
contribution that it was,cannot be considered as an original
Raymond A. Kent (Editor), Higher Education in America. Chapter VII
"The School of Engineering0 by William C. Wickenden, p. 193.
Dr. Wickenden was President of the Case School of Applied Science.
Maurice Caullery, TTnivarsities and Scientific Life in the United States.
Cambridge: Harvard Universfty Press, lay2, ppT il^-IIB-. The phrase
in parenthesis is that of the investigator.
Chapter fjmmnaTy^
The first factory was established in this country in 1787.
As will
be pointed out in Chapter IX the growth of factory system has been
progressive from this date.
New England's supremacy in the manufacture
of cotton and woolen goods dates from this time and, perhaps, more partic­
ularly from 1790 when Samuel Slater built his factory (in Rhode Island)
using machinery modelled after the Arkwright factory in England.
The principal manufactures of the country in this period were cotton
and woolen goods, ship-building, iron and the manufactures of iron,
copper and brass, leather, glass making, cooperage and cordage.
steam and horse power were used in manufacturing.
The use of considerable
machinery (after European models) was evident during this period.
American manufactures were stimulated by the embargo preceding the
War of 1812 and by the war itself.
The emigration of skilled workers
Europe to this country also assisted in the growth of manufacturing.
The provisions made for education in the applications of the sciences
to the mechanic arts, to agriculture and to manufacturing processes, in
the colleges with which this study is concerned have been pointed out in
Chapter IX.
Although, they definitely pertained to manufacturing processes,
agricultural methods and the promotion of production in these fields, they
were apparently not sufficient to meet the demands raised by the changing
aspect of the nation's economic life.
The collection and dissemination
of scientific data by societies formed to promote agriculture and the
useful arts; the immigration of skilled workers and mechanics from Europe;
and the importation
use of European practice and machinery were more
See also pp. 161 and 162 above.
immediately valuable than the college offerings« This was in spite of
the fact that men like William Peck, Samuel L. Mitchlll, Thomas Cooper,
William Keating, James Renwick and James F. Dana were closely identified
with the practical affairs of the nation.
The foundations of the engineering profession were laid during this
While early surveyors were, in fact, civil engineers, it was
not until the construction of the Erie Canal (1817-1825) that the civil
engineering profession began in this country.
With the Revolution the olose ties of the American people with
England were cut abruptly.
The new nation was forced to become independent
economically and politically.
In the field of higher education, some
attempt was made to bring the nine colonial oolleges closer to the interests
and needs of the people of the several states.
At the College of New
Jersey, Harvard and Yale, a decline in the emphasis on divinity may be
At William and Mary, the chair of divinity was abolished.
the University of Pennsylvania, the influence of the Reverend William Smith
was felt.
With his departure, there was a narrowing of the curriculum
which ended with the establishment of a Faculty of Natural Science and
practical science again received attention at the hands of Professors
Thomas Cooper and William Keating.
At Columbia College, the need for
education in practical affairs was recognized in its articles of founding
and in the years immediately following the Revolution.
Lack of resources
prevented the full realization of the programme of Columbia.
In 1792,
Professor Samuel Latham Mitehill became Professor of Natural History,
Chemistry, Agriculture and the Arts depending thereon.
identified with the practical affairs of the nation.
He was closely
At the College of
New Jersey science was allowed to bloom under the guiding genius of Profes­
sor John MacLean.
After the departure of MaoLean and with the presidency of
Ashbel Green, an attempt was made to build up the classics.^
Life ojf Ashbel Green, edited by
and Brothers, 1849, p. 347.
Contrary to primitive usage,
the Revolutionary War of our
Joseph H. Jones, New York: Robert Carter
Here Ashbel Green states that, "....
the junior and senior classes, after
country, read nothing of the Greek or
At Harvard, there were instituted the Massachusetts Professorship of
Natural History and the Rumford Professorship in the Applications of the
Sciences to the Arts.
These were some changes in the curriculum which
adapted it to changed conditions.
By and large these changes were
accepted willingly by the governing bodies of the institutions.^
As was
pointed out in the summary to Chapter IV, there was no general relation­
ship between these events.
The only general relationship that may be
said to exist is that these provisions for education in the applications
of science to agriculture, mechanics, and manufacturing processes were
made in answer to a general demand for a more practical education.
appear to have been isolated developments dependent either upon philan­
thropy; individual genius; and public interest and support (see also
In general, a pronounced uniformity of the college curriculum is
evident throughout the period under discussion.
The classics were
regarded as the core and the other major divisions were rhetoric and
belles-lettres; mathematics and natural philosophy; mental and moral phil­
osophy, with lectures on geology, mineralogy and scattered subjects.
Latin classics. Their whole time was employed in mathematics,
philosophy, natural and moral, belles-lettres, criticism, com­
position, and eloquence". The Laws of 1794 do mention the
classics, however. This appears to be a contradiction of Green's
statement. Such a contradiction would not be important in this
study because primary interest here lies in the change in the
curriculum which President Green resolved to make. His ascendancy
to the presidency occurred when John MacLean left the college.
He resolved to return to "primitive usage" and build tip the
classics. Ashbel Green became president of the College of New
Jersey in 1812.
professor Cubberley states, however, that, ".... the general tone
of the intellectual life in the colleges, .... during the first
three decades of our national history at least, was exceedingly
low and devoid of intellectual stimulation...." Public Education
in the United States, p. 114.
The college curriculum was of a conservative nature.
of study remained uniform for long periods of time.
The course
It therefore acquired
a seemingly permanent character which made changes difficult because the
subjects constituting the course of study had the authority of long usage
to insure their continuance and. to prevent substitution.
The years 1776-1825 were a period of beginnings in applied
science education.
It was a period in which the need for technical
education was reoognized but an inconsiderable provision was made to meet
The need for civil engineering training was evident.
The profession
of engineering in the United States began toward the end of the period.
Education in applied science appears to have been dependent upon
the presence in the faculty of a few men of genius who cultivated many
branches of science; e.g., John MacLean, Samuel Mitchill, Thomas Cooper,
Rev. William Smith, William Peck, Ezra Stiles.
When they departed either
science and applied science languished completely or until a successor
could be sought out.
Sometimes this required many years.
The college curriculum did not reflect current industrial devel­
opments to a marked degree.
Aspects of natural philosophy, natural history and chemical
science were considered as applied science and they were the basis of early
mechanic arts education.
Philanthropy was a direct cause of the beginnings of education
in applied science at Harvard University.
At Columbia efforts were
apparently made to carry the original design of the institution into effect.
Limited funds impaired and delayed the development of applied science at
Columbia and at Harvard (refer to the Massachusetts Professorship of
Natural History).
At the University of Pennsylvania, the lectures in ap­
plied science seem to have been supported by public subscription.
The instruction in applied science was carried on almost ex­
clusively by means of lectures.
The courses were outside of the regular
curriculum (with the exception of the lectures of professor Mitchill and
the Reverend William Smith).
The quality of the work done by those who went through this or
that course in applied science cannot be determined with any precision.
Whether this training was functional in the lives of those who engaged in
practical affairs is not known.
No textbook in engineering appeared.
Textbooks mentioned applic­
ations of science specifically and some of them regarded the detailing of
the applications of science and mathematics to practical affairs as an
Many societies were organized to promote agriculture, commerce
and the useful arts.
These organizations discharged an educational
The colleges made no great response to the demand for education
of a utilitarian nature.
stand this demand.
For the most part, they did not seem to under­
1825 - 1862
The P eriod 1825-1862
The building of the Erie Canal laid the foundations of
the profession of civil engineering in this country.
engineering profession really began with the construction of
this great achievement in 1825.
The development of the tech­
nical curriculum coincidental with the growth of the profession
of engineering and engineering practice and the rise of manufac­
tures is the subject of this period.
During these years, every
one of the colleges investigated in this study made some provi­
sion for technical education.
The foundations of the Lawrence
Scientific School (Harvard), the Sheffield Scientific School
(Yale), the Chandler Scientific School (Dartmouth), and inde­
pendent departments of technical science in other institutions
were laid.
The manufacturing industry and agricultural production and
practice attained a tremendous expansion.
The period is partic­
ularly distinguished because of the rise of the railroad with
its far-reaching effects upon industry and agriculture.
The demand for education of a technical nature was recog­
nized by the colleges
the response that these institutions
is described in this period.
Harvard University
In his report to the Overseers of Harvard University of February
1826, Dr. Bigelow, the Rumford Professor of the Application of the
Sciences to the Useful Arts, stated^ that the Rumford lectures were
delivered three times dach week and were illustrated with experiments and
No textbook was used in this work, "no suitable one being
known to the Professor".
Bigelow resigned his post as Rumford Professor
in 18273 and the Professorship remained vacant until 1833 (December) when
Daniel Treadwell was elected to the vacancy.
Treadwell was president of
the Mechanics Institution of Boston® and in 1830 (March) he was requested
by the President of Harvard,
.... to deliver the ensuing term at the University,
lectures on the Steam engine and Railways and such
other as may be in his power, relative to topics
within the objects of the Rumford Professorship
(now vacant)....®
Rumford Legacy Papers 1815-1827, Harvard University Archives.
Harvard University Archives. Report to the Corporation of Jacob Bigelow,
August, 1826. Dr. Bigelow prepared what is probably the first Amer­
ican textbook on engineering. The book which he called appropriate­
ly enough, "Elements of Technology", was published in 1831.
Records of the Corporation of Harvard University. Vol. 7, p. 34.
Ibid.. Vol. 7, p. 341.
The Boston Mechanics' Institute wa's established on June 15, 1827 for
the promotion of science and the useful arts by lectures and other
means. Professors Farrar, Daniel Treadwell, Dr. Bigelow, Dr. John
Ware (of Harvard University) were numbered among the early lecturers
of the organisation. Cf. J. L. Bishop, A History of American Manu­
factures. 1608—1860, Philadelphia: I860, Vol. II, p. 316.
Ib id . . V o l. 7 , p . 166.
Whether this was accomplished Is not clear for later In 1830 (December)
the Corporation requested Dr. Bigelow to deliver the "usual course of
Rumford lectures for the present year...."'1' Again there is no data to
support the possibility that these lectures were resumed.
The catalog does
not list these special lectures until the academic year 1855-1836, which
was almost two years after the vacancy was filled.
Prior to that time, the
Corporation expended three hundred pounds sterling for apparatus for this
With the resignation of Dr. Bigelow it appears that the
lectures in applied science were given only periodically, if at all.
The undergraduate curriculum in science at this time (1830) consisted
of topography, mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, astronomy,
mineralogy and chemistry.
Ware's edition of Smellie's Philosophy of Natural
History was listed as a separate subject of study.*
remained practically unchanged until 1838.
This general outline
In the 1835 catalog there appears
the statement, however, that "specified" classes of undergraduates are
required to attend the lectures on the applications of the sciences to the
useful arts.
This statement is repeated in the 1836/37 edition
and in the
1837/38 catalog.7
Ibid.. Vol. 7, p. 223.
Catalog of the Officers and Studentsof the University atCambridge.
1835/5836, p. 26. However, the Rumford Professorship heretofore
vacant is listed as held by Professor Treadwell.
This was authorized on January 19, 1832 by the Corporation. Cf. Records
of the Corporation of Harvard University. Vol. 7, p. 277.
Catalog qf the Officers and Students of Harvard University for 1830-31,
pp. 25-24.
P. 26.
P. 27.
P. 27.
The word "specified" was not further defined.
In 1831, the Trustees of the Massachusetts Agricultural Society
asked to be relieved of their part in the maintenance of the Massachusetts
Professorship of Natural History and declared their Intention of giving
this trust directly to the Corporation of the University.^
A standing
committee of the Corporation was formed at this meeting to supervise this
trust and the botanic garden.
In 1834 (December) the Fisher Professorship of Natural History was
The duties of this Professorship were to read lectures in
Natural history and to execute the duties of the Massachusetts Professor3
ship of Natural History as long as that professorship remained vacant.
The catalogs of the University do not list an occupant of this Fisher
Professorship until 1841-1842.
Natural History.
Asa Gray is there listed as Professor of
Professor Gray was also a member of the faculty of the
Lawrence Scientific School after its establishment in 1847.
He taught
botany in that school using the facilities of the botanic garden.
is no clear cut or definite statement that this instruction included ag­
riculture and its practical aspects.
In 1838 under the heading of practical mathematics; mensuration and
dialling; the construction of charts; surveying and the use of surveying
instruments; and the use of globes in the first term and the general prin­
ciples of civil engineering; the use of the quadrant; nautical astronomy
in the second term, were part of the studies of the sophomore year. Profes­
sor Treadwell was again scheduled to lecture on the applications of the
sciences to the useful arts.
In addition, the 1838/59 catalog^ listed
Records of the Corporation, o£. cit.. Vol. 7, p. 243.
March 25, 1831.
Ibid.. p. 381.
These duties were given above in Chapter IV.
only one incumbent.
Pp. 25, 26.
Meeting of
The professorship had
mechanics| chemistry (Turner's textbook), optics, electricity and mag­
netism and mineralogy.
These same statements appear in the 1839/40
catalog1 and in the catalog issue.of 1840/41.**
These provisions for practical mathematics and civil engineering
were recommended by a Committee of the Corporation, their recommendation
being communicated to that body on May 26, 1838.3
study of mathematics was divided into three classes.
this report the
The first of these
classes was composed of "those who wish to become better acquainted with
practical mathematics"; the second class was to be compored ofthose
wanted to become teachers of mathematics and those who wishedtoqualify
for mathematics professorships were to enter the third class.
Later in
1838, Professor Pierce, Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy,
wrote to the Corporation on the subject of civil engineering and the
creation of a "school for engineers".
His proposal was referred to a
committee which did not report until March 28, 1840.
The report stated, in part,
The committee to whom was referred Professor
Pierce's letter on the subject of connecting with
the university, a school for engineers have attended
to that subject and having had an interview with
Professors Treadwell and Pierce, they are of the
opinion that such a school would be very useful
and honorable to the seminary and ought to be estab­
lished provided it can be done without the appointment of
Pp. 26-27.
Pp. 25-27. Webster's textbook in chemistry replaced Turner's
treatise previously mentioned.
Records of toe Corporation of Harvard University. Vol.
Ibid.. Vol.
p. 57.
Meeting of August 16, 1838.
p. 42.
any other Professors or incurring any important additional
expense to the College. They therefore recommend that the
subject should be referred to Professors Pierce, Webster,
Treadwell and Lovering upon whose joint labors the success of
the School must depend: and that they be requested to consult
to-gether as to the best mode of establishing and conducting
such school and the part in its instruction each shall be
willing and able to take; and to make report stating also
how its requisitions would effect their present course of
duties in the University. It being understood that it shall
be in the plan of the Law School, that the income of the
school must be the only source to which they who engage in
it must look for remuneration....1
It was not until 1846-47 that the suggestion or plan moved nearer to com­
The catalog statement of instruction in civil engineering does not
appear in the issues of the catalog for 1841/42, 1842/43 or 1843/1844. The
instruction in practical mathematics, according to the catalog of 1841/42^
consisted of the applications of plane and spherical trigonometry to
navigation, surveying, heights and distances, the use of globes and the use
of surveying instruments.
In addition to the lectures of the Rumford
physics, chemistry, and natural history were part of the curricul­
In 1846, the Corporation appointed a committee to consider and report
a plan of na School of Science and Literature" to be established as a
separate department of the University.^
Early in 1847, this plan was
presented to the Corporation,
Ibid.. Vol.
p. 108.
P. 27.
According to the 1839/40 catalog (p. 27), lectures on the applications
of the sciences to the useful arts were given for all seniors as
well as for "specified" classes of students. This statement appears
in each issue up to the 1841/42 number.
Records of the Corporation, op. cit.. Vol.
p. 330.
.... The Committee are convinced that the time is
arrived when the experiment of such a school ought
to be made; they are not however prepared to recommend
the immediate adoption of tbs plan reported by them.
They deem it rather expedient before the definitive
organization of the School takes place, an election
should be made of a Rumford Professor,1 who from the
nature of his office must be looked to as the prominent
mstructer in the school....^
The school to be established was to consist of an advanced school of
instruction in theoretical and practical science and in the other usual
branches of "Academic" learning and was to be called the "Scientific School
of the University at Cambridge".®
The instruction in the school was to be
given by the professors of the University and by additional instructors "as
may be chosen from time to time"^.
The eligible students were to be gradu­
ates of Harvard or of any other collegiate institutionand others over
eighteen years of age.
A suitable diploma was to be given
to those members
of the school who resided for a "length of time at theUniversity and
attended a certain number of lectures to be decided by the Faculty."®
plan was unanimously adopted by the Corporation on February 15, 1847 and
until otherwise directed the faculty of the Scientific School was to consist
of the President of Harvard University, Professors Webster, Pierce, Gray,
Lovering and Horsford, William Cranch Bond, Director of the Observatory and
Mr. G. P. Bond, Assistant Director.
The plan or idea of the school began
to take shape but it had not opened its doors as yet.
Professor Treadwell resigned in 1845.
op. cit.. Vol. 8, p. 266.
Cf. Records of the Corporation,
Records of the Corporation, oj>. cit.. Vol. 8, p. 338. Eben N. Harsford
was elected in the January 50,1847 meeting of theCorporation.
Ibid.. Vol. 8, p. 339.
Loc. cit.
Records of the Corporation, op.
cit.. p. 341.
Further evidence on the object of founding this school may be secured
fro» the Report of the President of Harvard University to the Board of
Overseers for 1846/47.
It is stated therein,
The Overseers will bear in mind, at the last
legislative session of the Board, the general plan of
organization for an advanced school of instruction was
submitted by the Corporation and approved by this body.
It was foe object si. the
of the University,
in this wav to meet a want more «nd mnrR felt in the
ftnmtmiwitv - that of a place of systematic instruction
in those branches of science which are more immediately
connected with the great industrial interests of the
country, such as chemistry in its various applications
to the arts of life, Engineering in its several depart­
ments; Zoology and Geology with the other kindred
branches of Natural History. While provision was made
for advanced and systematic instruction in the practical
sciences, as they are sometimes called, it was not intended
to exclude a higher training in philological and classical
learning, especially with a view to the formation of
accomplished teachers for classical schools and colleges.
Such were the general objects of the plan submitted by the
Corporation. .. A
The one force that insured the final and successful establishment of
the school of practical science was the interest and support of the Honorable
Abbott Lawrence.
From his letter of June, 1847 to Samuel A. Eliot,
Treasurer of the Corporation of Harvard University, it is evident that
j^wrence had given considerable thought to the subject of a technical school.
Abbott Lawrence had conferred with Samuel Eliot on several occasions on
this subject and in his letter states,
For several years I have seen and felt the
pressing want in our community (and, in fact, in
the whole country) of an increased number of men
educated in the practical sciences....2
P. 7.
The underlining has been supplied by the investigator.
Hamilton Andrews Hill, Memoir of Abbott Lawrence, 2nd Edition, p. 117.
The letter is reproduced in this source in its entirety, pp. 117-122.
.... The application of science to the useful
arts has changed in the last half-century, the
condition and relations of the world. It seens to me
that we have been somewhat neglectful in the cultivation
and encouragement of the scientific portion of our nation­
al economy.............. .............................
We need, .... a school not for boys, but for young
men .... who intend to enter upon an active life as
engineers or chemists, or, in general, as men of science,
applying their attainments to practical purposes
Lawrence proposed three major practical branches in the school; engineering,
mining (in its extended sense, including metallurgy) and the invention and
manufacture of machinery.
There were to be kindred branches or subjects
such as mathematics (especially applications to the construction and com­
bination of machinery), chemistry, geology, mineralogy and "the other
sciences investigating the properties and uses of materials employed in the
Arts: Carpentry, Masonry, Architecture and Drawing."**
To enable the Corporation of Harvard University to carry these designs
into effect, Lawrence donated fifty thousand dollars.
Part of this sum was
to be used in the erection of buildings and the remainder was to serve as a
permanent foundation for the payment of the salaries (in addition to tuition
fees) for the Professorships of Engineering and Geology.
The details of
the final plans of the school were to be worked out by the Corporation and
Abbott Lawrence.^
On August 21, 1847, the Committee to whom the subject of the organ­
ization of the Scientific School was recommitted, reported that they had
conferred with Ur. Lawrence and recommended that the operations of school
were not to commence until the appointments of professors of geology and
engineering had been made but that the chemical department (under Professor
Harsford) was to continue and begin its work as a part of the school.^*
I n spite of the declaration, the operations of the school‘d were begun
in February, 1848 but were limited by the Corporation to the department of
physical and exact science.
Accordingly the catalog for 1847/48 provided
for instruction by means of lectures and recitations or both according to
the nature of the study and at the discretion of the instructor.
Horsford received special students in chemistry for laboratory work and
also delivered a "full course of lectures on theoretical and practical
professor Agassiz instructed in zoology and geology (both
theoretical and practical).
In the department of Engineering it was
admitted that "it has not yet been within the power of the Corporation to
fill this department.
It will be brought into operation as soon as possible".
Courses of lectures (delivered to undergraduates in the University) in
mineralogy, geoLogy, botany, experimental philosophy (physios) comparative
anatony, practical astronomy, were to be open to the members of the
Scientific School.
This report was
Records of the Corporation, op. cit.. Vol. 8, p. 382.
In addition to the chBmical department.
Issue for the 2nd Term, p. 61.
Ibid.. p. 62.
Loc. cit.
Ibid.. p. 63.
After the commencement of 1847, the school was called the "Lawrence
Scientific School" in honor of Abbott Lawrence.
This publication also contains the requirements for admission and
other regulations.
Candidates for admission,
.... must have attained the age of eighteen years
and must have received a good common English education,
and must be qualified to pursue to advantage the courses
of study to which they propose to give their attention
Members of the School, on leaving it, will receive
a certificate of the number of terms for which they have
been attached to it, and the studies pursued by them.1
According to the 1849/50 Catalog, the course in chemistry was to be
modified to meet the wants of those who were preparing to pursue practical
analysis, manufacturing, metallurgy, medicine, engineering agriculture or
instruction (teaching).
The same general statement of the department was
continued but the additional notice that excursions were to be undertaken
to manufacturing establishments in the neighborhood of the University
where practical applications of chemistry to the arts were to be observed,
appeared for the first time . Professor Agassiz' instruction in zoology
and geology was to consist of the fundamental principles of classification
of animals "as founded upon structure and embryonic development and illus­
trating their natural affinities, habits, geographical distribution ...."4
The course on practical and theoretical geology was to be given during the
next academical year.
No instruction in engineering was listed.
Catalog of the Officers and Students of the University at Cambridge.
1847-1848, 2nd Term, p. 61.
Pp. 66-67.
Ibid.. p. 66.
Ibid., p. 67.
The Corporation elected Captain H. W. Halleck as Professor of Engineer­
ing in the Lawrence Scientific School on September 21, 1848.
(Records of the Corporation, op. cit.. Vol. 9, p. 52). He did not
assume the post. It was not filled until September 29, 1849 when
Lieutenant Henry L. Eustis of West Point was elected. (Cf. Records
of the Corporation, op. cit.. Vol. 9, p. 110).
a sufficient number of students require it, it was stated that special
courses (exact sciences) in structural botany and vegetable anatomy, ex­
perimental philosophy, higher mathematics (analytical and celestial mechan­
ics), comparative anatomy and physiology, and astronomy would be given.^
Professor Eustis begem instruction in engineering in the first term
of the academical year 1850-1851.
He was formerly Assistant Professor of
Civil Engineering at the Military Academy at Vest Point.
Abbott Lawrence altered some of the conditions surrounding his dona­
tion to Harvard in a letter to the Corporation dated September 20, 1849.
He believed the establishment of a permanent fund for the salary of a
Professor of Engineering a more pressing need than the erection of a
building to house the geological and engineering department and directed
the disposition of the funds in that direction.
He expressed the belief
that other means would be supplied which would provide for the erection of
The letter is concluded by mentioning these new conditions and
promising to provide the sums of money required,
.... on condition that the Corporation of the College
shall engage to do all in their power to carry out the
views herein expressed, and to provide good instruction
in Chemistry and Civil Engineering, in the manner which
has been all along contemplated by them and myself, and
which seems demanded by the present state of the knowledge
and wants of the Community in which we live.2
The course of instruction in engineering was to include:
Descriptive Geometry, with its applications to masonry and
stone cutting, the construction of arches, etc.
The theory of shades and shadows and perspectives, illustrated
by a course of drawing and mapping in all its branches.
Catalog 1849/50, p p . 68, 69.
Cf. Records of the Corporation of Harvard University. Vol. 9, pp. 112117.
Surveying, with the use of instruments and actual operations
in the field.
The nature and properties of building materials and their
applications to the construction of railroads, canals, bridges,
Furthermore, it was stated that for those mho were not sufficiently pre­
pared, the course in engineering would commence with a review of nsuoh
parts of practical mathematics as may be required11.
On June 10, 1851, the Corporation voted to institute the degree of
Bachelor of Science to be conferred upon those who have completed a course
of studies in one or more of the departments in the Lawrence Scientific
School; passed an examination in the studies of one or more departments
(residence in the school was to be at least one year).
The amount of the
studies to be completed by any candidate for the degree was to be deter3
mined by the Faculty and the Corporation.
These requirements are printed
in the 1851-1852 Catalog.
The course of study in engineering was expanded in 1851-1852 accord­
ing to the catalog of that year.
Drawing in all its branches; topographical,
outline, shaded and tinted including isometric projections and analytical
geometry; differential and integral calculus, were added to the subjects of
study (in addition to those mentioned above).
Included also, for the first
time was the principles of mechanics and their applications to machinery
Catalog of the Officers and Students of the Lawrence Scientific School.
1850-1851 1st term, p. 8. The abbreviation "etc." appears in the
original document.
Loc. oit.
Records of the Corporation, op. oit.. Vol. 9, pp. 184-185.
Catalog of the Lawrence Scientific Schools 1851-1852. p. 6.
and engineering.
Instruction methods In engineering were to consist of
daily exercises or examinations at the blackboard and lectures.^
The instruction in chemistry was more clearly defined.
In addition
to the statements concerning this department which have been given above,
the following schedule of topics was printed in the catalog.
Systematic Qualitative and Quantitive Inorganic
Analysis in all their branches.
Pharmaceutical preparations for the laboratory and the
Apothecary with Specific Gravity of solids, liquids, and
Alkalimetry and Acidemtry, with the determination of
the value of bleaohing, salt, manganese, and drugs generally
for manufacturing purposes.
Blow-pipe analysis and mineral assays.
Analysis of mineral waters.
Ash and soil analysis and the manufactures of manure.
Organic analysis as required in all departments of Animal and
Vegetable chemistry.
Modes of conducting examinations for mineral and vegetable
Questions in medicine and the methods for the ready
determination of diabetic sugar, albumen, urea, uric acid, and
the phosphates.
The solution of problems of research in experimental
science and in the applications of science to the arts and
There was no change in the topics of study in the engineering depart­
ment of the school for the remainder of the period under study.
the catalogs for the period indicate no change.
At least,
Professor Eustis was in
charge of the instruction until 1861-1862 when he was granted leave to
Ibid.. p. 8.
P. 7.
serve with the army in the Civil War.
The department was placed voider
the charge of Professor C. W. Eliot (Assistant Professor of Chemistry),-*and it appears from reliable accounts that the absence of Professor
Eustis was a great drawback,2
professor Eliot was unable to discharge
the combined responsibilities of teaching chemistry and engineering.3
There was no change in the list of topics of instruction in the academ­
ical year 1855-1856 when a shortened statement appears in the catalog.^
Theoretical and experimental chemistry; systematic qualitative and
quantitative analysis in all their branches; pharmaceutical preparations
for the laboratory and apothecary, and methods for the determination of
the value of drugs generally; mineral assays, metallurgy, analysis of
soils and ashes, examinations for poisons, manufactures of manures, and
"the various determinations required in medicine"; the solution of prob­
lems of research in experimental science and in the applications of science
to the arts and manufactures; excursions to manufacturing plants comprised
the programme of this department until 1861 when the statement of the
subjects to be studied was again changed.
In the catalog for 1861-1862 the
following general topics are listed: recitations in experimental chemistry;
qualitative; chemical physics; applications of chemistry to the arts;
academic lectures on chemistry to the arts; academic lectures on chemistry,
physics, botany and anatomy; practical instruction in the laboratory in
the various branches of chemical analysis, manufacturing chemistry, metal­
lurgy and pharmacy.^
Report of the President of Harvard University to toe Overseers for the
Year 1861-1862. p. 7.
Report of toe president of Harvard University to toe Overseers for .toe
Year 1862-1865. p. 11.
Loc. cit.
p. 69.
P. 75.
Issue for toe 2nd term.
The catalog also contains the following statement which appears in
this series of documents for the first time,
Students who wish to learn so much chemistry as may
be applied in the Profession of Medicine, in pharmacy or
in any particular branch of manufacturing chemistry will
attend only those reoitations and lectures of the regular
course which are applicable to their special wants.1
Professor Horsford, Rumford Professor continued to deliver lectures
on the applications of the sciences to the useful arts to the seniors of
Harvard College.
In January 1861, the Rumford Professor was required to
deliver courses of lectures on technology to be open to the public, under2
graduates and members of the Scientific School.
No details are given in
the record concerning this technology.
In the years 1847-1862, the Lawrence Scientific School graduated from
the various departments over one hundred students as follows:
Civil Engineering
- 30
• Botany
Botany and Zoology -
P. 75
Records of the Corporation, op. cit.. Vol. 10, p. 215
Catalog of the Graduates of the Lawrence Scientific School of
Harvard University 1851-1895, pp. 3-9.
Willian and Mary College
The course of study in the college In 1826 remained essentially the
same as announced in 1821.^
The Professor of Mathematics taught geometry,
algebra, plane and spherical trigonometry, surveying and mensuration,
fluxions (calculus) and astbonomy.
The Professor of Natural Philosophy
(P. K. Rogers) instructed in mechanics, hydrodynamics, meteorology, optics,
acoustics, magnetism and electricity.
There was, in addition, some instruc­
tion in chemistry.
In 1828, there was a rearrangement of subjects in the faculty
Under the Chemical and Philosophical Course, there was
chemistry, mineralogy, geology and natural philosophy with its applications
to the mechanic arts.
Professor William Barton Rogers was in charge of
this department at this date and the textbooks in use were Webster's
Chemistry and Cavallo's Natural Philosophy.
Geometry, algebra, surveying
plane and spherical trigonometry, mensuration, astronomy and fluxions were
subjects taught under the Mathematical Course.
outline of courses in the announcement of 1829.
There was no change in this
From the 1829-1830
Catalog, more details of the subjects of the curriculum may be learned.
The chemical course (under the direction of W. B. Rogers) embraced organic
and inorganic chemistry, the applications of chemistry to the arts of
bleaching, dyeing, tanning, metallurgy, brewing, distillation, the manu­
facture of glass and porcelain, etc., together with the elements of botany
Faculty Minutes.Meeting of October 17, 1826, 1817-1830 Volume, p. 242.
Faculty Minutes, op. cit.. p. 345, Meeting of October 14, 1828.
Faculty Minutes, pp. cit.. p. 434, meeting of August 10, 1829.
Flint's Surveying is mentioned in this entry.
and mineralogy."*"
In the junior year, the mathematics consisted of surveyO
ing and the elements of mathematics.
In the senior year the mathematics
was continued and the natural philosophy embraced dynamics, mechanics,
hydrodynamics, acoustics, optics, magnetism and electricity, physical
geography, etc., together with practical subjects of the strength of
materials, the construction of watch and. clockwork, of roofs, arches,
bridges, roads, the steam engine and the elementary principles of architecture.
These subjects or topics contained, of course, the elements of
The instruction in these studies was conducted by means of
lectures and recitations from appropriate textbooks.
The Laws of 1830
make no substantial change in this programme.
The next major change in the curriculum occurred when John Millington
came to the college in 1836.^
Millington was formerly Professor of
Mechanics in the Royal Institution of Great Britain; and of Civil Engineer­
ing and the Applications of Science to the Arts and Manufactures in London
University, and came to William and Mary as Professor of Chemistry and
Natural Philosophy.®
Professor Millington states that he was requested,
early in 1836, by the Board of Visitors of the College to attempt a course
of civil engineering,
.... as a branch of the collegiate instruction; and
although but ill-prepared at that time for such an under­
taking, being wholly without drawings, models, books of
reference, and other means of illustration, he undertook
it, using a translation of the elementary course on Civil
Engineering by Sganzin, written many years ago, and
intended by its author to be a mere syllabus or collection
P. 5.
P. 5.
Catalog 1829-1830, p. 6.
Faculty Minutes. 1830-1836 Volume, Meeting of February 15, 1836.
"Professor John Millington took his seat at the Board."
Loc. cit.
of memoranda from the course of these subjects,
that he formerly delivered at the Polytechnic
School In Paris.^
The course in civil engineering began on October 1837.^
consisted of lectures and practical exercises.
The course
The subjects taught were
the principles of plotting and drawing of plans; the theory and practice
of mensuration; land surveying; leveling and draining land; the nature
and qualities of building materials; working stone quarries; making bricks;
burning lime, cement, etc.; mode of carrying on earth work or excavation,
with the methods of setting out and measuring the same; road making,
common, MacAdams' paved; investigation of the strength of materials;
methods of building in brickwork and masonry; principles of scientific
carpentry; iron foundry and smith's work; the construction of roofs and
centring for large stone arches; theory of arches; timber bridges; the
methods of building in water, for the construction of bridges, harbors,
breakwaters, etc.; of cast iron bridges, and suspension bridges; the
methods of drawing specifications of particulars for work to be executed
and of making estimates of carrying such works into execution; applications
of the foregoing principles to the construction of navigable canals, and
locks-to railroads-to water and windmills-to steam engines-to locomotive
engines for railroads-to the working of mines-to supplying towns with
water and illuminating the same with inflammable gas.3
This was the most comprehensive programme of instruction in civil
engineering to be presented to date in any of the colonial colleges. It was
John Millington, Elements of Civil Engineering. Philadelphia and
Richmond, Virginia: 1839, p. vii.
Faculty Minutes. 1836/7-1846 Volume, p. 11.
Catalog of 1856-1857. p. 11.
the Catalog.
The abbreviation "etc", was used in
founded on the "practical experience of the Professor who for twenty five
years followed the profession of civil engineer in England....^
were twenty five students enrolled in the course.
Under the heading of Natural Philosophy, the catalog states that
Professor Millington lectured on the mechanic powers and their practical
application to the construction of machines; hydraulics with applications
to pumps, water wheels, etc.; the steam engine; optics in theory and as
applied to the construction of optical instruments, and meteorology.
In chemistry, the examination of compounds by testing, and the methods
of examining and working the metallic ores, "as applicable to mining pur­
poses, have considerable attention"; organic and vegetable chemistry and
the applications of the science to geological and mineral investigation,
as well as to pharmacy and medicine, were listed in the catalog.
The catalogs up to and including the issue of 1838-1839 contain
notices of students enrolled in engineering.4
The Faculty Minutes not
only mention absences in the engineering class for the years 1836-1837
but also mention certificates of proficiency in engineering awarded to
students up to and including 1839.®
Although there were no further entries
of this character after the dates given, the announcements of the courses
as given above continued in the college catalogs.
The Faculty Minutes
Loo, cit.
Ibid., p. 10.
P. 9.
Catalog of 1857-1858. p. 8; Catalog of 1858-1859. pp. 10-11.
Faculty Minutes. 1836/7-1846 Volume, pp. 14, 17, 28, 54, 82, 138-139,
They continued until the 1845-1846 edition, at least. Millington left
the College in 1848 to go to the University of Mississippi. Catalogs
between 1846 and 1848 have not been available. The College Laws of
1845 (p. 13) also contain a notice of civil engineering instruction.
before the academic year 1841-1842, contained entries indicating when
civil engineering was given in the order of lectures.
Beginning with
1841-1842, there were no further entries in the record of such informa­
These facts seem to indicate that instruction in civil engineering
was not always a part of the programme of the College.
However, as long
as Professor Millington remained on the staff it is reasonably certain
that he taught this subject (as a distinct topic) whenever there was
demand for it.
Particularly is this so, when there is evidence that the
catalogs contained announcements of such instruction.
Benjamin S. Newell succeeded Millington as Professor of Mathematics
and Natural Science^ in 1848.
The Laws of 1849 indicate that instruction
in surveying, navigation, descriptive geometry, astronomy, chemistry,
natural philosophy, agricultural chemistry and mineralogy were part of
the course of study. ^
The statement that instruction "may be given in
civil engineering" also appears.
From the Catalog of 1849-1850, some further details of this course of
study may be learned.
In the Mathematics Department there was instruction
in surveying including navigation and the measurement of heights and distan­
ces; in the applications of differential and integral calculus to natural
In the Department of Chemistry, Natural and Experimental
Philosophy, the programme (in its entirety) consisted of organic chemistry
with applications to the arts and agriculture; the first principles
This professorship was given various titles in the publications of
the College at this time. No attempt has been made to introduce
this confusion in the study.
Pp. 8, 10.
P. 11.
P. 6 .
of mineralogy; natural and experimental philosophy including mechanics,
optics, electricity and magnetism.1
"Instruction in
Civil Engineering
may be given to a class by the Professor of Mathematics and Natural
Although this statement indicates that there was a possibil­
ity of engineering instruction, there is no way of establishing whether it
actually took place.
There is no detailed announcement in either the
College Laws or Catalogs.
The Catalog of 1851 makes no change in these
regulations, and the College Laws of 1853 contain an almost verbatim stateX
ment of subjects of instruction as that just outlined.
In the edition of the catalog issued in 1855, no change was made in
the instruction in mathematics that is the concern of this study.
an expanded programme in chemistry and natural philosophy is indicated.
The study of Chemistry began with heat, light and electricity.
Chemistry included chemical nomenclature and the use of symbols, chemical
philosophy, nature and properties of elementary bodies (metalloids and
metals) and of their various compounds.
vegetable were also listed.
Organic chemistry both animal and
"The application of Chemistry to Agriculture
and the other arts and Mineralogy to the extent the time will admit" com­
pleted the chemical instruction.
Natural philosophy comprised the mechan­
ics of solids and fluids; the theory and description of machines; undula4
tions including sound; optics and magnetism and astronomy.
Loc. cit.
Ibid.. p. 7.
p. 6. The statement that "Instruction on Civil Engineering may be given
to a class by the Professor of Mathematios and Natural Philosophy"
is repeated on page 7.
Pp. 17-18.
The instruction in this department [Department of
Chemistry and Natural Philosophy] is conveyed partly by
textbooks and partly by lectures; experimental illustra­
tions, with a large chemical and philosophical apparatus
are frequently given. There are daily examinations on
the textbooks and lectures.1
The statement that civil engineering instruction may be given also appears.
The catalogs between 1857 and 1859, again, were not available.
1859 edition, there was no mention of civil engineering.
In the
The applications
of chemistry to agriculture ttand the other arts'* as subjects of instruction
do appear, however.
The curriculum became considerably more narrow in
scope in the years immediately prior to the Civil War.^
occurred abruptly in 1860, it appears.
This change
The Records of the Faculty contain
no data which would provide the reason for this state of affairs.
approach of the War and the strained conditions antecedent to the actual
break in peaceful relations, undoubtedly, account for a limited enrollment
and a considerable restriction in the college programme.
Yale College
Mensuration, surveying, navigation, chemistry and natural philosophy
were part of the curriculum of Yale College in 1825.®
repeated again in 1829
and in 1832 .
This programme is
In all of these announcements, the
study of the learned languages was prescribed in each of the four years of
the college course.
The emphasis on the olassics was not without reason.
1. Ibid.. p. 18.
2. Pp. 17-18.
3. Catalog of 1859-1860. p. 38.
4. At least, the statements of courses of study in the catalogs indicate
such a change. This is particularly noticeable in the Catalog of 1860/
61 (p. 14) wherein an extensive programme of the classical languages is
exhibited and civil (?) and physical chemistry, geology, mineralogy,
astronomy and meteorology were the complete science offering.
5. The Laws of Yale College 1825. p. 16.
Laws of Yale Cqllaga 1829. p. 16.
7. Laws of Yale College 1852r p. 16.
Objections to the study of the "dead languages" had been raised from
sources without the college.
In 1827, the Corporation of Tale College
took notice of this criticism for in September of that year a committee
was appointed.
.... to inquire into the expediency of so altering the
regular course of instruction in this college as to
leave out of said course the study of the dead languages,
substituting other studies therefor and either requiring
a competent knowledge of said languages, as a condition
of admittance into the college, or providing instruction
in the same for such as shall choose to study them after
Before introducing some of the findings of these reports, it is interesting
and helpful to know something of the character of the criticism of the
college course.
Kingsley describes these objections as follows,
.... complaints were becoming quite general outside of
the college walls, among the Phillistines of the period,
of the unprofitable nature of the studies which the
students were required to pursue. It was a time when
the newspapers of the day and many of the so called
reformers in education were loudly decrying the study of
the 'dead languages'. Demands were being made ....
that the course of study should be altered to suit what
were called 'the practical wants of the times'....**
Again, from the Faculty Report of 1828, the character of the criticism may
be learned,
.... From different quarters, we have heard the sugges­
tions, that our colleges must be new modelled, that they
are not adapted to the spirit and wants of the age; that
they will soon be deserted, unless they are better ac­
comodated to the business character of the nation
The answer to these objections and criticisms was detailed and lengthy.
Records of the Corporation of Tale College. Meeting of September 11,
1827. This Committee requested the Faculty to express their views
on the resolution as adopted.
2. . William L. Kingsley, A Sketch of the History of Tale College. Vol. I,
p • 1S3.
"Original Papers in Relation to a Course in Liberal Education",
American Journal of Arts and Sciences, Vol. XV, January 1829, p. 300.
The Faculty believed that,
.... [the] course of instruction is not intended to
complete an education in theology, medicine or legal
science, neither does it include all the minute
detAils of mercantile, mechanical or agricultural
concerns. These can never be effectually learned ex­
cept in the very circumstances in which they are to
be practised....-!Further, this statement may be found,
The course of instruction which is given to the
undergraduates in our college is not designed to in­
clude professional studies. It is (only) intended
to supply the necessary broad foundation of fthose
literary and scientific acquisitions which, if not
commenced there, will, in most cases never be made*....
College is not a trade school any more than it is a
professional school. Here education is begun not
The Tale Faculty believed that no subject in the curriculum at that
time could be put aside without marring the system of education regarded
by them as acceptable.^
The objective of this system of education was set
forth as,
.... not to give a partial education, consisting of a
few branches only; nor on the other hand, to give a
superficial education, containing a smattering of
almost everything, nor to finish the details of either
a professional or practical education; but to commence
Ibid.. pp. 309-310.
Ibid.. pp. 307-308.
The two essential points to be gained in college study were thought to
be "the discipline and the furniture of the mind; expanding its
powers and storing it with knowledge. The former of these is,
perhaps, the more important of the two. A commanding object,
therefore, in a collegiate oourse, should be to call into daily and
vigorous exercise the faculties of the student". Gf. American
Journal of Arts and Sciences, op. pit., p. 300. The classical
languages were regarded as indispensable in bringing about this
discipline of the mind.
a thorough course and carry it as far as the tine of
residence here will allow.
Objections had been raised to the requirement that all students should
follow the same course.
It was believed by those outside the college that
each student should be allowed to select those branches of study which were
best adapted to his talents, suitable to his taste and more nearly connec­
ted with his intended profession in life.
The reply to these considerations
was most emphatic,
.... To this we answer, that our prescribed
course contains those subjects only which ought
to be understood, as we think, by every one who aims
at a thorough education. They are not the peculiarities
of any profession or art. These are to be learned in
the professional and practical school....2
Evidently some consideration was given to the subject of those who
intended to prepare for "active employments".
According to the report,
they were not to be excluded from the college because the curriculum was
not especially adapted to their pursuits but it was stated that,
.... the object of the undergraduate course, is not
to finish a preparation for business; but to impart
that various and general knowledge, which will improve
and elevate, and adorn any occupation. Can merchants,
manufacturers, and agriculturists, derive no benefit
from high intellectual culture? ....^
The Committee of the Corporation appointed to examine the criticisms
directed at the college course of study expressed the belief that a know­
ledge of the ancient languages was deemed a prerequisite in the universities
of Europe.
Ignorance of them was declared to be an obstacle to success.4
Ibid.. p. 313.
Ibid.. p. 312. Unfortunately there
were very few"practical
of collegiate grade in existence at the time.
American Journal
of Arts and Sciences,
Vol. XV, op.cit..p. 323.
Furthermore, the Committee concluded that the "learned world" settled this
matter long ago and the "estimationin which classical attainment is
held determines the intelligence ofa community".'1'
In many instances these reports are not very specific.
They contain
mention of a partial education without defining how education without the
classics is "partial" and how an education with a full programme of the
classics is "complete".
Again, the "new" course proposed to supplant the
Tale curriculum was declared to he inferior, without indicating the res­
pects or directions in which it was weak or inferior.
This insistence on
classical literature and learning undoubtedly prevented any change in the
course of study for many years to come.
It made the entry into the curric­
ulum of education in practical affairs, in technology or engineering dif­
ficult and unlikely while the educational philosophy contained in the
extracts of the reports given above guided the policies of the College.
Foster believes that the protest against the nineteenth century trend
toward a curriculum better suited to the needs of the expanding nation is
nowhere better expressed than in these reports.^
Furthermore he believes
that in the publication and circulation of these reports Tale gave its
powerful influence to "a retroactive movement",
.... The report of its committee on a liberal course
of study, published in 1827, prescribed every subject
that a liberal education demanded, and attempted to
place the entire curriculum on a basis of formal dis­
cipline and to fix it once and for all in final perfec­
tion. The doctrines of this Report not only hindered progress
at Tale for many years but cramped college programs wherever
the influence of Tale was felt
Loc. cit.
William T. Foster, Administration of the College Curriculum. p. 143.
Ibid.. p. 19.
Louis Franklin Snow supports this belief.^*
After the Revolution,
Snow states, there was debate on the suggestion of the possible service
of the colleges to the commonwealth,
.... One result of such discussion closed the colonial
period when the College of William and Mary adopted the
reforms of Thomas Jefferson. A second controversy
provided this Report of the Yale Faculty which emphatic­
ally influenced the course of study and profoundly
affected the trend of educational thought. It placed
the college program once and for all on the basis of
The college catalogs for over a quarter of a century after 1828 con­
tain references to these reports.
These college catalogs supplemented by
the College Laws of 1837 and 1843 reveal a striking uniformity in the
course of study at Yale for the period 1828-1846.
There was no significant
change only rearrangement of subjects, and the use of different textbooks.
The programme included mathematics [with surveying and mensuration], chem­
istry, natural philosophy, astronomy, mineralogy and geology.
the four years the students were
In each of
in the learned languages,
rhetoric and oratory.
For all practical purposes, it may be stated the
same programme was repeated fromyear to year.
The first major change thatis properly the concern of this investiga­
tion occurred in 1846-1847.
Kingsley states,
For some years there had been an increasing
inclination on the part of a class of graduate students
.... to remain in New Haven with the design of prosecuting
their studies further than they had as yet been able to
do. There had been also a general desire among all the
College Curriculum in the United States, p. 143.
Loc. cit. Cf. also Julian M. Sturtevant, An Autobiography, pp. 83-95
far a description of the life and curriculum of Yale from 1822-1826.
Sturtevant was the first president of Illinois College.
The Laws of Yale College 1857. p. 5. The Laws of Yale College 1845.
p. 13. The Catalogs of Officers and Students in Yale College 1828/291855/54. pp. 24, 25, 26. The Catalogs of Officers and Students in
Yale College 1855/54-1842/437 p. 27. The Catalog of the Officers
and students in Yale College 1945/44-1845/46, p . 29.
. i
officers of the Academical Faculty that a course
of advanced instruction might be arranged for the
benefit of such students, in philosophy, philology,
the pure mathematios, history, literature and the
natural sciences....1
Professor Silliman, Sr., presented a paper before the meeting of the
Corporation of Yale on August 19, 1846, in which he proposed that a new
department be established where instruction in the physical sciences should
be given.
A committee was appointed to consider the advisability of
creating such a new department of instruction.
John p. Norton was appointed
Professor of Agricultural Chemistry and Animal and Vegetable Physiology;
Benjamin Silliman, Jr. was appointed Professor of Practical Chemistry.
The votes of the Corporation concerning these two professorships are sig­
Whereas, it has been represented to this Corporation
that a benefactor of the College, proposes to give five
thousand dollars for the endowment of a Professorship of
Agricultural Chemistry and of vegetable and Animal Phys­
iology, provided twenty thousand dollars be raised for
that purpose.
Resolved, that there be established in this college
a Professorship of Agricultural Chemistry and of Vegetable
and Animal Physiology for the purpose of giving instruction
to graduates and others not members of the undergraduate
classes, and that the Corporation will now proceed to
elect a Professor of those branches of science; that while
efforts to compile the endowment are in progress he may
devote himself to study preparatory to his entering in
the duties of that office....
Resolved, that there be also established a Professor­
ship of Practical Chemistry for the purpose of giving in­
struction to others than members of the undergraduate
classes, in respect to the application of chemistry and the
Kingsley, Vol. I, 0£. cit., p. 149. Professor Benjamin Silliman, Senior
and his son had given extra-curricular instruction in chemistry
and mineralogy in their laboratory at Yale. One of their students,
John P. Norton, after study in Europe returned to America in 1846
and his services were sought for special instruction in the applica­
tions of chemistry to agriculture. (See directly below).
kindred sciences to the manufacturing arts, to the
explanation of the resources of the country and to
other practical uses. And that a Professor be now
appointed to that office whose compensation, till
other provision can be made, shall be derived ex­
clusively from fees for instruction and for other
The Committee appointed to consider the establishment of a new
department of study, reported to the Corporation in the August 17, 1847
The report was accepted and adopted.^
The Committee believed
that it was expedient to form such a department and gave several reasons
There was a demand on the part of the graduates of Tale and
others for instruction in particular lines beyond what is wanted or can
be given in the college course.
There were in existence several endowed scholarships for
graduates [with the possibility of more].
It was believed the advantages
to be gained from these endowments would be greatly increased by having
instruction for the scholars and not leaving them to themselves.
From time to time new branches of study are
called for by the public, which if introduced
into our undergraduate course, would greatly
crowd in and interfere with its object as a
course of training for the mind3
It was believed that students resident at the College pursuing
specific branches of knowledge would have a good effect in promoting "the
Records of the Corporation of Yale University. Meeting of August 19,
1846. The provision for this practical education should not appear
to be inconsistent with the pronouncements of the 1827 and 1828 re­
ports, for it will be noted that this education proposed at this
meeting was not intended for undergraduates. Undergraduate educa­
tion was recognized as a preparation for professional education.
Significant also is the realization that these new Professorships
could not be supported by college funds.
Records of the Corporation of Yale University,
August 17, 1847.
Loe. c i t .
cit.. Meeting, of
spirit of study" among undergraduates.
The materials for such a school were at hand and the Corporation
believed that the introduction of such a department would greatly add to
the usefulness of such materials.^*
The new department of instruction for other than undergraduate students
who were not in the departments of theology, medicine and law, was called
the "Department of Philosophy and the Arts".
The department embraced
philosophy, literature, history, the moral sciences other than law and
theology and the natural sciences [excepting medicine] and their applica­
tions to the arts.
Instruction in the department was to be given by
Professors of the Academics! Department, by Professors not belonging to
another department and by such others as the President and Fellows might
All graduates of Yale and other colleges were to be admitted and were
to be allowed to pursue such studies as they desired.
The College Catalog of 1847-1848 contstins a notice of this depart­
The School of Applied Chemistry embraced instruction in the
applications of science to the arts and agriculture.
A course of lectures
on the connections of science with agriculture by Professor Norton was
"Professor Silliman, Jr. will deliver during the summer a
course of lectures upon some other department of applied chemistry."2
Professor Silliman, Sr. lectured on meteorology, geology and chemistry,
and Professor Olmsted's lectures on natural philosophy were also considered
a part of the instruction in this school.
Loc. cit.
P. 43.
These announcements remain
unchanged in the catalog issues for 1848-1849, 1849-1850'*' and 1850-1851.
In 1852, the Corporation prescribed requirements for degrees in the
Department of Philosophy and the Arts and established a Professorship of
Civil Engineering.
The degree of Bachelor of Philosophy was awarded to
students (over twenty one years of age) who had completed a residence of
two years and sustained an examination.
This examination, in the case of
students of the physical sciences "shall embrace two departments of phys­
ical or mathematical science and either the French or German language".2
William Augustus Norton, a graduate of the United States Military Academy
and formerly of Newark College, Delaware and Brown University, was
elected Professor of Civil Engineering.
The Department of Philosophy and the Arts now embraced the School of
Applied Chemistry and the School of Engineering.
In the course in chemis­
try each student engaged in,
.... a systematic course of experiment, in which he is
superintended by the instructors. The course includes
among other applications, the analysis of grains, soils,
minerals, the determinations of the commercial value of .
drugs and chemicals and experiments in medical chemistry.
Professor Norton, according to this catalog, instructed in civil and
mechanical engineering. This is the first time that the use of this term
has been encountered.
The course of study in the School of Engineering
consisted of the following studies and exercises,
There is, however, specific mention in this issue only of practical
chemistry and its applications to dyeing and printing, p. 44.
Records of the Corporation of Yale College. Meeting of July 27, 1852.
Loc. cit.
Catalog of the Officers and Students in Yale College 1852-1855. p. 47.
Surveying in all its branches, with the adjustment
and use of instruments, and operations in the field.
Drawing - topographical, geometrical, mechanical,
architectural; with shading and tinting.
Descriptive Geometry - Shades and Shadows - Linear
Perspective - Isometrieal Projection; pursued in con­
nection with systematic exercises in geometry.
Applications of Descriptive Geometry to Masonry
and Stone Cutting, in the construction of Arches, etc.
and to Civil and Mechanical Engineering, generally.
The Principles of Architecture
Analytical Geometry, and Differential and Integral
Mechanics, including Hydraulics and Pneumatics Applications of Mechanics to Machinery and Engineering.
The Science of Construction in its various depart­
ments with a discussion of the nature, strength and
mode of preparation of building materials.
Engineering Field Work; or the location of roads,
surveys for excavations and embankments, etc. Use of
astronomical instruments for the determination of time,
latitude and longitude, etc.l
In 1854, the School of Applied Chemistry and the School of Engineer­
ing were grouped together under the "Yale Scientific School".
scientific aspects were thus separated from the other branches of study in
the Department of Philosophy and the Arts.
the same as in the previous year.
The course of study remained
In 1855, a group of professors of the School^ presented a memorial
to the Corporation regarding the establishment of a Professorship of
L. Ibid.. pp. 48-49.
2. Records of the Corporation,
cit.. Meeting of July 25, 1854.
3. Catalog of the Officers and Students in Yale College 1854-1855. pp. 50-51.
4. James Dana, Benjamin Silliman, Jr., William Norton and John Porter who
had been appointed in the place of J. P. Norton as Professor of
Analytical and Agriculturil Chemistry.
At the July 24th meeting, this professorship was established
and George J. Brush (then studying in Freiburg, Saxony) was chosen to fill
the office.^
The course of instruction in the Scientific School was also
In the School of Applied Chemistry lectures in general chemis­
try, mineralogy and geology, chemistry applied to the arts, agricultural
chemistry, chemistry of building materials and chemical philosophy were
listed in the 1855-1856 catalog.
2 The statement of the course of study
in the engineering school did not change, however.5
A further change in the regulations of the Scientific School took
place in 1856 when the degree of Bachelor of Science was authorized for
study in the school for two years and the Bachelor of Philosophy was then
to be conferred after three years study.^
The catalog for this year also
contained an announcement of a special course of agricultural instruction
designed to meet the wants of practical farmers.
This notice did not
appear in subsequent numbers of the catalog.5
An understanding of the position and condition of the Scientific
School may be gained from a contemporary document printed in 1856,
The necessity of schools for thorough instruction in
the various sciences and practical arts, is strongly felt
throughout our land, and within a few years, many institu­
tions have been projected to supply this deficiency in our
Systems of Education.
Records of the Corporation, op. cit.. Meeting of July 24, 1855.
P. 53.
Ibid.. p. 54. As a matter of fact there was no change in this outline
until 1860-1861.
Records of the Corporation, op. cit.. Meeting of July 29, 1856.
Catalog of the Officers and Students in Yale College 1856-1857. p. 44.
To meet this demand, the 'Yale Scientific School'
was commenced in the year 1846, as a University depart­
ment of Yale College. The Corporation established two
professorships, one of Agricultural Chemistry; the other
of Chemistry applied to the Arts. But as the funds of
the college belong to the Academical department.... these
Chairs were without foundation, and thus they still remain.
The Corporation could do little but acknowledge the im­
portance of the School of Science, and offer it temporary
Although the school has continued on, and has been
behind none in the country, in the number and character of
its students, it has been unable, from its poverty, to
fulfil its aim....*
Although the school suffered from lack of funds, it enjoyed relatively
large popularity,
.... the number of students in the Department of
Philosophy and the Arts, most of whom have been devoted
to Chemistry or Engineering, has been continually in­
creasing during the last ten years to form a total of
more than three hundred fifty.... *
In 1859, the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy
were again reconsidered and altered.
Students in the Chemical School were
required to pass an examination in chemistry, mineralogy, elementary
crystallography, geology and the French or German languages.
In the
engineering school candidates for this degree were required to pass an
examination in descriptive geometry, shades and shadows and linear perspec­
tive, analytical geometry, differential and integral calculus, theoretical
and practical mechanics and the French or German languages.^
of Civil Engineer was also instituted in this meeting.
The degree
The requirements
consisted of the Bachelor of Philosophy degree; attendance on the lectures
Appeal in Behalf of the Yale Scientific School. New Haven: 1856, p. 3.
The appeal is signed by the President of the College and the Faculty
of the Scientific School. It should be noted that the document
states specifically that the School was founded to meet the demand
for education in science and the practical arts.
Proposed Plan for a Complete Reorganization of the School of Science
[connected with-Yale College], New Haven: Printed by Ezekiel Hayes,
1856, p. 3. The Corporation had considered this plan but no action
was taken at this time on the proposal.
Records Of the
Vol. VII, p. 30.
nf V«l« TTnivai»flitvf M,sating of July 26, 1359,
in chemistry, natural philosophy and astronomy during two years; comple­
tion of the third year course in the Engineering School in higher math­
ematics and mechanics, projects of construction, geodesy, topographical
surveying, sketching from models, astronomical observations, mineralogy
and geology.^
In this meeting the Corporation also voted to accept a
gift of a building and land in New Haven which was offered by Joseph E.
Sheffield for the use of the Scientific School.
Mr. Sheffield, in
addition to this gift, made possible the development of the School by
granting to it the sum of fifty thousand dollars to serve as a foundation
for the maintenance of the Professorships of Engineering, Metallurgy and
The Corporation of Tale College, in 1860, voted upon the recommenda­
tions of the Faculty of the Scientific School and established more advanced
courses of study in science.
An important historical event occurred at
this meeting for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy was instituted.
was the first time that such a degree had been authorized by any American
In 1860 [the academic year 1860-1861] the faculty of the Tale
Scientific School consisted of the President of the College; a Professor
of Civil Engineering; a Professor of Natural History; a Professor of
General and Applied Chemistry; a Professor of Industrial Mechanics and
Physics; a Professor of Modem Languages; of Metallurgy and a Professor
1. Kingsley, 0£. cit.. Vol. I, p. 152. Cf. also Bussell H. Chittenden,
History of the Sheffield Scientific School. Vol. I, p. 74. In
recognition of this philanthropic interest the Tale Scientific
School, in 1861, was renamed, nThe Sheffield Scientific School*1.
2. Records of the Corporation, og>. cit.. Vol. VII, p. 53.
discussed directly below.
These will be
Catalog of the Officers and Students in Tale College. 1860-1861, p. 45.
of Analytical and Agricultural Chemistry in addition to several assistants
The courses of instruction in School consisted of a general course,
embracing mathematics, physical sciences, modern languages, literature,
history, political economy, and commercial law, which extended through
three years.
In addition to these general subject headings, there were
lectures on building materials; agriculture and agricultural chemistry;
free hand drawing, architectural drawing, designing; lectures on the steam
engine and other motors; the statistics of agriculture, commerce and
The second general course of study was a special course in
"Chemistry and Natural Science" extending through two years.
in this course were such topics as technical chemical analysis; agricul­
ture and agricultural chemistry; lectures on building materials; the
chemistry of metals and metallurgy; assaying and mineral analysis and
geology (both general and American).
A special
course in
engineering extending over two yearswas also
statement of the course in engineering in this catalog is
somewhat more detailed and indicates a much wider provision for study in
engineering than had been the case before 1860.
Practical surveying with
adjustment and use of instruments; field work; drawing of plans and
charts; levelling; topographical surveys with operations in the field and
spherical trigonometry comprised the surveying taught in the first year
according to the Catalog of 1860/61.^
Catalog of the Officers
Ibid., pp. 47-48.
Students in Yale College. 1860-1861. p. 45
Under the general heading of Drawing, linear perspective; shades and
shadows; isometrical and architectural drawing; mechanical drawing; topo­
graphical drawing and shading and tinting, were included.
During the second year, the students studied mechanics; field
engineering consisting of the location of roads, surveys for calculations
of excavations and embankments and for the construction of roads; civil
engineering (strictly so called) embracing the strength of materials,
bridge construction,'masonry and stone cutting, lectures on building
materials, graphical problems in stone cutting; lectures on chemistry,
physics, mineralogy and geology, and the French or German languages.
mechanics mentioned was concerned with the mechanics of machinery and
engineering; the construction, theory and applications of the steam engine
as well as purely a theoretical treatment of mechanics.
Crowning this special course of engineering was the higher course in
engineering which has already been mentioned in this chapter.
The degree
of Civil Engineer was awarded to those students who had, having completed
this higher course, passed a final examination and ffgiven evidence of
their ability to design important constructions and make the drawings and
calculations required in their execution".1
The subjects of study were:
Mathematics - calculus and calculus of variations
Practical Astronomy including observations with the sextant
and transit circle, with the zenith telescope and
Applied Mathematics - geodetic surveying, method of the
United States Coast Survey.
Mechanics - analytical mechanics
Catalog of the Officers and Students of Yale College 1860-1861.
p. 51.
Civil Engineering - designs for special railroad structures
with specifications, calculations and drawings,
designs for special structures.
Industrial Mechanics - lectures on the principles of mechan­
isms, and on the steam engine, turbines and
other motors. Reports of examination of machines
and manufacturing establishments. Designs for
special machines.3Under the topic of agriculture, a course of sixty or more lectures
on agriculture and horticulture was scheduled.
These lectures were des­
cribed as having "especial prominence" in agricultural chemistry, the
propagation and management of vines and fruit trees, the diseases of
domestic animals, the characteristics of the various breeds and the lessons
of English agriculture.^
Thus did Tale College provide for technical education before the
Civil War.
The establishment of the Scientific School was brought about
by the demand for practical education and the recognition of this demand
by members of the faculty.
The institution was always distinct from the
Academical department and was placed in large part, upon a graduate basis.
This separation was consistent with the traditional view at Tale that the
undergraduate course was not a professional course but rather a preparation
for the professions.
Administered by a comprehensive faculty and aided
by Joseph Sheffield, this school in the brief space of sixteen years (18461862) developed into a school of engineering and technology which was ex­
tensive in scope and which embraced civil engineering, the elements of
mechanical engineering, agricultural and chemical technology.
The curriculum of the
College of Hew Jersey
College of New Jersey in 1825 was not radically
different from its contemporaries.
Navigation, mensuration and surveying,
mechanics, astronomy, chemistry, natural history, botany, and experimental
philosophy were listed in the catalog of 1825.1
classics were alsoprescribed for the
general outline of
The Latin and Greek
two upper classes.^
studies remained until
1829 when
This same
therewas aslight
expansion of science in the curriculum.
In that year chemistry, geology,
mineralogy, experimental philosophy mechanics were listed in the senior
This extended list of science subjects did not continue long because
the course of study of 1830-1851 was decidedly more narrow than those just
The Professor of Natural Philosophy instructed the junior and
senior classes in natural philosophy and astronomy (political economy and
history were also within the province of this professor).
The Professor
of Chemistry instructed the senior class (only) in chemistry and the
Professor of Mathematics instructed the junior and senior classes in
trigonometry (plane and spherical with their applications), conic sections,
fluxions and spherical projections.^
In academic year 1832-1833, the curriculum was not changed (survey­
ing, mensuration, navigation, mechanics, natural philosophy, chemistry and
astronomy are found in the 1^832-1833 catalog).
However, notice that
Catalog of the Officers and Students of Nassau Hall. 1825* pp.
Loc. cit.
Catalog of the Officers and Students of the College of New Jersey for
1 8 2 9 - 1 8 5 0 . p. 10.
John MacLean, History of the College of New Jersey, Vol. II, p. 285.
Cf. also Varnum Lansing Collins, Princeton, p. 307, for the narrow­
ing of the curriculum in 1850-1831. Henry Vethake (Professor of
Natural Philosophy), Albert 5. Dod (Professor of Mathematics) and
John Torrey (Professor of Chemistry) were appointed by the Board of
Trustees in the September, 1830 meeting; Trustees Records. Volume
III, p. 181.
lectures on physics and mechanical philosophy; civil engineering and
architecture'*’ and natural history appeared at this time.2
These extra­
curricular lectures (with numerous changes) remained a part of the
programme of the College for the remainder of the period under considera­
Collins^ states that these lectures were introduced to relieve na
certain poverty of the curriculum".
This poverty of the curriculum in the thirties was
not due primarily to the lack of subjects taught so much
as to their multiplicity. The trouble with the course of
study was its scrappiness in the upper years. Men must
have merely dabbed in studies when they had to pursue no
less than eight at a time, as juniors aB seniors did...
These lectures,
.... became in the hands of able men, general surveys of
the fields of learning, clearing houses of knowledge and
as such must have been vastly helpful to undergraduates
who had ears to hear....5
The notice of lectures on civil engineering appeared in the catalogs
from the 1832-1833 to 1837-1838.
There was no further mention of civil
engineering during the period under review after this date.
In the year
1834-1835, the subject "civil architecture" appeared in the undergraduate
course and continued in the curriculum beyond 1862.
The scope of these extra-curricular lectures was extended to such an
extent that in 1840-1841, the subjects covered included astronomy, chem­
istry, mineralogy, botany, geology, mechanical philosophy, physics and
These were delivered by Joseph Henry, the famous scientist, who was
elected Professor of Natural Philosophy in 1832, Trustees Records,
op. cit., Vol. Ill, p. 221.
Catalog of the Officers and Students of the College of New Jersey for
1832-1855. p. 12.
Princeton, op. cit.. p. 307.
Ibid.. p. 307.
Ibid.. p. 308.
The course of stud/ described in the 1840-1841 edition of the
catalog does not differ froo the statement in the 1832-1833 announcement.
Mensuration, surveying, navigation, astronomy, mechanics, chemistry and
natural philosophy as well as civil architecture were among the subjects
The curriculum in science in 1861-1862 again included mensuration,
surveying, navigation, astronomy, chemistry, natural philosophy, zoology
(since 1853), botany, physical geography (since 1854) and geology (since
It is evident that some divisions of science formerly considered
only in the extra-curricular lectures were now part of the regular course
of study.
The full programme of lectures in all these subjects was
repeated in 1861-1862, however.
The statements in the college catalogs indicate a remarkable uni­
formity in the course of study for the period 1832-1862.
A slow, steady
increase in the science offering is evident but there was no provision
for applied science beyond that already pointed out.
The investigator has been unable to discover any evidence which would
define the "civil architecture" mentioned in the catalogs.
lectures were delivered by Professor Henry.
At first, these
In 1837-1838, Professor Dod
(Mathematics) took over this assignment but from 1847-1848 to 1861-1862
(in some issues no mention was made of the lectures in this field), the
Professor of Greek was listed as lecturing on architecture.
Whether this
was a technical or an aesthetic discussion cannot be determined.
Catalog of the Officers and Students in the College of New Jersey for
1840-1841. p. 16.
Ibid.. p. 15.
Catalog of the Officers and Students of the College of Hew Jersey.
pp. 16-18.
more it has never been made clear in the catalogs just who the instructor
in the undergraduate course in civil architecture was.
The subject of mechanics was taught with the use of textbooks and
these included Roucharlat *a Mechanics and Renwick's Mechanics.
As will be
seen in the next chapter, these books contained material on the practical
Again Professor Henry was a member of the faculty of the College
until 1848 and he was also identified with the practical affairs of the
Furthermore, the investigator has examined notebooks in the
Princeton Collection for the period during which Professor Henry was at
the College.2 These outlines contain data that indicate the steam engine
and its applications were given considerable stress.
The "mechanical
powers" were also considered in detail.
Lectures on mechanical and natural philosophy were given throughout
the years before 1862.
In the absence of any data^ concerning the exact
nature of these subjects, it cannot be determined whether any attention
was directed to applications to engineering or the mechanic arts.
The provision of instruction in applied science did not entirely
escape the attention of the Trustees of the College for in the meeting of
December 1853, they resolved to establish a Professorship of Applied
The absence of any announcement in the catalogs concerning this
applied science indicates that nothing came of this move.
In 1848, Henry left the College to become associated with the Smithson­
ian Institution. Cf. MacLean, Vol. II, 0£. cit.. p. 320. Professor
Henry, it will be remembered did pioneer work on the development
of the telegraph.
Daniel Ayres, Jr., Notes or Natural Philosophy 1841. Theodore W.
Talmadge, Synopsis of Lectures (written during his senior year of
the class of 1846.
The textbooks in these subjects were not mentioned in the contemporary
MacLean, Vol. II, o£. cit.. p. 337.
University of Pennsylvania
In 1826, the course of study at the University of Pennsylvania included
surveying, mensuration, natural philosophy, chemistry and perspective geography
including the use of globes and the construction of maps and charts.* These
laws also list (under the Department of Natural Science) Professorships of
Natural Philosophy, Botany, Natural History (including geology and goology)
and Mineralogy and Chemistry as Applied to Agriculture and the Arts.
The course of study ordered by the Trustees for 1828 was the same as that
just described with th 8 exception of the addition of analytical dynamics with
applications to physical astronomy.
From the 1829-30 Catalog of the University of Pennsylvania, a more
detailed view of the course of instruction may be gained.
The courses men­
tioned above (for 1826 and 1828) were continued, viz: natural philosophy,
analytical dynamics, chemistry, perspective geography, surveying and mensura­
tion but new additions included physics (electricity and magnetism, optics
and astronomy), the elements of mineralogy and geology and mechanics including
"the doctrines of rest and motion as applied to solids and fluids.
to machines."®
In the academic year 1930-51, the only important addition was
the study of the wteam engine in the senior year.
In the Catalog for the
Year 1932-33, the applications of descriptive geometry to the theory and cons­
truction of machines was added for the first time.^
Laws for the Government of the Collegiate and Academical Departments and the
Department of Natural Scienoes of the University of Pennsylvania 1926, p.6.
Ibid., p. 14. William Keating was Professor of Mineralogy and Chemistry as
Applied to Agriculture and the Arts until 1828 as pointed out in
Chapter IV•
Trustees1 Minutes, Vol. VII, p. 243.
PP. 20, 21.
Loc. cit.
Catalog of the Officers and Students in the University of_ Pennsylvania 183031, p. 22.
O l
This seme general pattern of studies continued without significant
additions until the year 1836-37 when the use of Bigelow’s "Elements of Technology" was authorized in the study of mechanics.
Lectures on machinery
(under the heading of Natural Philosophy) were also included in the studies of
the junior year.
The decade from 1840 to 1850 was a period in which there was slight prov­
ision for education in technical subjects.
were taught during this period.
Surveying, mensuration, navigation
There were lectures on machinery, the steam
engine and Jacob Bigelow’s textbook "Blements of Technology" was in use during
the early 40’s.
The science in the curriculum during this period included astronomy,
chemistry, geology, mineralogy, perspective geography, electricity, magnetism
and after 1842 meteorology appeared as a subject of study.
Edward P. Chenery, an historian of the University of Pennsylvania, terms
the first half of the nineteenth century the "middle ages" of this university’s
On October 1, 1850, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania elected
James C. Booth as Professor of Chemistry as Applied to the Arts.
The first
notice of instruction in applied chemistry appeared in 1852, however.
the heading of the Department of Chemistry Applied to the Arbs, it is stated
Pp. 21-22t
This textbook is not mentioned in the 1842-43 catalog.
Catalog of the Trustees, Officers and Students
Pennsylvania, 1840-1841 edition, pp. 27-28;
26j 1843-1844 edition, pp. 27-28; 1847-1848
1849 edition, pp. 30-31; 1851-1852 edition,
Edward P. Chenery, Universities and Their Sons, University of Pennsylvania,
Vol. I, pp. 105-114.
This is not an unreasonable oriticism because these lean fifty years con­
nected the "radical" curriculum of the Reverend William Smith (with its
emphasis on preparation for citizenship) and the "rennaissanoe" of the
Universitv which began about 1850.
of the University of
1842-1843 edition, pp. 25edition, pp. 30-31; 1848pp. 30-31.
The course of instruction pursued in this department
is the same as that of the Experimental Laboratories now
generally attached to European universities... Each student-*is supplied with the requisite apparatus and chemicals to
pursue his own experimental
investigations, under the
directions of the Professor
withcompetent assistance and
the course of experiment is varied according to the special
object in view. Familiar lectures are given by the Profes­
sor, to students, exclusively, upon the following subjects:
Mineralogy, Geology, Theoretic and Applied Chemistry.2
During 1852, the Trustees considered the subject of reorganizing the
Department of Arts.
The Committee towhom
this task was committed, also
reported in favor of adopting a resolution establishing a School of Mines.3
In the April 20, 1852 meeting, the title of the proposed school was amended
so as to read (the school of) nMines, Arts and Manufacturesn.
It was not
until the June 1, 1852 meeting, however, that the plan for such a school
was adopted,
Resolved: That it is expedient to establish a School of
Mines, Arts and Manufactures as one of the Departments
of the University....4
The course of instruction in the school was to occupy three years and
pupils sixteen years of age and over were to be admitted.
The course was
to consist of the following branches: natural philosophy (including general
chemistry); technical chemistry, chemical analysis and metallurgy; pure
mathematics; civil engineering, general mining, surveying, the art of
mining, mining machinery; geology, mineralogy, paleontology; sketching
nnri plan drawing; theoretical and practical mechanics and its application
to machinery; the German and French languages .3
Thirteen students are listed in this department in 1855—1854 according
to the catalog of that year (p. 40). Again in 1854-1855 (p. 38
of the catalog of that year) nine students are listed.
Catalog of the Trustees, Officers and students of the University of
Pennsylvania, 1852-1853, p. 43. This notice appeared each year up
to and including the academic year 1854—1855.
Trustees1 Minutes. Vol. 9, Meeting of April 20, 1852.
Ibid., Meeting of June 1, 1852.
Loc. cit.
Although this comprehensive programme was set forth in the minutes, it was
not adopted and the school was not opened until 1855*
At the meeting of February 5, 1856, the Committee on the Government of
the College made a long report which was spread on the Minutes.
The Committee
recommended that the Department of Mines, Arts and Manufactures "be constituted
in the manner and with the professorships recommended by the Committee".
immediate action was taken on this reoommendation, but on May
1856, the
Trustees resolved that the Committee on the Government of the College were to
take such measures as might be necessary for the efficient organization of the
new Department so that the same "may go into operation and instruction therein
may be given at the University during the Collegiate Term succeeding the next
v a c a t i o n " T h i s extract places the opening of the department in 1856.
However, the Catalog of the Academic Year 1855-1856*’ contains an announcement
of this new course.
The Trustees* record refers undoubtedly to a full and
complete operation of the department.
J. H. Alexander was elected Professor of Civil and Mining Engineering in
the October 5, 1852 meeting of the Trustees.
Alexander could not have dis­
charged this function because the school was not in operation until 1855 as
has already been mentioned and in 1855 Fairaan Rogers was elected Professor
of Civil
Engineering, General Mining, Surveying, Art of Mining and Mining
Machinery in the School of Mines, Arts and Manufactures•
Trustees* Minutes, Vol. 10, j). 176.
P. 35.
Trustees1 Minutes, Vol. 10, p. 6. Professor Alexander is listed in the
Catalogs from 1852-1853 to 1854-1855 as occupying this professorship,
but there was no mention of instruction in engineering in these sources.
Trustees* Minutes, Vol. 10, p. 148. This new department of study was
referred to in these Minutes as either the "Department" or "School" of
Mines, Arts and Manufactures. The catalogs oontain only the tern
The Committee on Government of the Trustees recommended that the faculty
of the new department should be composed of the following professorship*:
A Professorship of Natural Philosophy
A Professorship of Technical Chemistry and metallurgy embracing
their application to the manufacture of iron
and other metals*
A Professorship of Pure Mathematics
A Professorship of Civil Engineering and Surveying
A Professorship of Mining
A Professorship of Geology, Mineralogy and Paleontology
A Professorship of Fine Arts embracing the elements of drawing
and sketching from nature and their applications
to practical art*
A Professorship of Architecture and Practical Building
A Professorship of Theoretical and Practical Chemistry!
In the 1855-1856 Catalog these professorships are repeated but only the
Professorships of Natural Philosophy (John F. Frazer), Civil Engineering
(Fairman Rogers) and Geology, etc* (Charles B. Trego) were filled*
catalog for the next year (1856-1857) contained a detailed statement of the
course of study*
Professor Frazer instructed in the theory of mechanics and
its applications to machines; chemistry, its theories, and the properties of
bodies and their compounds, its applications in the arts*
Under civil engin­
eering, there was surveying, triangulation and compass, linear, mining and
hydrographic surveying; construction including the strength of materials, beams,
arches and the special applications to railroads, canals and waterworks*
The instruction in geology by Professor Trego was described as consisting
of the origin, order and geographical distribution of rock formations and the
practical applications of geological science to mining, manufactures and
The applications of mineralogy to metallurgy and manufactures;
the chemical character of ores and mineral substances and their connection
Ibid., Vol. lO, p. 169.
P. 35.
with various rock formations} the constituent materials of rocks completed
the topics listed under the Professorship of. Geology.*
In the next two years
(1857-1858, 1858-1859} the only change in these announcements occurred in the
instruction in mathematics.
In the catalog for 1857-1858,
the "applied
mathematics" was defined as "Trigonometry, Practical Astronomy, Theory of
instruments and observation"•
In the catalog for 1858-1859, the only addition­
al statement characterizing instruction in mathematics was, "The course of
mathematics may be followed by those who desire to do so under the direction
of the Professor of Mathematics".®
In May 1859, the Trustees elected J. Peter Lesley to the Professorship
of Mining.
As early as 1856 the Professorship of Civil Engineering and Mining
was split into two separate and distinct professorships,
.... the connection under the same professorship of
the two distinct branches of Civil Engineering and Mining
is neither appropriate nor practicable. The subjects are
in themselves altogether diverse in their theory and
illustrations, each is of an extent sufficient to require
the superintendence of a separate Professor and the nature
of the studies is so distinct, that it is not probable that
the student pursuing one branch would always or even gener­
ally desire to attend to the other.®
Although the Trustees expressed the hope in this meeting that this professor­
ship would soon be filled, it was not until 1859, that this hope was realized.
In the catalog for 1859-1860, the following statement appears.
Catalog of the Trustees, Officers and Students of the University of
Pennsylvania, 1856-1857, p. 46. The announcementof this department
contained the notice (for the first time) that E. Otis Kendall gave
instruction in the applications of pure mathematics to practical science.
P. 39.
P. 38.
Trustees* Minutes, Vol. 10, p. 309.
Ib id ., p . 160.
The design of the course of instruction in this
Department, is to assist the student in those branches
of applied scienoe which are embraced in the plan of
this Department, and to afford those already in practice,
an opportunity of aoquiring theoretioal information in
eonneotion with their occupations*
The course is adapted to the wants of the student
of Civil Engineering, to young engineers in offices, to
those desiring to become geologists, mineralogists, or
mining engineers and to those interested in manufactures,
mining, or construction generally*1
The method of instruction in the department was given,
«••« by means of lectures, amply illustrated by drawings,
models, add experiments, and by informal examinations and
conversations on the subjects discussed, when desired by
the student, parallel courses of reading and study are
pointed out and assistance given in their prosecution by
the Professors*2
No fhrther change occurred in the course of instruction before 1862 ex%
oept the addition of drawing.
This instruction was given by James R. Lambdin
who was elected to the Professorship of Fine Arts in 1861® and according to
the oatalog for 1861-1862, embraced the elements of drawing and sketching from
nature and their applications to the practical arts*
The Department of Arts, Mines and Manufactures did not merely exist on
paper since lists of students enrolled in the department appeared in many
1 * P. 4 0 * Professor Lesley was listed as giving instruction in mining (struc­
tural geology and mineralogy)* The same general statement of the
Department of Mines, Arts and Manufactures, as previously described,
appears again in this catalog issue. An announcement of this Department
in the Archives of the University of Pennsylvania oontains the same
description of the course of instruction. It is dated 1860-1861*
Ibid,, p» 38*
Trustees* Minutes, Vol. 10, p. 412*
36 lists five students
25, lists fifteen students
26, lists seventeen students
24, lists thirteen students
Columbia College
The Laws of 1827 describe the oourse of study as authorized by the
Trustees for that date.^
This curriculum was much more narrow in scope than
that prescribed for 1825 (see Chapter IV).
In the study of mathematics,
there was no mention of surveying or navigation.
In the junior and senior
years, according to the Laws of 1827 natural philosophy including chemistry
and astronomy were taught.
In the meeting of January 16, 1830, the Trustees of Columbia College
established the Scientific and Literary Course,
.... another oourse of instruction shall be established,
which shall be denominated the scientific and literary course;
the whole or any part of which, matriculated students may at
their option, attend.
The scientific and literary oourse shall embrace all the
studies now pursued in the College, except those of the Greek
and Latin languages; and shall, also, include the study of
modern languages, and such other studies in the literature and
sciences as may hereafter be annexed thereto....
Persons not matriculated may, with the permission of the
Board of the College, attend the Scientific Course, or any
part thereof....
Matriculated students who shall pass through the Scientific
and Literary Course, or any part thereof, to the satisfaction
of the Board of the College, shall, on the vote of the Board of
Trustees, receive testimonials of the same, to be announced at
the public commencement
The Trustees further provided for a comprehensive schedule of public
Public lectureships shall be established in the following
departments:- Greek Literature; Latin Literature; Oriental
Literature; English Literature; French; Italian, Spanish and
German Literature; Chemistry and its applications; Mechanics
Trustees1 Minutes, Vol. Ill, pp. 1127, 1128.
Trustees’ Minutes, Vol. III^ pp. 1273-1274.
Cf. also laws of 1827, p. 13*
and Machines; Mineralogy and Geology; Architecture and
Civil Engineering; .... Mathematical Science; Experimental
Philosophy; Physical and Practical Astronomy. ^
The Corporation of the City of New York, the Trustees of the High
School of New York City, the Trustees of the New York Public School Society,
the Trustees or Directors of the Clinton Hall Association, of the Mercan­
tile Library Association, and of the Mechanic and Scientific Institution,
the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York,
were to be privileged to nominate students for the Literary and Scientific
The tuition charges for these students were to be waived.
The reasons for the establishment of this new course of study are not
stated in the records of the Trustees.
They are,
however, evident in other
sources. One of these sources states that Trustees became concernedover
the proposed establishment of the "University of the City of New York" (now
New York University) and revised and added to the course of instruction.
The new course established was the Scientific and Literary Course.
A contemporary document supports this statement.3 The belief is ex­
pressed therein that,
Columbia College is a respectable and influential
institution, liberAlly endowed; and she is ready to afford
to the sons of the high and low, of the rich and the poor,
of the professional man and of the merchant and mechanic,
every possible facility for pursuing any one, or more, or
all of the branches of literature and science.4
li Ibid.. p. 1275.
2. A History of Columbia University 1754-1904, p.112.
An Address to the Citizens of New York on the Claims of Columbia
College and the New University to their Patronage. New York: 1830,
pp. 3, 5, 8, 9. Columbiana Collection.
4. Ibid.. p. 3. Thiscould not have been possible
if the curriculum remainal
as narrow in outline as prescribed in the Laws of 1827. A public
meeting was held in 1830 to consider the establishment of a "univer­
sity" in the City of New York because there was a "great need for an
institution where young men may be trained to become merchants,
mechanics, farmers, manufacturers, architects and civil engineers".
Cf. Theodore F. Jones (editor), New York University. 1832-1932, New
York University Press, 1933, pp. 12-13. The establishment of New
York University and the Literary and Scientific Course at Columbia
was, in effect, an outgrowth of this meeting. New York University,
in. 1832, offered instruction in natural philosophy, architecture
and civil engineering.
After referring to the Literary and Scientific Course this address
goes on to say,
This comprehensive course of instruction, the
necessity and expediency of which have for many years
past engaged the attention of the Trustees, may in
future be enlarged.1
Other objections to Columbia College are, that
it is not identified with the interests of the
community, and that it does not satisfy the wants of
the citizens in respect to education. But this last
objection is removed by the full provision now made
for instruction, in the College, in every branch of
liberal science, at a cheap rate; ....^
The "Address” refers to the establishment of the scholarships, in the
new course, which have already been mentioned.
Proceeding then to a direct
consideration of the effect of the establishment of a new university, the
appeal contains the following significant statement,
It is urged, that the new University is not hostile
to Columbia College, and will not injure it; and that, on
the contrary, the rivalship between the institutions will
promote the interests of education and science. The
supposition is merely plausible. It is not supported by
facts. There are no reasonable data which warrant
the con­
clusion, that two Colleges can at present flourish in the
There is further testimony concerning the introduction of the Literary
and Scientific Course.4 Although it is dated 1854, it is not improper to
introduce this data at this point because it affords aninsight intothe
efficiency and success of this new course of study as well as reasons for its
The Report states,
Ibid.. p.
Ibid.. p.
3* Ibid.. p. 9.
This document is a Report of a Committee of the Trustees of Columbia
College appointed to consider the establishment of a university system
and the removal of the College.
The committee well know that efforts heretofore
made by the Trustees to meet a supposed demand for
instruction in the physical sciences, has not been at­
tended with decided success; indeed that it has resulted
in signal failure, either because there was not in fact
such a demand, or that the proper measures for supplying
it were not adopted. Whatever, might have been the
cause of the failure of the attempt, the Trustees have
not been remiss in showing a favorable disposition to
these studies.
The literary and scientific course, which was estab­
lished on the 16th of January 1830, under circumstances
which promised assured success, which gave to the students
engaged in it all the advantages of the college course,
except instruction in the learned languages, and substituted
for them the modern tongues; which was recommended by the
authority of eminent names, and was rolled in on the tide of
public excitement; attracted few students and was remarkably
inefficacious; and after dragging out a feeble existence for
a few years, it was formally abolished on the 24th of July
The programme of study in the Literary and Scientific Course included
public lectureships.
These were not altogether successful for in 1831,
the Trustees' Minutes contain the information that with the exception of
an experimental course by Professor Renwick,
.... the encouragement was not such as to induce further
attempts on the part of the other Professors, to avail
themselves of the privilege [of giving public lectures]
allowed by the statute....2
The College authorities attempted to interest the Navy Department in
enrolling the midshipmen stationed at the New York Navy Yard in the new
department of study.
This move is valuable because it provides some in­
sight into the character of the instruction.
Report of a Committee of the Trustees of Columbia College, appointed
to consider and report on the Subjects of The Removal of the Col­
lege. a cfomgft in the Collegiate Course. The Establishment of a
University System, etc. Hall, Clayton Company, New York: 1854, p.
Trustees' flimitap. Vol. Ill**, p. 1396. The material in the parenthesis
has been supplied by the investigator. Professor Renwick proceeded,
however, with a course of lectures in physical geography.
There is in Columbia College a regular course
of pure mathematical science, partly conducted by
lectures and partly by recitations, from the elements
up to the highest departments of analysis, and which
is extended by the professor to the illustration of
the principles of physical astronomy; this course
includes the theory of navigation. There are also
regular courses of the theory of Practical Astronomy,
of Chemistry, and of Natural Experimental philosophy.
The latter course embraces the theories of Gunnery,
of the steam engine, and of the form and structure of
ships... .3From the character of the topics covered in natural and experimental philos­
ophy, the instruction must have been given by Professor James Renwick.
Professor Renwick also taught chemistry and its applications in the arts and
to geology and mineralogy.
The failure of the public lectureships was not the only disappointing
feature of the Literary and Scientific Course.
In the Report of the Trustees
to the Regents of the University of the State of New York, there is the
statement that, in 1835, no students entered the course.
The same state of
affairs had prevailed for the two years previous to this date.
In 1831, the
Trustees' Minutes contain mention of four students enrolled in the course.^
The Statutes of 1836 contain a detailed description of the course of
study in the regular course as well as the Literary and Scientific Course.
The regular undergraduate course contained many subjects of a technical
Descriptive geometry, surveying, navigation, levelling, the mensura­
tion of heights and distances were among the subjects listed in mathematics.
In addition, chemistry applied to the arts; mineralogy and geology; rational
Trustees' jghrates, Vol. Ill2, p. 1290. Letter of the President of
Columbia College to Commodore Chauncy, 1830.
Ibid.. Vol. Ill2, p. 1508.
Ibid.. Vol. Ill2, p. 1588.
Ibid.. Vol. Ill2, p. 1396.
Meeting of February 4, 1833.
and practical mechanics;. the principles of civil and military architecture
and civil engineering, illustrated by drawings and models.'*' In the Literary
and Scientific Course, the mathematics prescribed for the regular under­
graduate course, was also ordered for this course.
Drawing; chemistry ap­
plied to the arts; mineralogy and geology; an experimental course of
manipulation in the chemical arts; examination and assay of earthy minerals
as used in the arts, of ores and metals; topographical drawing of edifices;
drawing in descriptive geometry; "the applications of Physics"; apparatus
used in the chemical arts and the principles and practice of bookkeeping
were subjects of instruction.
Under the heading of "Theoretical and Practical
Mechanics", the statutes provided for instruction in,
.... manipulations in practical Mechanics - Drawing in Civil
Architecture, of Machines and Instruments used in the
Mechanic Arts; of the Structures used in Inland Navigation;
of the Carriages and Engines employed dn Railroads, or in
Naval Architecture, according to the intended profession of
the Student.2
The Statutes of 1840 prescribed the identical course of study.3 since the
Scientific Course was abolished in 1843 , it is not surprising that the
Statutes of 1843 do not contain any mention of it.
The regular undergraduate
curriculum remained the same as in 1856.'* In the years immediately preceding
the discontinuance of the Course, however, there were several students
Statutes of 1836. pp. 16-18.
Ibid.. pp.19-20.
Statutes of 1840. pp. 18-19. The Report to the Regents of the University
of the State of New York in 1837 contains the same curriculum for the
regular course as that described in the Statutes of 1856. This Report
and the Report of the President to the Trustees in 1837 indicate that
five students were enrolled in the Scientific Course. Cf. Trustees1
Minutes. Vol. Ill2, pp. 1732-1734, 1767. In 1839, the curriculum also
remained the same according to the statement in the Trustees1 Minutes.
Vol. IV1 , pp. 2078, 2079.
Trustees1 lfinntaa. Vol. IV1, p. 2252.
S tatu tes o f 1848. T ru stees' M inutes, V o l. IV 1 , pp. 2256-2258.
Meeting of July 24, 1843.
enrolled for instruction.1
It is difficult to understand the failure of this provision for tech­
nical education,
professor Renwick was Professor of Natural and Exper­
imental Philosophy from 1820 to 1853.
of his day.
He was one of the foremost engineers
On at least two occasions, he received a leave of absence from
the college to assist in engineering surveys.2 Finch^ characterizes Renwick
as "author, scientist, engineer, and expert adviser on most of the important
engineering problems of his time."
With such a distinguished engineer for
an instructor, it seems strange that many students did not avail themselves
of the opportunity to study the technology of the day.
From the Committee
Report of 1854, quotations from which have been given above, it appears
that the Trustees did not understand the failure of the Scientific Course.
The demand for such instruction did not produce a sufficient number of
students to warrant a continuance of the course.
The Statutes of 1848 contain the same statement of the course of study
as printed in the Statutes of 1843.^
The applications of chemistry to the
arts; geology and mineralogy; surveying, leveling, navigation, mensuration;
the principles of civil and military architecture and civil engineering were
among the topics scheduled for study in th±3 document.
The curriculum
entered in the Trustees' Minutes in 1848 is not as detailed as that found in
the statutes of that year.
Chemistry applied to the arts; the useful applic­
ations of hydrogen, carbon, chlorine, "alumina" or silica; the processes of
Trustees' Minutes. Vol. TV1, p. 2020 (1838-10 students; p.2063 (1839 11 students); p. 2104 (1840 - 6 students); p. 2165 (1842 - 7 students).
Trustees* Minutes. Vol. IV1, pp. 2096, 2148. These surveys were made
in connection with the disputed northeastern boundary of the United
States which were settled by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.
J. K. Finch, Tfrrlv Columbia Engineers. New Yorks Columbia University
press, 1929 (ix ♦ 41 pp.), p. 16.
gtatutes of 1848. pp. 14-16.
dyeing, tanning, sugar making; mineralogy and metallurgy are mentioned.'*’
Rational mechanics, practical mechanics (under which heading civil engineer­
ing was listed before),2 terrestrial and elementary physios were prescribed
Furthermore, Professor Charles Davies, formerly Professor of
Mathematics at the United States Military Academy at West Point and author
of many mathematical treatises which embraced the elements of engineering,
came to the college in 1848.
The curriculum did not change materially until 1856.5
R. S. McCulloh of the College of New Jersey was elected to succeed James
Renwick when the latter resigned.
Professor McCulloh continued the instruction in civil engineering.
In 1856, Professor McCulloh instructed students
in mechanics; pneumatics; hydrostatics; heat and its applications including
the steam engine; electricity and magnetism with applications to telegraphic
"and other uses"; the "principles of construction applied to Civil Engineer­
ing" and to architecture(the latter being studied more theoretically than
These methods of instruction involved,
.... demonstration of the facts, Apparatus,
experiments, etc., models and diagrams being largely
employed; by oral instruction and explanations, upon
which notes fully written and recitations constantly
were required....8
Trustees* Minutes. Vol. IV1 , p. 2476.
It may well be, therefore, that the Trustees did not
details in the minutes of their meetings.
Loc. pit.
Trustees1 Minutes. Vol. IV1 , p. 2484.
Trustees1 Minutes, Vol. IV*, p. 2645; pp. 2690-2692; p. 2743; p. 2832;
pp. 2882-5, wherein the Reports to the Regents of the University of
the State of New York are spread upon the record.
enter all the
Trustees1 fflinntaa. Vol. IV2, Meeting of April 3, 1854, p. 2766.
Ibid.. Vol. IV2, p. 2826.
Ib id . . V o l. V1 , pp. 58-59.
From a letter written by Professor McCulloh to the Trustees, another statesent of the scope of his instruction nay be gained.
The letter states,
At present the duties of instruction incumbent
upon ne by your Statutes require familiarity with the
theory and applications of Mechanics, Hydraulics, and
Pneumatics; with Acoustics; with Optics and photography;
with Heat and its applications, including the SteamEngine; with Electricity and Magnetism and their
applications to Electrometallurgy, telegraphic purposes,
etc.; with the Chemistry of the animal, vegetable and
mineral Kingdoms, and all the important Chemical arts
and manufactures; with mineralogy; with Geology; with
Architecture; and finally with civil and even military
engineering. Such a number of branches of science,
theoretical and applied, it is simply impossible for any
dne mind to acquire thoroughly. And even if it were
practicable to attain to a knowledge of the existing
state of Science in these Departments at any particular
epoch, so rapidly progressive are they all that to fall
quickly behind hand in most of them, is a fate which
could not be avoided.1
This protest lodged with the Trustees resulted in the appointment of a
committee to consider a division of the duties of this Professorship.
committee reported on January 5, 1857 and recommended the assignment to
Professor McCulloh of the subjects heat, electricity, galvanism, magnetism
and light; and the relations of heat, electricity, magnetism and light;
practical mechanics, principles of civil and military architecture, and
civil engineering illustrated by drawings and models.
The Professor of
chemistry was to teach elementary chemistry; chemistry applied to the arts;
geology and mineralogy.
Before proceeding to describe the curriculum beyond 1858, it is neces­
sary to pause and to discuss the activity of the years before this date
Trustees* Minutes. Vol. V^, p. 109.
Ibid.. Vol. V1 , p. 127.
The report and recommendations were adopted.
which had for its objective the establishment of a university system of
As early as 1854 there was a suggestion of a statute enlarging
the college course and introducing a university system.
This was oontained
in the Report of a Committee of Trustees of Columbia College (1854) which
has been mentioned on several occasions above.
It is the report in which the
failure of the Literary and Scientific Course was pointed out.
Inspite of
this failure, the Trustees evidently were determined to establish a course
of study in the university which had a distinctly practical bias,
Your committee notwithstanding what has been
attempted by the Trustees, and the ill success of
those attempts, have been induced, in order to supply
the wants which are loudly and positively declared to
exist, to recommend the plan of a coordinate mainly
scientific course, making it, however, a part of the
college course; connecting it with instruction in the
ancient classics; modifying it by diminishing the
classical element, to satisfy those who think that the
course of this College is too strongly classical....3The coordinate scientific course was to occupy two years and a third year was
to be added when the demand justified it.
The studies to be embraced in first year of this new course were to
include natural philosophy, including the laws of heat, light, electricity
and magnetism; elements of inorganic chemistry, laboratory exercises, analyses.
In the next year the following schedule was prescribed: differential and
integral calculus, calculus of variations, practice of the calculus; civil
architecture and construction; civil engineering, illustrated by drawings
and models, "explained on working engines when possible".**
In addition, the
study of the elements of organic chemistry; chemistry applied to the arts;
metallurgy and agricultural chemistry was to find place in the second year,
"A due proportion" of classical, rhetorical and historical studies together
1.. Report of a Committee of the Trustees of Columbia College, 1854, o£. cit.,
p. 9.
Ib id . . p . 35,
with the German language, "to an extent compatible" with the prosecution of
the scientific course was to be added.^
After the third year of study in the "Classical Course" and after the
second year of the "Scientific Course", the course of studies was to be
divided into three branches; the School orFaculty of Letters,
or Faculty of Jurisprudence, the School or Faculty
the School
latter school, the subjects to be studied were nechanics, physics, astronomy,
chemistry, mineralogy, geology, paleontology, engineering, mining, metal­
lurgy, arts of design, history of science and natural history.
This plan was not carried into operation.
It was not until 1857 that
the statutes were revised according to a scheme similar to the one just
The question of and the actual removal of the College undoubted­
ly retarded the adoption of such a reorganization.
In 1857 the Committees'
findings and recommendations were amended and adopted.
The statute divided
the course, after the completion of the junior year into three departments Letters, Science and Jurisprudence - any one of which could be elected by
members of the senior class.
In each of the three years, there was to be a
complete programme of the classics.
The first provision for science occurred
in the junior year when natural philosophy was listed.
A comprehensive
programme of mathematics was included in the studies of the freshman and
junior years.
There were no provisions for technical education in these three
basic years.^
After this preparatory course, it was ordered that,
Ibid.. pp. 31, 35.
Trustees' Minutes. Vol. V^, pp. 255-256, Meeting of June 15, 1857.
The Course of Study during the Senior Tear
shall be divided into three Department, either
of which may be elected by the Students entering
upon this Year. In default of such election, ex­
pressed by the Students, the Studies shall be
conducted in the Department of Letters.1
In the "Department of Science" the oourse of study consisted of,
Mechanics and Physics; Astronomy; Chemistry;
Geology; Engineering; Mining and Metallurgy; Tech­
nology; Arts of Design; History of Science; Natural
History; Principles of Modern and Intellectual
Philosophy; Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion;
such of the writings of the Greeks and Romans as nay
be hereafter prescribed.2
This last or senior year was a crowded one, indeed.
Whether any efficient
or more than superficial education could be given, seems doubtful.
The long
preparatory period was devoid of applied or technical science insofar as the
formal statements of the course of study go to show. _ To crowd these sciences
into the last year does not appear conducive to significant achievement in
In October 1857, the Trustees made assignments of subjects to the
several professors.
Mechanics, physics, technology and the history of
science were put under the charge of Professor McCulloh.
Chemistry; chemical
technology, geology; mining and metallurgy; natural history (animal and
vegetable philosophy taught in oonnection with organic chemistry) were
assigned to Professor Charles A. Joy.
Mathematics, civil engineering and the
history of mathematics were to be taught by Professor Charles Davies assisted
by William Peck.3
Ibid.. p. 257.
Loc. cit.
Trustees1 lUmitas. Vol. V^, p. 270.
The effect of these changes was to extend and strengthen the course of
instruction and to attract a larger number of students....^
The degree of B. A. was to be conferred upon students who completed
the four year course of study.
Crowning this undergraduate curriculum was
the university course consisting of instruction in the Schools of Letters,
Science and Jurisprudence.
In the School of Science the following studies
were pursued: mechanics and physics; astronomy; chemistry and mineralogy;
geology and paleontology; engineering; mining and metallurgy; arts of design;
history of science; natural history and physical geography.
The study in
this or the other two schools for two years was rewarded with the degree of
Master of Arts.**
The University system does not seem to have gone into operation until
November 1858.
For some months prior to this latter date, however, there was
much discussion, among the Trustees and their committees concerning the actual
establishment of the post-graduate course.3
Finally, in November, the post­
graduate course was established "experimentally1
1 and was to go into operation
early in that month.
In the School of Science, Professor McCulloh was to
give instruction in "mechanics of ethereal matter" or the present state of
knowledge in relation to heat, light, electricity.
Professor Joy's instruc­
tion in chemistry was to include "practical instruction in the laboratory".
Professor Peck was assigned the instruction in civil engineering including
surveying and the use of instruments, the general principles of construction
and graphics.
£ History of Columbia University 1754-1904. p. 136.
Ibid.. Vol. V1, p. 259.
Trustees' Minutes. Vol. V^-, pp. 359, 358, 378, 392, 400.
The College Catalog for 1858-1859^ contains the sane course of instruc­
tion as described In the statute approved by Trustees in 1857.
The division
of the studies into three departments after the junior year is also described.
The statement of the programme of studies in the Department of Science is a
verbatim repetition of the provision of the statute.
The Catalog of 1860-1861 lists descriptive geometry, industrial drawing2
and a course of applied mathematics.
a course in civil engineering.3
These two courses were preparatory to
The oourse of surveying was illustrated by
instruments commonly used in engineering and topographical surveying.4
Mechanics, physics and chemistry were also mentioned.
The instruction in
chemistry (applications to arts and agriculture) was given by lectures illus­
trated by experiments.
According to the catalog,
The classes frequently accompany the Professor
to the various manufacturing establishments of the
City, where the applications of Science to the Arts
can be witnessed to the best advantage.3
The success of the enlarged programme of 1858 seems to have been short­
As regarded graduate instruction, the experiment
was wholly unsuccessful. The graduate schools of
Letters, Science and Jurisprudence never really came
into existence. Accordingly in June, 1861, the
Trustees resolved: 'That the division of the senior
P. 25.
This latter subject was added to the course of study in 1858 after a
Committee had reported an elaborate programme of drawing. On February
1, 1858, the Trustees resolved to add instruction in industrial draw­
ing, and placed the Adjunct Professor of Mathematics in charge. Cf.
Trustees1 Minutes. Vol. V^, p. 352. According to the committee report,
elementary industrial drawing consisted of geometrical problems; the
methods of projections (plan, section, elevation); applications to
drawing architectural elements such as cornices, columns, arches, roofs,
trusses and entablatures); applications to drawing the elements of
machines; and an elementary course of topographical drawing.
Pp. 93-94.
P. 94.
P. 98.
Report to the Regents of the Rniversitynf the State of New York
entered in the Tragtaaat wimtjai Vol. V*(p. 595) contains the same
class Into three schools be abolished at the end
of the present academic year, and that the course
of study thereafter be the sane for the whole
class’.1 In the sane month the select committee
on the graduate course was discharged at its own
request.* The plan failed not because of
intrinsic defect, but because it was put into
operation at least two decades before the American
public was ready for it.5
While this extract specifically states that the post-graduate course was a
however, it should be noted that the departmental scheme of
instruction beyond the junior year was also abolished.
It was not until
1864, when the School of Hines was established, that technical education
received another impetus.
For more than thirty years, the college authorities made adequate
provision for technical education.
It failed through lack of response on
the part of the community which demanded its establishment.
Brown University
The course of study at Brown University in 1827, according to the col­
lege laws of that year, included the study of mensuration, levelling, survey­
ing, navigation, nautical astronomy, natural philosophy, chemistry and
The curriculum for the next twenty years was strikingly uniform.
Trustees’ Minutes. Vol. V^, p. 629.
Ibid., p. 650.
A History of Columbia University 1754-1904, oj>. cit., p. 217.
The Report of the Trustees to the Regents of the University of the State
of New York entered in the Trustees» Minutes (Meeting of December
1861), Vol. v2, p. 668, contained the course of study. Thiscurric­
ulum bears many points of resemblance to the previous year but by and
large it was narrower in scope.
Laws of Brown university 1827. p.
There were no changes of significance for this investigation.
states that "the curriculum as announced in the catalog of 1842-1843 is
fairly representative of the whole period from 1827-1850".
The present in­
vestigator has checked this statement by examining the college catalogs for
this period.
It would be more correct to say, however, that the period
during which the college course did not change was 1827-1847 rather than 18271850 because in 1847 the "English and Scientific Course" was established.
With the institution of this course of study, the curriculum became broader
in scope and included provisions for education of a practical nature.
The curriculum between 1827 and 1847 contained such subjects as mensura­
tion, surveying, navigation, nautical astronomy, natural philosophy (pneumat­
ics, optics, mechanics, hydrostatics), chemistry, astronomy and geology and
Bronson states that,
Students werd admitted to the college for a
partial course by a vote of the Corporation in
September, 1830, and by 1846, seventy two special
students in all had been in attendance. In that
year an attempt was made to attract more students
to the partial course. A committee of the Faculty
reported in favor of changing the name to "English
and Scientific Course", presented an outline of
study for one year and another for two years....
Walter C . Bronson. The History of Brown University 1764-1914, p. 216.
Catalog of the Officers and Students of Brown University , 1827-28 9 PP . 2-3
1828-29 PP. 15-14
1850-31 PP. 17-19
1834-55 PP. 14-15
1855-36 PP. 15-17
n tt
1836-37 PP. 16-17
1837-58 PP. 16-18
1838-39 PP. 15-17
1839-40 PP. 15-17
1840-41 PP. 15-17
1841-42 PP. 15-17
1842-43 PP. 16-18
1843-44 PP. 18-21
1844-45 PP. 18-20
1845-46 PP. 17-20
Bronson, op. c i t .» p . 268.
Accordingly the college catalog for 1847-1848 announced this course,
There has been established in the University
in connection with the regular collegiate course, an
English and Scientific course, designed for the benefit
of those who do not propose to enter either of the learned
professions, but who desire to prepare themselves, by a
thorough education, for some one of the more active em­
ployments of life. This Course embraces every department
of English study pursued in the University, together with
the several branches of Mathematics and Physical Science
.... and the course of Lectures on Chemistry, Natural
Philosophy, Physics, Intellectual Philosophy, and the
Evidences of Christianity. It is believed that such a
Course will furnish to those who are preparing for mer­
cantile pursuits, or for the higher employments of
agriculture and manufactures, the means of securing, at
a moderate expense, an education, specially adapted to
their wants....^
The one year course in this new department consisted of the following
First term - plane geometry, animal physiology, modern history,
intellectual philosophy, French, lectures on mechanics.
Second term - solid geometry, rhetoric, chemistry, moral philosophy,
French, lectures on mechanics.
Third term - rhetoric, political economy, Constitution of the
United States, surveying, navigation, mensuration of
heights and distances, French, lectures on vegetable
and animal physiology and agriculture.2
For the two year course, the course of study was not particularly dif­
During the first year plane geometry, algebra, animal physiology,
French, solid geometry, trigonometry, chemistry, rhetoric, surveying, naviga­
tion, mensuration of heights and distances, history, lectures on the
applications of chemistry and vegetable physiology were prescribed.
For the
second year the studies consisted of mechanics, astronomy, intellectual
philosophy, modem history, logic, moral philosophy, Butler's Analogy,
Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Brown University. 1847-1848,
pp. 22-23.
Ibid.. p. 25.
rhetoric, optics, political economy, geology, lectures on agricultures and
the Constitution of the United States.^*
The catalog further provided,
The above courses, it will be seen, embrace a
greater number of studies than can be advantageously
pursued by the same individual in the limited time
allotted to them. The design is to allow each student,
aided by the advice of the Faculty to select from the
respective courses such studies as shall bm best fitted
to prepare him for the particular pursuits in which he
proposes to engage.2
course of study
18, 1849 meeting
continued in existence until
of the Corporation of Brown University, a committeewas ap­
pointed to consider changes in the system of education in the University.
The committee's report was read by President Francis Wayland in the March 28,
1850 meeting of the Corporation.^
This report was a very comprehensive
evaluation of college eduoation in the United States.
It has a most direct
bearing on the development of technical education under study in this inves­
For this reason it will not be improper to quote at length from it.
The Report® asserts that the American colleges naturally followed the
English model in many respects (i.e. organization, degrees, curriculum).
the opening of the nineteenth century,
.... a new era dawned upon the world. A host
of new sciences
arose, all holding important
to the progress
of civilization. Here was a
people in an entirely novel position. A country rich
Ibid.. pp. 23-24.
Ibid.. p. 24.
Catalog of the Officers and Students of Brown university 1848-1849, pp.
24-25; 1849-1850, pp. 24-25. six students were enrolled in the Course
in 1848-1849 (p. 15) and eight students were listed in 1849-1850 (p.15.)
. 4.
Report to the Corporation of Brown nniverslty on Changes in the System of
Collegiate Education Read March 28. 1850. p. 3.
in every form of capability, had just come into
their possession. Its wealth was inexhaustible,
and its adaptation to the production of most of
the great staples of commerce unsurpassed. All
that was needed, in order to develop its resources,
was well directed labor. But labor can only be
skillfully directed by science....
That such a people could be satisfied with the
teaching of Greek, Latin, and the elements of
Mathematics, was plainly impossible. Lands were to
be surveyed, roads to be constructed, ships to be
built and navigated .... and, in a word, all the
means which science has provided to aid the progress
of civilization, must be employed, if this youthful
republic would place itself abreast of the empires
of Europe.
.... this work could not be accomplished by the
system of instruction which we inherited from our
English ancestors,...!
The committee considered the programme of the colleges following the
Revolution and in the first part of the nineteenth century,
It seems to have been taken for granted, that
our colleges were designed exclusively for profession­
al men; that they must teach all that professional men
might wish to know; and that all this must be taught
in four years; and in accordance with this idea, the
former system was modified. The time of study was not
extended, but science after science was added to the
course, as fast as the pressure from without seemed to
require it ....2
Again, the following significant statement may be found,
.... There has existed for the last twenty years
a demand for civil engineers. Has this demand been
supplied from our colleges? We presume the single
academy at West Point, graduating annually a smaller
number than many of our colleges, has done more
towards the construction of railroads than all our
hundred and twenty colleges united.3
The committee believed that the demand for the college offering had
fallen off during the thirty years before 1850 not from want of wealth or
intelligence or enterprise but beoause a smaller number in the community
desired it.^
Later in the Report, the committee set forth the principles
to be followed in arranging or adapting the instruction to the wants of
the whole community.
These principles were concerned with liberalizing
the college programme.
be relaxed.
The rigid requirement of a four year course was to
The amount of time to be devoted to any subject was believed
dependent on the nature of the subject.
The student was to be allowed
considerable freedom in electing his course of study.
Another principle
declared that courses of study should be established as the wants of the
various classes of the community required.^
The committee suggested a course of instruction to be pursued in the
Included in this programme were a course of instruction in
the principles of agriculture; the applications of science to the arts; a
course of instruction in chemistry, physiology and geology; a course of
instruction in mechanics, optics and astronomy with or without mathematical
The Report contains a set of cogent reasons for extending the college
curriculum and for making provision for education in technical science.
It was deemed expedient,
Ibid.. p. 22.
Ibid.. pp. 51, 52.
Report to the Corporation of Brown University on Changes in the
System of Education, op. cit., pp. 52-53.
.... Civilization is advancing, and it can only
advance in the line of the useful arts. It is,
therefore, of the greatest national importance
to spread broadcast over the oommunity, that
knowledge, by which alone the useful arts can be
multiplied and perfected. Every producer, who
labours in his art scientifically, is the best
of all experimenters; and he is, of all men, the
most likely, to add to our knowledge of the laws
of nature....^
It was considered just to establish a course of instruction adapted to the
wants of every one in the community.
Every man who is willing to pay for them,
has a right to all the means which other men
enjoy, for cultivating his mind by discipline
and enriching it with science. It is therefore
unjust, either practically or theoretically, to
restrict the means of this cultivation and dis­
cipline to one class, and that the smallest class
in the community .... we have in this country, one
hundred and twenty colleges, forty-two theological
seminaries, and forty-seven law sohools, and we
have not a single institution designed to furnish
the agriculturist, the manufacturer, the mechanic,
or the merchant with the education that will prepare
him for the profession to which his life is to be
Furthermore, the committee believed a change in the system of instruction was
To them it gqpeared that little option was left to the college
If the colleges did not provide for training those students who
were not destined for the learned professions, it was conceded that they would
find it elsewhere or would cause it to be provided elsewhere.
Ibid.. p. 58.
Ibid.. pp. 56-57. President Wayland who was chairman of this committee,
is a reliable witness. He visited many parts of the country and set
down his observations on education in his famous essay, "Thoughts on
the Present Collegiate System in the United States” (1842). While it
is true that no one institution devoted itself exclusively to educat­
ing "the agriculturist, the manufacturer, the mechanic, or the
merchant", it cannot be said that the need for technical education was
not recognized and that no provision was made to meet this demand.
3. Ibid.. p. 59.
This plea for an education fitting the needs of all classes "struck a
democratic note".
The result of the argument of the Report and the labors
of the Committee, Faculty and President ffayland may be seen in the system of
studies announced for the year 1850-1851.
The course in civil engineering
embraced the following studies and exercises; Descriptive Geometry - shades
and shadows, linear perspective; theoretical and practical mechanics including
the elements and combinations of machines, the theory and practice of mill
work and the measurement of moving power and of work performed; hydraulics -;
pneumatics, including the construction and theory of the steam engine;
Application of chemistry and mineralogy to engineering; principles of
architecture: engineering proper, comprising all that immediately relates to
the art of construction in all its branches, and to the nature and preparation
of the materials used.
Drawing was to consist of the plans, elevations and
sections of proposed structures, and geometrical and perspective drawing.
Field work was to embrace surveying with compass, theodolite; levelling;
locating a road; surveys for estimates for excavation and embankments;
astronomical observations for the determination of time, latitude and longi­
A department of chemistry applied to the arts was organized.
The design
of this department was to afford the facilities for the student for the ac­
quisition of a practical knowledge of chemistry and its applications.
The method pursued will be: to put into the
hands of each student the requisite apparatus and
materials and direct him in the experimental study
of the facts and laws of the science and those com­
binations of chemical phenomena which constitute the
chemical processes of the arts.
Catalog of the Officers and Students of Brown University 1850-1851,
p. 31.
Much attention will be devoted to Analysis*
the practice of it being involved in all applica­
tions of chemistry* whether in connection with
Medicine* Pharmacy* Agriculture or Manufacturing;
and constituting also the most efficient means of
obtaining an accurate and familiar knowledge of
the facts and principles concerned in these
Having completed the analytical course* the
student is prepared for the more minute investiga­
tion of particular processes* and the direction of
his studies is to be determined by the special
objects he has in view.3In addition a "course" in natural philosophy was established* devoted
almost exclusively to principles and not applications.
The same statement
applies to the courses in mathematics and physical astronomy*
try and physiology".
and "chemis­
The applications of chemistry to the arts were not
omitted in this latter course but they did not form a major part of the
The degree of Bachelor of philosophy was "designed for those students
who are intended for the pursuits of active life."
The Corporation of Brown
University wished to make the requirements for obtaining this degrees such
as would confer a "high degree of intellectual culture* without the necessity
of studying the ancient languages".^
The Committee of the Corporation which
recommended a change in the University's curriculum took into consideration
the effect of such a change upon the traditional programme of the classics.
The Committee reported*
Ibid.. pp. 33* 34.
Ibid.. pp. 30* 23. The object of the mathematical course was twofold;
as a part of general education and to prepare students for original
mathematical investigations and for the varied applications of
mathematical and mechanical science to practical purposes.
No details of applied chemistry in this course were given in the catalog.
Cf. pp. 25-26.
4. Ibid.. p. 20
The objection that would arise to this plan,
would probably be its effect upon the classics.
It will be said, that we should thus diminish the
amount of study bestowed on Latin and Greek. To
this the reply is easy. If, by placing Latin and
Greek upon their own merits, they are unable to
retain their present place in the education of
civilized and Christianized man, then let them give
place to something better. They have, by right,
no preeminence over other studies, and it is absurd
to claim it for them....1
The instruction in civil engineering and natural philosophy was given
by William A. Norton.
Professor Norton came to Brown University in 1850 as
did Professor John A. Porter who taught chemistry as applied to the arts.
Professor George I. Chace also taught chemistry at the University from 1854
to 1867.3
professor Norton was a graduate of the United States Military
Academy, as pointed out above.
The Professorship of the Theory and Practice
of Agriculture was not filled at this time.^
Bronson*’ states that the new departments of instruction did not have a
very brilliant beginning.
In 1851-1852, there were nineteen students regis­
tered in civil engineering and there were eleven students in the course of
chemistry applied to the arts.
An unfortunate experience befell the new
system for at the end of 1852 both Professo®Norton and Porter were forced to
terminate their connection with the College^, due to the so called "rebellion"
Report of the Corporation of
Brown University, op.
cit., p.74.
Historical Catalog of Brown University. 1764-1914, p. 34.
Ibid.. p. 33.
Catalog of the Officers and Students of Brown University 1850-1851, op.
cit.. p. 6. The college catalogs Lfcb this vacant professorship through
the issue of 1857-1858. After that date, no mention is made of it in
these sources. The Laws of Brown University for 1856 (p. 9) describe a
course in the principles and practice of agriculture. With the prof­
essorship in this subject vacant, this instruction must have been
given by other members of the faculty, if given at all.
History of Brown University, op. cit., p. 287.
Catalog of the Officers and Students g£ Brown ITaiVSrfllty 1851-1852, p. 19.
Bronson, op. oit.« p. 296.
of 1851.^
Professor Chaoe assumed the duties of instruction in chemistry
applied to the arts, and continued in this department until 1859 when
Nathaniel P. Hill succeeded him.
Professor Chace was most successful in his
Temporary arrangements were made for instruction in civil en­
gineering and the Reverend Henry Day discharged the duties of this Professor­
ship from 1852-1853 to 1854-1855. ^ With the beginning of the academic year
1855-1856, Samuel S. Greene began instruction in mathematics and civil
engineering according to the catalog of that year.4
Professors Greene, Hill
and Chace, then, were the members of the faculty who were charged with ins­
truction in technical science for the remainder of the period under investiga-
The course of study for the period 1850-1851 to 1861-1862 remained the
same according to the catalogs for that period.
are described in these sources.
No additions or alterations
In the 1856-1857 catalog an additional
statement describing the education in practical science appears,
Departments of Practical Science have been
established in the university designed for the
benefit of those who do not intend to enter the
learned professions,’but wish to prepare themselves
for the pursuits of active life, and especially for
those practical arts in whioh success depends
This crisis arose in the affairs of the administration of the college and
was not concerned with the system of practical education just
Bronson, op. cit.. p. 288. Bronson speaks of a classof more than 330
in the chemistry of metals.
Catalog of the Officers and Students of Brown University, 1853-1854, p.7
and 1854-1855, p. 7.
Greene was a graduate of Brown University in 1837 and was the author of
several works on English and grammar. Prior to his appointment, he
had been professor of Didactics. Hill was also a graduate of Brown
University (in 1856).
Cf. also the Historical Catalog of Brown University, op. cit..
p. 34.
essentially on an acquaintance with chemistry
or with mathematics. By the statutes of the
university, the studies of these departments
may be pursued as elective studies by all
candidates for the degree of Bachelor of
Philosophy,^ and also in special cases, on
permission being granted by the Faculty, by
candidates for the other degrees.2
The catalog for the next year (1857-1858) further amplifies this description,
These classes consist partly of persons
who come to the University only to pursue
courses in practical science, and partly of
College students, who pursue these courses
along with studies required for a degree....3
Brown University established a comprehensive system of technical educa­
tion after an exhaustive evaluation of the college programme.
The Brown
authorities took cognizance of the demand for education in "practical affairs"
President Wayland felt that a university in the center of commercial and
industrial activity should guide the industrial life "all about it by the
applications of science to the useful arts...."
In the catalog for 1853-1854,5 fifteen students were listed as studying
civil engineering.
In 1856-1857, twenty-three students were enrolled in the
course in chemistry applied to the arts and eighteen students were studying
civil engineering.
The next year, seventeen students were listed in the
chemical department and six students were studying civil engineering. ? In
the years 1854-1855, 1855-1856, 1860-1861 and 1861-1862, there is additional
This degree had been established in 1850.
Catalog of the Offioers and Students of Brown University. 1856-1857, p. 29
P. 17.
Bronson, op. cit.. p. 289.
p. 7.
Catalog of the Officers and Students of Brown University 1856-1857, p. 7.
data which indicates that the new departments were active.
The catalog for
1854-1855^ lists sixteen students enrolled for the Bachelor of Philosophy
degree and seventy-five students were pursuing a select course (no degree).
The next year's catalog shows that these figures were twenty-one and fiftythree respectively.
In 1860-1861 and 1861-1862 the number pursuing the
select course had diminished to nineteen and eight students respectively.
Twenty-one students were studying for the B. P. degree and in 1860-1861 and
in the next year there were twenty-three such students.
Rutgers College
Demarest gives a summary of the curriculum of Rutgers College after
The course of study (in the new era after the
November 1925 opening) pursued by the students, the
body of it7 was clearly the classics, mathematics,
philosophy and literature.... Science other than
mathematics, however, had place and was constantly
pushing for larger place. Natural philosophy was
given its name in professorship title. Virtual ex­
tension lectures in chemistry had been given by
certain young graduates of the college ten years
before.. Now, in 1826, the trustees granted some one,
a Ifr. Finch, on his petition the privilege of giving
a course of lectures in chemistry in one of the
rooms of the college. In 1829 they had before them
a resolution that a regular course of lectures in
geology, mineralogy, and chemistry be added to the
branches taught in the college.... The purchase of
philosophical apparatus had been for years an incessant
question; it was expressly emphasized in efforts to
Catalog of the Officers andStudents of Brown University. 1860-1861,
12, 15, 18;1861-1862,pp. 12,
15, 17.
secure funds....1
The course of study, in 1828, contained mensuration, surveying,
navigation and natural philosophy.
ordered for 1830.
There was no change in the curriculum
In 1835, however, chemistry and natural history were
added to the schedule of subjects.
Instruction in chemistry and natural
history must have been given in the fall term of the academic year 1830-1831
for Lewis C. Beck was appointed Professor of Chemistry and Natural Philoso­
phy on October 29, 1830.5
A committee of the trustees recommended this
provision for education in chemistry, geology, and mineralogy.
appointment of Lewis C. Beck, who had been Professor of Botany at the
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was a result of this study and recommenda­
The trustees, in the meeting of July 16, 1833, discussed a report of a
committee on a communication from the faculty regarding the lectures in
natural history and chemistry.
The committee reported,
.... an extension of [the] time that is now
appropriated to the delivery of this course of
lectures would, it is believed, render them much
more beneficial to the students, and by making the
course of study now presented more complete, would
effectually promote its interest....7
William H. S. Demarest, £ History of Rutgers College 1766-1914. pp. 292295. The parenthetical phrase has been inserted by the investigator.
The Statutes of Rutgers College. 1828, pp. 6-9.
The Statutes of Rutgers College. July 1830, pp.5-8.
The Statutes of Rutgers College. 1835, pp.
Trustees1 Minutes. September 26, 1824 - July 16, 1833 Volume, p. 281.
furthermore, the college catalogs for.the period 1830-1835 list
chemistry and natural history as part of the undergraduate curriculum.
Ibid.. p. 247.
Trustees* yinntaa. July 16, 1833-January 16, 1844 Volume, p. 6.
Dr. Beck did not devote all of his time to instruction at Rutgers.
The word "the" has been inserted by the investigator.
In the July 15, 1834 meeting, the trustees, upon learning that the alumni
of the college were contemplating the endowment of a Professorship of
Chemistry and Natural History with a donation of five thousand dollars,
adopted a resolution expressing their great pleasure and informing the alum­
ni of their elated frame of mind.'*' There is no further data which enlarges
upon this intention of the alumni but it was undoubtedly carried into
effect, at least partially, in the drive for funds to permanently establish
this professorship that ensued and continued for several years.
The lack
of a permanent basis for the professorship was one of the reasons why Dr.
Beck spent only part of his time at the college.
In the year 1839-1840, the
entire time and services of the Professor of Chemistry were secured to the
An important document in the history of the curriculum of Rutgers
College is the general announcement of the college
published in
lists besides the now familiar geography, mensuration,
natural philosophy, chemistry and astronomy, such courses as geology, miner­
alogy and engineering.^
The instruction in chemistry and natural history is
The instruction in this department is conducted
by lectures and recitations. The Junior class is
occupied during six months with a course in Elementary
Chemistry, with a textbook, Beck's Manual of Chemistry.
In the Senior year the applications of Chemistry to
the arts and collateral sciences are studied; and a
short course of lectures are also given upon Geology
and Mineralogy. The whole course is illustrated as far
Ibid.. p. 15.
Ibid., pp. 21, 33, 53, 60.
Ibid.. p. 85..
Rutgers College. New Brunswick, Rutgers Press, 1841, pp. 7-9.
aa nay be, by experiments, specimens and diagrams."*"
A significant statsoent announces the "Scientific and Commercial Course",
There is a Scientific or Commercial Course
which permit* the student to select such studies as
have a direct bearing on his intended pursuits in
life. Those who take this course receive a certificate
according to the branches of study they pursue, where
the student is a minor, the consent of his parent or
guardian is necessary to his entering upon this course.
The catalog for 1841-1842
contains the same statement, and moreover, it
appears in the annual catalogs issued beyond the year 1862.4
The Statutes of 1845 throw additional light on the course in engineer­
ing mentioned above by its listing of Hutton's textbook in surveying and
This course was undoubtedly taught by Theodore Strong who
succeeded Professor Adrain as Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philoso­
phy in 1827.
The engineering course is listed in the catalogs for ninetten
years until the 1860-1861 issue when the Davies' text in "engineering" which
had been substituted for Hutton's books disappears from the catalogs.
The general course of study did not change materially in the period
1845-1855 from the pattern described above but became somewhat standardized.
In 1853, George H. Cook, a civil engineer and graduate of the
Rennselear Polytechnic Institute in 1839, was elected Professor of Chemistry
Ibid.. pp. 9-10.
Ib^d«, p.
P. 16.
The investigator has searched the Trustees' Minutes of Rutgers College
in vain for a resolution or vote establishing this course of study.
Dr. Demarest and Mr. George A. Osborn, Librarian of Rutgers have not
been able to amplify the statement given. The course resembles the
"partial" or "select" courses given in other colleges for students who
did not wish to enroll for a degree but who wanted to study selected
subjects pertaining to their vocations in active life. The outline
given in the documents indicates that it was, in essence, such a course.
The catalog for 1845-1846 (p. 8) lists two students enrolled in this
course; in the catalog for 1846-1847 (p. 11) there was only one student
in this branch. According to the 1851-1852 catalog issue (pp. 11, 13)
and the 1852-1853 edition (pp. 7, 10) five students were pursuing
this course in each. year.
and N a tu ra l Science.3,
The college catalog for 1855-1856 has an amplified description of the
course of study and gives a more adequate idea of the science offering of
the college.
There were lectures on technology, metallic and nan-metallic
chemistry as well as organic chemistry.
Physical geography, geology,
mineralogy, pneumatics, heat, electricity, galvanism and hydrostatics are
listed in this edition of the catalog.
Dionysius Lardner's textbook in
natural philosophy and Charles Davies* textbook in "engineering" appear.
The changes in this programme of study during the remainder of the period
under investigation are few.
The catalog of the year 1858-1859 lists the
subject"physics" for the first time.
The 1860-1861 catalog
contains men­
tion, for the first time, of experimental philosophy; but in this connection
it must be pointed out that in the meeting of the trustees on July 16, 1839,
the Professor of Chemistry was instructed to teach chemistry and experimental
The lectures on technology and the mention of Davies1 textbook
in "engineering" do not appear in the 1860-1861 catalog issue.
This is not
conclusive evidence that instruction in technology and engineering was not
Special Meeting of September 27, 1853 in April 2,
1844 - July 15, 1862Volume.
Pp. 13-16.
|iOC. cit.
Davies, a former member of the faculty of the united States Military
Academy at West Point and later of Columbia College is not known to
have written a textbook entitled "engineering". The investigator
believes that this book referred to must have been his "Practical
Mathematics" which contained much of the fundamentals of engineering.
P. 16.
P. 15.
Trustees1 July 16, 1833 - January 16, 1844 Volume, p. 85.
offered after this tine.
Professors Cook and strong were still Bombers of
the faculty and were assisted in the instruction in mathematics and science
by the Reverend Marshall Henshaw who was at Rutgers from 1859-1863 as
Professor of Mathematics, Natural Philosophy and Astronomy.^
Dartmouth College
During the presidency of Nathan Lord (1828-1863), the regular curriculum
of Dartmouth College remained substantially unchanged.
Richardson makes a
comparison between the curriculum of 1822 and that of I860.
in the basic curriculum is evident,
The small change
Richardson describes the educational
policy of the college during these years, in the following language,
During the thirty-five years of Nathan Lord's
administration the educational theories of the
institution differed in no essential respect from
those which had prevailed at the founding of the
college. The subject matter best adapted to form I
the basis of a liberal culture was thought to be '
determined for all time. Special peculiarities,
tastes and interests of individual students received
no attention; conformity to precedent was the watch­
word and the courses required of one were required of all.
The classics and mathematics were absolute essentials,
moral and intellectual philosophy and rhetoric received
careful attention, some regard was paid to the natural
sciences.... No one connected with the college seemed to
question the essential correctness of this valuation of
subject matter, although occasional bickerings arose
among the representatives of different departments as to
their share of the students time.*
General Catalog of Rutgers
College 1766-1916. p. 40.
The establishment of the Chandler scientific school which will be des­
cribed below is, of course, a notable and significant exception.
Leon Burr Richardson, History of Dartmouth College. Vol. II, p. 430.
Ibid.. p. 429. In 1826, the Trustees appointed a:committee to consider
the internal affairs of the College (Trustees Minutes. Vol. II, p. 225).
This committee reported the next year (Trustees Mimitas. Vol. II, p.
229) and expressed the opinion that an undue proportion of time was
devoted to classical learning. A recommendation that the study of the
ancient languages be made voluntary was made. Since the catalogs list
these languages, nothing appears to have come of this recommendation.
The regular curriculum for this period embraced the study of surveying,
navigation, natural philosophy, chemistry, astronomy, mineralogy, geology,
natural history, geography and mensuration.^
In 1855, the Trustees abolished the professorship of Chemistry, Miner­
alogy and the Applications of Science to the Arts vhich was established in
The incumbent of this post was Benjamin Hale who had succeeded
James F. Dana in 1827.
The reason for this action was given by the
Catalog of the Officers and Students of Dartmouth College. 1826, pp. 14-15.
1828> pp#
1830, pp. 20, 22
1831-32, pp. 19-21
1833, pp. 19-20
1836-37, p. 21
The Laws of Dartmouth College 1837. p. 10.
Catalog of the Officers and Students of Dartmouth College, 1838, pp. 21-22
Ibid.. p. 229.
rusteest t Minutes. Vol. II, P. 325.
1839, pp. 23-24
1840, pp. 23-24
1840-41, pp. 22-23
1841-42, pp. 24-25
1842-43, pp. 22-23
1843-44, pp. 21-22
1844-45, pp. 20-21
1845746, p. XX
1846-47, pp. XX-XE
1847-48, pp. XX-XXt
1848-49, pp.XX-XXI
1849-50, p. XXI
1851-52, p. XXIX
Whereas the interests of this college, in the
judgment of this Board require an enlargement of
the Department of Mathematics and Natural philosophy
and the appointment of an adjunct Professor, and
whereas the appointment of such a Professor would
supersede the necessity of a Professor of Chemistry
inasmuch as all the instructions given in that
department could be given by the Professors of
Mathematics and Natural philosophy and whereas the
income of the Professorship of Chemistry could enable
the Board to effect such a desirable enlargement,
therefore, Resolved that the vote of this board,
passed at its annual meeting in August 1820 regulating
the Medical Department in so far as related to the
establishment of a Professorship of Chemistry,
Mineralogy and the Applications of Science to the
Arts be and the same is hereby repealed....-*'
Lord, however, qualifies this resolution,
.... Without notifying Hr. Hale of their purpose
the Trustees at their annual, meeting in July, 1835,
abolished his office under the pretext of making a
more appropriate and economical arrangement of instruc­
tion. But the true object was perfectly transparent,
as it became instantly necessary to appoint, under a
slightly different style, a professor to discharge the
precise duties that he had done. Indeed, he himself
was necessarily employed to perform the duty of lectur­
ing the ensuing term, until his successor could be
This action aroused a considerable controversy and gave rise to a pamphlet
Evidently Professor Hale's espousal of a religion not regarded with
favor by the trustees, was responsible for his dismissal.
Ibid., p. 325.
John K. Lord, History of Dartmouth College and the Town of Hanover.
Vol. II, p. 256.
Lord, oj). cit.. p. 257. Richardson makes this point more emphatic. He
states further, n.... Professor Hale was shown by the voluntary testi­
mony of five-sixths of his pupils to be an effective teacher ....and
the low state of the scientific departments was shown to be due, not to
the inefficiency of the teacher, but to the parsimony of the trustees
and to the lack of interest in science of both trustees and the majority
of the faculty, an attitude which caused Dr. Dana, Hale's predecessor,
to say that physical science at Dartmouth 'was like a log anchored in
the stream which served only to show its velocity'...." Richardson, op.
cit.. Vol. II, p. 449. This attitude, however, suffered a change some
ten years later.
The college catalogs do not reveal any change in the programme of study
on account of this change.
In the light of the testimony of the historians
of-.the college, the expressed desire of the trustees to establish a more
perfect arrangement of instruction cannot be regarded as genuine.
trustees did, however, appoint Oliver p. Hubbard, Professor of the Physical
Soiences, in 1836.^
The college catalogs for 1837 and 1838 list Hubbard as
Professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy and Geology (and in 1847 Pharmacy was
added to this list).
The first occasion on which the trustees considered the necessity for
making provision for technical education occurred in 1844.
In their annual
meeting of July 23, 1844, the trustees voted,
Resolved, That it is expedient to make provision
for a course of instruction more particularly adapted
to qualify students for commercial, manufacturing,
mechanical and agricultural pursuits.2
Resolved, That an effort be made to procure funds for
the endowment of these additional professorships, one
distinct to trade and commerce, another to manufactures
and mechanics; and a third to agriculture.
Resolved, That this Board will establish and
prescribe a course of studies in these branches or in
either branch singly as soon as the necessary funds
can be obtained.3
Lord states that this scheme of technical education was one of many
plans suggested to raise the college from its depression.^
Trustees1 Minutes. Vol. II, p. 331.
Trustee** Minutes. Vol. IV, p. 40.
Loo, cit.
Lord, op. cit.. p. 293.
This ambitious scheme naturally failed of
accomplishment, but the importance which
scientific education assumed in the minds of the
Trustees is indicated by the large expenditures
made for the departments having that direction.
It was not until 1851 that the desire to provide for technical educa­
tion in Dartmouth College was fulfilled.
In that year Abiel Chandler
bequeathed the sum of fifty thousand dollars to establish and to support a
permanent scientific department or school.^
Chandler left some specific instructions concerning the system of educa­
tion that he desired to promote,
I give and devise the sum of fifty thousand
dollars thereof to the trustees of Dartmouth
College, an institution established at Hanover, in
the county of Grafton and State of New Hampshire,
to have and to hold the same to the said corporation
of the Trustees of Dartmouth College for ever, - but
in trust, to carefully and prudently invest or fund
the principal sum, and to faithfully apply and
appropriate the income and interest thereof for the
establishment and support of a permanent department
or school of instruction in said College, in the
practical and useful arts of life, comprised chiefly
in the branches of mechanics and civil engineering,
the invention and manufacture of machinery, carpentry,
masonry, architecture, and drawing; the investigation
of the properties and uses of the materials employed
in the arts; the m o d e m languages and English litera­
ture; to-gether with book-keeping and such other
branches of knowledge as may best qualify young per­
sons for the duties and employments of active life.3
The executors of the will indicated that Chandler had long been interested
in the cause of education in New Hampshire.
In 1846 or 1847, "he determined
the appropriate and then by will did devise a large part of his fortune to
Loc. cit.
Will of Abiel Chandler, Dartmouth College Archives, pp. 11, 12. Cf. also
Nathan Lord, Discourse Commemorative of Abiel Chandler (1852),
pp. 29-30. Cf. further Trustees1 fllnntas. Vol. Ill, pp. 122, 123.
Vol. Ill, p. 121.
establish a practical school in the Arts and Sciences at Dartmouth, on a
basis similar to that finally fixed upon by him."^
The Trustees in their annual meeting of 1851 adopted a resolution es­
tablishing the Chandler School of Science and the Arts and appointed a
committee to prepare plans for the organization of the school.
mittee reported at the special meeting of July 26, 1852.
This com­
The Chandler
School was to consist of two departments, the junior and the senior, the
former was to extend over one year, the latter over two.
In the junior
branch instruction was to be given in algebra, arithmetic, English language,
bookkeeping, physiology, botany, graphics, physical geography, linear drawing and the use of instruments.
The senior branch was to embrace mechanics,
civil engineering; the invention and manufactures of machinery; carpentry;
masonry; architecture and drawing; the investigation of the properties and
uses of the materials employed in the arts; the modem languages and English
literature; nto-gether with Bookkeeping and such other branches of knowledge,
as may best qualify young persons for the duties and employments of active
life, according to the will of the Founder."^
The degree of Bachelor of
Science was to be awarded to those finishing the senior department and
passing an examination.
Certificates were authorized for those students in
attendance for at least two terms.®
The opening of the Chandler School was
ordered for the commencement of the college year of 1852-1853.
Trustees» Minutes. Vol. Ill, p. 127.
Ibid.. pp. 132-153.
Ibid.. p. 136.
Loc. cit.
Ibid.. p. 137.
Ibid.. p. 146.
The eatalog of 1852-1853 contained a complete statement of the
scientific school curriculum.
The junior department embraced the study of
aljjebra, English grammar, physical geography, linear drawing, geometry,
history and the constitution of the United States, the elements of physiol­
ogy and hygiene, elocution, bookkeeping and penmanship, English composition,
French, the elements of botany, elementary graphics and the use of mathe­
matical instruments.^*
In the senior department or branch the study of
algebra, geometry, graphics, elocution, and m odem languages was continued
and in addition the catalog lists general chemistry, mineralogy, geology,
conic sections, moral philosophy, trigonometry, history, mensuration and
linear calculations.
first year.
This list of subjects comprised the curriculum of the
In the fall term of the second year, the study of mechanics,
chemistry of the arts and agriculture and practical chemistry, surveying,
drawing of plans and sections, field work, civil engineering and English
literature were listed.
In the spring term descriptive geometry, mechanics,
electricity magnetism, optics with lectures, the use of the barometer, civil
engineering and field work and m odem languages were the subjects of study.
The summer term schedule included shades and shadows, perspective, the ap­
plications of mechanics and physics, "mathematical geography", astronomy,
practical geology and m o d e m languages.
Resident graduates "will be instructed in the following advanced subZ
jects through, an additional course of one or two years",
p. n m ,
P. fflVI,
chemistry, mining geology, analytical geometry and calculus, analytical
and celestial mechanics, the applications of mechanics to carpentry and
masonry, geodesy, practical astronomy, the arts of design with reference to
their applications to the useful arts and the mechanical agents.
comprehensive scheme of technical education instituted by the philanthropy,
did not change until 1857.
During the early years of the existence of the school, it was believed
that the instruction would be given by the members of the academical faculty.^
With the establishment of the Professorship of Civil Engineering in 1856, the
separation of the faculties began.
Professor John S. Woodman, who was a
member of the faculty and had previously taught mathematics,® was elected
Professor of Civil Engineering.4
In 1857, the course of study in the Chandler School was extended to
four years.
The first three years were prescribed for all students.
studies of the first year included botany, zoology, physiology, grammar,
freehand drawing, the history and constitution of the United States.
curriculum for the second year included chemistry, geology, mineralogy,
descriptive geometry, instrumental drawing and mensuration.
Finally the
Richardson, oj>. cit«. p. 424. Cf. Trustees* Minutes. Vol. Ill, p. 179.
"Voted, That Special Instructions be given to the students of the
Chandler School, by the College Faculty and others as may be needed
under the direction of the President". Cf. further, the meeting of
July 24, 1855, (p. 207, Vol. Ill) wherein a committee report was made
on this point, ".... it seems to us that there is but little danger of
the Instructors.of the college suffering in health, or literary charac­
ter or position, in consequence of their performing no more than the
amount of labor they have hitherto performed in the Scientific School
in addition to their duties in the Academical Department.•.
Cf. Trusties* Minutes. Vol. I H , p. 291, wherein it was resolved "That it
is desirable, after the next commencement, that the Chandler Department
pbaii have a separate Faculty". This occurred in the meeting of
October 30, 1860.
The college catalog of 1853-54 lists Woodman as Professor of Civil En­
gineering. This undoubtedly arose from the fact that Prof. Woodman
taught civil engineering after the opening of the school.
Ibid., p. 215.
studies of the third year embraced surveying, levelling and field work,
lectures on engineering, platting, topography, natural philosophy and
In the last year the students were allowed to choose between a
civil engineering course, a commercial course, or a general course.
The civil engineering course was divided into three terms.
The studies of
the first term were civil engineering, natural philosophy, analytical chem­
istry, algebra, French, elocution, lectures on rhetoric and belles-lettres.
The studies of the second or spring term were intellectual philosophy,
civil engineering, natural philosophy, the English language and themes,
public declamations.
The instruction in the third or summer term included
civil engineering and field work, natural philosophy, shades and shadows,
perspective and the philosophy of history.
In the Commercial Course most of the schedule of subjects of the engin­
eering option was repeated except that no civil engineering was required.
The German language and the study of books and topics relating to trade and
commerce were added.4 The course of study for the General Course also
embraced most of the topics covered in the Civil Engineering Course omitting
algebra and, of course, the civil engineering.
The German language was
prescribed as were English criticism and essays and intellectual philosophy.®
Those students completing the regular course of four years and passing a
satisfactory examination were to be awarded the degree of Bachelor of Science.
Catalog of the Officers and Students of Dartmouth College. 1857-58,
pp. x x x t i - x x x v i i .
Meeting of July 28, 1857, Trustees1 Minutes. Vol. Ill, pp. 257-238.
Catalog of the Officers and Students of Dartmouth College. 1857-58, p.
m v iH .
Loc. cit.
Loc. cit.
Catalog 1857-58, op. cit.. p. XXXIX.
This programme of study remained in force for the remainder of the period
under study.'*’
Richardson states.
With the opening of the institution, seventeen
students presented themselves for admission, a
number which in subsequent years gradually increased
to between forty and fifty, at which point it remained
until the close of the Lord administration.2
Both the United States Military Academy at West Point and the Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute ward founded in the nineteenth century.®
One of the
objectives of the Rensselaer School was the training of teachers to instruct
the sons and daughters of farmers and mechanics in agriculture, domestic
economy, the arts and manufactures.^
The investigator, in all the research
involved in this study, has sought to discover to what extent this object of
foudding of R. P. I. and its subsequent programme of study and the curriculum
Catalog of the Officers and Students of Dartmouth College. 1858-59,
n 1859-60, pp.XXXVI-XXXIX
b i i
n i860—61,pp.XXXVI—XXXIX
tt 1861-62, pp.XXXVI—XXXIX
Richardson, op. cit., p. 424. Cf. Lord, op. cit., p. 296. According to
the Trustees1 lftmitwB (Vol. Ill, pp. 195, 205, 217, 251, the Meeting
of July 27, 1858, 262, 500, 517)*
four (4) students graduated from the School in 1854,
ten (10)
n ii
« 1855,
ten (10)
n n
n 1856,
twelve (12) ■
« u
n 1857,
twenty (20) ■
" "
" 1858,
fourteen (14) n
* 1859,
eight (8)
" "
" 1861,
eleven (11)
b 1862.
According to the Catalog of 1859—60 (p. XXVI) forty—two (42) students
were enrolled in the school. Again, in 1860^-61, thirty—four (54)
students were enrolled.
1802 and 1824 respectively.
Cf. Letter of Stephen van Rensselaer to the Rev. Samuel Blatchford dated
of the Academy at West Point, influenced the growth of technical educa­
tion in the colleges selected for investigation.
uncertain since it was not direct.
Their contribution is
Throughout the study, the graduates of
the United States Military Academy at West Point and former members of its
faculty who joined the faculties of the colonial colleges, have been pointed
That they introduced methods and practices in use at West Point can
be assumed but it must be remembered that they taught a cuiriculum pres­
cribed by Boards of Trustees.3" One of the reasons why these men were
invited to join college faculties must have been their familiarity with
engineering practice.
When college departments of engineering consisted of
one professor, the influence of these men on technical education in these
colleges must have been great.
It is, of course, recognized that there is
no direct evidence to bear out this belief.
James C. Booth, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute became a member of the Department of Mines,
Arts and Manufactures at the University of Pennsylvania as described in the
section of this chapter devoted to that university.
Eben N. Horsford, a
graduate of R. P. I., was elected Rumford Professor and served in the
Lawrence Scientific School at H xvard University.
George H. Cook, another
alumnus of this institution taught at Rutgers College.
Professors Asa Gray
(Harvard), Joseph Henry (Princeton) and James D. Dana (Yale) were all at
one time students of Amos Eaton at Rensselaer.
That these men brought to
November 5, 1824. File DR 10685 - Amos Eaton Papers, Archives
Section of the New York State Library, Albany, New York.
See below.
Ray Palmer Baker, A Chapter in American Education. Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute, 1824-1924, p.' 11.
the institution with which they were connected, some of the educational
practices and more particularly the educational ideal of training in the
applications of science to the common purposes of life,"*" seems certain.
However, the investigator has searched Trustees' Minutes and Committee
Reports for some evidence which would support the belief that the colonial
colleges imitated the curricula of the West Point Military Academy or of
the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
No such evidence has been discovered.
Whether or not the trustees or their committees in their deliberations on
the establishment of technical schools or departments consulted these
curricula is not stated in the records.
Count Rumford, Abbott Lawrence, James Sheffield and Abiel Chandler, on
the other hand, gave some rather specific ideas of their own regarding the
instruction in the schools they sought to found.
These wishes, the trustees
endeavored to carry out.
The design of a plan of instruction in technical science was assigned
to committees of governing bodies, in most instances.
evolved the plans subsequently put into practice.
These committees
Without a record of their de­
liberations, it is not possible to state definitely whether (and to what
degree) these institutions have influenced technical education in the nine
colonial colleges beyond the personal contributions of their graduates,
former students and professors.
Letter of Stephen van Rensselaer to Rev. Samuel Blatchford, op. cit
The question of the interrelationship of the curricula of the
colleges studied, for the period 1825-1862, remains to be considered.
The Lawrence Scientific School was established at Harvard University
in 1847.
It was the first independent school of science and related
subjects founded in any of the original colleges.
Thus, the example
set by Harvard in this connection was always before its contemporaries.
The antecedent preparation for this move dates back to 1838 when
Professor Pierce attempted to establish a "School for Engineers" and
perhaps even further back to 1816 when Count Rumford*s legacy inaug­
urated the professorship bearing his name.
At Yale College, the Report of the Faculty" on the classical
learning" defended valiantly, the old classical curriculum.
institutions were not to become "trade schools" but were to impart
various and general knowledge.
Even with this background it is the
opinion of other investigators,^ that the work of Professor Benjamin
Silliman, Sr., prepared the way for the organization of the Department
of Philosophy and the Arts in 1847 which ultimately became the Sheffield
Although this step was taken in 1846-1847, at the same time
that Harvard established the Lawrence Scientific school, there is no
available evidence to indicate that this coincidence is significant.
Only the supposition (and this has little value) may be made that this
forward looking step taken by Harvard may have indicated to the Yale
authorities that the time had come to acknowledge the demands made by
the community outside the college for a more practical education and to
abandon complete allegiance to "the classical learning".
E. G. Dexter. A, History of Education in the United states. New York:
1904, p. 352. Cf. also Russell H. Chittenden, History of the
Sheffield Scientific School. Vol. I, pp. 39-41.
At William and Mary College, the Board of Visitors requested
John Millington to give instruction in engineering and practical science.
They were, undoubtedly, prompted to do this because of the reputation,
training and experience of this English civil engineer.
The College of New Jersey (Princeton) included in its curriculum
(1832-1838), a brief provision for civil engineering study due prin­
cipally to the presence of Joseph Henry and to an effort to relieve
the poverty of the curriculum.
The first half of the 19th century ha3y with justification, been
termed the "dark ages" of the history of the University of Pennsylvania.
In 1852, a Department of Chemistry Applied to the Arts1 was established.
The course of instruction in this new department was similar to that
pursued in the experimental laboratories of European Universities.
From this nucleus, the Department of Mines, Arts and Manufactures arose.
The authorities, at last, had responded to the demand for such practical
education and had returned once again to a system or plan of education
reminiscent of the programme established almost one hundred years before
by the Reverend William Smith.
The establishment of the Literary and Scientific Course at Columbia
College may be traced directly to discussion in New Tork City of the
organization of the proposed University of the City of New Tork.
Apprehensive lest the new institution adversely affect its fortunes,
Columbia College provided for instruction in the applications of science
to the useful arts in response to a demand which was supposed to exist
in the city.
Subsequently, provisions were made for engin eering
In 1850, a professorship in this subject was authorized and James
C. Booth was elected to the post.
education in spite of the failure of this "Course" which began in
At Brown University) students were admitted to a partial course
of studies as early as 1830.
In 1846) an attempt was made to attract
more students to this course.
The outline of studies for the course
was enlarged and the name was changed to the "English and Scientific
The year 1847-1848 marked the formal beginning of this course
of instruction designed for those who intended to engage in "some one
of the more active employments of life".
President Wayland had recog­
nized the need for and the value of training in science applied to
utilitarian ends,
.... Nothing would tend so much to the progress
of wealth among us as the diffusion throughout the
whole people of a knowledge of the principles of
science, and the applications of science to the arts.
And besides, a knowledge of moral and intellectual
philosophy, of the fundamental principles of law,
of our own constitution, of history, of vegetable
and animal physiology, and of many other sciences
is just as necessary and just as appropriate to the
merchant, the manufacturer, the mechanic, and the
farmer, as to the lawyer, the clergyman, or the
physician. Why should it be supposed that all
higher knowledge should be engrossed exclusively
by the professions. If a man wishes to give his
son a good education why should he be obliged to
make him a lawyer, a physician, or a clergyman.
Why should not the highest intellectual endowment,
cultivated by the best preparatory discipline be
found in every mode of occupation. And if this be
so why has this whole subject been so long neg­
lected among us. Is it not time that our system
should, in this matter, undergo a complete and
radical revision,!
Francis Wayland, Thoughts on the Present Collegiate System in the
United States, Boston: 1842, pp. 154-155.
Wayland visited the colleges included in this investigation and also
studied the curriculum of the United States Military Academy.
.... The course of study at Wdst Point Academy
is very limited, but the sciences pursued are
carried much farther than in other institutions
in our country; and it is owing to this that
the reputation of the institution is so deserved­
ly high....l
This essay, the result of "field" observations contains an extremely
significant statement which bears very definitely upon this discussion
of the interrelationships of the college curricula.
Wayland states,
.... The College or university forms no integral
and necessary part of the social system. It
plods on its weary way solitary and in darkness.
The colleges have but little connection with each
other.... The educal system has no necessary
connections with anything else. In no other
country is the whole plan for the instruction of
the young so entirely dissevered from connexion
with the business of subsequent life....2
It should be carefully noted that this observation was made about 1842
when the colleges had already made provision for education in the applied
Wayland, as early as 1842, expressed approval of education in the
practical sciences.
The provision for such education cannot, therefore,
be regarded as in imitation of either Yale or Harvard who expanded their
programme in the same year (1847) that Brown inaugurated the "English
and Scientific Course1*.
The events transpiring at Harvard and Yale,
perhaps, only gave an impetus to the feeling (already existing) that
curricular reform was necessary.
Ibid.. p. 109.
Wayland, 0£. cit.. p. 41. The underlining has been supplied by the
investigator. Cf. p. 246 above.
The Commercial and Scientific Course at Rutgers College mas
similar to the partial courses of instruction given at its contempor­
aries (Harvard, Columbia and Brown).
The Minutes of the Trustees of
Rutgers College contain no information on the reasons for instituting
this course.
At Dartmouth College, the Trustees expressed the belief in 1844
that it mas expedient to make provision for a course of instruction more
particularly adapted to qualify students for commercial, manufacturing,
mechanical and agricultural pursuits.
belief mas translated into action.
It was not until 1851 that this
Abiel Chandler provided the necessary
funds for the organization of a scientific school.
Chandler, a resident
of Boston, decided to endow such a school at Dartmouth in 1846 or 1847,
when the science curriculum of Harvard was being expanded, into the
Lawrence Scientific School.
His actions, although his will contains no
such information, may have been inspired by the school set up in Cambridge.
The investigator has consulted the minutes of governing bodies of
the colleges studied.^
These bodies, in the last analysis, established
the courses and departments of practical science at the individual
No evidence has been discovered in these sources that indicates
the possibility that any institution influenced any other or group of
other institutions.
The only sense in which these provisions for tech­
nical education appear to be related is that they were made in response
to a demand for them.
While conversations in the meetings of governing
bodies may have been concerned with the curricula of other institutions
With the exception of Brown University, where, as a matter of general
policy, the manuscript Records of Trustees and Faculty are not
open to inspection.
and with the patterning of new curricula upon existing models, the
absence of such data and of evidence more conclusive than mere coin­
cidence make the possibility of general interrelationship a matter of
This is never satisfactory in a fact finding investigation.
It roust, therefore, be concluded that the evidence is neither positive
nor conclusive that the example set by one or any institution was
followed by another.
On the contrary, in the case of Brown, Columbia,
and William and Mary there is evidence to show that the provisions made
for technical education were, in reality, developments indigenous to the
respective institution.
Chapter Summary
During the period 1825-1862, each and every one of the colonial col­
leges selected for study in this investigation made definite provision for
technical education.
been pointed out.
The success of these efforts and their character have
The college disciplines of science and applied science
extended their range of applications and enlarged their subject matter to a
point where joint treatment became more and more cumbersome and impracticable.
Aided by philanthropy and spurred on by the demand of the community for
education of a practical nature, this period witnessed the establishment of
independent schools or departments of applied science and engineering.
at Harvard, the Lawrence Scientific School was established; at Yale, the
Sheffield Scientific School came into being; at Dartmouth, the Chandler
Scientific School was founded; at Columbia, the Literary and scientific
Course was inaugurated followed by further independent departments in tech­
nical science; at Pennsylvania, the Department of Hines, Arts and Manufac­
tures came into being; and at Brown, Departments of Practical Science were
At William and Hary, while James Millington was Professor of
Civil Engineering, it can be said with certainty that instruction in tech­
nical science took place.
At Rutgers and Princeton, the documents indicate
that there was provision for education in practical science, although not
in the same degree as at the other colleges.
There were, in general, two classes of students enrolled in these new
One group selected subjects of study suited or useful in their
occupations or professions in "active life".
for the degree in course in these departments.
The other group was enrolled
It will be noted that the
degree was the Bachelor of philosophy or of Science and not the time-honored
Bachelor of Arts gained through study in the traditional classical
The traditional classicism of the nine colonial colleges prevented
the rapid growth of technical education by delaying its inauguration.
In some instances, the provision for technical education was regarded
as an experiment.
Beginnings in mechanical engineering and chemical engineering are
Host certainly civil engineering education came into its
own as an independent subject of study.
While the possibility exists that some colleges were influenced
by the experience of others in introducing formal training in technical
or engineering science, the available evidence bearing on this point is
neither positive nor conclusive.
Outlines of Natural Philosophy [being heads of a course of lectures
delivered in Columbia College] by James Renwick, Vol. I, New Zork: Printed
by Clayton and Van Norden, 1826.
The composition and resolution of forces
are considered under the heading of statics as well as the concept of centre
of gravity and parallel forces.
A machine is defined as an instrument, by means of which the direc­
tion or the intensity, or both, of a force may be changed.2
machines are formed by the'combination of certain simpler ones called the
mechanic powers.
The lever, the wheel and axle, the pulley, the inclined
plane, the wedge and the screw find place in this discussion.
Funicular machines are characterized as follows: ".... if a body be
acted upon by forces through the intervention of ropes, the assemblage of
ropes is called a Funicular Machine".
In the section of the book devoted
to the strength of materials, Professor Renwick declared, "No real im­
provement has been made in the theoretic consideration of the subject of
the strength with which materials resist a strain applied to break them,
since the time of Galileo....
Cantilever beams (beams supported at one end only) and beams simply sup­
ported (beams supported freely at both ends) are discussed.
The investigator suggests that thereader consulttheSummary
at the end of thischapter. This will serve toorient
the reader
in a-gwirHwg the description of these textbooks.
P . 38.
circular and triangular beans are taken up in turn (i.e., the effect of
cross-sectional shape on strength is studies).
Another major consideration
in this section is the lateral strength of two cylinders of the same material
and of equal length and weight, one of which is hollow and the other solid.
These relative strengths are declared to be in the ratio of the diameters of
their ends.^
Renwick mentions columns only in passing,
When a beam is placed in a perpendicular
position, it becomes a pillar, which, if of a
circular section and regular proportion is called
a column. By the investigations of La Grange, it
would appear, that a cylindrical form is the
strongest to resist flexure. When, however, we
take into view that a column has not only the
superincumbent, but its own weight to support, and
that the pressure on its lower parts will, in con­
sequence, be greater than that upon the upper, it
is evident that the thickness of the lower parts
should be somewhat increased, and this is always
done in practice.2
The Voussoir theory of arches and the principal application of this
theory to the construction of bridges, are considered.
The second and last major division of the book is devoted to the subject
of dynamics or the concepts of velocity and motion.
The Tflbrarv of Useful Knowledge. Volume I,. Natural Philosophy, London;
Baldwin and Cradock, Paternoster Row, MDCGCIXIX.
After a preliminary in­
troduction on the objects, advantages and pleasures of science, this treatise
P. 40.
P. 42
This is done in five pages (pp. 43-48).
wi n i a m end flary. Laws of 1830, Faoulty Minutes 1 8 3 0 - 1 8 3 6 Volume (1835),
p. 235, 1 8 3 6 - 1 8 3 7 - 1 8 4 6 Volume (1837), p. 87; University of
patinpylynnir,i > tal oga for 1 8 3 1 and 183 4— 1 8 3 5 and the Laws of 1840;
Harvard n n i v a r a l t y . 1 8 4 8 - 1 8 4 9 Catalog; all mention this book.
The treatment is, of course,
contains a comprehensive discussion of mechanics.
The first major topic
under this heading of mechanics is the consideration of the mechanical
agents or prime movers (to-gether with m eoaifcrsis of the composition and
resolution of motion and force).
Air is considered as a mechanical agent by
means of its four properties of weight, inertia, fluidity or power of trans­
mitting pressure, and its fluidity.
Water is considered as a mechanical
Animal strength as a prime mover is described.
The mechanical
agents depending on heat are next considered because of the influence which
they have upon the form of bodies rather than by their power of enlarging
the dimensions of bodies.
The use of heat as a prime mover or mechanical
agent is in evidence in high pressure engines.
The elements of machinery embraced the consideration of the simple
machines or mechanic powers.
These ard the familiar lever, wheel and axle,
pulley, inclined plane, the wedge and the screw.
The methods of regulating
machinery; the nature of fly-wheels; the power of regulating force; the
governor (maintaining uniform force with a varying resistance); the power of
accumulating force are described.
Under the topical heading of hydrostatics the pressure exerted by water
"liquid fluids", the fundamental principle of equal pressure,^ the center
of pressure, specific gravity, the hydrometer, the siphon and capillary at­
traction are considered.
Hydraulics was defined as an investigation of the motions of fluids;
the means by which such motions are produced; the laws by which they are
regulated; and the force or effect they exert themselves, or against solid
This principle holds that particles of fluids are so connected that they
press upon each other equally, are equally pressed upon and each
particle presses equally on all the particles that surround it.
The point on the surface through which the resultant pressure acts.
bodies which may oppose them.^
The notion of fluids through channels,
pipes, orifices; pumps, engines, and machines for raising water; water mills,
water wheels by which motion is given to machinery were all discussed under
The applications of heat to the arts; friction; and the rigidity of
were also considered in this volume.
An Epitome of the Elementary Principles of Mechanical Philosophy byJohn
s. Millington, 2nd edition, London: Printed for W. Simpkin and R.
Marshall, Stationer's Hall Court, Ludgate Street, 1830.
The purpose of the
book is set forth by the author,
.... the following sheets are intended to convey
the greater part of what is really useful and nec­
essary in Mechanical Philosophy, to the private
Gentleman, the Manufacturer, the Artizan, and
generally to such as have occasion to apply it to
useful and practical purposes, rather than search
into its profound abysses....^
elementary principlesof mechanics are considered inthefirst
tion of the book.
The nature and properties of matter; motion and thelaws
of motion; center of gravity and inertia; the mechanic powers are analyzed.
These general topics are broken down into such detailed subjects as the
parabolic path of projectiles, the parallelogram of forces,
laws of motion and familiar classical physics.
Newton's three
The "mechanic powers" dis­
cussed were the lever, the wheel and axle, the pulley, the inclined plane,
the wedge and the screw.
Millington did not depart from the usual descrip­
HydraulicsSection, p. 1.
Stiffness, friction of ropes used inmachines.
Written by
Professor MillingtonofWilliamand Mary College who was
connected with the College until 1848.
P. iii.
tion of these "machines" that has been given above or that will be given
directly below.
However, the powers of machinery and the effect of friction
on the efficiency of machines are detailed.
The second section or chapter is given over to the study of pneumatics.
The atmosphere and its general properties; meteorology and the instruments
of meteorology; acoustics or the "Doctrine of Sound" are the major divisions
of the subject matter of this section.
ment of elevations are explained.
The barometer and its use in measure­
The clouds and 'cloud formations, dew, the
theory of winds were further meteorological considerations.
Volumetric and
quantitative analyses of the atmosphere and its constituent elements are
The atmosphere was declared to contain seventy-nine (79) parts of
nitrogen and twenty-one (21) parts of oxygen by volume and seventy-seven
(77) parts and twenty-three parts by weight respectively.
Hydrostatics (Chapter III) is defined,
The Science of Hydrostatics has for its
object the examination of the mechanical laws
which regulate the motions, pressure, gravitation,
and equilibrium of inelastic fluids, as well as their
effects upon bodies which float upon, or are im­
mersed in them; while the construction of the various
pumps and machines for raising and conveying water,
and of machinery to be moved by it, or which is to
work in it, is made a separate branch of the same
enquiry, under the name of Hydraulics, which will be
the subject of the next Chapter.2
In general, the gravitation and pressure of water and other inelastic fluids
and specific gravity (with tables) are the subjects treated.
Under hydraulics, the causes of motion in fluids;
ery for producing motion; and the power to be obtained from themotion of
Cf. p. 121.
P. 218.
water are the major considerations.
The notions of Fluids are produced by their
own natural gravity; by contact with other bodies
already in notion; or by artificial force or
pressure, as in the various pumps or nachines for
raising water ....^
An extensive treatment of friction in water pipes is offered in this
The friction of water in rivers, channels or conduit pipes was
considered to increase as the square of the velocity; so that if the velocity
be doubled, the impediment to motion has a four fold increase.
The friction
against the sides of pipes was believed to increase nearly in the inverse
ratio of the square root of the length.
The friction increasing in accord­
ance with the velocity as stated above, was believed to be (at length) an
exact balance for any acceleration the fluid might have, so that
finally a completely uniform motion obtained.
The machines for raising water discussed in the volume were the "Persian
Wheel", the "Screw of Archimedes", the bucket engine, the suction pump, the
lift pump, the force pump and a combination of lift and force pump.
conventional water wheels are detailed (i.e.; the undershot, the overshot
and breast wheels).
An elementary centrifugal pump is also analyzed.
The nature and power of steam and early application of steam to the
production of motion is the first important division of Chapter V.
provements to the steam engine of Watt are added.
The im­
There follows, then, a
description of the parts of a steam engine and the "recent" improvements made
on the engine.
P. 265.
P. 271 et.seq.
Pp. 329-339.
Millington evaluated the importance of the steam engine,
.... what the future historian may have to state
respecting it, [the steam engine] time alone can
develope. To attempt anything like even an
enumeration of the purposes to which it is applied,
would be to give a catalogue of every art and
manufacture in the world. In one place, are found
the miner employing it to drain the deepest chasms
of the earth; while in another it sets the wind's
uncertainty at defiance, and conveys our packets
across the ocean with a precision that would have
formerly been deemed chimerical. The bread we eat,
the clothes we wear, the furniture we use, nay even
the printing of the books and newspapers we read are
alike the produce of its versatile power.
Treatise on the Steam Engine by James Renwick, New York: G. & C. & H.
Cavill, 1830.
on the subject.
This treatise contained the then present state of knowledge
The mechanical and physical principles applicable to the
construction of the steam engine are examined in detail.
The chapter on combustion considered in general included a study of
the parts of furnaces; the different species of fuel; and the properties and
chemical nature of fuel.
The chapter on boilers was concerned with the construction of boilers;
the strength and thickness of boilers; feeding apparatus; safety valves; air
valves; steam gauges; dampers; thermometers; steam pipes and boiler self­
In Chapter IV and V a general view of the double acting condensing
engine is given along with a detailed description of the same engine and its
various parts.
The treatise has a chapter on high pressure engines in which a general
P. 529.
In use at Columbia College where James Renwick was a member of the
faculty from 1820-1853.
view of these engines is given.
The description of engines includes a
condensing engine acting expansively (steam expansion cycle), the high
pressure engine, the single acting engine and atmospheric engines.
expansive force of steam is considered variously; with constant tempera­
ture (theoretically and in an engine), with friction and resistance taken
into account, at increasing pressures and with the temperature varying
according to the law of specific heat.
The action of high pressure steam
when not condensed is -also examined.
Two chapters are given over to the history of the steam engine.
The concluding chapter has for its subject the applications of the
steam engine.
The use of the steam engine in raising water, grinding
corn, cotton spinning, navigation are pointed out.
The maximum speed of
steam vessels; the principles of the action of paddles; the power required
to propel paddles; the laws of motion of steamboats; the theory of paddle
wheels; steam boat engines are all discussed in this chapter.
This em­
phasis on steam navigation and vessels indicates the importance that this
form of travel and transport was beginning to assume.
The chapter is
brought to a close by mention of the application of steam to locomotion
and the history of the steam carriage.
Elements of Technology by Jacob Bigelow, Boston: Hilliard, Gray,
Little and Wilkins, 1831.1
Under the title of technology, Dr. Bigelow
has included an account of the principles, processes, and nomenclature
"of the more conspicuous arts, particularly those which involve applica­
tions of science,
and which may be considered useful,
In use at Harvard, of course, and at the University of Pennsylvania
according to the catalogs of 1836—1837 to 1840-1841, and the
Laws of 1840.
promoting the benefit of society, together with the emolument of those who
pursue them".'*'
Arts were considered as departments of knowledge which have their
origin "in human ingenuity" and which depend on "the active, or formative
processes of the human mind, and which withott these, would not have existed".
Bigelow adopted the general name "technology" to embody these arts.
nology" was considered, ".... a word sufficiently expressive, which is found
in some of the older dictionaries, and is beginning to be revived in the
literature of practical men at the present day. "
The book is composed of the material used in the course of lectures at
Harvard in the applications of science to the useful arts.
The arts are divided into twenty-one categories and one chapter of the
work is devorted to each of them.
The first chapter is devoted to a descrip­
tion of the materials vised in the arts.
This is followed by a chapter
devoted to the form, condition and strength of materials.
This section in­
volves modes of estimation, stress and strain, resistance of material,
tension and compression, lateral strain, resilience, torsion and location of
The chapter on the arts of writing and printing is descriptive of the
materials used in writing and printing (ink, paper, letters, copying machines,
printing types, presses and machine printing).
The fourth section is devoted
to the arts of designing and painting and is concerned with the general
principles of drawing, drafting, perspective, projections, isometrical per­
P. V.
P. IV.
light and shade.
The materials, styles, instruments and
processes of engraving and lithography are described in a section devoted to
those arts.
The sixth chapter describes the arts of sculpture, modelling
and casting.
The materials of sculpture; sculpturing by engraving, by
casting in plaster and bronze are further described in this section.
arts of architecture and building; foundations, columns, walls, abutments,
domes, styles of buildings; orders of architecture with definitions and
drawings are discussed in the seventh chapter.
The arts of heating and
ventilating are concerned with the production of heat; the useful applica­
tions of heat (in the communication of heat); the cause of heat loss; the
modes of ventilating.
Such topics as lamps, torches, candles, hydrostatic
lamps, mechanical lamps, measurement of light, gas lights (by coal gas, oil
gas), safety lamp, gasmeter, portable gas light are treated in the division
devoted to the arts of illumination.
The arts of locomotion section embraces a variety of subjects.
included highways, roads and pavements, characteristic features of carriages;
wooden, cast iron suspension and floating bridges; railroads; canals and
aqueducts, tunnels, canal gates, weirs, locks and boats; and sailing.
elements of machinery are described in the next section.
Machines using
different types of motion such as rotary, circular, rectilinear alternate
or reciprocating motion are detailed.
Methods of equalizing motion by means
of a fly wheel or governor, are included.
A discussion of friction and of
the methods of angfiging and disengaging machinery from prime movers concludes
this section.
The use of animals, water and steam power, gunpowder as
"moving forces" in the arts occupies another division.
The arts of convey­
ing water embraoe a description of the conduct of water by means of aqueducts
and pipes.
Friction in pipes, obstructions in pipes, siphons, pumps, wheels
and machines for raising water, projecting water by fountains, fire engines
and throwing machines are additional topics completing this section.
next and fourteenth chapter is concerned with the arts of dividing and
uniting solid bodies.
The modes of division were fracture, cutting, baring,
drilling, sawings, stamping and mills of various descriptions.
The modes
of union were binding, locking, cementing, welding, glueing, soldering,
casting, fluxes and moulding.
Under the heading of the arts of combining
flexible fibres, there is a discussion of the theory of twisting; rope
making; cotton manufacture; spinning; weaving; paper making; carpeting;
tapestry, velvet and linen making.
The section devoted to the arts of
horology is a description of the methods and devices for time telling.
The arts of metallurgy are treated in a separate section.
This treat­
ment consists of a discussion of the extraction of ores and metals, assaying,
alloying, plating and coining.
Brass, lead and tin products; iron smelting,
casting, forging, rolling; steel, alloys of steel, tempering, case hardening
of steel are also considered in this division of the book.
The metallurgical
arts also included wire and nail making.
The arts of vitrification included processes of glass making and various
glass products.
Another section is devoted to the arts of painting, bleach­
ing^ dyeing, calico printing; crayons, oil painting, varnish; lacquering,
japanning, gilding, water colors and fresco work.
Bigelow included the
making of bricks, tiles, terra cotta under the topical heading of the "Arts
of Induration by Heat".
The operations in induration consisted of glazing,
burning, porcelain making.
The final section of the treatise contains an
exposition of the arts'of preservation of organic substances.
The prin­
ciples involved in preservation, i.e., temperature, dryness, wetness, anti­
septics, decomposition, are discussed.
The filling, seasoning and preserva­
tion of timber; tanning wnd embalming; preservation of specimens in natural
history were considered under this division of the arts.
A Course of Mathematics'[Fifth American Edition with the additions of
Robert Adrain] by Charles Hutton, New York: ff. E. Dean, Printer, 1831.^
The earlier editions of this work were described in Chapter T.
form of the treatise has been preserved.
The general
This edition of 1831 has an
additional section on the "Flexibility and Strength of T i m b e r F o u r
kinds of"strain^ tension, compression, shear and twisting are described.
Hutton recommended several treatises on the complete investigation of these
particulars which he says would require a volume in themselves.
The de­
flections of beams, column loads, ultimate transverse strength and ultimate
deflection (before rupture), are topics considered in connection with
cantilever beams and beams simply supported on two supports.
The additions to geodesic operations consisted of spherical trigonometry.
The 1833 edition contained detailed treatment of the mensuration of
heights and distances; land surveying; timber measuring and mathematics used
in Artificer's works.
Hydraulic or the motion of fluids and the forces with
which they act upon bodies and hydrostatics or the pressure, weight and
equilibrium of water and other non-elastic fluids were discussed.
or the science which treated of the properties of air or otherelastic fluids
embraced the study of the syphon, pumps, air pumps, condensers and the diving
In use at Rutgers College according to the catalogs of 1845-1846 to 18461847, 1852-1853 and the Statutes of 1845.
Pp. 390-397.
P. 390.
Two other editions of the work appeared in 1833 and 1841. Charles Hutton,
£ Course of Mathematics (edited by William Ramsay), London: T. T. and
J. Tegg and Richard Griffin and Company, MDCCCXXXIII. Charles Hutton,
£ Course of Mathematics (edited by William Rutherford), London: Printed
for Thomas Tegg, 1841. No additional significant changes appear in
these editions. The work became more of a text in mathematics and con­
tained less emphasis on the applied aspects of the mathematics to be
found in its contents. The books were edited by other men as indicated
and not rewritten by Hutton.
P. 564.
bell, the barometer and thermometer and their use in measuring attitudes,
and the resistance of fluids.
Mechanics comprised a study of the laws of motion; the composition and
resolution of forces; the laws of gravity and the centre of gravity; collision
of bodies; practical gunnery; the inclined plane and pendulums; the mech­
anical powers including the lever, the wheel and axle, the pulley, the
wedge, and the screw.
Related topics such as gyration, percussion, oscilla­
tion were also treated.
In the 1841 edition, mechanics was divided into two parts; statics and
The 1857 edition1 experienced no significant alteration.
The use of
the calculus is increased here as in the 1841 edition but the general
character of the work remained unchanged over that of the 1833 issue.
Elementary Treatise on Mechanics by John Farrar, Boston: Hilliard, Gray
and Company, 1854.
The materials of this treatise were selected with
particular references to the practical uses of the science.
The applica­
tions of the principles of equilibrium to machines (usually denominated
mechanical powers) such as the rope machine, lever, pulley, wheel and axle,
inclined plane, screw and wedge were described along with friction and
The theory of the air pump; pumps for raising water, the syphon and
Course of Mathematics by Charles Hutton (Edited by William Rutherford),
London: Printed for William Tegg and Company, MDCCCLVII.
University of Pennsylvania, Catalogs of 1831, 1851-1832; Brown University.
Catalgo 1530-1831; all mention this volume.
P. i i i .
the steam engine were explained under hydrodynamics.
The whole theory of
the steam engine was "founded upon two principles, the development of the
elastic force of aqueous vapor by heat, and the sudden precipitation of
this vapor by cooling.
Farrar's book, in spite of the statement in the
preface, has only an occasional reference to the practical but is devoted
largely to pure physics.
Further considerations in hydrodynamics were the
discharge of fluids through apertures in the bottom and sides of vessels;
the motion of gases; and the resistance of fluids to bodies moving in them.
Hydrostatics is defined as, "that part of mechanics which treats of the
equilibrium of fluids, and that of solids immersed in them".
The use of
the barometer in measuring elevations is pointed out and described.
pressure of fluids was also considered.
Elements of Mechanics by John R.Young, Philadelphia: Carey, Lea and
Blanchard, 1834.
This work is divided into two major divisions: statics
or the theory of equilibrium; and dynamics or the theory of motion.
first section of the book treats of the equilibrium of a point viewed under
two aspects ■» firstly, as entirely free and secondly, when constrained at
rest on a given curve or surface.
This discussion involved, of course, the
theory of the funicular polygon.
The second section of statics consists of
an exposition of the theory of equilibrium of a rigid body.
After discussing
the theory of equilibrium of forces, Young describes the mechanical powers;
the lever, the wheel and axle, the pulley, the inclined plane, the screw, the
P. *L5.
P. 289.
In use at w m i « » and Mary College, according to the Facility Minutes,
1830-1836 Volume” (1835), p. 237 and Catalogs 1855, 1859-1860.
The section on statics is concluded with a subject of considerable
practical import, the strength and stress of beams.
The resistance of a
beam to bending is awkwardly stated, n.... the law of resistance is as the
breadth, multiplied by the height or d e p t h . T h e
neutral axis of a
beam is defined as the line dividing the sectional area of a beam into
areas of tension and extension (tension).
Uniformly loaded, simply sup­
ported and cantilever beams; the most economical size of beams; the use of
models to compare the strength of any beam in model form with that corres­
ponding to a beam in the structure were considered in this section devoted
to beams and beam action.
Further topics of the strength of materials
applied to beams were the actual load which any beam will support under
given circumstances; the determination of the relative strength of beams
loaded in the middle when the beam ends are loosely (simply) supported, and
when the ends are firmly fixed in two vertical walls; the determination of
the dimensions of the strongest rectangular beam that can be cut from a
given tree.
Under dynamics, the second major division of
the book there is a
development of the fundamental equations of motion tinder the heading of the
rectilinear motion of a free point; a comprehensive view of curvilinear
motion of a free point; and the general theory of a solid body (from view­
point of dynamics) is given in conclusion.
P. 107.
P. 108.
This would be a statically indeterminate beam. The theory of statically
indeterminate structures was not developed at this time (1834).
Elements of Surveying by Charles Davies, New Xork: Published by Wiley
and Lbng, 1835.^
There is a general introduction in logarithms, plane
trigonometry, the character and use of all the instruments needed for
plotting including the familiar dividers, ruler, triangles, scales and
semicircular protractor.
Undersurveying proper there are directions for measurement (and cal­
culation) of lines and angles; measurements with tape and chain; mensuration
of heights and distances.
The deodolite is described.
In the third chapter
of the surveying section, the manner of laying out and dividing land; meth­
ods of calculating the areas of plots of land, are described.
The calcula­
tion of areas was somewhat elementary in that familiar geometrical shapes
(i.e.: rectangle, triangle and circle) were assumed.
Under the chapter
heading of surveying with compass, however, the method of calculating areas
by means of latitudes and departures (the method of double meridian distance^
is explained.
The surveyor's compass or circumferentor is described.
of talcing field notes; traverse tables; methods of plotting latitudes and
departures; the plain table; and variation of the magnetic needle are the
remaining topics covered in Chapter IV.
Chapter V is devoted to the method of surveying called leveling or the
determination of the difference in elevation between two or more points.
The level and leveling staves^ are described.
Chapter VI is given over to
a description of the "contour of the ground".
This might more properly be
called topography.
The conventional signs adopted by the Topographical
Tn i m p at. W i l l i a m and Mary College, according to the Catalog 1841-1842;
Columbia College. Trustees' Minutes, Vol. IV^
Dartmouth College. Catalog 1839.
p. 2355;
P. 131. This has become known as the leveling rod or scale used in
determining the differences in elevation.
Bureau and then In use by the United States Engineer Corps in their charts
and maps are given.
Chapter VII covers a variety of surveying operations.
These practices consisted of surveys of harbours, fixing the principal
points in the survey (elementary triangulation).
Manner of using the
compass in these surveys; the use of the circular protractor and other
means for plotting the surveys are considered.
Davies also described an
elementary hydrographic survey in his survey of harbors for the purpose
of determining depth of water.
An account is given of the manner of surveying public lands.
The 1830 edition of this work does not differ in any significant
direction from the edition just described.^
The Mathematical Principles of Navigation and Surveying [with the
Mensuration of Heights and Distances] by Jeremiah Day, New Haven: Hezekiah
Howe and Company, 1835.2
The measurement of various aspects of heights
and distances is preliminary to the first major division, i.e.: surveying.
Surveying methods included the survey of a field by measuring around it;
calculation and plotting of latitudes and departures; the use of Gunther's
chain and compass transit; surveying by offsets, from one and two stations
in a traverse; laying out and dividing lands.
Leveling is the name given
to the surveying method of determining the difference in elevation between
two or more points.
Finally, there is a description of the effect on sur­
veys of the variation and declination of the magnetic needle used in
making them.
There are four types of navigation discussed.
Plane sailing is the
method of calculating the situation and progress of a ship by means of the
Cf. Charles Davies, Elements of Surveying. New York: Printed and
published by J. and J. Harper, 1830.
Yale College. Catalogs 1826 to 1850-1851; Rutgers College. 1828 and
1830 Statutes mention this book, previous editions of the book
were described in Chapter V.
geometry of the plane triangle.
Parallel and middle latitude sailing
involves sailing a ship in a parallel of latitude or on a parallel of
latitude midway between the extreme latitudes to be reached by the ship's
Mercator's sailing involves the use of Gerard Mercator's charts.
Traverse sailing is similar to plane sailing since it involves the reduc­
tion of the series of line or traverse of the ship's path into a simple
Under the miscellaneous articles at the end of this work are found
data in the plane chart, Mercator's chart, oblique sailing, current sailing
and Hadley's quadrant, all of which have been described ilsewhere in this
An Elementary Treatise' on Mechanics by M. Boucharlat, [Translated from
the French of M. Boucharlat, with Additions and Emendation^ Designed to
Adapt it to the use of the Cadets of the United States Military Academy by
Edward H. Courtenay], New Yorks Published by Harper and Brothers, 1836.^
The first part of the treatise is devoted to a study of statics.
mechanics, there is a consideration of machines.
Machines served to trans­
mit the action of forces in directions different from those in which the
forces are applied, and to modify the effects of those forces.
The force
applied to the machine is called the power, and that which tends to oppose
the effect of this effect of power is called the resistance.
machines are described.
The simple
These included the simple machines (lever, cord,
wheel and axle, etc.) and following the exposition of the characteristics of
these machines there is a mathematical treatment of each.
In use at College of New Jersey, according to the Catalog of 1837-1838.
Dynamics (Fart II of the book) is defined as "that part of mechanics
which treats of the laws of motion of solid bodies".^
of motion are considered.
Newton’s three laws
There follows a mathematical treatment of various
phases of dynamics; i.e.: gravity, motion on an inclined plane, curvilinear
motion (with theory of projectiles).
Part III is devoted to the general equations of the equilibrium of
Pressure, specific gravity, the hydrometer are analyzed.
There is
a detailed explanation of pumps including the "sucking" pump, the lift
pump, the force pump.
These explanations are accompanied with figures.
air pump is described as is the barometer.
The use of the barometer in
determination of differences in elevations is pointed out in detail.
The fourth part of the treatise is concerned with hydrodynamics.
motion of water in pipes (including sidewall friction) and the discharge of
fluids ‘through horizontal orifices are described.
Lardner on the Steam Engine (by Dionysius Lardner), Philadelphia:
E. L. Carey and A. Hart, 1836.
The author described his book,
There are two classes of persons whose
attention may be attracted by a treatise in such
a subject as the Steam Engine. One consists of
those who, by trade or profession, are intended in
mechanical science, and who therefore seek informa­
tion on the subject of which it treats, as a matter
of necessity and a wish to acquire it in a manner
and to an extent which may be practically available
in their vocations. The other and numerous parts
of the public in general, who, impelled by choice
rather than necessity, think the interest of the sub­
ject itself, and the pleasures derivable from the
instances of ingenuity which it unfolds, motives
P. 187.
In use at William and Mary College, according to the Faculty Minutes,
1830-1836 Volume (1835), p. 237; University of Pennsylvania. Catalogs
of 1831, 1831-1832, 1840-1841 and the Laws of 1840.
sufficiently strong to induce then to
undertake the study of it... .^
The purpose for which this volume is
designed, as already explained has rendered
neoessary the omission of many particulars
which however interesting and instructive to
the practical mechanic or professional engineer,
would have little attraction for the general
This textbook concentrates upon the general principles of the construc­
tion and operation of steam engines rather than all the practical details.
The principal varieties of steam engines are described.
There is a long history of the invention and progressive development
of the engine.
This is followed by descriptionsof engines in use.
tions of steam railroads and steam carriages on common railroads are given
along with diagrams on the improved form or model.
roads are also described.
Ventures in steam rail-
The advantages and disadvantages of canals and
railroads are set forth.
Lardner makes an interesting prediction concerning railroad operation,
The monopoly of the transit of passengers....
secured to the lines of communications by the
railroad will always yield so large a profit as
to enable merchandise to be carried at a comparative­
ly low rate.4
A Treatise on Surveying by John Gummere. Philadelphia;
Sharpless, 1837.®
P. 9.
P. 11.
KLmber and
"Surveying is the art of measuring, laying out and dividing
The book has a mass of detail on the power, efficiency and economy of
steam engines.
He believed this tobe due to the speed andcheapness of transport by the
steamengine. Thereaderrecognizes
that thereverse of thisprophecy
has obtained.
In use at w i n lam and jjary noliage, according to the Faculty Minutes
1830-1836 Volume (1835), p. 237.
The circumferentor or surveyor's compass instrument was used to
take bearings of lines.
The face of the instrument was divided into degrees.
A bearing of a line is defined as the angle which a line makes with a.
meridian passing through one end and reckoned from north and south towards
east and west points.
or south.
The meridian is defined as any line that runs north
Latitudes and departures are considered.4
prior to a discussion
of the calculation of the area or "content" of a tract of land.
In the survey of a tract of land (by going around its boundaries and
returning to the place of beginning) the whole northing
the whole southing* and the easting to westing.
must be equal to
Gummere declared
this to
be a criterion of the accuracy of a survey.
Numerous mathematical problems involving the calculation of bearings of
lines* the measurement of distances of lines and drawing of surveys having
bearings and distances of the sides given cure contained in the treatise.
The corrections in latitudes and departures when their sum is unequal;
problems in bearings and distances* calculating areas of tracts of land are
The calculation of areas is introduced by geometrical problems
in finding the area of common figures.
The calculation of area by the
method of double meridian distances found in other surveying books is also
discussed here.
Gummere added another method of calculating area.
This con­
sisted of plotting the survey and dividing the plot into geometrical figures
whose areas are then calculated.
1. P. 81.
2. P. 82.
3. Loc. oit.
4. The difference oflatitude or thenorthing
of alineis defined
as thedistance that one end is further north orsouth thanthe other
end. The departure or the easting and westing of a line is the dis­
tance that one end is further east or west than the other end. Cf. ppr
83* 84.
P. 85.
Another section of the treatise is devoted to laying out and dividing
A chapter is given over to the variation of the compass.
A meridian indicated by the magnetic needle
is not, in general, a true one; for the needle does
not point truly to the north point of the horizon,
but varies from it, in some places to the eastward,
and in others to the westward.
The angle contained between the true meridian
and that indicated by the needle is called the
variation of the compass.^This chapter is concluded by a paragraph on "local attraction".
Iron or any
other ferruginous substance attracts the magnetic needle and draws it aside
from the position in which it would ordinarily settle.
Elements of Civil Enginearing by John Millington, Philadelphia:
J. Dobson, Richmond, Virginia, Smith and Palmer, 1839.
This textbook on
civil engineering is an attempt to describe and consolidate the principles
of the various operations of the civil engineer.
the second chapter.
Planning is stressed in
Success in planning was not to be achieved by study
alone but,
.... experience and practice are necessary to
produce facility and perfection in this most
essential part of the profession; and time, patience
and experience must be relied upon as the only means
of attaining it .3
A differentiation between the drawings of engineers and artists is made.
Engineers "draw to scale" (in the current accepted sense).
The drawing of
plan views, elevations and sectional views in drafting are explained.
P. 202.
In use at William and Mary College where the author was Professor of
Civil Engineering and Natural Philosophy until 1848.
P. 22.
Drawing instruments (the nTn square, steel drawing pens, protractors,
bean compass, "pantagraph", soales) and their use are explained*
Chapter III is concerned with mensuration.
This subject is defined
as follows.
Mensuration is that branoh of mathematics
which shows the mode of computing the magnitude
of objects and the quantity of material they
oontain; and as all kinds of artificer's work is
paid for aooording to its measurement, and the
total value of a piece of Work is compounded of
the value of its materials, added to the cost of
the work or labour for putting them together, so
it is quite necessary that the Engineer, the
Architect, the Surveyor, and the builder or cons­
tructor, should be acquainted with the modes of
taking measurements, as without such knowledge it
would be impossible to prepare an estimate or
valuation of work antecedent to its execution, or
to determine its value when completed.^
Linear (or running) mensuration, the measurement of superfices (or areas)
and solid measure are detailed.
Land surveying and map drawing are the subjects treated in Chapter IV.
Land surveying does not properly belong to, or
form a part of, the duties of the Civil Engineer,
but in many instances, he is unable to lay down his
plans without its assistance, especially for the
formation of roads or canals.2
The best field book that can
operations .... is to make an eye
form of the piece of land, and to
sions as they sure taken upon such
proper relative places •••
be kept for simple
sketch of the
set down the dimen^
plan in their
Chapter V is given over to a description of leveling (determining
differences in elevation) and
leveling instruments and the drawing of
profiles from data obtained from leveling operations.
P. 71.
P. 101.
Millington, in the preface to the book, gives an excellent
of the
purposes and treatment of some of the aspects (chapters) of civil
engineering in his work.
The chapter (No. VI) on earthwork or excavation,
canal work, etc., is characterized as follows: n.... such operations on
the soil as are necessary for the formation of roads, canals, and the
foundations of buildingsn.^
The general principles of road construction form the subject of
Chapter VII.
A road is defined,
A road is a certain portion of land set
apart for the sole purpose of communication between
one place and another, and consequently in its
formation or construction, every means should be
adopted to make that communication as easy and
commodious as possible.2
Roads were to be as level and as hard as possible.
Millington expounded
at length on the practice of toll roads both here and abroad.
The prepara­
tion and formation of the top surface of roads; the drainage and crowned
construction of roads are topics considered.
The selection of materials to work with, comes
next under consideration; and the eighth chapter
therefore describes the various kinds of building
stones, and the methods of quarrying, or getting
them out of the earth, which is followed by an account
of the making of bricks, burning and preparing lime
and hydraulic cements .... Secondly, the varieties of
timber, and means of seasoning, and converting it to
useful purposes, and of measuring and valuing it,
either when rough or converted, are given. Lastly,
the metals claim attention, and an account is given of
the production of iron from its ore, and its conversion
into the pig and malleable state. This is followed by
such notice of the smithing and iron foundry business
as the Engineer should be generally acquainted with,
p. v i i i .
particularly the making of patterns to oast
from. A few observations on steel, brass,
copper, lead, and the other metals in general
use, are added and close this part of the
The durability and strength of materials are treated in the ninth
Durability "can only be known by trial and experience, from which
general deductions may be made." Two aspects of the strength of materials
are discussed.
These are the absolute and the relative strength of the
materials of construction.
The absolute strength is defined,
.... the resistance which anybody whatever is
papable of offering against change of form, as
in stretching, or against actual fracture or
breaking when it is subjected to the action of
a direct and known force, operating in a right
lined direction.*
This subject is divided into three parts for consideration.
The weight or load which any body is capable of sustaining
without crushing or breaking to pieces. [Compression]
The weight or load which a material is capable of supporting when
that load is appended to, or suspended by it. [Tension].
The force of torsion or twisting, or the force thatwill
necessary to twist or break a bar
fixed at one end, while theforce
applied to the other as a tangent to a circle supposed to be produced
perpendicular to the axis of the bar and having that axis as a centre. [Or
in other words, torsion].
By the relative strength of materials is
meant, the strength or resistance they are capable
of offering when placed in such positions, or under
such circumstances, as will not permit their actual
or absolute strength, as before explained, to be
fully exercised; or the relation of their absolute
strength, to that which they may be able to exert
P. viii.
P. 580.
under the particular circumstances by which
they are constrained to act.
Construction, or the conversion of these
materials (now supposed to be fully understood]
next follows, and is treated of in the tenth
chapter, under the several heads of building with
stone and bricks, and carpentry or building in wood.
The principlesof building both in stone and bricks,
are here described, together with the methods of
measuring and valuing the work when executed.
Carpentry follows, and after an account of the prin­
ciples on which this art depends, these principles
are applied to the formation of various kinds of
framing, such as roofs, partitions, timber bridges
and the centring or frame work necessary for the
formation of large arches of stone, and some of the
most approved centres that have been used are
The eleventh chapter is devoted to the methods
of procuring firm and stable foundations, both on
dry land and in water, for walls and heavy erections;
and this, of course, includes the building of piers
for bridges, and the usual methods of building in
water both by coffer dams and caissoons, the driving
of piles, the fixing of centring, and the construction
of large arches and the building of bridges; which
subjects are exemplified by a short account of some of
the finest stone and cast iron bridges that have been
executed, and a notice of the more recently introduced
bridges of suspension.3
The practical application of the procedures, facts and principles con­
tained in the first eleven chapters to engineering works are discussed in
the twelfth chapter.
.... the twelfth chapter is confined to a
description of those operations which the Civil
Engineer is most commonly called upon to design,
superintend, and execute; and these are the forma­
tion of roads and railroads, the improvement of
river navigation, and the construction of navigable
canals. In this place, therefor?, the form,
P. 428. Reduced to simpler language; the absolute strength of materials
was the ultimate strength and the relative strength of materials was
the working strength.
Pp. viii - ix.
p. ix.
construction, and nethods of fixing rails,
and of building locks and weirs, are alone set
forth; because the necessary appendages of walls,
bridges, foundations, warehouses, carpentry, and
earthwork, have been fully discussed and described
in preceding chapters ....**•
Applications of the Science of Mechanics to Practical Purposes by
James Renwick, New York: Harper and Brothers, 1840.^
Machines are defined,
Machines are defined by writers on the theory
of Mechanics as instruments by which the direction
or intensity of a force is changed..............
When we consider machines in their practical
application, we find them interposed, like tools,
between some natural agent or worker, and a work to
be performed, in order to render that work capable
of being executed, which would have been difficult
or even impossible without the aid of some instrument.
Prime movers are considered.
These were of many but familiar varieties.
The strength of men and animals, water wheels (undershot, overshot, breast
wheel, and Barker*s mill), wind (windmills) were described as prime movers.
Under steam as a prime mover, there is a discussion of boilers, boiler
materials strength and appliances.
Single and double-acting steam engines
are introduced in the chapter. The valves, condensers, cylinders, pistons,
pumps, and guages were appliances and parts of these engines.
The contribu­
tion of Oliver Evans^ to high pressure engines is mentioned.5 . Steamboat
engines and high pressure steam also found place in this section.
"duty" far an engine is defined as the weight that can be lifted one foot by
P. ix.
in use at Columbia College where the author was Professor of Natural
Philosophy until 1843. College of New Jersey. Catalogs of 18401841-1842.
Pp. 13-14.
See above Chapter VI.
Pp. 101, 105.
the combustion of a bushel of coals.^
"Machines Moved by Springs" is the title of another chapter in this
comprehensive treatise on mechanics.
These machines included the watch,
the chronometer, the regulator.
Machines moved by men and animals were the crane, gin or triangle,^
the derrick and pile engine.
Under wheel carriages and roads there is a discussion of the structure
of wheels; carriage springs; the breadth or width of roadways; and the crosssection of roads.
The reader will no doubt be surprised to learn that all
these topics are contained in a treatise on mechanics (see below also).
is one indication of the vast knowledge of Professor Renwick and it gives
some clue to the reason why he was consulted on so many engineering prob­
The construction of ditched and culverts; the use of gravel as a road
material; the principles on which the slopes of roads depend; rules for .
laying out roads; wood, asphaltum, and stone pavements conclude the technical
road building.
A chapter on railroads is given.
This section embraced the materials
and construction, grades, Curves, roadbed and width.
Further considerations
were the advantages of the use of steam in railroads; the description of
locomotive engines; the effect of inclination of the railway on the action
of locomotive engines.
A curious aspect of railroads is described
self-acting inclined planes.
in the
From the description it appears that loaded
cars descending a grade were to be used in drawing empty cars up the grade.
P. 101.
A modified crane, cf. p. 130.
P. 167
A variety of topios is again oomprehended under the chapter heading
"Canals and Docks"*
These topios vary from the physical characteristics
of oanals such as cross-section* looks* oanal reservoirs to town water
The supply of water to towns involved the use of water wheels and
steam engines* distribution in pipe Bystems* crossing valleys with aqueduots*
Aqueduots in general* culverts, wet and dry docks are treated
The obstructions that arise in supply pipes are examined*
These were of two types; obstructions due to air pockets and obstmotions
due to the deposit of sediment*
A chapter on hydraulic engines follows*
In this division there is
included some of the "more important and interesting hydraulic engines"*
These are the familiar engines such as the hydraulic press* the screw of
Archimedes* pumps, chain-bucket pumps, the fountain of Hero*
The equilibrium and motion of ships (including sailing) is the concera of the succeeding chapter*
Ifodes of propulsion* use of steam* paddle
wheels* conditions of equilibrium are examined*
Renwiok introduced his description of the machinery used in manufac­
tures with the following statement*
Machines used in manufactures may be propelled
by any of the great natural agents* The force of
men* of animals * and of the wind* have been all* and
are still occasionally employed; but water acting
upon wheels* and the steam engine* are better suited
to all oases, in which regularity and permanency of
action are required* Up to the present time* the
force of water is regarded in the most favourable
light in the United States* but it may be questioned
whether this preference be well founded* In those
districts of our country where there is at present
a surplus population applicable to manufacturing
purposes* fuel is dear* and water power is abundant;
it is therefore considered as the most economic* But
water is* at best* an uncertain power; the machinery
may be prevented from working* not only in seasons of
drought* but by the fulness of'the streams; the dams
and raoes by which the power is supplied are liable
to injury and destruction* Water power must also be
sought, and the aanufaoturer oust leave all
other considerations out of view in ehooBing a
site for his establishment. We have seen cal­
culations founded on actual facts, b7 which it has
been shown that, taking all things into account,
the actual oost of cotton goods manufactured by
steam in the city of New York, is less than that
of similar articles manufactured in Patterson by
The action of toothed wheels and axles, wheels and pinions is dis­
The machinery used in the following manufactures is described,
viz.; flour mills, saw mills, cotton and flax spinning, silk making, woolen
and worsteds, weaving and finishing and in printing.
A brief sketch of the operations and methods of mining concludes the
Lectures on Agricultural Chemistry and Geology by James F. W. Johnston,
New York: Wiley and Putnam, MDCCCZLH.
Johnston described his book as
For the sake of clearness, I have, in the
following pages divided the subject into four
parts, the study of each preceding part preparing
the way for a complete understanding of those which
follow. Thus the first part is devoted to the
organic elements and parts of plants, the nature and
sources of these elements, and an explanation of the
mode in which they become converted into the sub­
stances of plants - the second to the inorganic
elements of plants, comprehending the study of the
soils from which these elements are derived - with
the general relations of geology to agriculture - the
third to the nature of manures, by which soils are
made more productive, and the amount of vegetable
produce increased - and the fourth, to the results of
vegetation - to the kind and value of the food produced
under different circumstances - and itB relation to the
growth of cattle, and to the amount and quality of dairy
P. 265.
In use at Yale College, according to the Catalogs of 1847-1848 to 18481849 and 1856-1857 to 1859-1860.
P. IV .
First Principles of Natural Philosophy hjr James Renwick, New York:
Harper and Brothers, 1842.^*
The book opens with an introductory section
on matter and its properties; forces, motion and equilibrium.
mechanic powers were the lever and combinations of levers, the wheel and
axle, the pulley (and combinations of the latter two "machines"), the
inclined plane, the wedge, and the screw.
Renwick defined machines in the following terms, "The directions and
intensities of forces often require to be altered or modified in practical
The instruments employed for this purpose are called Machines."
The definition of the strength of materials is involved and strange,
The Attraction of Aggregation is the force
by which the particles of a given body are caused
to adhere....
yhe attraction of aggregation constitutes
what is called the strength of materials which
are used in architecture and the mechanic arts.
This strength has for its measure the force which
is necessary to cause the rupture of the material.
Materials may be broken in four different
(1) The particles may be t o m asunder by a
force exerted in the direction of the length of the
piece. The resistance to this mode of rupture is
called the Absolute Strength.
(2) The body may be broken across. The
resistance is in this case called the Respective
Strength, and the bodies in which it is called into
action are called Beams or Lintels.
The body may be crushed.
(4) The body may be twisted until its particles
separate. The resistance in this case may be called
the Strength of Torsion.3
In use at Columbia College where the author taught until 1853.
Pp. 43-44.
Pp. 75-76.
The strength of beams embraced the study of beams whose depth was
greater than their width, hollow oylindrioal beams, beams plaoed in
inclined position.*
The Voussoir theory of arohes and the applications
of the arch principles to domes follow.
The use of beam systems (trusses)
to oover large spans; and suspension bridges of rope and wrought iron are
mentioned with illustrations and diagrams.
Column resistance to crushing is again demonstrated.
This treatment
is the same as that given in Renwick's book issued in 1826.
The resistance
to torsion "is proportioned in different rods of the same material to the
fourth power of their diameters, and is inversely as their lengths".2
Friotion is also considered under this division (attractions of aggrega­
tion and cohesion.)
Grouped under the heading of the attraction of gravitation are the
motion of projectiles; parabolic motion; military projectiles and
ordnance; modes of finding the explosive force of gunpowder; and the ig­
nition of gunpowder.
The laws of motion on inclined surfaces and the
pendulum (simple, compound and cycloidal); the force of gravity and the
oonoept of the centre of gravity are also discussed under this heading of
The pressure of liquids, specific gravity, the common pump, the syph­
on, the suotion pump, the air pump, the barometer and its applications (in­
cluding use as a measure of elevation) are described as part of the
"equilibrium of gravitating liquids" which was a subordinate division of
the section on gravitation.
The motion of fluids on pipes is compared with
Such a beam was considered much stronger than when it lies horizontally
"as its length is greater than the breadth of the aperture over
which it lies."
P . 100.
that in open channels.
The discharge of liquids through orifices and
short tubes and the resistance of liquids are treated very briefly.
Heat is considered under headings of expansion, liquefaction and
evaporation, specific heat and propagation (of heat).
The section on electricity and magnetism is concerned with common
electricity, atmospheric electricity, galvanism (battery electricityJ,"*the laws of terrestrial magnetism and magnetism, and electro-magnetism
(the relations between electricity and magnetism).
The treatment of
magneto-electrical apparatus did not have technical implications. The
development of electricity by heat is interesting but not significant.
The passage of heat through conducting bodies was accompanied by electrical
The definition of electricity is a familiar one,
When certain natural bodies are subjected
to friction, they acquire the property of at­
tracting light substances. This phenomenon was
first observed in the case of amber, and from
its Greek name the general class of similar
appearances are called Electrical.^
A beginning in electro-magnetism may be noted,
As every electrical current is accompanied
by magnetic action at right angles to its
direction, it was inferred at about the same
instant by Farraday and Henry, that good con­
ductors of electricity, when placed within the
sphere of magnetic action, ought to have
electrical currents induced in them. This dis­
covery has been made the basis of powerful
apparatus, by which both the phenomena of common
and Galvanic electricity may be produced at
P. 277,
P. 308
P. 254,
P. 307
The book gives a chapter on light, astronomy and atmospheric phenomena
(wind, rain, snow, dew, meteors, the aurora borealis).
Compendium of Natural Philosophy by Denison Olmsted, New Haven:
Published by S. Babcock, 1844.
As the title of the work implies, this
textbook covers the whole range of natural philosophy.
There is an
introductory section on the principles, definitions and concepts of
natural philosophy.
Motion and force; momentum; relative, absolute, and
apparent motion, the relations between time, space and velocity are con­
sidered in turn.
In the chapter on machinery, the lever, the wheel and axle, the pulley
and the wedge are treated in a detailed manner.
This treatment does not
differ from that found in other books of the period.
The theory and principles of projectiles and gunnery are briefly
Under hydrostatics the laws of pressure of fluids; the hydro­
static press; aqueducts; spirit levels; specific gravity are discussed.
Hydraulics or liquids in motion embraced the study of water wheels,
Barker's mill, the friction of fluids, capillary attraction and waves.^
The subjects comprehended under pneumatics were the air pump, the con­
denser, the condensing fountain, the air gun, the diving bell and the
Bieumatics is defined as that branch of mechanics which treats
of the equilibrium and motion of elastic fluids.^
In use at william and Mary College, according to the Catalogs of 18381839, 1839-1840, 1841-1842, 1842-1843; Yale College Catalogs 18301831 to 1 850-1851; Brown University. Catalogs 1850-1851 to 1 8541855; Dartmouth College. Catalogs 1834)- 1835, 1839 and 1851-1852.
See below for later editions and the edition of 1837.
Pp. 147-164.
P. .165.
The syphon, the common pump, the force pump, the fire engine, and
the steam engine are grouped under the heading of the "mechanical agencies
of air and steam".
These machines are described as involving in their
construction the principles of both hydraulics and pneumatics.^
The book also gives a chapter on the atmosphere, acoustics, electric­
ity, magnetism and optics.
A compendium of Natural Philosophy by Denison Olmsted, Charleston,
Published by S. Babcock and Company, 1837.
Natural Philosophy is defined
as "the science which treats of the Laws of the material world".
were the modes "in which the powers of nature act".
Mechanics is defined
as that branch of Natural Philosophy which treats of the equilibrium of
motion of bodies.
"The principles of the science of mechanics applied to
the purposes of life, as in the construction of machinery, constitute
Practical Mechanics...."
The laws of motion; composition and resolution of forces or motion are
considered (including centre of gravity).
cribed under the section on machinery.
The mechanic powers are des­
The advantages of machinery; the
effects of and means of reducing friction; and the strength of materials are
also explained in this section.
The machines considered are the "mechanical
powers" or the lever, the pulley, the inclined plane, the screw, the wedge
and the wheel and axle including its applications.
Pp. 188-189.
P. 9.
Loc. cit.
Loc. cit.
P. 10.
The regulators of the
notion of this "machinery” were defined as "kinds of apparatus employed
to secure uniform movements to the machine".
principally the pendulum and the flywheel.
These regulators were
Following these topics* the
changes of motion in machines was taken up and the use of gearing described.
A short but informative section on the strength of materials is con­
tained in the work.
The strength of beams was the primary concern.
principles are laid downs^
the strength of any bar in the direction of its length is propor­
tional to the area of its tranverse section.
the strength of any bar lying horizontally "is inversely as its
the tendency to fracture "on any part of a horizontal beam"
supported at both ends is proportional to the product of the distances of
that part from the supported ends.
the lateral strength of two cylinders of the same material and of
equal weight and length* one of which is hollow and the other solid* "are
to each other as the diameters of their sections".
The topic of friction and its reduction are next considered.
Hydrostatics or the study of fluids at rest included a discussion of
center of gravity; pressure and equilibrium of fluids and the distribution
of fluid pressure.
The friction of fluids (in general and in pipes* in particular) and
the laws of running fluids are considered under hydraulics or the study of
Pp. 118-122.
These ideas are elementary and would not be accepted today* although the
dependence of strength on beam cross-section is significant. Strength
of beams* today* involves a consideration of the moment of inertia
of the section rather than area.
liquids in notion.
These lairs were five in number.
the velocity with which a fluid issues from a small orifice in
the bottom or side of a vessel, kept constantly full, is equal to that which
a heavy body would acquire by falling from the level of the surface of the
liquid to the level of the orifice.
Quantities of water which issue from orifices of the same dimen­
sions, are proportional to the square roots of their depths below the
In a column of water emptied by an orifice, the velocity of issue
and the velocity of descent of the surface are uniformly retarded.
The path of an issuing jet of fluid from an orifice is a parabola.
When a fluid spouts from
the side of a perpendicular column, its
random or horizontal distance will be greatest when it spouts from the
center and it will be equal at equal distances from the center above and
There is a general discussion of the atmosphere which precedes the
explanation of the mechanical "agencies'
1 of air and steam.
These "agencies"
are the siphon, the suction and force pumps, fire engine (force pump), and
the steam engine.
The theory of the steam engine is summarized,
The great and peculiar property of steam, on
which its mechanical agencies depend, is its power
of creating at one moment a high degree of elastic
force, and losing it instantaneously the next
moment. This force acting on the bottom of the
piston which moves in the main cylinder, raises it,
and fills the space below it with steam. The steam
is suddenly condensed, and hence no obstacle is
opposed to the descent of this piston but it is
readily forced down again by steam acting from above.
With some -modifications and redefinitions, these laws are applicable
The alternate motion of the piston, the rod of
which is connected with the working beam, is all
that is required in order to communicate motion
to all parts of the engine.^*
Optics, acoustics and sound, electricity and magnetism complete the
subjects of natural philosophy studied.
An Introduction to Natural Philosophy, by Denison Olmsted, New York:
Published by Robert B. Collins, 254 Pearl Street, 1850.
This book compiled
from various writers on the subject was designed as a textbook for use of
the students in Tale College.
A substantial portion of the book is given
over to
study of mechanics "because
the foundation of all
attainments in Natural philosophy and Astronomy are laid in this science.
The range of the topics covered does not differ significantly from that of
the 1837 edition.
The mathematical elements of mechanics are considered
first as universal and fundamental truths.
A great variety of problems
are added to each chapter to render the knowledge of these truths familiar
and as an intellectual exercise.
The mechanical powers considered are the familiar lever, wheel and
axle, pulley, inclined plane, screw, wedge, motion on inclined planes in
addition to a discussion of pendulums and projectiles.
The section on the strength of materials was increased.
The strength
of materials is defined as the power to resist fracture. Stress is defined
as the power to produce fracture.
The principles expounded were:
P. 189.
See title page.
P. V.
P. 151.
The strength of a beam supported at both ends and loaded in the
center is proportional to the area of cross section multiplied by the depth
of the centre of gravity.
In beams of different lengths resting on two supports, the
strength will vary as the area of the sections "into the depth of the
center of gravity", divided "by the length into the weight".^
A triangular beam, when resting on its broad base, is twice as
strong as when resting on its edge.
The strength of any bar in the direotion of its length is
proportional to the area of its transverse section.
The lateral strengths of similar beams "are inversely as their
lengths and breadths".
The stress^ of any part of a horizontal beam supported at both
ends, is proportional to the product of its two distances from the
supported ends•
In similar cylindrical and prismatic beams supported at one end
only (oantilever beam), the strength varies inversely either as the
diameter or as the length.
A beam supported at one end in form of an isoceles wedge or of
a parabola is equally strong throughout; or when a weight is hung at the
end, the beam is as liable to break in one place as in another.
Machinery involved a discussion of the lever, wheel work, the screw,,
the wedge, the inclined plane.
The regulation of machinery by means of
a governor or flywheel is again included.
In addition, there were "contriv­
ances" for modifying motion such as gearing, universal joints, ratchet wheels,
This is a ourious statement and is diffioult to understand.
Redefined on p. 156 as the "tendency to fracture".
eccentrics and crank motions.
Hydrostatics and hydraulics are defined and discussed in a manner
similar to that contained in the 1837 issue.
An important additional
principle was included in the section on hydraulics, however.
The velocity
(at any point) of any fluid running through a tube, pipe or canal flowing
full, is inversely proportional to the area.
Water wheels (breast, overshot, undershot wheels) were taken up.
This discussion was followed by an explanation of the "mechanical agencies"
of air and steam; i.e., the siphon, the suction pump, the force pump and
the steam engine.
The same statement of the theory of the steam engine
that appeared in the 1837 edition appeared again.
Additional considera­
tions were:
Thf elastic force of steam depends on temperature and density
"conjointly"; and "the temperature necessary to its production depends
upon the pressure incumbent upon the water during its formation".
Heat "rapidly augments the elasticity of steam by increasing its
P. 343 f f .
A Treatise on the Principles and Praotloe of Leveling, by Frederick
W. Simms, London: John Weale, 59 High Holborn, MDCCCXLVI.*
Simms desoribed
the methods of taking levels in the field and transferring or reducing them
to paper as cross-sections.
purposes are set forth.
The applications of these methods to practical
Accordingly, there is an example of fcoadwork with
the necessary calculations of earthwork both by tables and by the prismoidal
In addition, there are particular directions for making a choice
of a line of direotion (route) through open country for a road or railroad,
preparatory to taking levels.
Leveling instruments (the Y-level, the Dumpy level, leveling staves,
measuring chain, Troughton's improved level) are described.
theseinstruments (parallax,
Particulars of
telescope and its line of oollimation)are
Leveling with the theodolite (not essentially a leveling instrument, of course)
was described*
There was a section devoted to the adjustments of leveling
The choice of a suitable line of country for
the formation of a turnpike road, a railroad, or a
canal, preparatory to the levels being taken,
requires both judgnent and care, otherwise a fruit­
less expenditure of time in taking a number of trial
sections may be the result.... A person undertaking
suoh a work should previously devote a little time to
obtain a knowledge of the country, its localities, its
structure, and geological character: such knowledge
will lead to the choice of several lines of direotion,
which appear to the eye as equally favourable; it then
becomes necessary to make such preliminary surveys as
will enable the engineer to adopt the one which, under
all circumstances, is likely to prove the most advan­
tageous .2
In use at Harvard flniverslty according to -the Catalogs of 1847/1848 to 18521853. Simms was. the author of another work; A Treatise on the Principal
Mathematical Instruments Bnployed in Surveying, Leveling and Astronomy,
London: Messrs. Troughton and Simms, 1844* Since the book is devoted
largely to astronomical instruments and was listed in these oatalogs
under astronomy, it has not been included here*
P. 100.
The most advantageous direotion for a line
either of roadway or railroad, intended to connect
two places, is evidently that of a right line,
both horizontally and vertioallys if one extremity
of the line is more elevated than smother, the
straight line connecting them will be an inclined
plane, having one uniform rate of inclination; but
if a uniform slope cannot be obtained in the direct
line, it is necessary to deviate therefrom to obtain,
as nearly as the circumstances of the country will
admit, such an inclined plane, or at least to obtain
continued progressive rises, avoiding as much as
possible the introduction of useless ascents, that is
asoending where we must descend again, and vice versa...•
The shape or transverse seotion of a roadway is sketched, and road drainage
mentioned in its most simple form.
briefly referred to.
Road materials and their specifications are
The foundations of a road consisted of rough close set
stones with their broad face laid down and set lengthwise across the road
An abstract of the rules of repairing and constructing roads of
Telford concludes this section.
In the section devoted to wetting out in the field of cross sections or
widths of a railway or canal, field operations in staking out and leveling for
the centre line of a route are set forth in detail.
the problem are considered.
Three major aspects of
A section of excavation in level ground was des­
cribed and the staking out of width from the oentre line is explained.
same is done for a seotion requiring embankment and ore requiring excavation
in irregular and sloping ground.
fill (embankment) is considered.
P. 103.
Pp. 107-108.
Cf. P. 105 and pp. 110-113.
Finally, a section in cut (excavation) and
The description of various methods for laying out railroad curves
upon the ground is next given.
was considered the best curve.^
The arc of a circle (circular curves)
The superelevation of the outer rail on
curves also was a part of this discussion of railway curves.
A Manual
by William M. Gillespie, New York: A. S. Barnes
and Company, 1847.
This work appeared in several editions and contained
a most comprehensive treatment of road building.
The vital points of
direction, slope, shape and cost are taken up first.
straight as possible to cut down cost.
Roads were to be as
Straightness was to he sacrificed,
however, to maintain level and to eliminate slopes.
The widths and shapes
of road-beds are considered.
Width of road depended then, as today, on
the use to which it was put.
Thirty feet was considered sufficient width
for any road and sixteen and one-half feet was considered a minimum.
Roads were to have footpaths, ditches, to have crowned cross-sections and
drainage provisions were to be made.
The side slopes and cuttings were
to vary with the nature of the soil (the angle of repose of the material
was to be taken into account).
Qualities desirable in road surfaces were smoothness and hardness
in order to reduce resistances of elasticity, collision and friction to a
To avoid high costs, roads were to be located so as to require
few mechanical structures such as bridges, culverts, retaining walls.
High embankments, deep excavations, rock cuts (cut and fill were to be
balanced) were to be avoided and roads were to be built over firm ground
P. 145.
In use at Dartmouth College (in the later editions) according to the
Catalog of 1860-1861.
to avoid high cost.
The looation of a road or choice of the route over which it should
pass is then taken up.
The methods of performing all necessary measure­
ment of distances, directions and heights, with the use of any instruments
but "such as any mechanic can make or any farmer use" are described.
survey of a line required a study of a map of the area, a reconnaissance
survey and then an actual route survey.
The distances, directions, and
elevations along this route were to be obtained.
plotted and profiles drawn.
The route was to be
Grades were then established of the profile
and the excavation and embankments were calculated (a modified mass
The volumes were calculated by one of three methodsaverage
end area method, middle area method and the prismoidal formula method.
The estimating of cost of roads and staking out of side slopes, use of
circular, compound, reverse and parabolic curves are explained.
The third section of the book is devoted to road construction proper.
The discussion is opened by a treatment of contracts and specifications.
These are considered an exact and minute description of the manner of
executing work in all its details.
blasting are described.
Excavation methods, tunneling,
Embankments in swamps (requiring different meth­
ods) and side hill road construction are explained.
Paved roads consisted of pebble pavements and squared stones on
foundations of either sand, broken stone, pebbles or concrete.
road surfaces were gravel roads and broken stone roads including Telford
and HcAdam roads.
The HoAdam road was formed by the grinding of angular
stone fragments into a hard, compact mass.
surface of earth roads was considered.
In use to th is day.
The improvement of the
Other road surfaces were logs,
planks, blocks and charcoal.
Railroads and their motive powers are treated.
The essential attributes of a railroad are
two smooth surfaces, usually of iron, for wheels to
run upon. These surfaces must be made as narrow as
possible, to lessen their cost, and some contrivance
to keep the wheels upon is rendered necessary; the
usual one at present being a projection or 'flange',
6n the inner rim of the wheel.1
Railroads were to be as straight as possible with no curves (again, if
The customary guage was four feet and eight and one-half
The construction of railroads was taken up in this sixth section.
The motive powers of railroads were horses, stationary steam engines
(cars pulled by cables), locomotives and atmospheric pressure.
The concluding section of the treatise is concerned with the manage­
ment of town roads.
The evils of the then existing system of road taxes
are pointed out and the institution of a better system is suggested.
appendix has minute and practical examples of the calculations of earth­
Manual of the Principles and Practice of Road-Making by William
Gillespie, 2nd Edition, New fork: A. S. Barnes, 1848.
The additions to
these editions were the detailing of an "easy" method of determining the
intermediate points of survey on a curve; and a new formula for calculat­
ing excavation and embankments with abridged tables for this purpose.
A Manual of the Principles and Practices of Road-Making by William
Gillespie, New York: A. S. Barnes, 1849.
The additions to this edition
were practical details of the construction of plank roads and the latest
1. P. 241.
experiments on the resistances upon railroads on curves, ascents, etc.^
A Manual of the Principles and Practices of Road-Making by William
Gillespie, New York: A. S. Barnes and Company, 1853.
This edition of
the work contained such corrections and additions as were needed to bring
its information up to the then present moment particularly with respect
to plank roads and railroads.
First Principles of Chemistry [for the use of colleges and schools]
by Benjamin Sllliman, Jr., Philadelphia: Published by Loomis and Peck,
New Haven: Durrie and Peck, 1847.
The first part of Sllliman1s text is
a review of the physics useful to an understanding of chemistry.
is an introductory discussion of the general properties of matter.
Chemistry nbeginsn where the other sciences end.
The invisible constitu­
tion of matter is examined and the compounds which can be formed by the
union of simple substances and the laws of their combination were con­
sidered the objects of chemistry.
The second section of the book is devoted to chemical philosophy.
The ahemical elements and their compounds, their laws of combinations and
their uses are considered in great detail.
The laws of electrolysis;
the chemical effects of voltaic electricity, organic chemistry, batteries
are further topics treated.
This division of the subject matter contains
an exhaustive treatment of the metallic elements.
The book does not touch upon the technological aspects of chemistry
although an approach to this object is evident in such discussions as
Pp. 264-278.
In use at Yale College according to the Catalogs of the period after
1847-1848; Columbia College Catalog of 1860-1861; Dartmouth College.
Catalogs of 1847—1848, 1851—1852, 1856—1857.
the distillation of coal, the distillation of wood, the uses of sulphur
in gunpowder and bleaching.^
Elementary Chemistry. Theoretical and Practical by George Fownes,
Edited by Robert Bridges, Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1847.2
treatise is an outline of the general principles of chemistry and a
history of the more important among the numerous bodies which chemical
investigation had revealed.
One aim of the book was to detail at length
many of the working processes of the scientific laboratory and to show by
use of many wood engravings, the most useful forms of apparatus, with
their adjustments and methods of use.
A section of the book is devoted to physics.
Topics included here,
were heat, constitution of the atmosphere and of gases in general; density
and specific gravity; light; magnetism and electricity.
Following the chemistry of the non-metallic elements there is a section
devoted to the chemistry of metals.
The manufacture of glass, porcelain and earthenware is described.
The manufacture of iron is discussed.
addition of carbon.^
Steel is defined as iron plus the
Iron production consisted of the production of a
Several other treatises on chemistry were in use during this period.
They were compendiuros of chemical philosophy with little or no
emphasis on the practical applications of chemistry to practical
purposes. The first of the other books was J. W. Webster, A, Manual
of Chemistry. Boston; Marsh, Capen, Iyon and Webb, 1859. The
distinguishing characteristic of this work is its chapter on animal
chemistry. A concise chapter on blood, respiration, animal heat,
bone and muscle appears. Lewis C. Beck, ^ Manual of phemistry«_
New York: W. E. Dean, printer and Publisher, 1838; Daniel B. Smith,
The Principles of Chemistry. Philadelphia: Uriah Hunt, 101 Market
Street, 1842; John W, Draper, Textbook on Chemistry. New York:
Harper and Brothers, 82 Cliff Street, 1846; Robert Kane, Elements
of Chemistry, (an American Edition edited by John W. Draper), New
York: Harper and Brothers, 1842, were the other books. Webster’s
Manual also appeared in an 1826 edition. All of these textbooks
contained introductory discussions on such topics of physics as
light, heat, electricity and magnetism.
In use at Columbia College according to Trustees’ Minutes (1858), Vol.
V1, p. 392, Rutgers College. Cat&log of 1855-1856 and 1858-1859.
p. 234.
fusible carburet from ore; the subsequent decomposition Of this carburet
and its conversion into pure and malleable iron.
The author points out
the alloys of iron such as copper, gun-metal, brass and lead.
The destructive distillation and slow putrefactive change of organic
matter is treated.
The production of paraffins and nkreosoten (from beech
tar) is detailed.
Petroleum is considered,
.... under the names petroleum and naptha are
arranged various mineral oils, which are observed
in many places to issue from the earth, often in
considerable abundance.
There is every reason to suppose that these
owe their origin to the action of internal heat
upon beds of coals, as they are usually found in
connection with such. The term naphtha is given
to the thinner and purer varieties of rock oil,
which are sometimes nearly colorless, the darker
of more viscous liquids bear the name petroleum.1
Chemical Technology [or Chemistry Applied to the Arts and Manufactures]
by Friedrich Knapp [translated by Edmund Ronalds and ThomasRichardson.
The first American edition by Professor Walter R. Johnson], Philadelphia:
Lea and Blanchard, 3 vols., 1848.
The production of heat is character­
ized as follows,
The chemical process concerned in the
production of heat is identical with that practised
for obtaining artificial light: the mode of conduct­
ing the process, is however, different...."
A knowledge of the nature and effective value of fuel in the produc­
tion of heat is given.
The preparation of wood charcoal and the production
(used in generating steam and for smelting purposes) are detailed.
first volume is divided into two parts.
The first section is given over
those branches of manufacture depending upon the process of combustion.
P. 438
P. IV.
Heat and fuels are discussed as indicated above.
The modes of effecting
illumination; the illuminating power of different materials are exhaustive­
ly treated.
The processes of manufacture concerned in the production and applic­
ations of the alkalies and earths are next.
Potashes, gun cotton, oil
varnish, gunpowder, manufacture of soap, saltpetre (nitre soda) are the
alkalies and earths involved.
The appendix to Volume I has material on the heating and ventilation
of buildings, and products of American soil used in the production of
light (e.g., coal gas, sperm oil, crude lard, "chemical oil", "pine-oil".)
The experience oflarge scale production ofilluminating gas is
and a statistical analysis is given.
Volume 11^ is divided into four parts.
is concerned with
The first of these divisions
the manufacture ofglass. The second section details
the manufacture of alum, green vitriol and fuming oil of vitriol.
manufacture of clay-ware, pottery, porcelain occupy a large portion of
the third section.
The various operations and machinery adapted to porce­
lain manufacture are set forth.
The manufacture of bricks, stone-ware
and other products of the ceramic arts (the American editors added brick
presses becausA of their extensive use in America) conclude this part.
Hydraulic cements and mortars form the subject of the fourth part of
Volume II.
This section was augmented by the addition of the work of
Colonel J. G. Totten (a member of the U. S. Engineers) from his own ex­
periments on Cements, mortars, concretes and grout.
Sends, lime, mortar
were the componentsof concrete and the strength of this material of
P rin te d in P h ilad elp h ia in 1849.
construction is mentioned.^
The third volume of this textbook
contains a discussion of the
chemical principles and operations concerned in the "manufacture" of food
"from raw material".
The quality of water; methods of purifying water;
the manufacture of sugar; the manufacture of tea; the manufacture of
tobacco; the general principles of nutrition; the preservation of meat
are given detailed analysis.
Elements of Scientific Agriculture [or the Connection between Science
and the Art of Practical Farming] by John p. Norton, Albany, Erastus H.
Pease and Company, 1850.
Professor Norton defined agriculture, "Agricul­
ture, according to the usually accepted meaning of the word, signifies the
art of cultivating the soil...."
Bodies are divided into organic and inorganic substances.
elements of plants are taken up first.
and hydrogen.
The organic
These were carbon, hydrogen, oxygen
This discussion is followed by one concerned with the inor­
ganic parts of plants or ash.
The sources of the organic food of plants are next considered.
nature of carbonic acid gas (COg) its presence in the atmosphere, and its
absorption by leaves of plants are explained.
to the plant.
This gas furnished carbon
Carbon was also derived from the organic substances in the
The sources of oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen of plants are pointed
1. Pp. 394-397. The consideration of the strength of concrete was brief
and superficial permitting no significant evaluation.
2. Printed in London and' New York: Jiippolyte Balliere, 1851.
3. In use at Yale College according to the Catalogs of 1856-1857 to 18591860; Columbia College. Trustees1 Minutes (1858) Volume V, p. 392.
Under the organic substances of plants, the structure and functions
of roots, stem, leaves and bark; the properties and composition of water;
the sources of supply of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen to plants;
starch, woody fibre of plants, sugar and gum, gluten, legumin, casein and
albumen are considered briefly.
The next chapter was concerned with the soil.
The general composi­
tion of soils; organic content; inorganic content; soil drainage, crop
rotation; the relations between the soil and the plant; special manures,
plaster of paris, gypsum; soil classification; composition of ash from
crops are topics considered.
The source, nature, need, composition and modes of application of
manures form the subject matter of the next sectional division of the book.
The composition of different crops was then discussed. Only a few
pages were devoted to these crops and hence the discussion was super­
In the application of crops in feeding of animals, Norton went far
beyond what is implied.
Proteins, starch, fatty and oily food, cut food,
cooked and soured food, were discussed.
Influence of exercise, darkness
and warmth on feeding animals, animal grazing, the necessity of shelter­
ing animal during winter are all part of the general topic of crops and
animal feeding.
Milk and dairy produce are considered generally as is the nature of
chemical analysis (including an examination of soils).
The treatise is concluded by an effort to point out the applications
of geology to agriculture.
Pp. 39-51.
Pp. 127-155
Handbooks of Natural Philosophy by Dionysius Lardner, Philadelphia:
Blanchard and Lea) 1851.^
This comprehensive treatise contains an ex­
haustive treatment of the theory of machinery.
A machine is defined)
.... a machine is an instrument or apparatus by
which a force applied at a certain point) and
having a certain determinate density and direc­
tion) is made to exert a force at another point)
more or less distant from the former) and generally
different in intensity and direction.2
Machines which are composed of two or more parts acting one upon another
were termed complex machines.
were called simple machines.
Machines which consisted of only one part
The several parts composing a complex machine
are considered as simple machines in themselves.
Simple machines are
classified into three groups: the first class consisting of solid bodies
turning upon an axis; the second group use flexible cords; and the third
utilizes a hard) smooth inclined surface.
The mechanic powers are further divided or classified.
The first
class of simple machines mentioned above consisting of a solid body
revolving on an axis "is usually subdivided" into two other classes:
the lever, which consists of a solid bar, straight or bent,
resting upon a prop, pivot or axis
a cylinder connected with a wheel of much greater diameter
moving around a centre or axis.
This combination is called the wheel and
The second class (flexible cord) included the pully.
The third
class included the simple-machines) commonly known as the inclined plane)
In use at William and Mary College according to Catalogs of 1855 and
1859-1860; Rutgers College. Catalogs of 1855-1856 to 1856-1857 and
1858-1859; Dartmouth College. Catalogs of 1856-1857.
Book III, p. 175.
the wedge, and the screw; the last being considered as nothing more than
an inclined plane rolled around a cylinder.
The classes, therefore, of the simple machines which are known as the
mechanical powers were then six in number; the
lever, the wheel and
axle (including water wheels), the pulley, the inclined plane, the wedge,
and the screw.
These are accordingly explained in the subsequent chapters,
and the most important varieties and combinations of which they are
susceptible are set forth.
lardner asserts1 that regulation and uniformity of motion are two of
the conditions most universally indispensable in machinery.
a chapter is devoted to the regulation of force and includes a descrip­
tion of such regulators as the governor, the water regulator and the
balance wheel.
Another chapter has for its object the detailing of other
mechanical contrivances in the class of regulators, i.e.: the pendulums
(simple and compensating).
In the chapter on resisting forces (forces which destroy but cannot
produce motion), there is a consideration of friction, the rigidity of
ropes (motion reduced due to imperfect flexibility) and of the resistance
of fluids to motion of bodies passing through them.
Under the heading of strength of materials, Lardner indicated
several ways in which strength may be manifested:
by a direct pull such as a weight on a wire
by direct pressure or thrust such as a weight on apillar
a force applied to twist or wrench a body asunderby
part of
it round a point within it.
Book III, Chapter VII, p. 223.
Book III, pp. 263-264.
turning a
by a transverse strain; as a bean, being supported at its
centre, weights suspended from its ends; or, a beam supported at its ends,
a weight being suspended from its centre.
Consideration is given to the strength to resist a direct pull.
It is
claimed that strength (other things being equal) is proportional to the
magnitude of the section of the member under stress.1
timber is discussed briefly.
with overtwisting.
The strength of
The strength of ropes (cordage) diminished
Cords of equal thickness are strong in proportion to
the fineness of their strands and also to the fineness of the fibres of
which these strands are composed.
Ropes which are tarred, twisted, un­
bleached and damp were believed stronger than similar cords without these
Lardner maintained
that neither theory nor experiment had thrown
much light on the laws which govern the mode of resistance to torsion.
Uhder beams, the strength required to resist transverse strain was
described as dependent directly upon the cross-sectional area of the
beam; the height of the centre of gravity above the lowest point of the
section, and inversely upon the length of the member or beam.
With this
in view, there follows a discussion of cantilever and simply
supported beams.
The strength of beams affected by changes in cross sec­
tion is. also treated.
With the data or principle enunciated at the
beginning of the paragraph, it follows that the cross-sectional form of
the beam (i.e.: triangular, circular, trapezoidal, rectangular shape) will
determine the relative strengths of the beams because of the shift in the
1. Book III, p. 264.
Book III, p. 268.
centres of gravity.
Further cases discussed are those of solid and
hollow cylinders acting as beams and wooden beams reinforced with steel
bars (the strength of such a combination being, of course, increased).
The effect of the dead weight of the member is also taken into account.
There is an interesting statement on beam action,
.... it is evident that so long as the quantity
of matter composing the beam, and therefore its
seotional area, remains the same, its strength
will be augmented by any modification of form
whioh will carry its centre of gravity to a
greater distance from its lower surface, if the
beam ha-> but one, and from its upper surfaoe
if it have two points of support.1
The strength of a beam on a large scale was not'to be judged by that of
a model.
Under the mechanical properties of liquids the pressure of liquids
on a dam of embankment is discussed.
The accepted principle that water
pressure increases with depth is stated.
The effect of pressure is
considered in the case of water pipe supply systems for towns.
The pipes
must be able to resist the pressure due to the difference in head (eleva­
tion) between the reservoir and the supply point.
Further considerations
are the force with which a liquid in motion Btrikes a surface at rest;
the force of resistance when the motion is not at right angles to the
surface; conditions which determine the form of least resistance to water
(and connection with naval architecture) and Archimedes’ screw.
Machines for raising water are examined.
These machines are the.
familiar lift, suction and force pumps; the fire engine; and the siphon.
The air gun (an instrument for projecting missiles), the balloon
(Montgolfier*s experiences and the hydrogen balloon) and the diving bell
1 . Book 111, p. 273.
Book IV, p. 20.
are described under the chapter on the mechanioal properties of air.
In the second volume or course^- (dated 1854) various practical
implications of scienee are considered.
Apparatus for producing artifi­
cial cold; method of warming buildings by passage of hot water; the use
of annealing in glass manufacture and pottery; 2 the mechanical force
developed in evaporation are among these.
Tempering of steel is defined
as heating to a cherry red and then allowing metal to cool.®
The treatise contains a lengthy description of electrical machines.^
None of this electrical apparatus was commercially significant nor was
Lardner’8 treatment of the luminous effects of electricity.®
Electro-metallurgy is defined.
The decomposing power of the voltaic current
applied to solutions of the salts and oxides of
metals has supplied various processes to ,the
industrial arts, which inventors, improvers, and
manufacturers have denominated galvano-plastic.
electro-plastic, galvano type, electrotype, and
electroplating and gilding. These processes and
their results may be comprehended under the more
general denomination, Electro-metallurgy.®
The electric-telegraph derives its efficiency and operation from the
three principles subjoined;
A power to develop the electric fluid continuously, and in the
necessary quantity.
A power to convey it to any required distance without being
injuriously dissipated.
So oalled by lardner.
This is just a passing reference, however.
Book 1, pp. 98-99.
Book III, p. 237 ff.
Pp. 276-283.
Book III, p. 424.
A power to cause it, after arriving at such distant point, to
sake written or printed characters, or some sensible signs serving the
purpose of such characters.^*
An Elementary Course of Civil Engineering [for the use of the
Cadets of the United States Military Academy] by Dennis Mahan, New York:
John Wiley, 1852.
This book was the basis of a course in the United
States Military Academy.
A knowledge of the properties of building materials was considered
one of the most important branches of civil engineering.
Materials in
general use for civil construction are grouped under three heads.
Those which constitute the more solid components of structures,
as stone, brick, wood, and the metals.
The cements in general, as mortar, mastics, glue, which are
used to unite solid parts.
The various mixtures and chemical preparations, as solutions of
salts, paints, bituminous substances used to coat the more solid parts;
and protect them from the chemical and mechanical action of atmospheric
changes, and other causes of destructibility.
Building materials are classified in subdivisions according to dura­
bility ; physical qualities; resistance to rupture and wear; time and
expense necessary to convert them to the uses for which they may be
The treatise contains a section devoted to experimental research on
the strength of materials.
Beyond the physical structures of materials,
Ibid.. p. 429.
In use at Yale College according to the Catalog of 1860-1861;
Dartmouth College. Catalog of 1860-1861.
experiment had shown that they all possessed certain general properties,
among the most important of which to the engineer were those of contrac­
tion, elongation, deflection, torsion, and lateral adhesion and the
resistance offered to the forces by which they were called into action.
This research comprehended the expansion of stone from heat; rupture of
materials; elasticity; chemical analysis-of stones and an extensive col­
lection of facts of a very practical nature which are too extensive for
Masonry was considered the art of raising structures in stone, brick
and mortar.
Masonry was also classified according to the nature of the
material, i.e., brick masonry, stone masonry, or from the manner in which
it is constructed, i.e., ashlar, or rubble masonry, or from the form of
construction as regular or irregular.
Mahan declared^* that the term "foundation" was used "indifferently"
either for the lower course of a structure of masonry, or for the
artificial arrangement, "of whatever character" it may be, in which these
courses rest.
For more "perspicuity", the term "bed of the foundation"
was used in the work when the latter was designated.
The strength and
durability of masonry structures was dependent upon this bed of the
The nature of the subsail was deemed a prerequisite before a
decision on the kind of bed required can be made.
sinking a pit, borings.
This is determined by
Directions for preparation of the soil for
foundations and variations of these directions for laying foundations on
various soils are given.
Grillage foundations of timber gratings or foundation beds of beton
P. 114.
Beton was a mortar composed of hydraulic cement, with or without lime,
sand and also with stone.
are described.
Piles were driven by "pile engines" and were driven to unyielding
sub-soil, precautions being taken against lateral yielding.
civil engineers, it is said, have stopped driving when the pile arrived
at its absolute stoppage.
Friction piles are described.
There were two phases of foundations in water.
The first of these
was the means to be usedin preparing the bed of the foundation and the
second consisted of securing the bed from the action of the water.
dams and clay dams with pumps were used for shallow depths.
The caisson,
for greater depths, was a strong water-tight vessel having a bottom of
solid heavy timber, and vertical sides.
Retaining or sustaining walls were terms applied to walls which sus­
tain a lateral, pressure from an embankment or a head of water.
determination of the form and dimensions of a retaining wall for an
embankment of earth was considered a problem of considerable intricacy.
The mathematical solutions were confined to particular cases for which
approximate results alone were obtained.
Sloping walls, walla with batter
(straight and curved), counterfort walls and relieving arches were
There is a general discussion of arches but no specific directions of
construction are given.
The art of arranging beams of solid materials for the various purposes
to which they were applied in structures is described.
arrangement of beams made for sustaining strains.
A frame was any
That branch of framing
which related to the combination of beams of timber was denominated
Timber and iron were the only materials in common use for
A discussion of latticed trusses, Howe's truss, the kingpost,
the queeapost, straining beams, roof trusses, rafters and timber joints
is given.
586Cast and wrought iron were both used for frames.
The former was
most suitable where great strength combined with stiffness is required;
the latter for light frames and wherever tensile forces operated.
same general principles of combination of timber frames were applicable
to iron construction.
There is a comprehensive section devoted to bridges.
Mahan states,
In the United States, the pressing immediate
wants of a young people, who are still without that
accumulated capital by which alone great and lasting
public monuments can be raised, have prevented much
being done in bridge building, except of a temporary
character. The bridges, viaducts, and aqueducts of
stone in our country, almost without exception, have
been of rustic work through economic considerations....
Bridge surveys, hydrographic and topographical surveys are suggested.
Bridge engineering consisted of the voussoir theory of the arch, wooden
framed bridges, cast iron bridges and suspension bridges.
Cast iron
bridges permitted greater boldness in design than those of timber.
form and dimensions of the stone abutments and piers were regulated on
the same principles as the same parts in a wooden bridge with curved
Suspension bridges were not very widespread but it appears that
a lack of rigidity and full knowledge of the structure prevented favorable
consideration of this type of bridge. Mahan declares that a trial proof
of this type should be made before opening them to the public.
Reconnaissance, topographical and route surveys for roadmaking are
The best route for a road was determined by:
most direct and shortest line between two points.
avoidance of unnecessary ascents and descents.
adoption of such suitable slopes or gradients for the axis
(centre line) as the nature of the conveyance may demand.
P. 224.
P. 257.
Such location of the axis (or oenbre line) that the cost of
construction for excavations and embankments required by gradients and
bridges is reduced to a minimum*
The road coverings most generally used were round pebbles placed in a bed
of clean sand or gravel
forming a layer a foot or two in thickness
whioh was laid upon the natural soil*
Wooden block pavements were tried*
Mahan declared* that asphaltic pavements had undergone a trial and had
been found to fail after wa few years" service*
Stone blocks set upon
several layers of broken stone were believed to constitute the best sys­
tem of pavement*
Railways used "T" or "H" rails spiked and laid upon timber supports
resting on a ballast of broken stone (the guage was four feet, eight and
one-half inches)*
The outer rail was elevated to counteract the centrif­
ugal force tending to force the carriage towards the outside rail*
gradients for railroads were considered the same as the grading systems
for roads.
Railroad tunnels obviated steep grades and the necessity for
greater power*
The construction of tunnels is described*
Canals were "artificial channels" for water and inland navigation*
They were used for drainage, for irrigation and for supply of cities with
The surveys and laying out of canals in level country were con­
sidered "of such extreme simplicity" as not to require particular notice
in the description of canals*
Canal locks were discussed as well as
reservoirs for supply of water for canal operation.
"The general dimen­
sions of canals and their locks in this country and in Europe, with
occasional exceptions, do not differ in any considerable degree".
P. 293.
P. 337.
Under seaooast improvementsf artificial roadsteads; works required
for natural and artificial harbours; works for the protection of the
seacoast against the action of the sea, were considered.
Before any
definitive plan could be evolved, a knowledge of tides, currents and
waves was believed necessary.
Roadstead was a term applied to an indenta­
tion of the coast, where vessels might ride securely at anchor under all
conditions of weather.
There were land locked and open roadsteads (the
latter were sometimes protected by breakwaters).
Harbour was a term
applied to a secure anchorage of more limited capacity than a roadstead
and offered a safer refuge during "boisterous" weather.
Seawalls were
permanent protection against erosion by waves.
Elements of Analytical Mechanics by
A. S. Barnes and Company, 1853.^
treatise on mechanics.
ics of solids.
H. C. Bartlett, New York:
There are three major parts to this
Part I is occupied by a discussion of the mechan­
Concepts of space, time, motion, force are explained.
Work, equillibrium, the composition and resolution of forces are also con­
The "Mechanics of fluids" is the subject of Part II.
applicationsof mechanics to such items as simple machines and pumps form
the basis for Part III.
Bartlett explained that seven elementary machines were usually dis­
cussed in mechanics.^
These were the cord, lever, inclined plane, pulley,
screw, wheel and axle and wedge.
These were all given treatment that has
In use at William and Mary College according to the Catalogs of 1855
and 1859-1860; Yale College. Catalog of 1860-1861; Columbia
College. Catalog of 1860-1861.
P. 345.
become fanilia*.
"Any machine for raising liquids from one level to a higher, in
which the agency of atmospheric pressure is employed is called a pump".^
The familiar suction, force, and lift pumps were discussed.
The siphon
was defined as a bent tube of unequal branches, open at both ends, and
is used to convey a liquid from a higher to a lower level, over an inter­
mediate point higher than either.^
The use of the siphon in draining
canals, ponds, marshes "and the like" is pointed out.
There is also an
analysis of the air pump.
Elements of Analytical Mechanics by W. H. C. Bartlett, New York:
A. S. Barnes and Company, 1858.
The only significant change which occurred
in this edition was the addition of a section on the medhan ics of mole­
The general character of this subject is described,
The more general circumstances attending the
action of forces upon bodies of sensible magnitudes
have been discussed. They constitute the subjects
of Mechanics of Solids and Fluids. Those which
result from the action of forces upon the elements
of both solids and fluids remain to be considered.
They form the subject of Mechanics of Molecules;
which comprehends the whole theory of Electrics,
Thermotics, Acoustics and Optics.
Practical Mathematics [with drawing and mensuration applied to the
Arts] by Charles Davies, New York: A. S. Barnes and Company, 1855.4
There are seven major divisions of the subject matter in this work.
first part is devoted to a discussion of the properties of geometrical
P. 409.
P. 419.
P. 545.
In use at Rutgers College according to the Catalogs of 1855-1856,
1856-1857, 1858-1859 to 1860-1861.
figures and is explained in question and answer form and by illustration.
Following this introduction, there is a section describing the construc­
tion and use of the various scales used in geometry and drawing and the
construction of geometrical figures.
mathematics, "practical geometry".
Davies calls this aspect of,
In the book or part devoted to drawing,
the elements of the art of drawing are considered and topographical and
"plan" drawing are described.
Plan drawing consisted of drawing section­
al views and elevations of objects.
The orders of architecture discussed
in the section devoted to agriculture are the Tuscan, Doric, Ionian and
Corinthian orders.
This discussion was accompanied by drawings and textual
The application of the principles of geometry to the mensuration is
the subject of Book V.
This phase of mathematics is the familiar mensura­
tion (measurement) of surface areas and the volume and areas of solids.
In Book VI Davies discussed the applications of the preceding
to "artificer*s" works.
five books
The artificers or artisans considered in this
section were bricklayers, masons, joiners and carpenters, plasterers,
plumbers, pavers, slaters and tilers.
the scales
There are full explanations of all
measures used by mechanics.
The construction of these
scales is described as well as the uses to which they are applied.
«re also specific rules for the calculations and computations (with
numerous examples) which are necessary in the practical operations of
these artisans.
The seventh and final book or section of this treatise is termed
an introduction to mechanics.
It explains the nature and properties of
matter; the laws of motion and equilibrium; specific gravity and the
principles of all the simple machines.
These simple machines or mechanical
powers were the lever, the pulley, the wheel and axle, the inclined
plane, the wedge, and the screw*
Under this heading, there is also a
discussion of the strength of materials.
The measure of the absolute
strength or "direct cohesion" of any material was defined as the greatest
weight that a prism, one inch square, is capable of supporting, acting
in the direction of its length*^- There are problems in finding the
absolute strength of any piece of any material of given dimensions*
Cantilever beams and beam deflections are discussed.
The deflection of a
beam was considered as the quantity (the angle in case of a cantilever beam)
by which a beam is bent from its rest position.
The deflections of canti­
lever beams, of beams supported at both ends and loaded in the center; and
the ultimate deflection before rupture of the latter type of beam are
treated descriptively and mathematically*
Further considerations in the
strength of material consisted of finding the ultimate transverse strength
of a rectangular beam loaded at one end end fixed at the other end (the
cantilever beam); of a rectangular beam simply supported and loaded at the
center; finding the weight (or load) under which a column will begin to
bend when placed vertically on a horizontal plane*
The determination of
the weight (or the load) that a rectangular cast iron cantilever beam and
a rectangular cast iron beam simply supported was another major problem
Davies determined these weights or loads, also, for a solid
case iron round bar acting as a beam.
Another problem was concerned with
finding the exterior diameter of a hollow cylinder of oast iron, supported
at both ends, to sustain a weight applied at the center of the span, the
ratio of the internal and external diameters being given*
The deflections
of reotangular east iron teams were then considered.
There were two
cases; a simply supported beam loaded in the center, and a simply supported
beam loaded with a weight uniformly spread over the length of the span*
The resistance to torsion of a square and round shaft of oast iron was
next discussed and finally in this treatment of the strength of materials,
the problem of determining the weight that could be safely supported by a
cast iron column of considerable length resting in a horizontal plane*
Davies’ treatment of the strength of materials consisted primarily
of a discussion of the strength of beams and elementary column action*
His use of cast iron as a material for these simple structures is interest­
A Manual of Topographioal Drawing by Lieutenant A. S. Smith, Hew
Yorks John Wiley and Sons, 1854.
After an introductory description on
the quality, nature and use of drafting instruments; copying of maps and
precautions and methods in drawing. Professor Smith treated topographical
drawing in seemingly infinite detail.
Methods, rules and directions for
drawing these maps representing topography are given.
The use and construction of scales were next considered*
The reduction of meridians and parallels of latitude to the flat
surface of a map was then discussed.
Practical methods of drawing
meridians and parallels projected in right lines and when curved are given*
The book contained tables for converting a degree of longitude (in all
latitudes) into geographical and statute miles*
Another major topic or concern was the projection of horizontal
curves on to drawings from survey notes*2
Mentioned in the Dartmouth College Catalog for 1857-1858.
^P* 56—59.
Brief directions are given for tracing curves under water by means
of soundings.
This discussion included the location and projection of
lines and soundings, distribution of the soundings and determination of
points on the curve.
A Treatise on Land Surveying by William U. Gillespie, New Yorks
D. Appleton and Company, 1855.^
All surveying operations were considered
to be dependent upon five simpleprinciples.
These principles were
different systems of coordinates (or the name applied to lines and angles
which determine the position of a point).
coordinates was the focal system.
The first of these systems of
The position of a point was determined
by the intersection of lines drawn from several points whose position
was known.
The rectangular system of coordinates contained the second
of these "principles".
A point (location) was determined by the inter­
section of two lines drawn parallel to two fixed lines or axes and at a
given distance from them.
In polar coordinates, the position was deter­
mined by the measurement of one angle and the distance of a line forming
one side of the angle.
In angular coordinate, a base line was given
and the position of a point, object, etc., was determined by measurement
of angles from this base line.
In the fifth or trilinear system, the
position of the point was determined by the measurement of angles between
three lines.
Diagonal, perpendicular, polar, triangular, and trilinear
surveying were considered to rest upon these systems of coordinates.
mentioned in the Yale College Catalog for 1860-1861.
These are «~IT methods of surveying in use today, although they are
not so-called.
Three operations common to all surveying were recognized, the
asking of measurements, drawing maps based on these measurements, and
calculating the area of the plot of land enclosed within the map boundaries.
A complete system of surveying using only a chain or rope is given.
This was considered to have value for farmers who had no other instruments.
Compass surveying with field work adapted to American practice
Methods of plotting bearings and the rectangular method of cal­
culating areas of fields is reduced to
simple form.
The effects of the continual change in the variation of the magnetic
needle upon surveys, the difficulties caused by it, and the means of
remedying it are treated in great detail.
A new table for the time of
"the greatest azimuth" (of the North Star) is also presented.
The transit and theodolite are explained in every point, all forms
of verniers are shown by engravings and the adjustments of these instru­
ments are detailed.
The telescope of the transit, it was pointed out,^
can turn completely over so as to look
either forwardor backward and
thus makes the prolonging of a straight line possible.
of the theodolite would not permit this.
The construction
The theodolite had a vertical
circle for the measurement of vertical angles.
The transit did not
always come equipped with such a scale.
The methods of surmounting obstacles on lines of sight and measure­
ment in
surveying are explained.
lems in dividing land was added.
A complete collection of prob­
These are the familiar geometrical
problems in dividing plane figures into areas.
P. 214.
The book is concluded with an explanation of the methods of survey*
ing the public lands of the United States*
This was concerned with
marking lines and corners with great precision and is explained in detail
because of the interest then existing in these public lands*
A Familiar Exposition of the Chemistry of Agriculture
addressed to
by Julius Stockhardt, Translated from the German and edited by
Arthur Henfrey, London* Henry G. Bohn, York Street, Covent Garden,
This treatise is concerned with the
nutrition of plants and
manuring (its nature, importance, composition, effect on plants) of soila
Water, air, heat and light are considered in their relations to soil and
The enrichment and amelioration as well as the impoverishmext
of soils are discussed*
By far the greatest emphasis in the book is on
Stockhardt described agricultural and manufacturing refuse and
the conversion of refuse into compost or a mixture or composition of
various manuring substances for fertilizing land*
The nature of soils,
moulds and surface soils and soils and influence find effect upon the
growth of vegetation are the other remaining major topics taken up by
the author*
General Theory of Bridge Construction by Herman Haupt, New York*
D. Appleton and Company, MDCCCLVI.
This book was based on the author's
personal experience and years of experiment on models of structures while
a oivil engineer for the State of Pennsylvania*
Preceding the main body
of the work there is short resume of the resistance of solids*
This was
considered as a foundation of the art of construction* A simple exposition
In use at Columbia College According to the Trustee's Minutes
(1858), Volume V^-, p* 392*
In use at Yale College according to the Catalog of 1860«186l*
of the principles of the art of constructing stone arches by the Voussoir
theory is contained in several introductory pages.
Haupt reviewed stress
and strain, deflection, flexure of beams, columns and posts subjected to
various loadings under the heading of resistance of materials.
Cast iron bridges were treated briefly because the abundance of wood
and its relative economy had secured its adoption in the United States in
preference to iron.
In Great Britain, however, many cast iron structures
of strength and durability were in existence.
The importance of proportion­
ing every part of the iron structure according to the "strain” it must
bear was most important in metal bridges (more than in timber work) because
of the expense and weight of the metal.
No new principle was involved in
the construction of iron bridges (it was believed); the "strains" were to
be guarded against, in the same way as in wooden structures; the only
modifications were those required by the "peculiar character" of the mater­
ial and by the greater difficulty of securing proper connections.
A brief
discussion on iron arch bridges may be found in the treatise.
The most important part of any bridge (admitting of great variation
in form and principle) was the support of the roadway.
The most 3imple of
these supports was two longitudinal members laid between two abutments.
This simple beam arrangement is treated at some length and vertical shear
(called vertical "strain").
The consideration of the case of the simple
beam involved the principles of a framed truss.
It was shown in this beam
that the parts near the axis were little strained and consequently opposed
little resistance to forces acting on it.
It was considered necessary to
move material away from the axis to increase strength and stiffness.
first object in the design of a truss must be, therefore, to place the
material to resist the horizontal forces at the greatest distance from the
neutral axis, which the nature of the structure will allow.
Three series
. . ■ W
of timbers enter as indispensable elements in the construction of the
vertical frame or truss of a bridge; chords, ties, braces or diagonals.
In this connection an important principle is enunciated.
This principle
explained that the parts of a framed structure can only act by distributing
the forces applied to it.
In other words, there must be an accurate
proportion of the. dimensions of members to the strains.
Another principle involved is conserned with continuous beams.
a beam is laid over several supports, its strength for a given interval is
much greater than when simply supported at the ends.
applicable to bridges.
The principle was
Several span bridges carried the upper and lower
chords of the truss across the piers.
In order that the maximum span may
be attained, it was considered necessary to proportion every part to the
strain that it may be required to bear.
The construction of bridge road­
ways and lateral bracing to prevent lateral flexure are described.
Haupt gave an outline of the equilibrium of arches. Structures in
existence which "deserve attention" (both at home and abroad) are discussed
because the subject of bridge construction would be "incomplete" without
these illustrations.
This is followed by a short discussion of latticed
bridges and their improvement.
In its roost simple form, this bridge con­
sisted of two sets of chords connected by diagonal ties and braces.
A well-arranged and proportioned structure should possess the following
cross section of the chords should be greatest at centre and least
at the ends.
resisting area of ties and braces should be greatest at abutments.
a system of counter braces or of diagonal ties must be introduced,
to secure the structure against the effects of variable loads.
Timbers of side trusses should be of such size and arranged in
such a manner as to guard against all liability to warp.
Pressures should be divided amongst several timbers so that
repairs may be made easily.
The seoond part of the book is an extension of the descriptions of
particular plans of bridges in existence because many improvements had
been introduced since Fart I had been prepared.
Fart II contains details
of most of the arrangements "that are exhibited in wooden structures"
with illustrations of nearly all the different modes or forms and cal­
culations that "can be required in estimating strains upon bridges".
Methods of construction are not treated but rather an effort is
made to illustrate and establish the general principles:
In a uniformly loaded straight bridge and without arches or
arch braces - the strain upon the ties and braces at the middle point of
the bridge is almost nothing.
The strain at each end upon the same timbers isequal to one-
half of the whole weight of the bridge plus its load.
The strain at intermediate points is proportional to the dis­
tance from the middle of the span.
With variable loads, the greatest strain in the ties and braces
at mid-span is equal to the greatest variable load that can be applied in
the interval of one panel.
The strain upon chords is greatest at mid-span, and at this point
is dependent entirely upon the weight, span, and depth of the truss; the
inclination of the braoes has no influence upon the maximum strain upon
the chords.
Counter-braces are unnecessary where the weight
oonstant and uniform.
of the bridge is
They are indispensable in viaducts where the load
is variable.
Where there is only one span, or where the top chords are not eon-
neoted over the piers in continuous spans, the strain on the end of the
chord is nothing, but at the end of the first brace it is equal to onehalf the weight on each truss multiplied by the cosine of the Inclination
of the brace with the horizontal.
Field Book for Railroad Engineers by John B. Henck, New York: D.
Appleton and Company, 1856.^
circular or parabolic.
and compound curves.
are given.
The railroad curves considered are either
Circular curves are divided into simple, reversed
Problems involving the geometry of the simple curve
Compound and reversed curves ard defined,
Two curves often succeed each other having
a common tangent at the point of junction. If
the curves lie on opposite sides of the common
tangent, they form a reversed curve. If they lie
on the same side of the common tangent, they have
different radii, and form a compound curve.2
Problems involving the elements of these curves are included in the book.
' Turnouts and Crossings are considered and there are additional miscellaneous
problems in curve geometry.
Parabolic curves were laid out according to various methods (i.e.,
tangent diflections, middle ordinates, bisecting tangents, intersections).
The operations of leveling were the determination of the difference
of level between two points by means of differential leveling, setting out
slope stakes for construction, the use of a datum plane and reference of
heights to this reference plane.
Vertical curves were considered here.
setting out of vertical curves consisted of the determination of the grades
of the tangents of the parabolic vertical curve and the determination of
grades (in reality, Henck should have said elevations) of the vertical
In use at Yale College according to the Catalog of 1860-1861.
P. 15.
curve at whole stations of the curve route (centre-line) and at sub-stations.
The super-elevation of the outer rail on curves is considered.
In addition
to the setting of the outer rail at the proper elevation to counteract
centrifugal force, the coning of wheels was suggested.
outer wheel was therefore variable.
The radius of the
The nearer the flange of the wheel
approached the rail, the wheel traversed a greater distance (because its
radius became larger) than the inner wheel.
Excavation or earthwork (Chapter IV) included the regular excavation
on the road of a line, barrow pits and such additional excavations as were
made when embankment exceeded the regular excavation.
Or, in general,
earthwork was any transfer of earth that required calculation.
The cal­
culation of this earthwork involved the use of the prismoidal formula, a
prismoid being a solid of two parallel faces and composed of prisms, wedges,
and pyramids whose common altitude is the perpendicular distance between
the parallel faces.
A description of barrow pits as a source of fill for
problems in earthwork calculation are added.
The problems
in earthwork and embankment involved calculations under different conditions
of given data.
The volumes were figured when centre line heights alone
were given; when both centre line and side heights were given; when the
surface of the ground was ’’very irregular”; and when corrections had to be
made for excavations on curves.
The tables appended were for various elements of railroad curves (frog
angles, chords, ordinates for turnouts, lengths of circular arcs in terms
of radii), and magnetic variation as well as natural functions of angles
and logarithms.
Elements of Plane and Spherical Trigonometry with their applications
to mensuration, surveying, navigation , by Elias Loomis, New York: Harper
and Brothers, 1857.*
land surveying.
The fourth section of this treatise .is devoted to
The instruments for measuring angles (surveyor's compass,
quadrant), the theodolite and the system of verniers used are described
and explained.
Problems in the mensuration of heights and distances which
correspond to those already described in the investigation are inoluded.
The calculation of areas by breaking the area down into familiar
geometrical figures; and by latitudes, departures and double meridian
Trigonometrical surveys using bearings, distances, and angles are
explained, in addition to the variation of the magnetic needle.
Leveling is defined
as the art of determining the "difference of
level" between two or more places.
Leveling staves, or rod, and their use
in differential leveling are described.
The making of topographioal maps
was also included in the treatise but not in great detail.
Circular curves were analyzed in the section devoted to setting out
railway curves. A system of elementary triangulation is explained in
harbor surveying.
A rough hydrographic survey (for depth of water sound­
ings) is outlined.
The several methods of navigation are described.
In plane sailing,
the ship's location was determined through the properties of the plane
Traverse sailing consisted in reduoing the zig-zag course of a
vessel to a simple course which can be analyzed as under plane sailing.
Mentioned in the Brown University Catalogs of 1860-1861, 1861-1862 and
in an earlier edition in the 1853-1854 Catalog issue; Dartmouth
College, Catalog of 1859-1860.
2. P. 119.
In parallel sailing the ship sailed exactly eastward or westward and
remained on the same parallel of latitude.
In middle latitude sailing, the
mean latitude between the extremes of latitude of the course was taken
into account and the ship's course adjusted to this middle latitude.
Mercator's sailing was a method of computing the difference of longitude
based on the principles of the Mercator's chart.
Two other books were widely used during this period.^
Heinrich Will, Outlines of Chemical Analysis (translated from the
German by Daniel Breed, M. D., and Lewis H. Steiner, M. D.), Boston
and Cambridge: James Munroe and Company, 1855. This book was a
guide in the analytical operations in chemistry. The other treatise
is, Henry Rose, & Manual of Analytical Chemistry. (Translated from
the German by John Griffin) London: Printed for Thomas Tegg, 1831.
It is a comprehensive study of qualitative and quantitative chemical
examinations of chemical elements and substances.
During this period books in strictly technical science appeared.
major works in general engineering may be noted.
These were Mahan's Civil
Engineering and Millington's Civil Engineering.
Dr. Bigelow, Professor of
the Applications of Science to the Useful Arts at Harvard University was
the author of another work which due to its wide scope and nature of its
contents must be called one of the first books in engineering.
was his "Elemenets of Technology".
This treatise
These books were compendiums of the
topics treated in the industrial arts and in engineering operations.
correspond roughly to our m odem handbooks which cover a wide range of
subjects without great detail.
They were also books in the specialities of civil engineering ex­
clusive of surveying.
Thus a manual on roads; a treatise on bridge cons­
truction; a field manual for railroad construction appeared and were in
use in the colleges selected for study in this investigation.1
Machinery was one of the topics discussed in books on natural phil­
Machines were defined as contrivances or devices by means of which
motion was changed or forces advantageously applied.
The machines con­
sidered were elementary and simple in construction.
These machines were
the lever and its combinations, the pulley, the wheel and axle, the screw
and the wedge.
Pendulums and flywheels were introduced as "regulators"
to insure regularity of motion of machinery.
the motion of machinery.
Gearing was used to utilize
Friction and its effects on the operation of
As indicated in the footnotes throughout this chapter.
machinery received prominent emphasis.
Under the topic of pneumatics, the mechanical agencies of steam and
air were found in textbooks on natural philosophy.
These mechanical
devices utilizing the expansive force of air and steam were the pumps
(lift, suction and force pumps), the steam engine, and machines for rais­
ing water.
These latter machines included Archimedes' screw, the Persian
wheel and other classical devices.
Separate and distinct textbooks on the
steam engine itself appeared (e.g., Lardner's treatise and Professor
These works were concerned with the history of the
technical progress of the engine and its improvements.
The use of steam
engines in manufacturing and transportation was- pointed out.
The essential
contribution of these books was not in their detailed explanation of steam
engine installations in industrial processes but rather in their explana­
tion of the theory and operation of various models.
The treatment was not
The steam engine, of course, was (or is) a machine by which
heat energy was turned into mechanical work.
The expansion of the aqueous
vapor or steam in the cylinder was recognized as the source of energy.
Surveys did not change radically but were extended in scope, according
to the textbook described in this chapter.
The use of the transit or
theodolite, and the engineer's level may be noted.
Mapping received greater
The use of the level was paramount in the calculation of earth­
work construction in canals, roads and railroads.
was placed on this aspect of surveying.
Considerable emphasis
Field directions were given for
laying out engineering works such as highway routes and curves; railroad
routes and curves.
The curves most commonly employed were circular curves
or parts of the circumference of circles although Henck mentions parabolic
The use of differential leveling is emphasized although mention
was still made in the books on natural philosophy of leveling by means of
the barometer and thermometer.
The calculation of areas and reduction of
these computations to plats or maps continued to receive stress.
use of the tape and bearing method of surveying was the most common
advanced method of surveying (i.e., advanced over previous practice).
Elementary triangulation
and hydrographic surveys were described.
In chemistry there were general manuals not unlike those in use in
colleges today.
There was great uniformity in these texts.
They covered
such topics as heat and electricity that were later differentiated under
the name of physics.
Quantitative and qualitative analyses were discussed.
Ehapp's book on "Chemical Technology" (written and used in Germany) was a
detailed account of the chemistry and chemical processes in industrial
The chemical books on agriculture considered the character of
the soil (mineral and chemical); the elements of plants; and the care and
enrichment of crops.
The subject of strength of materials received attention in the books
on natural philosophy described in this chapter.
The forces of tension,
compression, twisting (or torsion) were considered to act upon beams.
The strength of beams (or the ability to resist rupture) of different
shapes and in different positions were considered.
Cantilever beams and
beams supported at both ends, subject to concentrated loads and loads
uniformly distributed over the beam span were the chief examples given.
The placement or disposition of material in beams to give greatest degree
of strength also received attention.
Thus, illustrations of circular
(hollow and solid),' triangular, and rectangular beams were given.
strength of beams was believed dependent primarily on the area of trans­
verse section.
Beam deflections were considered but no mathematical treat­
ment accompanied the treatment.
elastic curve of deflection.
Certainly, there was no mention of the
The principles upon which the stability of
arches depended were drawn from the Voussoir theory of arch action.
this theory the load is distributed to the abutments through a ring of
segments or Voussoirs.
Hydraulics was defined as the study of fluids in motion.
The flow
of fluids through orifices and pipes was treated descriptively.
resistance to flow (or friction) in pipes, canals and channels was also
introduced into the discussion.
There was little or no mathematical
treatment of this subject such as is found in any work on hydraulics today.
Essential truths of the science, of course, were found.
pointed out in the text of the chapter.
These have been
The utilization of water power
(through weight of water on blades and pockets of wheels rather than by
using the kinetic energy of flowing water) in water wheels was outlined.
Hydrostatics or the study of fluids at rest was concerned with a
study of fluid pressure and equilibrium.
Specific gravity was considered
under this subject matter division.
The construction and repair of roads included a study alignment, sur­
facing, drainage and earthwork.
A study of building materials was also
contained in the material of the civil engineering books.
These books also
considered the construction of foundations including piles, caissons and
coffer-dams; arches and the construction of wooden and metal bridges.
wooden bridges were trusses and the metal bridges were of cast iron.
construction of railways, canals, harbour and seacoast improvements were
also described.
There was a minimum of mathematical discussion of the
topics of engineering.
The analysis of stresses in engineering structures
was not treated mathematically.
There was a remarkable uniformity among books in natural philosophy
and general chemistry.
Sketch of the Development of Induetry. Manufactures and
Engineering 1825 - 1862
The manufacturing industry and agricultural production and practice
attained such an expansion in this period that it is no longer possible
or essential to describe its progress in detailed statements or in
isolated facts.
In this period census figures provide a very important
index of the progress of manufacturing and engineering growth.
Wright maintains"*- that the factory system of the United states orig­
inated in 1787 when an establishment was built at Beverly, Massachusetts,
expressly for the manufacture of cotton goods.
Samuel slater introduced
perfected machinery (after English models) in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in
This "perfected machinery" was based on the Arkwright principle.
"The progress of the system has been uninterrupted from 1790, save
by temporary causes and for brief periods; but these interruptions only
gave an increased impetus to its growth".
Mr. Francis Lowell is credited by Wright as effecting the establish­
ment of the first factory "in the world, so far as record shows, in which
all the processes involved in the manufacture of goods, from the raw
material to the finished product were carried on in one establishment by
successive steps, mathematically considered, under one harmonious system....3
Carroll D. Wright "Report on the Factory System of the United states",
Report on the Hanufactures of the United states. Tenth Census, 1880,
Washington: Government Printing Office, 1883, pp. 6-80.
Wright, op. cit., p. 7.
Ibid.. p. 8.
Lowell visited England in 1811 when the power loon was being introduced*
While the device was a "deep secret11 Lowell learned all he could concern­
ing it and returning to America, enlisted the aid of Paul Moody (a
mechanic) and perfected the machinery for use in the factory established
by him in 1814.
The expansion of the factory system has been progressive
from that time.
Charles Biborg Mann evaluated the industrial and engineering progress
in the period 1820 to 1870 in the following terms,
In the fifty years from 1820 to 1870 the indus­
trial conditions in the United States were completely
reorganized. During this period the percentage of the
working population in agriculture dropped from 85 to
47.6; while in manufacturing, trade, and transportation
it increased from 17 to 31.4. In addition a new class
called personal service, claiming 18 per cent of the
workers, was added and the professional group expanded
from a negligible per cent in 1820 to 3 per. cent in
1870. Thus the advent of the steam engine, the rail­
road, and the reaper reduced the number of farmers by
354 out of every 1000 workers, increased the number in
manufacturing, trade, and transportation by 144.... The
number of patents increased in this same period from about
two hundred to over thirteen thousand per year.-*A high degree of engineering ability was required
to accomplish this industrial revolution. Among the
civil engineers who took part were a number who had the
advantage.of scientific training either at Rensselaer
or at West Point.2
But in the long list of mechanical engineers who
built the locomotives, the steam engines, the machine
tools, and the farm machinery, it is difficult to find a
single one who had any special school training for the
In the period 1840-1850 alone, there were 5941 inventions patented in
the United States. Cf. J. L. Bishop, A History of American Manu­
factures 1608 to 1860, Philadelphia: Edward Young and Company,
1868, Vol. II, p. 453.
The investigator has pointed out additional personalities who have
figured largely in this development. The great industrial and
technical expansion of the decade 1850 to 1860 was accompanied by
an expansion of technical education which has been pointed out in
Chapter VI. The colleges with which this study is concerned, gradu­
ated a reasonably large number of students in the technical discip­
this period and thus they also contributed to this
growth. As has also been pointed out, many students were admitted
to courses without formal matriculation for degrees.
work. As science developed and machinery became
more and more complex, the need of special training
for the mechanical engineer became more pressing.
Hence the period from 1820 to 1870 may be said to
have indicated the value of special training for the
civil engineer, and to have defined the need for
trained mechanical engineers for industrial production.^
Important innovations and inventions introduced in this period prac­
tically revolutionized industrial methods.
Among these were the hot-blast
in iron smelting and the use of mineral fuel in this industry; the use of
the screw propeller; the power loom; the inventions of the reaper, the mow­
er, the sewing machine and the steam hammer.
transportation and communication
The change in methods of
were equally far-reaching.
The develop­
ment of the steam railroad began with the construction of the South
Carolina Railroad in 1850.
The construction of canals continued.
Union Canal (1821-1827) was built in Pennsylvania.
The Morris Canal
(1825-1831) was built in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 4
The earliest application of water power to general manufacturing is
believed5 to have been at Paterson, New Jersey where the Society for
Establishing Useful
Manufactures was founded in 1791.
The use of water
power was widespread but the great industrial growth described in this
chapter required continuous and more certain power.
Charles Riborg Mann, £ study of Tgrarlneering Education. Bulletin No. 11,
Carnegie Foundation For the Advancement of Teaching, 1918, pp. 4-5.
The first telegraph line was established in 1844.
R. S. Kirby and P. 6. Laurson, Early Years of Modern Civil Engineering,
p. 104. Horatio Alien, a graduate of Columbia College in 1823 was
chief engineer of this construction. Cf. J. K. Finch, Early
Columbia flnpinoara. pp. 27-32.
Cf. Kirby
Laurson, op. clt., pp. 47-48. Laowmi Baldwin, a graduate
of Harvard University in 1800 succeeded William Weston (an English
engineer) as chief engineer on the Union Canal in 1821. James
Renwick, a graduate of Columbia College and a member of the faculty
of the sane institution, designed the ingenious system of inclined
pi a w used on the Morris Canal. David Bates Douglass, a graduate
of Yale in 1813, was chief engineer of the Morris Canal.
James B. Francis (Address), Tra" aftatlonf
Civil Vwcrlwflora. Vol. X, June 1881, p. 189.
Sosl s tg i£
Ho statistics exist showing the amount of
steam-power used in manufactures prior to the Civil
War. The census of 1820 incidentally mentions about a
dozen plants so operated, including a woolen sill in
New York, 1 in Pennsylvania, 2 paper sills, and 2 iron
works. In 1831 all the 124 sills recorded in New
England, outside of Massachusetts, 59 used steam, but
32 of these were printing offices. The water-wheels of
that State developed 12,000 horsepower and the steam
engines 800. practically all of the factories enumerated
in New York and New Jersey used water, but in Pennsylvania
57 out of 161 plants were propelled by steam....1
By 1850, however, the applications of steam power were familiar both
to the engineer and to the public.
By the middle of jthe present century (1850), as we have
now seen, the steam engine had been applied, and
successfully to every great purpose for which it was
fitted. Its first application was to the elevation of
water; it next was applied to the driving of sills and
machinery; and it finally became the great propelling
power in transportation by land and by sea.*
After 1850, the growth of the steam engine did not involve a change
of the standard types in use or addition of new parts but rather,
.... a gradual improvement in forms, proportions,
and arrangements of details; and this period has been
marked by the dying out of the forms of the engine
least fitted to succeed in competition.3
For such a task, engineering was required rather than ingenuity.
device was at hand.
It had to be modified and improved to adapt it to
an ever increasing variety of uses.
'Bishop, in his monumental work^ gives an estimate of the value of
manufactures in the United States in 1831,
Victor S. Clark, £ History of Manufactures of the United states. 16071860 (1916), Vol. I, p. 409.
Robert H. Thurston, A History of the Growth of the gteam Qigine. New
York: D. Appleton” and Company, 1903, pp. 103-504. The date in
parenthesis has been supplied by the investigator.
Ibid., p. 504.
J. Leander Bishop, ^ History of American Manufactures. 1608-1860,
3 vols., Philadelphia: Edward Young and Company, 1868.
Leather, thirty-five millions of dollars; hats and
caps, fifteen; household and kitchen furniture, fifteen;
wagons, coaches, carriages, etc., and agricultural tools,
ten; coats, vests, and other tailor's work, ten; paper,
books, binding, newspapers, and stationary, ten; ladies*
hats, caps, and bonnets, lace, artificial flowers,
umbrellas, etc., eight; soap, candles, tobacoo, buttons,
penknives, wooden docks, etc., seven; manufacture of
iron, lead, and other metals, wool, cotton, etc., ninety
millions; total, two hundred millions of dollars.^The cotton manufacturing industry in 1831 was in a flourishing condition.
More than 500 mills turned out several hundred million yards of cloth.
sixty thousand persona were employed in this industry.
At this time (1830) the metal manufacturing of the United States was
not very highly developed.
its growth.
The introduction of European methods stimulated
Clark states,
Although in Great Britain, between 1790 and 1830,
smelting furnaces were enlarged, steam blowing machinery
introduced, average output increased, and coal and coke
substituted for charcoal, in America primary processes
of iron making advanced but little. The Pennsylvania
Society for Promoting Industrial Improvements asserted
in 1825, that furnace practice had made no progress for
thirty years and that the use of mineral fuel for smelting
was unknown.... Annual runs of 2,400 tons of pigs were
made before 1800 - a product seldom exceeded for half a
century. Since charcoal only was used for smelting, the
need of economizing fuel forced most American iron­
masters to depend on water power. These conditions delayed
the erection of larger plants and the adoption of improved
blowing-engines, and fostered a conservatism that hampered
technical progress.4
From 1830 to 1850, the introduction of new processes and fuel increased
production of the primary metal manufactures.
The use of anthracite was
Ibid., Vol. II, pp. 360—361.
E. L. Bogart and C. M. Thompson, Readings in the Boonomio History of the
States, pp. 287, 290-291.
Ibid., p. 290.
V. S. Clark, o£. cit.. Vol. I, p. 412.
made possible by the hot blast which was discovered in 1829 (in Scotland)
and imported to 1America in 1834.*
The advent of this oven caused the old
water driven furnace and bellows to fall into disuse.
Bishop gives essentially the same story#
.... The greatly augmented production and reduced
cost of Iron making in England within the last
thirty five years, (1825-1860) chiefly caused by the
more general use of cheap mineral fuel, of the hot
blast, and improved machinery, created a powerful
competition with the domestic manufacturers, with
whom the cost of labor and the interest on capital
was so much greater. A prompt adoption of all new
and approved processes and mechanical devices, cul­
minating in the recent successful use of anthracite
in smelting and puddling, and the application of
skill, economy and enterprise scarcely inferior to
that of their rivals, had alone enabled the iron
makers to sustain themselves against adverse markets
and combinations for their ruin.2
According to Clark
the advances made in the production of the primary
metals lead and copper, were unimportant.
The technical progress of primary furnace
industries was confined mainly to increasing iron
output. Before 1860 record runs had risen to over
300 tons a week.... Development responded to one
dominant influence - the enormous new demand for iron
created by the use of steam in transportation and
The same motive governed the progress of iron
Bishop also connects the growth of the iron industry with the expan­
sion of railroad building,
.... The rapid increase of the means of internal
communication, bringing into closer connection with
Clark, op. oit., Vol. I, p. 413.
p. 423.
Cf. also
The dates in the parentheses have been supplied by the investigator.
Bishop, op. oit., Vol. II, p.423.
Clark, ££. oit., Vol. I, p. 414.
pp. 254, 335, 403.
Clark, o£. oit.. Vol. I, p. 414.
Cf. also
ojj . cit..
Vol. II,
Bishop, o£. oit.. Vol. II,
the iron interests the vast depositories of
fossil fuel and of ore, as well as with consumers
of iron, and the numerous collateral interests with
which it is naturally allied, and the large demand
for Railroad Iron, enabled them to enlarge,
multiply, and perfeot their establishments, even
through a period of unexampled financial embarassments from which the country had not yet emerged.*
Before continuing the description of the development of industry and
manufactures, it may be well to digress momentarily and discuss the rise of
railroad building in this country which in turn had an important effect On
the growth of the industrial life of the nation.
The early development of railroads must be credited to English engineers
and mechanics.^
The successful
development of these English railroads was
responsible for the building of those in America.
One of the reasons for
building these early railroads (some using horse and wind power) was to vise
them as feeders for canal and river traffic.
Poor*s Manual shows that the railroad track the close of
1835 was 1,098 miles.
been constructed.
At the close of 1867, 39,244 miles of railroad had
In 33 years, there was an increase of 38,146 miles.
the 1,098 miles of railroad trackage built in 1835, approximately 280 miles
were in Pennsylvania.^
The decade 1850-1860 saw the greatest increase in railroad mileage
during the period with which this study is concerned.
Bishop, op. citT, Vol. II, p. 423.
R. S. Kirby and P. G. Laurson, Early Years of Modern Civil Engineering,
p. 87. Cf. also Charles F. Adams, Jr., Railroadsi Their Origin and
Progress, New York and Londons G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1886, pp. 81-82.
Bogart and Tho
the United
the United States (by Eminent Literary Men), Hartford: 1869, pp. 191-193.
Bogart and Thompson, 0£. pit., p. 393.
pit., pp. 104, 106.
■ 5.
The period referred to is 1840-1850,
Cf. also Kirby and Laurson, op.
Poor's Manual, op. cit., p. 19.
A. E. Martin and H. H. Shenk, Pennsylvania History Told by Contemporaries,
The decade whieh terminated in 1860 was
particularly distinguished by the progress of rail­
roads in the United States. At its commencement,
the total extent in operation was 8,588,79 miles,
costing $296,260,128; at its close, 30,698.77 miles,
costing $1,134,452,909, the increase having been
2 & 004.08 miles, and in cost of construction
Previous to 1850, the greater portion of railroad construction was
carried on in the States bordering the Atlantic and the railroads constructed,
.... were for the most part isolated lines, whose
limited traffics were altogether looal. Up to the
date names (1850), the internal commerce of the
country was conducted almost entirely through water
lines, natural and artificial, and over ordinary
highways. The period of the settlement of California
marks really the commencement of the new era in the
physical progress of the United States....^
The decade 1850-1860 with its large programme of expansion of railroad
construction created a very specific and enlarged need for civil engineers.
The general industrial expansion of the decade (see below in this chapter)
also brought into bold relief the need for mechanical engineers and others
(chemists) to increase industrial productivity.
To return to the expansion of manufactures, the Secretary of the Common­
wealth of Massachusetts in response to the request of the legislature
information relating to the industry of the Commonwealth reported Mon the
general results of manufacturing and mechanical labor" for the year ended
April 1, 1837.
New York: The Macmillan Company, 1925, p. 530. An aggregate length
of 601 miles of canals was in existence at this time. On p. 533, of
this source book, there is the information that the Pennsylvania
Legislature imposed a tax on the tonnage transported by rail in order
to protect the canals. This reason was something of pretext. The
prejudice against "large corporations" was already in existence,
Preliminary Report on the 8th Census 1860, p. 103.
Ibid., p. 104
Total value of Manufactures $91,765,215....
whole number of hands employed 117,352; capital
invested $54,851,643. The principal branches were
boots and shoes, of which the value was $14,648,520;
manufactures of cotton $17,409,001; of woolen goods
$10,399,807; of leather, including morocco, $3,254,416;
whale, cod and mackerel fishing $7,592,290; vessels
built in five years $6,853,248. The manufacture of
cotton goods (cloth), exclusive of printing, em-mills
282; spindles 565,031; male hands 4,997; female hands
14,757; capital invested $14,369,719; cotton consumed
37,275,917 pounds; annual product 126,319,221 yards
of cloth, worth $13,056,659. The woolen manufacture
employed 192 mills and 501 sets of woolen machinery,
3,612 male and 3,485 female hands; capital $5,770,750;
and consumed 10,858,988 pounds of wool and 236,475
gallons of sperm oil, producing 11,313,426 yards of
cloth valued $10,399,807....^
At about this time (1830) the use of belting to transmit power from
prime movers to machinery, was made in this country.
Clark states
the superior economy of belt transmission to gearing (of the early type)
was demonstrated at Fall River, Massachusetts.
Furthermore, Montgomery is
the authority for the statement that machine cut spiral gears were used in
textile factories about 1840.
These improvements,"no doubt, appear slight
They are imp&rtant, historically, because they permitted more
efficient use of sources of power.
The 1840 census^ provides the information® that the manufacture of
cotton and woolen goods, manufacture of machinery, and the production of
iron were the principal or leading branches of industry.
The capital
Reprinted in bishop, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 409.
Clark, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 411. Cf. also Montgomery, A Practical Detail
of the Cotton Manufactures of the United States, pp. 24-25.
Montgomery, op. cit., pp. 68-69.
Compendium of the Enumeration of the Inhabitants and Statistics of the
United States (6th Census), Prepared at the Department of State,
Washington: 1841, pp. 360-364.
From 26 states, three territories and the District of Columbia.
invested in the manufacture of machinery was $10,980,581 and 13,001 men
were employed therein.
The number of persons employed in the woolen indus­
try (in 1420 factories) was 21,342.
plants was $20,696,999.
The value of the product of these
There were 1240 factories involved in the manufac­
ture of cotton goods, using 2,284,631 spindles and employing 72,119 persons.
The value of the cotton goods produced was $46,350,453.
iron (bar and cast iron) amounted to 484,136 tons.
The production of
There were 1599 estab­
lishments and 30,497 persons engaged in this industry.
It appears from these statistics that the production of cotton goods
was the leading branch of manufactures.
The manufacture of iron was also
onw of the great industries of the country.
The principal producers of
woolen goods were Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Massachusetts.
the case of manufactures, Bishop states,
The value of Machinery made annually, was
nearly eleven millions of dollars, of which the
State of New York produced more than one fourth,
sind Pennsylvania and Massachusetts together upward
of one third. In certain important branches of
manufacture, machines and processes were employed to
facilitate production and reduce the cost, which
were wholly unknown in other countries..
A contemporary observer and traveller, John Finch, set down in observa­
tions in the London "New Moral World",
Machine making is carried on on a very
extensive scale in Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
and other States in that part of the Union, and
also in Pittsburg and other places, for the use
of the factories. The manufacture of steam engines,
water wheels, and machinery for saw mills and other
purposes, is very extensive in and near Boston, New
York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburg, and there are
large establishments of these kinds in many other places
that I visited....2
1 . Bishop, 8p. cit., Vol. II, p. 426.
John Finch, "Notes on Travel in the UhitediStates” in Documentary History
OF American Industrial Society. Edited by John R. Common and others,
Cleveland: Arthur H. Clark Company, Vol. VII, p. 57.
From a compendium of the seventh census (1850)^ it may be seen
that New York held first position as a center of manufacturing.
vania and Massachusetts ranked next in volume of manufactured products.
The order continued with Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia,
Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Missouri, Maine, and Kentucky ranked according to the volume of manufactures.
The volume of general manufactures
was valued in excess of $1,000,000,000 and was produced by over 120,000
plants or establishments.
These manufactures were distributed generally
over or among the various states.
The census data provides the further
information that Massachusetts made one-third of the cotton goods;
Connecticut made one-third of the hardware; Pennsylvania produced eighty
per cent of the coal, one-third of the iron; Rhode Island produced forty
per cent of the calicoes and Delaware produced one-fourth of the gunpowder.
the decade 1840-1850,
Civil Engineering, and Architecture, received
many useful auxiliaries in patent machines and in­
ventions made available in the rapid extension of
the railroad and canal system, and the improvement
of wood and iron working machinery....4
Similarly, in chemical processes and manufactures (in rubber and
blow pipe analysis) and hydraulics (water wheels, pumps, rams, presses and
fire engines) there were valuable improvements.
Statistical View of the United States (Being a Compendium of the 7th
Census), by J. D. B. De Bow, Superintendent of the United States,
Washington: Beverly Tucker, Senate Printer, 1854, 400 pp.
Ibid.. pp. 179-181. Cf. Table CXCVI - Cotton Manufactures; Table
CXCVII - Woollen Manufactures; Table CXCVIII - Manufactures of Pig
Iron; Table CXCIX - Manufactures of Cast Iron; Table CC Manufactures of Wrought Iron.
Loc. pit.. Cf. also Bishop, op. cit.. Vol. II, pp. 453-456.
Bishop, op. cit.. Vol. II, p. 444.
Clark gives an excellent summary of the character and origin of
machinery in use in production before the Civil War,
.... the day of giant machinery was postponed
until after the Civil War, when steel, which must
be forged from a single ingot, supplanted iron....
Some important devices for machining iron
originated in the United States. The slide lathe
was an American invention. Filing-jigs, milling
machines, and gear-cutters originated independently
in the United States.... Many new devices were con­
trived to meet the exigencies of the numerous small
shops for making textile machinery scattered through
New England. The printing press works of Hoe and
Company, in New York, also were the home of similar
improvements. Though America was fertile in engineer­
ing ideas, England was a better place to develop
them and to put them in practical use. Therefore
this country imported metal-working machinery from
Great Britain and remained in engineering tutelage to
the older country....^
It must be stated that Clark is here referring to machinery required in
the finer manufactures.
In the production of durable goods, the equipment
and factories in America were unexcelled.
highly developed and specialized.
In England, manufactures were
Different stages of processes were more
The individual processes were, after years of use and improvement,
separated into the elementary operations.
accomplished by machinery.
These operations were then
In the finer manufactures, this practice of
individual operations and differentiation was the more highly developed.
The Census of 1860 revealed that manufactures were entitled to front
rank among the commercial interests of the country.
The manufactures had
great productive value and far-reaching value.
The returns of Manufactures exhibits a most
gratifying increase, and present at the same
time an imposing view of the magnitude to which
this branch of the national industry has attained
within the last decennium.
C lark, op. c i t . . V o l. I , p. 417.
The total value of domestic manufactures,
(including fisheries and the products of the
mines)according to the Census of 1850, was
*1 ,019,106,616, The product of the same
branches for the year ending June 1, 1860, as
already ascertained in part and carefully
estimated for the remainder will reach an
aggregate value of nineteen hundred millions
of dollars (1,900,000,000), This result ex­
hibits an increase of more than eighty-six (86)
per centum in ten years I ....^
The production of this large volume of manufactures gave employment
to about 1,100,000 men and 285,000 women (1,385,000 persons).
This number
did not include those persons engaged in the production of raw materials,
food and those engaged in the distribution of goods such as merchants,
clerks, mariners, employees of railroads, steamboats and expresses, brick­
layers, painters, and the members of other mechanical trades.
The report
concludes, "It is safe to assume then, that one-third of the -whole popula­
tion is supported, directly and indirectly, by manufacturing".^
The report contains significant references to the mechanic arts,
machinery and the use of machinery in agriculture.
They follow,
The mechanic arts - particularly in our
country, where they are most diffused, and all
but universal - appear to contribute more
directly than any others to the general comfort
and improvement of the people. All others are
dependent upon them for the principal agents and
instruments of their success,...3
The extent of the use of mechanical improvements in the dscade 1850 1860, is indicated in the statement,
.... The promptness of Americans to adopt
labor saving applianoes and the vast areas
devoted to grain and other staples in the United
Preliminary Report on the 8th Census, 1860, p. 59.
Loc. cit.
Preliminary Report on the 8th Census, 1860, p. 60.
States, have developed the mechanics of
agriculture to an extent and perfection
elsewhere unequalled....^
The middle Atlantio states were the largest producers of machinery*
New York and Pennsylvania were the greatest manufacturers of this product
because of their proximity to iron and coal deposits and advantages of
transportation (canals and railroads).
As expressed in the report,
Probably no class of statistics possesses
more general interest, as illustrating the
recent progress of the country in all the opera­
tive branches, and in mechanical engineering,
than those relating to Machinery..,. Nearly every
section of the country, particularly the Atlantic
slope, possesses a great affluence of water power,
which has been extensively appropriated for various
manufacturing purposes. The construction of hy­
draulic machinery, of stationary and locomotive
steam-engines, and all the machinery used in mines,
mills, furnaces, forges, and factories; in the
building of roads, bridges, canals, railways, etc.;
and for all other purposes of the engineer and
manufacturer, has become a pursuit of great mag­
nitude. The annual product of the general
machinists’ and millwrights’ establishments, as
returned in the Census of 1850, was valued at
$27,998,344. The value of the same branch exclusive
of sewing machines, amount in 1860 to $47,118,550,
an increase of over eighteen millions in ten years....
Cotton goods manufacture still held first rank in respect to the value
of the product and the amount of capital employed.
The New England states
were the primary producers of cotton goods as well as woollen goods.
The rapid expansion in the ship-building trade is indicated in the
following figures:
1. Ibid., p. 61.
2. Ibid., p. 62.
3. Ibid., p. 65.
4. Preliminary Report on the 8th Census, 1860, p. 106,
shipbuilding was done in the northern states.
Most of this
Total Tonnage of Ships Built
The 8th census report also contains this significant statement,
”The southern States have been behind the northern in their public enter­
prises, though, at the date of the census, they were prosecuting them with
great energy and vigor
In the South, crops such as tobacco, cotton and rice led to the
formation of the large plantation system with its use of indentured labor.
It will be remembered that thd lack of any great and extensive industrial
life was one of the severe handicaps that the Confederacy faced in the
Civil War,
Ibid,,' p. 105•
The period 1825 to 1862 witnessed the development of a larger national
wealth} the improvement of manufacturing and agricultural machinery and
techniques; the rise of improved and more rapid transportation.
The period
is particularly distinguished by the progress made in the construction of
The industrial conditions of the nation were changed.
rose to front rank among the nation*s primary industries along with
The principal industrial pursuits were concerned with the
manufacture of cotton and woollen goods; the production of iron and the
construction of machinery.
The development or the technical progress of the furnace industries
responded to one dominant influence, namely, the tremendous demand for
iron which was created in turn by the use of steam power in transportation
and in manufacturing.
The factory system in the United States experienced a progressive
growth dating from 1790.
These factories used water power, at first, but
by the middle of the 19th century the applications of the steam engine to
every phase of manufacturing for which it was fitted were in evidence.
use of steam power in transportation by land and sea orowned the everexpanding use of this engine.
The maohinery (and the engineering of the machinery) used in this
country was both native and foreign.
In the finer manufactures, the
United States was dependent upon English practice.
American railroad
practice was also influenced by experience in England.
The decade 1850 to 1860 witnessed a general expansion in the indus­
trial activity of the oountry.
The increase in railroad mileage was 300
per cent.
The increase in shipbuilding was approximately seventy-five
per cent.
The increase in manufacture of machinery amounted to over eight­
een million dollars.
The value of the manufactures increased by eighty-
six per cent in this same period.
by manufacturing.
One third of the population was supported
This tendency toward expansion was representative of
the general industrial set-up of the country.
During this period, the colleges investigated made provision for
technical education.
It was only during this time that the college
curriculum reflected industrial conditions to an appreciable degree.
was only during the shorter period of 1850 to 1862 that these colleges
responded to the enlarged need for civil engineers, mechanical engineers .
and chemists whose skill was needed to increase industrial productivity.
Educational progress lagged behind the industrial advance.
This investiga­
tion of the progressive_growth of the college curriculum and the coincident!
increase in manufactures, growth of the factory system, industrial special­
ization, indicates clearly that industrial changes did not vitally affect
the programme of study in the nine colleges studied until the latter half
of the fourth decade of the nineteenth century.
Carleton^ has investigated the influence of economic changes and
condition upon the progress of elementary and secondary education in the
United States.
He concludes, (for the period before the Civil War)
".... economic and social conditions are the sources from which spring
educational methods and ideals rather than the reverse""Educational
fr. f. Carleton, Economic Influences Upon Educational Progress in the
United States, 1820-185^ University of Wisconsin DulletinT9Q8,#1 •
Ibid., p. 119.
aims, methods and ideals are modified as industrial and social conditions
In a progressive age institutions, - legal,
political, social and educational, - always lag
behind economic progress. This is the normal
result due to the action of reactionary and con­
servative forces, called precedent, whioh are
crystallized into law, custom and se nt im en t
The Colonial colleges were pillars of educational conservatism.
history of technical education in the oldest American colleges indicates
that Dr. Carleton's conclusions are applicable to higher education.
I b i d .. p. 1 2 0
I b i d .. p. 8.
In a period in whioh there was great industrial progress, each of the
nine colonial colleges made provision for technical education. At Harvard
University, the Lawrence Scientific School was established in 1847.
was long antecedent preparation for this department dating at least to
1838 when civil engineering entered the curriculum and, in effect, to the
establishment of the Rumford Professordi ip in the Applications of Science
to the Useful Arts in 1816.
At William and Mary College, instruction in technical subjects was
given by Professor John Millington, An English civil engineer.
in civil engineering and in applied chemistry began in 1837.
The course
The Board of
Visitors requested Professor Millington who had joined the faculty in 1836
to give such instruction.
At Yale, the Report of the Faculty in 1827 fixed the policy of the
institution so far as it concerned mental discipline.
The course of study
was put on the basis of discipline with the learned languages as its primary
This report taking cognizance of the criticism of the period that
the oolleges were not adapted to the spirit and wants of the age, expressed
the opinion that the object of the college was not to be a trade school but
rather to impart various general knowledge '*which will improve and elevate,
and adorn any occupation".
In 1847, some twenty years later, the Sheffield Scientific School-*was established.
Whether this step was in imitation of Harvard cannot be
stated with any certainty.
Certainly the work of Professor Silliman, Sr.
who for many years before 1847 had given instruction in chemistry to speoial
students, was a basis or a nucleus around which the new department was
The pressure of the times and demands of the community forced Yale
to abandon its conservative policy and establish an independent department
of technical science.
The regular undergraduate curriculum, however, con­
tinued to embrace the traditional classics.
The College of New Jersey made slight provision for technical education.
The instruction in civil engineering appears to have depended upon the
presence at the institution of Joseph Henry, the famous scientist.
Yale College was perhaps the most conservative of the larger colleges, the
College of New Jersey was certainly the most conservative of the smaller
The Department of Chemistry Applied to the Arts was established at the
University of Pennsylvania in 1852.
This department was patterned after
similar chemical laboratories in European Universities.
A full programme
of technical education was not realized until 1855 when the School of Mines,
Arts and Manufactures (authorized in 1852) was opened.
The proposed establishment of the University of the City of New York
influenced the institution of the Literary and Scientific Course at Columbia
This proposed institution was to be set up to train young men to
become merchants, mechanics, farmers, manufacturers, architects and civil
The University of the City of New York (now New York University)
included instruction in civil engineering, architecture and natural philos­
ophy as part of its curriculum in 1832.
Columbia College, foreseeing a
probable adverse affect of this ne» college on its fortunes, instituted this
The Yale Scientific School did not become the Sheffield Scientific School
until 1861, of course,as has been pointed out in the study.
new course of instruction in appli®d science.
For the remainder of the
period before the Civil War, Columbia College continued to provide for
technical science although the response of the community, considering the
supposed demand for engineering training in New York City, never came up to
Brown University admitted students who studied in the so-called
partial course as early as 1830.
In 1846-1847, when Harvard and Yale es­
tablished their respective departments, the English and Scientific Course
was organized at Brown.^
After a searching inquiry into the adequacy of
the collegiate system existing in 1850, the Corporation of Brown University
voted to expand the English and Scientific Course and the courses in civil
engineering and chemistry applied to tibhe arts began their existence (the
Department of Practical Science).
After a. struggle for its existence, Rutgers College began a new period
of service in 1825.
Rutgers College established a partial course, the
"Scientific and Commercial Course" in 1841 which resembled the partial or
select courses of Columbia College and Brown University.
Although engineer­
ing was taught, Rutgers did not imitate its contemporaries by founding
separate departments or schools of applied science.
Rather, a course in
engineering found place in the curriculum after 1841.
Dartmouth College, through the munificence of Abiel Chandler, joined
the movement to provide for technical education.
As has been pointed out
in study, Chandler indicated his intention to establish a practical school
in arts and sciences at Dartmouth as early as 1846 or 1847.
Chandler, was
Although this course was established at the same time that these older
institutions expanded their curricula, the attitude toward practical
science expressed by President Wayland (in his "Thoughts on the
Present Collegiate System") in 1842, would seem to preclude the
possibility that Brown followed the action (in imitation) of Harvard
and Yale. The example set by Harvard and Yale, however, may have
indicated that the time was ripe for action.
a resident of Boston and thus the ultimate establishment of the Chandler
Scientific School may very well have been influenced by the example set
at Harvard.
The evidence bearing on the possibility of colleges imitating their
contemporaries in providing for technical education is neither positive
nor conclusive.
Textbooks in engineering appeared during this period.
general treatises were supplemented by textbooks in such specialities as
road building, topography, bridge construction, and railroad construction.
The subject matter of textbooks in natural philosophy contained more
comprehensive treatment of machinery and strength of materials.
texts in chemistry embraced chemical technology and agriculture.
The period 1825 to 1862 was one of great industrial advance.
"westward course of empire"; the use of steam power; the use of imported
and native machinery; the use of anthracite coal; the use of iron, and
the rise of the railroad contributed to this progress.
The decade 1850-
1860 was particularly distinguished by industrial expansion.
The college disciplines of science and applied science extended
their range of applications and enlarged their subject matter to a point
where joint treatment became more and more cumbersome and impracticable.
Hence, independent departments in technical science appeared.
number 6 below),.
The demand of the community for education of a practical nature
was responsible, in part, for the establishment of technical education,
The success of this college discipline was aided by philanthropy
of public spirited citizens.
Educational conservatism and traditional classicism were respon­
sible for the i-»g of technical education behind the industrial advance of
the times.
The Bachelor of Arts degree was not awarded to students enrolled
in departments of technical or practical science.
and the
The Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Philosophy degrees were instituted.
There were two
types of students enrolled in the courses in engineering and technology;
the first group were matriculated for these degrees; the second group were
admitted to those courses which were valuable and helpfbl in their profes­
sions "in active life".
An independent body of subject matter in technical science emerged.
This is evidenced by the appearance of textbooks in engineering, tech­
nology and the specialities of engineering.
Civil engineering emerged from the college curriculum as an
independent discipline.
Beginnings in mechanical engineering and chemical engineering
(chemical technology) are noticeable.
The general purpose of this investigation had been to trace
the development of the curriculum in technical education frcn its
beginnings in the applications of science to the useful or mechanic
arts and agriculture to the passage of the first Morrill Act in 1862.
This historic legislation was the greatest single influence upon the
growth of technical education in the United States.
The forces that
have played a part in this curricular development have been described.
Furthermore, an attempt has been made to point out the relation between
the industrial growth of the nation and the growth of the curriculum
in applied or technical science.
Textbooks in use have been described
with a view to defining the representative academic labels and terms
of the subject matter of technical education.
As has been stated in the introduction, only the nine colleges
founded before the American revolution have been made the subject
of investigation in this study.
remain to be explored.
Two other major areas of investigation
These areas are the development of the tech­
nical curriculum in a group of institutions representative of all
the other colleges founded before the Civil War and the general growth
of technical education from the passage of the Morrill Act in 1862
to some point in the 20th century.
may reveal interesting data.
A study of these other colleges
For example, an evaluation of the
influence of governmental land grants on the growth of technical
education may prove significant.
Again, a careful study of the
growth of engineering curriculum coincidental with the growth of
engineering practice after the Civil War should prove valuable.
The colonial colleges were patterned after English models.
the exception of the University of Pennsylvania and King's College,
the early colonial colleges followed the example set by Harvard and
adopted the plan laid down in 1642 by president Dunster.
As has been
pointed out in the study, there was a similarity in the college cur­
ricula before the Revolution.
Certain "radical" departures will be
pointed out directly below.
The traditional and inherited beliefs in education and science
were in evidence.
During the colonial period education was
fostered primarily on the ground of religious necessity.
The science
offered in the early curricula was Aristotelian in nature.
reflected in the early textbooks.
This was
With the introduction of books of
a truly scientific nature such as Jacques Rouhault's "System of Natural
ftiilosophy"; Willem van Gravesand's "Mathematical Elements of Natural
philosophy", and Benjamin Martin's "Philosophia Britannica"^ in the
first quarter of the eighteenth century, a changed attitude toward
science may be noted.
The establishment of the Hollis Professorship
of Natural Philosophy at Harvard in 1728 and the advent of
men like Hugh Jones and William Small
These books were p rin te d in England.
(at William and Mary);
the Reverend William Smith and Benjamin Franklin (at the University of
Pennsylvania); Thomas Clap and Ezra Stiles (at Yale) gave further
strength to this new attitude toward science (observing nature as it
actually existed).
In the middle of the eighteenth century the programme of the Rev.
William Smith introduced at the University of Pennsylvania in 1756, was a
radical departure from the accepted curriculum of the times.
chemistry of agriculture, the natural history of vegetables and animals and
an "introduction to trade and commerce" were all a part of this programme.
The opening announcement of King's College claimed for its province "the
entire field of the technological and non-professional schools of the
college of the modern university".^" The early programme of thecollege
not embody « n
the details of the announcement but didprovide for agricul­
ture and "merchandize".
This plan and Dr. Samuel Johnson*s.opening
ment were undoubtedly influenced by the University of Pennsylvania because
of the College of Mirania Sketch, and President Johnson's familiarity with
this projected plan; with its author William Smith and with Benjamin Franklin.
The extraordinary lectures of Rector Clap at Yale represented another
departure from the "time honored" classical course of study.
These dis­
sertations^ were not part of the regular curriculum but represented an
exploitation of the favorite pursuits in science of Rector Clap.
The power of the College of William and Mary to examine and license
surveyors^ provided the college with a close union with the practical affairs
History of Columbia Universityt 1754-1904, p. 205.
So called by Rector Clap.
Granted to the College by the sovereigns William and Mary.
of the Colony of Virginia.
This license has been regarded by some
investigators as equivalent to a degree in eivil engineering.
This is
a reasonable belief because (as has been pointed out in this study)
early surveyors were, in essence, civil engineers.
With these exceptions, the structure of the ourrioulum in eaoh of
the colonial college was the same.
Surveying and navigation were part of the early college curriculum.
The trade of the oolonies with the British We6t Indies, Europe and the
Spanish and French possessions in the Hew World and the shipbuilding
trade in Hew England and Pennsylvania made navigation of commercial im­
The settlement of new lands and survey of new lands and
boundaries gave a practical bearing to the study of mathem&tiow under
which heading surveying was most frequently taught.
After the Revolution the close ties of the American people with
England ceased to exist.
The new nation was forced to become independent
both politically and economically.
Some attempt was made to bring the
nine colonial oolleges closer to the needs and interests of the times.
A decline in the emphasis on divinity was clearly evident at the College
of Hew Jersey, Harvard and Yale.
At william and Mary, the chair of
divinity was abolished in 1795.
The currioulum began to shape itself
along lines broader than mere preparation for the ministry.
One of the first moves to institute eduoation in applied soienoe
took place when Count Rumford provided Harvard University with funds for
the endowment of the Rumford Professorship of Science Applied to the Arts.
The province of this professorship very definitely included the elements
of technology.
The Ifassachusetts Professorship of Hatural History,
anticipated in the 18th oentury was also established at Harvard in 1805.
Instruction in agriculture was cne of the duties of this academic officer.
Lack of funds ultimately caused the abandonment of this post in 1831.
With the death of Professor William D. Peck, in 1822, the professorship
remained vacant and was never filled.
of Natural History "was founded.
In 1834, the Fisher Professorship
However, no inoumbent of the chair was
listed in the college catalogs until 1841-1842.
At the College of New Jersey, science flourishdd under the influenee
of John M&cLean (1795-1812).
Aooording to the President Samuel S. Smith,
the applications of scienoe to useful and praotical arts formed a part of
the instruction given by Professor UacLean.
Students who desired to pursue
only the scientific part of eurrioulum were admitted to the college.
Professor UacLean resigned from the college and when Ashbel Green became
president (1812) there was a return to the emphasis on the Latin and Greek
The instruction in soience and applied science was stimulated by
the presence of Professor UacLean.
With the departure of the Reverend William Smith in 1791, the eurrioulum
at the University of Pennsylvania also beoame narrower in scope.
Programme of 1756 was allowed to languish for reasons not stated in the
The first provision made for instruction in applied science after
this date, was the establishment of a Faculty of Natural Science in 1816.
After this time, Thomas Cooper (1816-1819)' and William Keating (1822-1828)
gave instruction in mineralogy and chemistry applied to agriculture and the
In 1824, the Trustees exprewsed the belief that liberal education must
rest for its basis on a foundation of the learned.languages.
This statement
of educational policy was a harbinger of the "lean years" at the University
which Chenery called the "Middle Ages" of the University's history.
Columbia College, after its re-opening after the Revolution (1784)
projected cm ambitious programme which called for instruction in architec­
ture, commerce and agriculture*
resources were lacking*
This programme was not realized beoause
In 1792, Samuel Iatham Mitohill (1792-1801) was
appointed Professor of Natural History, Chemistry and Agrioulture*
professorship embodied instruction in applied scienoe*
These provisions for
the applications of seience indieate that some attempt was being made to
carry out the original design of the institution*
For some years after the
departure of Professor Mitchill the ourriculum was broad in the sense that
it oontained a great variety of subjects but in soience it was narrow and
limited, indicating again that the efficiency and the success of instruction
in applied scienoe depended upon men of genius and vision*
Renwick joined the faculty of Columbia College*
famous civil engineers of the 19th century.
In 1820, James
Renwick was one of the most
Ten years later, the literary
and Scientific Course was established and education in applied scienoe onoe
again became a part of the regular college curriculum*
The curriculum of Brown University before 1825 exhibited an emphasis
on the classics*
Although some attention was paid to science, there was no
provision for practioal education in science*
In the period 1776 to 1825, Queen*s CollegB was forced to suspend
activities on two occasions due to straightened oiroumstances*
The ourriculum of Dartmouth College was rigid and olassical in nature
for most of the period before the Civil War.
In the period immediately
following the Revolution, i*e*, in 1820, a Professor of Chemistry, Miner­
alogy and the Application of Soience to the Arts was authorized by the
Trustees and James F* Dana discharged the duties of the office from 1820
to 1826.
These provisions for indbruotion in applied soienoe were supplementary
to the regular oollege curriculum.
The traditional olassieal course of
study prevailed during this time (and extended up to the Civil War).
C ar:
classics were the care and the major divisions of the course of study were
rhetoric and belles-lettres; mathematios and natural philosophy* and mental
and moral philosophy.
With the exoeption of these attempts to include
education in the applied sciences* the college ourricula remained uniform
over long periods of time and were conservative in nature.
The provisions for this education in applied scienoe are evidenoe that
the colleges were feeling cautiously for a type of eduoation better suited
(than the Oxford curriculum or English model) to the needs of a new nation
in a new world.
The years 1776-1825 may be said to be a period of beginnings in applied
scienoe eduoation.
It was a period in which the need for teohnical educa­
tion was recognised but an inconsiderable provision was made to meet it.
The memorials* petitions and reports to various legislative bodies seeking
support for efforts to institute eduoation of a practical nature are evidence
bearing on this point.
The Erie Canal was a training school for oivil en­
gineers and it may be said that the profession of engineering in the United
States really began with the 4nd of the construction of the canal which was
in 1825.
Furthermore* many societies were organized to promote agriculture*
commerce and the useful arts.
These organizations discharged an educational
funotion and numbered among their members* in some oases* professors of the
colleges included in this study.
Of the societies established to promote manufactures, agriculture and
the useful arts.
Before summarizing further the growth of the curriculum in applied and
technieal science* it is well to examine again the changing industrial con­
ditions of the country.
The chief industries of the oolonies before the Revolution were agricul­
ture* shipbuiMing* cloth-making and scattered iron foundries.
The dependence
of the colonies on the mother country and the scaroity of skilled labor
were influences that prevented extensive growth of manufacturing.
more, while the colonies depended upon the industry of England, the planting
of the meohanio arts in this country was not a necessity.
Colonial industry
was promoted, in Affect, by the non-importation agreements because of the
necessity of using goods made in America.
The growth of the factory system has been progressive since 1790.
the use of water power, at first, and then steam power* the manufactures
expanded in variety and amount until during the fifth decade of the 19th
century, they were entitled to a first rank among the produots of the nation's
The discovery and use of the high pressure steam engine; anthra­
cite coal; the use of foreign and domestic machinery; the hot blast process
in iron-making and the rise of the railroad were factors in promoting this
The basic processes (inventions, machinery and technique) were
imported from abroad.
Some aspects of these processes, however, were
produced and originated by American genius.
Artisans and mechanics were
also induoed to emigrate to the United States from abroad.
Cotton and woollen manufactures were* at first* the chief products of
the American factory.
The manufacture of machinery and the production of
iron rose to positions of importance before the Civil War.
The oensus
figures indicate that great industrial progress took plaoe in the years
The last ten years of this period were particularly distinguished
by a rise in the number of manufacturing establishments and the number of
persons employed therein*
The rise of the American railroad during this
same period was remarkable*
To achieve the oh&nge from an doonomy basically agricultural to one in
which industry played a most important part* required a substantial degree
of technical ability and knowledge.
The investigator has already spoken of
the importation of skilled labor and machinery from abroad and the various
societies established to promote the growth of manufactures, agrieulture
and the useful arts*
These organizations assembled and disseminated in­
formation of importance and value in the growth and development of manufac­
Education lagged behind this industrial advance*
However* during the
years 1825-1862, eaoh and every one of the colonial colleges seleoted for
study in this investigation made definite provision for technical education*
They yielded to the demand for such education which demand grew out of the
changing industrial conditions spurred by this demand and aided by philan­
thropy, independent schools or departments of applied science and engineer­
ing arose*
During the period 1825 to 1862, the college discipline of
applied science and science extended their range of applications and enlarged
their subject matter to a point where joint treatment became more and more
cumbersome and impracticable*
At Harvard, the Lawrence Scientific School was established in 1847*
There is no conclusive or positive evidenoB to indicate that this school
served as a model for others of the nine colonial colleges or that the
colleges imitated one another.
The example set by Abbott Iawrenoe when he
bequeathed a large sum of money to Harvard may have motivated James Sheffield
and Abiel Chandler to
do likewise*
there is a possibility that it did*
As has been pointed out in the study,
Yale organized a "scientific sohool"
(latter the Sheffield Soientifio School) in 1847, after valiantly defending
the traditional olassicism of the oollege ourrioulum in the Yale Reports of
in 1852*
At Dartmouth, the Chandler Scientific School came into being
These three sohools 'cere assisted materially by the philanthropy
of th6 public-spirited citizens whose names they bear.
The Literary and
Scientific Course was inaugurated at Columbia College in 1830 following the
start of a movement to establish a "University of the City of
Hew York* •
This course was followed by further independent departments in teohnioal
science, all of which (at Columbia) did not experience great success.
the University of Pennsylvania, the Department of Mines, Arts and Manufac­
tures came into being in 1855; and at Brown, Departments of Practical Science
were organized in 1852.
As early as 1830, Brown University admitted students
to pursue a partial course at the college.
This practice was expanded in
1847 into the "English and Scientific Course.
study of the applications of science.
This course embraoed the
At William and Many College, while
James Millington was Professor of Natural Philosophy and Civil Engineering
(1836-1848), it can be said with oertainty that instruction in technical
soienee took plaoe.
At Rutgers and the College of New Jersey, the docu­
ments indicate that there was provision for education in practical scienoe,
although not in the same degree as at the other colleges.
Science, as such, began by being theoretical.
The colonial period, the
late 18th century and the early 19th century saw the development of the
preliminary scientific theories (caloric, eleotrioity, etc.) and the dis­
covery of elementary scientific laws.
Scienoe emerged from the metaphysical
shell which surrounded it and by the end of the 18th century, the work of
early theorists was so far advanoed that the applications of science to
every day affairs beoame possible and very numerous.
The textbooks of scienoe in use in the colonial colleges before the
Revolution comprehended a variety of subjects which contained such topios
as the meohanio powers and hydraulios which might be termed praotioal soienoe.
However, these books in natural philosophy and natural history did not
allow for elaboration and overflow (due to the variety of topics
covered) into practical applications to a significant extent.
In the textbooks of natural philosophy, chemistry and mathematics
in use in the period 1776-1825, the aspects of science that may be
considered as applied science were the mechanical powers (the elements
of machinery); the steam engine; hydrostatics and hydraulics (with
hydraulic machinery such as pumps and machines for raising water); sur­
veying and navigation; and the uses of chemistry in applications to
agriculture and the useful arts.
No textbook in engineering appeared
until after 1825.
Textbooks in general civil engineering and technology appeared
before the Civil War.
These were Jacob Bigelow's Elements of Technology,
John Millington's Civil Engineering and Dennis H. Mahan's Civil Engin­
These books were supplemented by works in the various special­
ities of civil engineering (e.g. road building, railroad construction,
topographical drafting). In addition, the treatment of hydraulic and
mechanical machinery; strength of materials and the applications of
steam power, were expanded in the standard works in natural philosophy
in use in the colleges.
Treatises on chemical technology and on the ap­
plications of chemistry to agriculture appeared and were in use.
evidence indicates that an independent body of subject matter of tech­
nical science had been evolved.
Technical education is a phrase that now characterizes education in
the applied sciences.
Today, the technical curriculum embraces such
branches of engineering as chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical,
aeronautical and sanitary engineering, etc.
In the period investigated
and in the colleges studied, civil engineering and chemical technology
emerged as independent disciplines.
Mention was made of mechanical
engineering on one occasion (at Yale in 1852-1853).
In general, however,
the elements of mechanical engineering were evident in fundamental topics
such as the invention and manufacture of machinery, the descriptions of
industrial processes and industrial mechanics.
Many of the ideas and
practices advanced in textbooks and courses of study during the years
studied, of course, have become outmoded as engineering practice and
science have developed.
The general plan of civil engineering announced
in publications of the colleges, however, included the elements of the
science that may now be found in civil engineering curricula.
The same
is true of the curriculum offerings in applied chemistry.
New j&nd far-reaching developments have occurred in these technical
fields since the Civil War.
reflects these developments.
The curriculum in engineering, today,
The technical curriculum immediately before
the Civil War^ embraced a comprehensive treatment of the technical
knowledge and developments of the times but before that time it did not
reflect industrial developments to a marked degree.
The first use of the word "technology" that the investigator has
discovered was in Jacob Bigelow's textbook "Elements of Technology"
(published in 1831).
This word "technology" was used in the curricula
of the colleges to a limited extent.
The terms generally applied to
As evidenced by the curriculum offerings of the independent schools
departments of engineering established before 1862 and after
education in the useful and practical sciences and agriculture (and
in the objectives sought by the colleges in these curricula) were
"practical science", "applied science" and "engineering".
The reader should bear in mind that the general conclusions that
follow apply only to technical education in the nine colleges founded
before the American Revolution.
Other important areas remain to be in­
Some of these have been pointed out in this chapter.
As a
result of his exploration of the field, the investigator feels that the
following additional suggestions for research topics or studies are valuable:
A description of the evolution of the subject matter of technical
or engineering science.
An analysis of the reports, memorials and petitions presented to
legislative bodies seeking support for education in the practical sciences.
This analysis should include the educational philosophy contained in these
documents; the means outlined for obtaining their purpose; and the type
of institution described.
An account of the development of the curriculum in physical science
and the evolution of the subject matter of this discipline should prove
While no one of the colleges investigated in this study presented all
the different forces or conditions isolated as in a laboratory experiment,
the following conclusions are warranted by the data presented in this study:
By the
of the 18th century the curriculum of the colonial
colleges hftd begun to shape itself along lines broader than those of a
preparation for the ministry.
Something of a new tendency to provide for education for citizen­
ship and to include in it scienoe and its applications to the life of the
community is in evidence by the middle of the 18th century.
programme of the College of Philadelphia of 1756, contained provision
for instruction in trade, commerce, architecture, fortification, survey­
ing and navigation.
The advertisement heralding the opening of King's
College served notice that agriculture, commerce, surveying, navigation
and manufacturing were to be a part of the regular course of study.
However, this broad programme became more narrow as time went on.
Xale, Thomas Clap lectured on selected subjects outside the regular
curriculum which may be termed practical science.
3. .The college curriculum was of a conservative nature.
The course
of study remained uniform over long periods of time and acquired a
seemingly permanent character which made changes difficult.
The subjects
constituting the course of study with traditional emphasis on the Latin
and Greek Classics, had the authority of long usage to insure their
continuance and to prevent substitution.
The years 1776-1825 were a period of beginnings in applied
science education.
The colleges were feeling cautiously for something
better suited to the needs of the new nation than the Oxford curriculum.
The profession of engineering in the United States began toward the end
of the period.
Education i n applied science appears to have been dependent upon
the presence i n the faculty of m en of genius who cultivated m an y branches
of science, e.g., John MacLean,
Samuel Mitchill, Thomas
Cooper, Reverend
William Smith, William Peck, Ezra Stiles, Jacob Bigelow, Thomas Cooper,
William Keating.
Many societies were organized after the Revolution,
agriculture, commerce and the useful arts.
These organizations dis­
charged an educational function.
Technical education was an outgrowth of education in applied
Industrial progress conditioned the curriculum of the colleges
selected for investigation in this study.
The point whioh this study plaees
in clear view is that the most important underlying force in the promotion
of teohnioal eduoation has been the demand for it, inspired by industrial
The colleges made no great response to the demand for education
of a utilitarian nature until the third deoade of the 19th century.
colleges, then took definite cognizance of this demand and established
independent courses in applied science and after 1847, independent schools
and departments in technical science were set up.
TNhile science was included in college curriculum from the beginning
of higher education in the United States, the place was ready in these same
colleges for schools of applied or technical science long before their
Philanthropy was a direot cause of the establishment of technical
Civil engineering emerged from the curriculum as an independent
discipline (with a distinct body of subject matter).
Beginnings in mech­
anical and chemical engineering were evident.
The degree awarded in the curricula of technical scienoe was not
the traditional Bachelor of Arts.
The degrees, Bachelor of Soienoe, Bach­
elor of Philosophy, and Civil Bngineer ware authorized as aoademio awards.
In this bibliography, the sources used in the investigation have
been divided into four groups.
The first group includes those manu­
script sources, documents, books and pamphlets which bear directly upon
the history of the curriculum of the colleges selected for study in this
Those sources which are directly concerned with Harvard
are listed under the heading of Harvard University; those sources direct­
ly concerned with William and Mary are listed under the heading of
William and Mary College; etc., etc.
The second group of references contains those sources which pertain
to the general history of higher education in the United States and the
general college curriculum.
Thus, Louis Franklin Snow’s book "The
College Curriculum in the United States", and James J. Walsh's treatise
on "The Education of the Founding Fathers of the Republic", to which
reference has been made in the study in many instances are placed in
this group along with similar works.
The textbooks in use in the colleges studied have been placed in
the third group and the references relating to the social and economic
aspects of the investigation have been put in the fourth group.
Arrangement within all of these groups is alphabetical.
Sources Concerned with the History of the Curriculum of
the Colleges Selected for Study In this Investigation
farvard University
Annual Reports of the President of Harvard University to the Overseers
on the State of the University. 1825/26 - 1847/1848. 21 vols.
Annual Report of the President of Harvard University to the Overseers on
the State of the Institution for the Academical Year 1828-1829.
Cambridge: E. W. Metcalf and Company, 1830. Pp. 16 ♦ Appendix x/vi.
✓ Badger, Henry C., Mathematical Theses of the Junior and Senior Classes.
1782-1859. Cambridge: Library of Harvard University, 1888. Ip. 14.
Catalog of the Officers and Students of Harvard university. 1819-1865.
[A continuous recordj. 9 vols.
Catalogue of the Graduates of the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard
University. 1851-1895. Cambridgej 1896. Ip. 24.
Caullery, Maurice, Universities and Scientific Life in the United States.
Translated by James Haughton Woods and Emmet Russell. Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1922. Pp. xvii 4 269.
College Laws of 1655. 1692 and 1767 and College Customs of 1754/5 in
Colonial Society of Massachusetts Publications. Boston: 1935.
Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Publications. Boston: 1935.
by the Society. Vols. 28 and 31.
v' Davis, Andrew McFarland,
Analysis of the Early Records of Harvard
College. [Library of Harvard University Bibliographical Contribu­
tions, Edited by Justin Winsor #50]. Cambridge: Library of Harvard
University, 1895. Pp. 21.
Fourth Annual Report of the President of Harvard University to the Over­
seers on the State of the Institution for the Academical Year 1828-9.
Cambridge: E. W. Metcalf and Company, Printers to the University,
1830. Pp. 16 and Appendix xxxiii.
%/ Green, Samuel A., 4 Copy of the Laws of Harvard College of 1655. The
introduction by Samuel A. Green. Cambridge: Press of John Wilson
and Son, 1876. Pp. 18.
v' Green, Samuel Abbott, Harvard College in Early Times 1672-1677. Meeting
of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Boston: 1894. pp. 7.
Wft-rva-pri College Records. [Corporation Records] 1650-1767. Boston: The
Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Publication, 1925-35, Vols. 15-16,
*/ Hill, Benjamin Thomas, Life at Harvard a Century Ago [as illustrated in
the papers and letters of Stephen Salisbury, Class of 1817].
Worcester, Massachusetts: The Davis Press, 1910. Ip 54.
Hill, Hamilton Andrews, Memoir of ftbbott Lawrence. Boston: 1883. Pp.
xiii ♦ 243.
Historical Register of Harvard University. 1656-1936.
Harvard University, 1937. ]p, 484.
✓ Laws of Harvard College. Boston: Printed by Samuel Hall, at No. 53,
Comhill, 1790. Ip. 66.
Laws of Harvard College. Boston: Printed by John and Thomas Fleet, at
the Bible and Hart, Comhill, MDCCXCVIII. Ip. 65.
✓ Laws of Harvard College. Cambridge:
W. Hilliard, 1807. Ip.71.
Printed at the University by
Laws of Harvard College. Cambridge: Printed at the University Press by
Hilliard and Metcalf, 1820. Ip 56.
Laws of Harvard College. Cambridge: University Press, Hilliard and
Metcalf, 1824. Ip. 26.
y' Laws of Harvard University.
1841. ip. 40.
Cambridge: Folsom, Wells, and Thurston,
./Laws of Harvard University. Cambridge: Metcalf and Company, Printers to
the University, 1845. Ip. 40.
✓Mather, Cotton, History of Harvard College. Boston: Directors of the Old
South Works, 1907. Pp. 32.
Morison, Samuel Eliot, The Life and Letters of Harrison Gray Otis.
Federalist. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1913. 2 vols.
--------- , The Founding of Harvard College. Cambridge, Massachusetts:
Harvard University Press, 1935. Pp. XXVI
--------- , Harvard College in the 17th Century.
Harvard University Press, 1936. 2 vols.
Cambridge, Massachusetts:
Norton, Andrews, Remarks on a Report of a Committee of the Overseers of
Harvard College, fproposing certain changes, relating to the instruc­
tion and discipline of the college]. Cambridge: Hilliard and
Metcalf, 1824. Ip. 12.
Orders and Regulations of the Faculty of Harvard University. Cambridge:
Metcalf and Company, Printers to 13e University, 1845. Ip. 14.
Pierce, Benjamin, ^ History of Harvard University from its Foundation, in
the year 1636 to the period of the American Revolution. Cambridge:
Brown, Shattuck and Company, 1833. Pp. XIX 4 159.
Perrin, Porter G., "Sources of Technologia at Early Harvard" in The New
jjjBgJjggg Quarterly. Vol. VIII, jff4, December 1934. Pp. 718-724.
S Prince, Nathan, The Constitution and Government of Harvard College.
Boston (?): 1742 (?). Ip. 43.
v Proceedings of the Overseers of Harvard University. [The Report Accepted
and the Resolution Adopted by Them on the 25th of August, 1834,
Relative to the Late Disturbance in that Seminary. Boston: Press of
James Laring, 1834. Pp.48.
Quincy, Josiah, The History of Harvard University.
1840. 2 vols.
Cambridge: John Owen,
Rand, E. K., "Liberal Education in 17th Century Harvard" in The New
•p*iprinwri Quarterly. Vol. VI, #3, September 1935. Pp. 534-542.
Records of the Corporation of Harvard University. 1774-1866.
10 vols.
Records of the Immediate Government of Harvard University [Faculty Records],
1797-1860. 8 vols.
Records of the Overseers of Harvard University. 1788-1861.
5 vols.
✓ Report of a Committee of the Overseers of Harvard University. January 6,
1825. Cambridge: University Press, Hilliard and Metcalf, 1825. Ip. 64.
■ Report of the Committee to Inquire into the State of the University [and
report what changes it would be expedient to recommend to the
Corporation]. Cambridge: 1824. ]p U .
y Report of the Committee of the Overseers of Harvard College Appointed to
Visit the Lawrence Scientific School in 1849. Cambridge: Metcalf
and Company, Printers to the University, 1850. Pp. 27.
✓ Report of the Committee of the Overseers of Harvard College Appointed to
Visit the Lawrence Scientific School. Submitted January 27, 1859.
Boston: Printed by George C. Rand and Avery, 1859. Pp. 16.
✓ Report of the Committee of Overseers Appointed to Visit the Lawrence
Scientific School [Board of Overseers of Harvard University], Boston:
Printed by George C. Rand and Avery, 1861. Ip 16
Reports to the Overseers of Harvard University. 1761-1850.
8 vols.
Report of the President of Harvard University [submitting for consideration
a general plan of studies conformably to a vote of the Board of
Overseers of that Seminary, passed February 4, 1830]. Cambridge:
E. W. Metcalf, 1830. If> 19.
✓ Report Upon the Constitutional Rights and Privileges of Harvard College, etc.
Boston: Russell and Gardner, 1821. Ip 16.
/ Rules and Statutes of the Professorships in the University at Cambridge.
Cambridge: Metcalf
Company, Printers to the University, 1846, ]p 65.
✓ Sketches of Boston. Past and Present.
1651. $ 112.
Boston: Philips Sampson and Company,
✓ Statutes and Laws of the University In Cambridge.
Press, Hilliard and Metcalf, 1825. Ifc. 48.
Cambridge: University
Statutes and Laws of Harvard University. Cambridge: E. W. Metcalf and
Company, 1832. Pp. 31.
✓ Statutes and Laws of the University at Cambridge [as revised and adopted
by the Corporation on the 10th of June and concurred in by the
Overseers on the 17th of September, 1848]. Cambridge: Metcalf and
Company, 1848. Pp. 46.
✓'Statutes and Laws of the University at Cambridge [as revised and adopted
by the Corporation on the 10th of June and concurred in by the
Overseers on the 17th of September. 18481. Cambridge: Welch, Bigelow
and Company, 1860. Pp.46.
✓ Statutes and Lawsof the University at Cambridge. The.. [asrevised
adopted by the Corporation on the 10th of June, and concurred in by
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appendix a
Branford Professorship Lecture Headings 1825
[Contained in Report of a Committee of Overseers of Harvard College,
January 6, 1825, section II, p. 40.]
The subjects of these lectures consist chiefly of illustrations of the
application of natural philosophy, chemistry, natural history, and parts
of the mathematics, to the useful arts, and to objects of productive
Heads of the Course of Lectures delivered at Cambridge
by the Rumford Professor
Of the Materials used in the Arts. - Including stone, bricks,
cements, woods, metals, flexible fibres and textures, etc., etc.
several natures, qualities and aptitude for particular purposes.
Moving Forces used in the Arts, - Animals and men, water, wind,
gunpowder, etc.
Demonstrative description of the steam engine.
Arts of Building. - Of foundations, columns, walls, lintels,
arches, domes, roofs, windows, chimneys, etc.
Of Grecian, Roman and
Gothic architecture with the characteristics and technical terms of each.
Arts of Heating and Ventilation. - Of the economy of dwelling
houses: of chimneys, fireplaces, stones, furnaces, air-flues.
the commiinication of heat.
Laws of
Nature of fuel, and its different varieties.
Arts of locomotion. - Locomotive mechanism in animals.
ism of wheel carriages.
sailing and rowing.
Of roads, pavements, railways, bridges.
Of canals.
Diving bell.
Elements of Machinery. - Modes of communicating, accelerating,
reversing, multiplying, and varying motion.
Of wheels, axles, pinions,
tooth work, pulleys, racks, cams, cranks, etc.
Of flywheels.
Of friction.
Arts of Horology. - Hour glass, clepsydra, sun dial, watches,
clocks, etc.
Arts of Texture. - Preparation of flexible fibres.
spinning, weaving, etc., with their machinery.
Of twisting,
Of felting and paper-making.
Arts of Metallurgy. - Melting, alloying, tempering, annealing,
forging, welding, soldering, stamping, coining, etc.
Arts of Vitrification. - Manufacture of glass.
alkaline, and metallic ingredients.
Of melting, blowing, casting, temper­
ing, colouring! cutting, grinding, polishing.
Arts of Induration of Heat. - Of bricks and terra cotta.
facture of pottery and porcelain.
Silioeous and argillaceous ingredients*
Of turning, moulding, casting, burning, glazing, enamelling, colouring, etc.
Arts of Sculpture, Modelling, and Casting. - Mechanical processes
of sculpture.
Of modelling.
Of casting.
Of moulds.
Preparation and
consolidation of plaster.
Arts of Writing. - History of writing on wood, metals, stones,
papyrus, parchment, paper.
Stylus, Calamus, pencils, pens, ink, etc.
Arts of Printing. - Cutting and casting of types.
Mechanical processes of printing.
.v . ».>.-•------
Printer's<prve.$R«.,.vSisreoSiy'pe printing.
Correcting the press.
of printing.
Arts of Drawing and Painting. - Philosophical principles of
perspective, of light and shade, of colouring.
Of type metal.
Nature of colouring sub­
Fainting in water, oil, in fresco, in distemper.
Arts of Engraving and Lithography. - Engraving on copper and
other metals.
Engraver's instruments.
Line engraving, stippling,
etching, mezzotints, aquatints, etc.
Of the rolling press.
Of lithography, its principles
Of coloured engravings.
and processes.
Of wood
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