The Making of a Trade School Part 8

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In this supplementary course emphasis is put on the thought, invention, and appreciation of the student.

III. _Special_ course for students who show unusual ability in art and can utilize it in trade.

1. Costume sketching for making records in dressmaking workrooms.

2. Stamping and perforating: (_a_) Machine practice--pedaling, guiding needle, threading machine, and learning to adjust the different parts. (_b_) Stamping on different materials with the different mediums; composition of the different mediums, liquid and dry. (_c_) Copying patterns for perforating; nature study for motifs; conventionalizing those to apply them to materials.

(All designs are such as can be used in trade and are made according to trade methods.)



I. Elementary: To supplement previous schooling. Girls who have left the public school from low grades need special tutoring in the common branches. Special instruction is also needed for newly arrived foreigners.

II. Trade: To quicken and enrich the mind, that the girl may become a more efficient, intelligent, and enthusiastic trade worker.

The work falls under the following subjects: Civics, Industries, Arithmetic, English.


This course is given as a means of enabling the pupil to recognize her place in the family, the school, the community, and in the world's work.

For lack of a better term it is called Civics. It is dealt with under two heads: (1) Community Life in General, (2) Community Life in New York City.

1. Under the first head the discussion of life in a given community is followed by the simple facts that lie at the foundation of civic life.

These are approached through the interests or desires which the pupil feels in common with all other people. Building still further on the pupil's own experience, she is led to apply the ideas received to her own community, which ever widening its scope is carried from the neighborhood or the school to the city, the state, and on to the nation.

Civics also gives to the pupils a knowledge of the existing laws under which they will work, by whom these laws are made, and the possible means for improving them. In the discussion of such subjects as Tenement House Laws, Child Labor Laws, and Trade-Unions, there is opportunity for the introduction of home and business economics which have been found to be valuable. Economics is further taught by the detailed discussion of the apportionment of an income of $6 a week for fifty working weeks, considering car fare, lunches, savings, a portion toward family support, and an allowance for clothes. The literature for this course is obtained from the United States Department of Commerce and Labor, the State Department of Factory Legislation, the Consumers' League, the National and State Labor Committees, and current magazines. Mr. Arthur M. Dunn's, "The Community and the Citizen," especially such chapters as those on the "Making of Americans," "How the Government Aids the Citizen in His Business Life," "Waste and Saving," "What the Community Does for Those Who Cannot or Will Not Contribute to Its Progress," has given valuable a.s.sistance in leading to discussions which have direct bearing upon daily life and work.

2. The following outline shows the treatment of the second division of Civics:

New York City: (1) City Government, (_a_) Officials, Mayor, Commissioner, Borough President, Aldermen; (_b_) City Departments.

(2) Citizenship, (_a_) Who are citizens, (_b_) How to become a citizen, (_c_) Duties and privileges of citizens, (_d_) Aliens. (3) Child Labor Laws, (_a_) School attendance, (_b_) Working papers, how obtained, (_c_) Hours for work. (4) Factory Laws for girls over sixteen years old. (5) Sweatshop labor. (6) Tenement House Laws. (7) Trade-Unions. (8) Commerce and Industries of New York. (9) Philanthropies.


Aim: To furnish the worker with a background for her trade and to help her to see her place in the working world of today. 1. A generalized view is taken of the main steps in the early progress of the race. 2.

Textile materials are discussed as to their values, their uses, their cost, the processes of their manufacture, the comparison of foreign and domestic goods, with reasons for the differences, and the connected problems of arithmetic which the students will meet. These subjects help the girl to "get next" to what she is working with every day and to arouse interest in her personal connection with the subject. The English girl whose father was once employed in a lace house in London brings mounted specimens of that sort of handwork to the cla.s.s; the Hungarian brings hand-spun articles from her mother's bridal outfit; the Italian presents a skein of raw silk taken from the family's treasure box, and the girl from Roumania brings an embroidered bed cover. The student whose mother does not believe cotton ever grew on bushes asks that she may verify her own statement by taking home a real cotton ball. A Labor Museum is being collected to give reality to the instruction, and exhibits from it, which show the steps in the manufacturing of the fabrics and of other familiar articles, are put up in the cla.s.sroom when needed. A bulletin board provides for the numerous clippings brought by the students or teachers.


Aim: The fundamental aim of arithmetic is to give the pupils working methods for the problems that occur in trade practice. To make the correlation clear to the girls, workroom methods of presentation and phraseology and the customary materials are used. Sewing and operating students make hems, tucks, and ruffles to actual measurements; novelty girls cut and arrange cards for samples in accordance with their workroom demands; and millinery students work out the measurements for hat frames as closely as varying styles permit.

With the fundamentals of trade problems established, arithmetic is further developed along special lines of trade to meet the demands of the business world. The trained worker should not only be skilled in the manipulation of tools and materials, but she should be able to compute her own problems, such as estimates for garments, how to cut materials economically, the cost of one garment or article as related to the cost of many of the same kind, the prices, and similar trade questions. The ability to deal with these subjects adds materially to the value of a skilled worker.

The central scheme of the course is to lead the pupil to prompt and accurate mental calculation. This is stimulated by frequent oral drills in trade problems and business problems involving short methods of computation. The extent and progress of this work are regulated by the ability of the cla.s.s.

The following outlines show the adaptation of arithmetic to the different trades:

_Operating_: (1) Cutting of gauges, (_a_) For hems, (_b_) For tucks.

(2) Tucking problems, (_a_) With gauges, (_b_) As formal arithmetic problems. (3) Ruffling problems. (4) Time problems, Department time schedules as basis for the work. (5) Factory problems. (6) Income, expenditure, savings. (7) Bills and receipts. (8) Computation of quant.i.ty of material required for garments, (_a_) By measuring garments, (_b_) By use of patterns on cloth, (_c_) Economy of material. (9) Problems based on above work. (10) Civic problems.

_Sewing_: (1) Cutting of gauges, (_a_) For hems, (_b_) For tucks.

(2) Tucking problems. (3) Ruffling problems. (4) Computation of quant.i.ty of material required for garments, (_a_) By measuring garments, (_b_) By use of patterns on cloth, (_c_) Economy of material. (5) Problems based on above work. (6) Store problems. (7) Bills and receipts. (8) Income, expenditures, savings. (9) Textile problems. (10) Civic problems.

_Novelty_: (1) Sample mounting, (_a_) Cards are cut a given size and are divided with the ruler into s.p.a.ces for samples, with proper margins, etc., according to trade demands, (_b_) Problems involving the various sizes and shapes of cards and samples, using cards and rulers for the work. (2) Sample cutting. (3) Cutting materials for boxes, (_a_) Pulp board, (_b_) Covering plain, flowered, (_c_) Economy of materials. (4) Problems based on above work. (5) Trade problems, (_a_) In sample mounting, accuracy, speed, (_b_) Cost of materials. (6) Bills and receipts. (7) Income, expenditure, savings.

(8) Civic problems.

_Millinery_: (1) Measurement of frames. (2) Trade problems, (_a_) Quant.i.ty of material, (_b_) Price of materials, (_c_) Economy of material. (3) Orders, (_a_) By letter, (_b_) By order blanks. (4) Bills and receipts. (5) Income, expenditure, savings. (6) Problems on manufacture of silk. (7) Civic problems.


Aim: 1. To facilitate oral and written expression. 2. To give practice in business forms: _Spelling_: (1) Technical terms of each trade department; (2) Textiles and other trade materials; (3) Ordinary business terms. _Descriptions_: (1) Written work on materials used and articles made in each department; (2) Outlining and defining of department work. _Business Forms_: (1) Letters of application; (2) Letters ordering goods; (3) Telegrams, postal cards, etc.; (4) Writing of advertis.e.m.e.nts.

In addition to practice in spelling and in the writing of business forms, the work in English aims to be in close correlation with the other subjects taught. As a rule, the latter part of each recitation period is spent by the pupils in writing upon the subject in hand. The purpose is to obtain from them freedom of expression after arousing interest in a subject, rather than to get long compositions necessitating home study and probably generating a dislike for written work. Attention is called to paragraphing and emphasis is laid upon both the form and the manner of writing, but form is made subservient to thought. The interrelation of Art Department helps the student to appreciate the need of good form in the appearance of a written page.


The young wage-earner who goes into trade untrained at fourteen years of age is greatly handicapped by her physical condition. Either through ignorance or neglect early symptoms of disease are disregarded, and it is not until she finds herself out of employment as a result of physical weakness that she realizes that good health is the capital of the working girl.

Many of the girls who enter the school are found to be suffering from poor vision; enlarged glands caused by decayed teeth; poor nasal breathing as a result of adenoid growths or enlarged tonsils; anaemia; skin eruptions; slight asymmetries and poor posture. These defects produce exaggerated nerve signs and poor nutrition.


The work of the Physical Department is to correct as many of these irregularities as possible and also to train the student to a knowledge of her body and how to care for it, that she may be able to stand the long hours of confining work and be able to show efficient results in her trade.

The following examination is required of each entering student:

_Physical Examination_: Beginning with the family history, a complete record of all important events relating to a student's physical life is taken. She is carefully examined for asymmetry; curvature, incipient or well defined; traces of tuberculosis; weakness of heart and lungs; enlarged glands; skin diseases, or signs of nervous disorders. She is closely questioned as to all bodily functions and a careful record is kept of irregularities. Eyes, ears, teeth, nose, and throat are likewise examined. Impressions of the feet are made in order to detect weakness of the arch or flatfoot. Measurements of height, weight, and the princ.i.p.al expansions are taken for comparison with later records and for the purpose of comparing with normal standard.

Prescribed Treatment

After the examination the girl is instructed as to treatment, if any is needed. If perfectly normal she will report for gymnastics three times a week. If any asymmetry, curvature of the spine, heart disease, or nervous disorders are discovered, she must report for special corrective exercises at the school. In some cases individual instruction is given for supplementing the work at home. Cases demanding special apparatus and individual attention have been treated in the Physical Education Department of Teachers College, through the kindness of the director, Dr. Thomas Denison Wood. The girls so affected have thus the advantage of the latest methods known to science. If any of the numerous skin diseases are present which demand frequent and regular attention, the student is a.s.signed to a group who go twice a week to a dispensary to receive electrical or X-ray treatment. In cases of enlarged tonsils or adenoids, the necessity for immediate operation is explained and every effort made to gain the consent of the parents. When permission is obtained the girl goes to a neighboring hospital on Sunday evening, is operated upon on Monday, and returns home Tuesday. Each student must have her eyes thoroughly examined by a doctor selected at the Ophthalmic Dispensary. If gla.s.ses are needed they are procured at the expense of the parent or donated by an optician who is interested in the school.

Dispensary treatment is also necessary in cases of catarrh of nose and throat. Teeth are carefully examined and the girls directed to their own dentists, or to the Dental Dispensary adjoining the school, where we are fortunate enough to have a limited amount of work done free of charge.

Cases of asymmetry demanding braces, plaster jackets, and operations have been treated at the Post-Graduate Hospital. Tuberculosis cases in advanced stages have been placed on the special boats in New York Harbor or are sent to Tubercular Camps in the country.

In sending girls to the hospitals and dispensaries the aim is to place them in touch with inst.i.tutions to which they will have independent access after they leave the Manhattan Trade School.


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The Making of a Trade School Part 8 summary

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