City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 1. Originally published by Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1884.
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Wednesday, 28th June 1882.
The Right Honourable the EARL OF DERBY, President.
His Grace the Duke of Bedford, K.G.
The Right Hon. Viscount Sherbrooke.
Sir Sydney H. Waterlow, M.P.
Mr. Alderman Cotton, M.P.
Mr. Walter H. James, M.P.
Mr. Pell, M.P.
Mr. H. D. Warr, Secretary.
Mr. W. Spottiswoode.; 28 June 1882.
Mr. William Spottiswoode, President of the Royal Society, is called in and examined on behalf of City and Guilds Technical Institute.
1729. (Chairman.) I need not ask you whether you are the President of the Royal Society ?—I am.
1730. And you have come here, as I understand, to give evidence on behalf of the City and Guilds Technical Institute ?—I have.
1731. Probably you will prefer to make a statement in your own way as I am not aware of the particular points to which you desire that it should be directed ? —It is generally admitted that the British workman is not inferior to his continental competitors in ability to work, in precision, or in dexterity of hand; but that he is outstripped by them, owing to a better knowledge on their part of the principles on which his handicraft is (often unconsciously) based, and a better acquaintance with the nature and uses of the materials which he employs. This knowledge forms part of general science, and may be made a part of an educational system. In many parts of the continent a wider dissemination of scientific instruction, together with better systematised modes of teaching in the secondary if not in the primary schools has long prevailed, and has raised the general level of information on these subjects considerably above that which is to be found here. In addition to this, technical schools of one kind or another, on a very large scale, have been instituted; and it is believed that the superiority of foreign manufacturers, as evinced by successful competition, is largely due to technical instruction. The object proposed in the City and Guilds of London Institute has been to supply this defect in the education and training of our manufacturing population, by providing and encouraging education adapted to the requirements of all classes of persons engaged, or preparing to engage, in manufacturing and other industries. With this object the Institute subsidises existing educational establishments, which, in the opinion of the Council, are providing sound technical instruction, and which would languish except for external aid. It also encourages in the principal industrial centres in Great Britain the formation of evening classes, in which workmen and foremen engaged in their several factories during the day receive special instruction in the application of the principles of science to the explanation of processes with which they are already practically familiar. It establishes and maintains in the metropolis, model technical schools, to serve as types of other schools to be established by local efforts in provincial towns, and lastly, it is erecting a Central Institution corresponding to some extent to the great polytechnical schools of Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, and to the École Centrale of Paris. With this varied programme the City and Guilds of London Institute is assisting, as efficiently and at the same time as economically as it can, in the professional instruction of all classes of persons engaged in industrial operations, of artizans, apprentices, foremen, managers of works, manufacturers, and technical teachers. The Council of the Institute has no intention of interfering with any existing social institution, such as apprenticeship, or any other relationship between employer and employed, but aims only at supplying the want of further instruction which is everywhere felt to exist by supplementing and by preparing pupils more thoroughly to profit by workshop training. For the actual training of workmen engaged in manufacturing processes apprenticeship schools as they exist in France are not recommended for imitation in this country. That the factory is the place in which skilled workmen engaged in manufacture can best be trained, is an opinion in which most of the lead ing manufacturers of this country and of the continent concur. In all the large manufacturing towns evening classes in technology, which are not Stateaided as are the classes in pure science and art, are being assisted by the Institute. The work done by the students of these classes is inspected and examined by the Institute, and on the results of the annual examinations certificates and prizes are granted, which are frequently regarded as diplomas of proficiency, enabling operatives to obtain better employment and higher remuneration. These evening classes have already become, and are likely to be still more in the future, the nuclei of technical colleges, mainly supported by the towns in which they are situate, but connected with and affiliated to the City and Guilds of London Institute, by means of its examinations and superintending influence, much in the same way as other colleges are connected with a central university. The Technical College, Finsbury, which will shortly be ready for occupation, has been erected to serve as a model technical college, and to provide for the instruction of artizans and others in the city of London, and in the district of Finsbury. It already, in its temporary premises, contains a school of applied science. It provides systematic evening instruction for those who are engaged in the staple industries of the district, including cabinet-making, and in the application of chemistry and physics to special trades, such as spirit-rectification, electric lighting, &c. What the technical college is to the east and northeast of London, the art school is to the south-east of London. This school, situated in the Kennington Park Road, is intended to provide instruction for artizans engaged in various industries in which art aptitude is indispensable to success. The courses are for evening and for day students, for men and women, and the eagerness with which the instruction is received, and the numbers applying for admission, necessitating already a considerable extension of the building, show how much needed is this kind of supplementary training, and how highly it is appreciated by those for whom it is provided. The Central Institution is to give to London what it so much needs, a first class college; in which those who are to be engaged in the superintendence of great industrial works may receive their training, and in which technical teachers for the provincial schools may be educated. The establishment of this Central Institution will, it is hoped, render unnecessary the constant appeal to foreign countries where similar institutions already exist, for managers of works, engineers, and industrial chemists, and will be welcomed by manufacturers who feel the want in London of some such institution in which their sons who are to succeed them can obtain as good an education as at Paris, Zurich, Carlsruhe, or Berlin. Just as the École Centrale at Paris is about to be removed to the immediate neighbourhood of the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers, in order that the students may be near to the collections of machinery and other industrial objects which the Conservatoire contains, so the Central Institution of London is being built near to the science schools and national museums of South Kensington. By erecting the institution in this district a great saving of first outlay and of annual expense will be effected, as the students during their first year's course will be able to avail themselves of the teaching of pure science which the new Normal School of Science now provides. That all intelligent and effective use of natural objects must be based upon a knowledge of their properties, and the mode in which they act upon one another, is a statement which can hardly be questioned. But inasmuch as the majority of handicraftsmen, indeed the majority of the community at large, can attain to but a very limited measure of knowledge, it is in the highest degree important that the amount to which they do attain, and the facts which they can acquire and retain, should be selected in the best manner and presented to them in the clearest and most useful form possible. In proportion as this is neglected their minds will either remain fallow, or being temporarily burdened with undigested matter, will relieve themselves of their burden at the first convenient opportunity. It is on this account that the promoters of the present undertaking have considered that some elements of scientific instruction should be a part of their charge, and should form an essential element of the scheme; and further that in its more advanced branches, as developed in the curriculum of the Central Institution and in the technological examinations, some evidence of scientific knowledge should be pre-requisite to the attainment of the highest distinctions. By science it should be understood that we do not mean anything scholastic or academic, or a course of study leading directly to research; but merely that knowledge of principles and of leading facts which, when properly taught, is within the grasp of all persons of average intelligence. Upon the quality of the teaching very much will depend, and the importance attached to this point is evinced in the "qualifications of teachers as recognised by the institute." The following is an extract from the regulations: "The examination in most of the subjects will be in two grades I. ordinary ('or pass'); II. honours. The ordinary or pass examination is intended for apprentices and journeymen; the honours examination for foremen, managers, and teachers of technology; but candidates may enter themselves for either grade. The following classes of persons may on application to the central office be recognised as teachers to the Institute (A.) Any person who obtains or has obtained a full technological certificate in the honours grade, or who has already obtained a full certificate in the first class of the advanced grade (programme 1881) of the subject to be taught (B.) Any person who is engaged in teaching science under the Science and Art Department, and who makes application to be registered not later than March 30th, 1882, after which date no person who is not qualified under A. or C. will be registered. (C.) Persons possessing special qualifications, to be considered by the Institute, for teaching technical subjects." The nature of the teaching contemplated in the technical schools, and, indeed actually going on at the college in Finsbury, will be best seen by the programme of the classes and lectures for the present session. These comprise the heads of technical chemistry under Professor Armstrong, and technical physics under Professor Ayrton. To these there has recently been added technical mechanics under Professor Perry. I will, with your Lordship's permission, put these appendices in, merely making a few extracts from them at this moment. " The Chemical Laboratory will be open daily (Saturdays excepted) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Monday and Friday evenings from 6.30 to 9 for students desiring individual instruction." "There will also be the following classes and lectures. Dr. Armstrong will deliver a course of lectures introductory to the study of various branches of applied chemistry on Wednesdays at 10 to 11, and on Fridays at 2 to 3, commencing October 5th. A laboratory class, specially suited to students attending this course, will be held on Wednesdays at 11 to 1 and 1.30 to 3.30, commencing October 5th. In connexion with this course, Mr. Evans will discuss exercises, &c., and give a series of lecture demonstrations at a time which will be arranged to suit the convenience of the class. A course of laboratory demonstrations in organic chemistry will be given by Dr. Armstrong on Monday evenings at This course is principally intended for distillers (including coal-tar distillers and spirit rectifiers), and will be suited for candidates in Subject 4 at the technological examinations; but it is hoped that students who have attended a previous course on the chemistry of brewing may be able to continue their attendance, and that new students of this branch of organic chemistry may also present themselves. Students desiring to obtain a knowledge of the chemistry of bread-making should attend on this evening. On the same evening at 6.30 to 9, Mr. Evans, chief assistant in the chemical laboratory, will give a course of laboratory and lecture demonstrations on the properties of the more important metals and metallic compounds, with reference to their practical applications and their analytical determination and estimation. Copper, iron, lead, silver, tin, and zinc will be the metals principally treated of, and the wants of plumbers and metal workers generally will be as far as possible considered. Dr. Armstrong will commence on Friday, October 7th, a course of lecture and laboratory demonstrations on fuel, with special reference to coal gas as a heating and illuminating agent. Laboratory class, 6.30 to 8.30; lecture, 8.30. Candidates in the subject fuel at the technological examinations may with advantage attend this course. In this course the principles on which combustion depends will be fully explained and illustrated; also the methods of determining the heating power of fuels. The properties of the several fuels, their composition and their heating powers, will be demonstrated; and the relative advantages of various fuels and the different modes of applying heat will be discussed. Subsequently, the determination of temperature, the temperatures required for and obtained in various technical operations, and the circumstances affecting the combustion of fuels will be considered. Illuminating agents will form the subject of the latter part of the course, but it is important that students who may desire to specially devote their attention to this subject should attend the earlier part of the course. In the laboratory course the students will have the opportunity of experimentally studying the laws of combustion, the properties of fuels, and the method of determining their composition and heating power, and of instituting various experiments with fuels. Later on they will take up the subject of illuminating agents." Then in technical physics: "The physical laboratory will be open daily (Saturdays excepted) from 10 to 5 p.m., and on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6.30 to 9.30 for students desiring individual practical instruction in technical physics." Then there are courses on electricity, magnetism, and other subjects, the particulars of which will be seen in the documents which I hand in. (The documents were handed in. Vide Appendix.) The scheme in its integrity undoubtedly offers attractions and inducements to comers of all kinds; and it contemplates even an extension of these inducements from time to time, as the liberality of corporations or of individuals may provide the means. But it must not be forgotten that the inducements are mainly opportunities to work, and not prizes in themselves. The substantial rewards of success in our courses are to be found not in the institutions themselves, but in the workshops and the manufactories for which they are a preparation. The main inducement to study and training here will be measured not by anything that we have to offer, but by the prospect which the industry of the country may hold out for the employment of well qualified men or women. There is therefore little or no fear that this scheme will in any way overstock the market in which the ordinary laws of supply and demand will operate as usual. There are, however, some peculiar circumstances relating to manufacturing industry, which render special efforts to promote the education of persons aspiring to the higher grades of employment desirable or even necessary. There is, in fact, at the present moment a great dearth of superior men in manufactories. This is partly due to the fact that the processes and appliances are so much more elaborate and refined than heretofore, that an amount of intelligence and knowledge formerly adequate is now inadequate. But it is also due to the increased subdivision of labour, which obliges the artizan desiring to rise to any degree of efficiency to devote his whole energy and attention to his special province, even to the exclusion of a knowledge of other branches of his trade. Or again, turning to the lower grades of employment, if any apology or plea be necessary, a thing which I do not admit, for encouraging young persons to follow handicraft trades, ample reason would, I think, be found in the growing tendency to prefer monotonous and unpromising employment at the desk, clerkship and the like, at a comparatively low salary, to work in the factory with all the advantages which energy and skill are there certain to command. I cannot, I confess, look with satisfaction or with hope upon a generation which reckons the ease and the respectable mediocrity of the one as superior to the rougher but almost illimitable possibilities of the other. And anything, therefore, which will raise the tone, or improve the prospects, or in any way add dignity to handcraft life, may be hailed as a measure which may influence the community far beyond the limits of the special industry for which it may have been devised. I venture to advert to another point; it has been suggested that, instead of setting up a new organization on so large a scale, the method of apprenticeship schools might have been adopted, as has already been done with good effect in France and, in some degree, in Austria. It has, however, been already explained that the Council of the City and Guilds Institute have not considered it their province to interfere with the existing system of apprenticeship. Nor, indeed, has the suggestion of these schools received sufficient general support in this country to justify the expenditure of any part of the present funds upon such an object. Another suggestion was also made, by way of alternative to part of the present scheme, namely, that the board schools might have been turned to account by introducing into their course an element of manual work. This, however, would not at all fulfil the objects of the Institute, as it would simply then form part of the general scheme of public elementary education, and could only at the most be a first step towards our main purpose, the training of the workman. There are a few additional remarks, supplied to me by Dr. Magnus, our secretary and director, who has lately returned from a tour of inspection on the continent, which, with the permission of the Commission, I will read. "With primary instruction this Institute has not attempted to interfere. In France a technical element is being introduced into primary schools, by giving instruction in the use of tools as employed in wood and iron work; but in this movement France is not being followed by Switzerland, Germany, or Italy. It might perhaps be desirable to introduce workshop instruction into some of our primary schools, not, however, for the sake of teaching a trade but only as a means of improving the manipulative skill of the pupils, and of arousing in them a taste for manual work, and possibly also of shortening the period of apprenticeship. In intermediate or higher elementary education the Institute has indirectly taken some part by establishing a working relationship between the Finsbury Technical College and the Middle Class School in Cowper Street. The teaching of science to the advanced pupils in this school has already been handed over to the professors of the college, and if the relationship at present existing could be made still closer, and the school could be brought under the direct control of the Institute, a technical school might be created in London which would serve as a model for the establishment of others throughout the kingdom. The Institute's Technical college at Finsbury, whilst representing the third grade of technical instruction, does not correspond, and is not intended to correspond, exactly with any foreign type. It is hoped that when completely equipped and in good working order it will represent the newest and most generally approved methods of technical instruction and will give the best teaching that can be obtained to young men during or prior to their apprenticeship, as well as to workmen and foremen. A department for the teaching of applied art, which is indispensable to a technical college, is still wanting at Finsbury. But it is satisfactory to know that, although adequate accommodation for the art classes which are about to be formed cannot be found in the new building constructed for science teaching only, arrangements are in progress for the addition to our present teaching staff of an art master, so that work may be commenced at the opening of the next session in such temporary premises as may be found available. In the Institute's scheme the highest grade of school will be represented by the Central Institution. Very great differences exist in the systems of higher instruction pursued in the Ecole Centrale of Paris, in the polytechnics of Germany, and in the superior institutions of Italy. The Germans themselves are not altogether satisfied with the instruction afforded in their own schools; and costly and magnificent as these buildings are I should not be disposed to hold them up for entire imitation in our own country. In the arrangements, however, that will be made later on for the curriculum of studies to be pursued at the Central Institution, the experience that has been gained during many years in the working of the French and German schools will undoubtedly prove serviceable; but it may be confidently expected that the Central Institution as a high school of technical science and applied art will be in many respects superior to any similar institution abroad. Indeed, the progress of this institution is watched with considerable interest by professors and others in Germany, Italy, and elsewhere, as an instructive experiment, which may not be without effect upon their own schools. At present, owing to the depression of trade and to the almost entire completion of the railway system of Germany, the polytechnics are less well attended than was the case some few years since; but notwithstanding this falling off in the number of students, fresh efforts are being constantly made to improve the efficiency of these institutions, and large sums of money are being expended in the erection and fitting of new laboratories. In Zurich it is proposed to erect new physical and chemical laboratories at a cost of between 50,000l. and 60,000l., in addition to those already attached to the polytechnic. In Bonn plans have been prepared for a new physical laboratory in connexion with the University. In Hanover the Welfenschloss erected some years since as a palace for the king has only recently been converted at a very considerable cost into a polytechnic school. Of the value of this higher scientific training in the development of the industries of the country, the Germans themselves have no doubt. To it they ascribe the successes they have achieved as engineers and chemists; and it is noteworthy that the majority of those who have been engaged in great engineering works, such as the St. Gothard Tunnel, and in the erection of the splendid bridges that span the Rhine and the Moselle, have been trained in the polytechnic institutions, whilst to the higher chemical attainments of the Germans is certainly due the marked success they have achieved in the manufacture of colouring matters, an industry which has assumed large proportions in Germany and Switzerland. In fact, the discoveries which have led to this trade have been mostly made in Germany, and are to a great extent the result of the large number of well-furnished laboratories, and of the general diffusion of advanced chemical knowledge in that country. In the Central Institution at South Kensington it may not be possible to furnish engineering and chemical laboratories on anything like the same scale as those which are found in connexion with the polytechnics and universities abroad, but the arrangements for the teaching of practical physics, and especially the various applications of electricity to industrial purposes may be and it is to be hoped will be superior to those found in any of the foreign physical laboratories which I have seen. Nothing that bears comparison with our system of Government examination in science nor with the Institute's examinations in technology is found anywhere on the continent. At the same time the opportunities afforded to apprentices and workmen to obtain supplementary evening instruction are very great, and in some cases, particularly in the schools supported by special societies, this instruction is more systematically developed than in England. Our examinations in technology, originally intended to test a candidate's knowledge of the technology of certain trades, have become, under the direction of the Institute, the means of stimulating the establishment of technical classes for the instruction of artizans and others, not only in the technology but also in the principles of science in their application to the industry in which they are engaged, and it is the aim and tendency of these examinations to develop more and more in this direction, and to give an impulse to the establishment in different parts of the kingdom of what may be properly called technical schools, i.e., of schools providing a systematic and progressive course of instruction adapted to various industrial occupations. The interest awakened by the action of the City and Guilds of London in promoting technical instruction is not confined to this country. Experts have been sent over to England from various parts of the continent to inquire into our scheme, and several accounts of the Institute's work have appeared in foreign journals. Doctor Exner, the Director of the Technological Museum at Vienna, and member of the Austrian Parliament, read a paper before the South Austrian Trade Society, dealing exhaustively with our technological examinations, which, in a somewhat modified form, he is not without hopes of being able to introduce into Austria. Dr. Barkhausen, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Hanover Polytechnic, has also written a series of articles in the 'Deutsche Bauzeitung' on the general work of the Institute. From America, from Italy and Germany, and other parts of the continent, inquiries are being continually received with respect to the progress of the Institute's scheme; and it is generally anticipated by all those abroad who take an interest in English education, and who know the resources which the City and Guilds of London have at their command, that the development of technical education, in their hands, will materially help in maintaining the industrial success of this country."
1732. That is what you wish to put before us?— That is what I desire to place before the Commission.
1733. I suppose you have seen the evidence given by the other witnesses who came on behalf of the Institute ?—I have.
1734. Do you agree with the general purport of it ?—I do.
1735. (Sir S. Waterlow.) I think you are, as President of the Royal Society, an ex officio member of the Guilds Technical Institute ?—I am.
1736. And have the right to be present at all meetings of committees, and of the Council having control of the Central Institution ?—That is the case.
1737. And I believe you have for a long time past attended very regularly the meetings ?—I have attended most of the meetings.
1738. I think you are a large employer of labour yourself ?—I am.
1739. And for many years have been in constant contact with skilled mechanics ?—I have.
1740. From your experience as an employer of labour, and from your knowledge of the wants and the aspirations of skilled mechanics, are you of opinion that the plan which the City of London and Guilds Technical Institute are endeavouring to carry out is one calculated to supply that want, and to materially assist workmen to obtain better knowledge of all parts of the trades with which they are connected ?—I am certainly of that opinion; the more I have seen of the work of the Institute, the more impressed I have been with the belief that it is well calculated for the purposes for which it is designed.
1741. For many years you have been a liveryman of one of the city companies, have you not?—Of the Stationers' Company.
1742. You have a general idea, have you not, of the resources of the 12 large companies and of many of the other principal companies ?—I have in a general way; but I am not specially informed of the details.
1743. And are you of opinion that the appropriation of the money which they have devoted, and any larger funds which they might devote, to the development of technical education, not in London only, but in the provinces, through their central institution is a wise and satisfactory appropriation of any funds they have to spare, or any increment they may hereafter have to spare ?—I am quite of that opinion.
1744. Do you think, having regard to the character of their charters and to the fact that almost all of them were founded for the purpose of assisting trade operations, and remembering the extent to which the members of the companies are no longer members of the crafts to which their names are attached, that this method of supporting technical education is almost a cy-près appropriation of their funds ?—It seems to me a perfectly legitimate appropriation of their funds, and well calculated to promote the success of the industries with which they are connected.
1745. Are you aware that the annual contributions which the various companies make are made during the pleasure of those companies ?—Yes, I am aware of that.
1746. Do you think it would be desirable that in some way, with the consent of the companies, the contributions to technical education should be rendered more permanent?—As a member of the Institute I should be exceedingly glad to see that done.
1747. And what would you say as a member of a livery company and as a liveryman?—My sympathies would be entirely in the same direction.
1748. (Mr. James.) The only question I would venture to ask is whether you think that the general interests of science are most promoted by grants of money, either from the State or public bodies of this character, or by individual effort; in other words, do you think—speaking from your own experience— that scientific discovery or knowledge of these special technical subjects is most promoted by individuals relying upon their own exertions or by the expenditure of large sums of money ?—That is a point on which a considerable difference of opinion exists. Nor perhaps can it be answered in the same way for all branches of scientific research; in my opinion some investigations may be safely left to individual effort; others, from their magnitude, or from the length of time during which the researches must be continued, require external support. But this is a question of science proper, and the remarks which I have just made have no necessary application to the case of the technical instruction here contemplated.
1749. (Mr. Alderman Cotton.) Do you not think that technical education for the day is, in some measure, an experiment ?—It is undoubtedly an experiment so far as this country is concerned. It was not until a few years ago that foreign competition showed us that our artizans were not the best in the world, and even then the idea of technical instruction as one means of remedy did not immediately present itself to the minds of employers or workmen. On comparing other countries with our own we found that we differed from them in this element. The experiment then which we are trying is not whether technical instruction can be grafted on industrial life, for this has been tried, and successfully tried elsewhere; but whether the same method which has succeeded elsewhere is applicable here.
1750. Do you not think that sufficiently large sums of money have been put into it, it being an experiment, for the time being, until it has more thoroughly taken root?—I cannot say that I agree with that view, because the undertaking has already so far thriven that the Institute has found great difficulty in meeting the many demands (and in the opinion of the Council legitimate demands) made upon it, both in the metropolis and in other parts of the country. The experiment could hardly be said to have a fair trial if its operations were restricted to the present amount. The grants to the Institute are, as said before, still at the pleasure of the companies.
1751. Have not the means been very much crippled by the building of the museum or college at South Kensington; would there not have been ample means for trying all proper experiments if that building had not been commenced at South Kensington?—The Institute would certainly have had larger means at its disposal for other parts of its scheme if the Central College had not been begun; but in the opinion of those charged with the undertaking that college forms an integral and important element, and without it the scheme of instruction would have been very incomplete.
1752. But you do not consider the building at South Kensington to be adapted for the purpose, do you ?—I quite hope to find that it will be so.
1753. You cannot reasonably expect that that building at South Kensington, away from the homes of those for whom it is designed, will be of use to the artizan and labouring classes, can you ?—I think it has been already explained that it was not expected that the artizans employed in workshops would attend there. The Central Institution at South Kensington is intended for managers of works, engineers, industrial chemists, and others who have a desire for superior education and instruction in the branches of their industry; it is not contemplated that the same class of workmen who attend the Finsbury College and other like institutions would attend South Kensington Museum, and therefore the distance from the centres of industry is not expected prejudicially to affect the attendance of students at the Central Institution.
1754. What you have just quoted is not from the original prospectus of South Kensington, but rather a revised or new idea as to the application of the college at South Kensington, is it not?—It states, as nearly as I remember, the present views of the Council on the subject; and I am not aware that it is in any way at variance with the original intention.
1755. Do you not think that the present institutions now in existence, such as the South Kensington Museum (where all those things are taught which you are now going to teach at South Kensington) and the King's College, and similar institutions all round and about the metropolis, would have answered the purpose without your going to the extravagance of erecting (at a cost of, I think, some 80,000l. or 90,000l.) this building at South Kensington?—The purposes of the Normal School of Science at South Kensington is different from the purpose for which this Central Institution is intended,—one being for purely scientific education, while the other has a more direct bearing upon trades and the processes of manufacture.
1756. But the processes of manufacture are promoted by these very schools; I suppose the analytical chemist will be really the most valuable student you will get, because his knowledge will improve the profits of the manufacture by new extracts, new colours, and new designs, will it not?—There is no doubt that an expert chemist will be very valuable in a large chemical factory, but, short of the scientific member of such a staff, there are overseers and foremen of different grades whose skill and intelligence would be greatly improved by such instruction as we hope to give at the Central Institution, and which would be different from that which they could obtain at the Normal School of Science at South Kensington.
1757. If you had not commenced this building at South Kensington, would you do so now ?—That is a question I cannot answer without more consideration; but I see no reason for thinking that we should not.
1758. You would rather have the money in hand that the cost of that building will put you to, for useful purposes, than have it in a building and have to pay the enormous staff of professors and others that you will be obliged to have there, would you not? —I am not at all prepared to admit that.
1759. You doubt its usefulness at South Kensington, do you not ?—No, I do not at all.
1760. What class of engineers do you think of educating there?—We shall endeavour to adapt our courses, as far as possible, to the requirements of those who come; but, in general terms, we contemplate teaching the principles of applied mechanics, and the various branches of electric science which form a large portion of the industrial activity of the present time.
1761. All those things are now taught at South Kensington, the applied science and things of that kind, are they not ?—Not the construction, nor indeed all the use of the appliances which are employed in these processes.
1762. Do you contemplate having workshops at South Kensington?—Workshops for teaching the principles and mode of construction of things.
1763. The same professors as are now at South Kensington would pass over to your college, would they not ?—I do not see how this could be, as the whole time of the professors and teachers at the Central Institute would be occupied in the work of the Institute.
1764. Would not many of the same staff do so ?— I imagine that their time is already fully occupied where they are.
1765. Professor Huxley, for instance, comes over to you, does he not, and he is very busy at South Kensington ?—He is not in any way connected with the City and Guilds Institute.
1766. Is he not to be one of your professors; I thought the gentlemen who were here last week mentioned his name in connexion with it ?—He is not.
1767. How many students do you calculate you can accommodate at South Kensington ?—The number was calculated when the plans were drawn, but I do not recollect it.
1768. Of course the object of technical education is to teach what you would call the artizan or lower class in particular, is it not ?—We propose to teach the artizan, who is engaged in the ordinary parts of manufacture at colleges, of which that at Finsbury is a type; and at South Kensington to educate the higher grades for overseers, &c., as well as for training teachers.
1769. That brings me back to a question that you did not quite answer, and that will be my last one. Are there not sufficient schools already in existence to teach the higher grades, that is to say, are there not already sufficient schools and colleges in existence without creating a new one to teach what you contemplate teaching at South Kensington ?—I think not.
1770. For the education of professors and teachers, and men of that stamp ?—Not for teaching the technical subjects which we contemplate.
1771. May I ask you what you mean by the word "technical." I asked one of the gentlemen here the other day (it is very uncertain in its ramifications, I think). How would you yourself describe the word "technical"?—Definitions, unless very carefully considered, are always open to criticism; but I will try to illustrate my view of the question by an example. The student at the Normal School of Science has to learn the use of an instrument, and so much of its construction as will enable him to adjust it for his various experiments, and to know when it is in order or out of order. The artizan ought to be able to construct the instrument, to repair it if out of order, and to know when it is right. What we hope to add to the knowledge of the artizan is this: The ordinary artizan can construct the instrument from a given pattern, or from working drawings; but without these he can do little. Take the case of a man of science, who has an instrument adapted to electric currents of small strength or of low electro-motive force, and requires one for currents of great strength or of high electro-motive force, the ordinary workshop-instructed artizan is quite at a loss as to the proportions in which the instrument should be altered for the new circumstances. We hope to produce foremen and overseers with sufficient knowledge of the principles of science, as well as of construction, to enable them to form at least a fair estimate of the necessary differences in construction between the instruments to which they have been accustomed and new form required.
1772. (Sir S. Waterlow.) Will not the Central Institute bear the same relation to the technical schools in Finsbury and other places as a higher school does to an elementary school, and would not the system of technical education be incomplete if you had not the two grades of schools ?—I, am of that opinion.