Page images
PDF
EPUB

Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, N. J.

By FRANKLIN DeR. FURMAN, M. E,
Associate Professor of Mechanical Drawing and Designing

CTEVENS INSTITUTE lators of New York State in 1812, Col.

OF TECHNOLOGY, the first John Stevens earnestly petitioned them technical school for instruction in to construct a railroad instead of the

canal, and ventured to predict that an neering, was established in 1871 through average speed of thirty miles per hour the munificence of Mr. Edwin A. Stevens, could be attained, and that sixty miles who was the surviving member of a fam- might be. Twenty years later he built, ily trio that will ever rank among the as a private venture, on his own estate greatest of the world's pioneer engineers. in Hoboken, the first locomotive and rail

road track in America. This was soon A Family of Engineers

followed by the construction of the CamA word, in passing, may not be amiss den & Amboy Railroad, now a part of the to indicate what these three men (Col. Pennsylvania System. • John Stevens and his two sons, Robert During the war with England in 1813,

L., and Edwin A.) accomplished, and Robert L. Stevens invented the elongated how substantial a foundation they laid for shell to be fired from cannon. In 1814 the prestige that is attached to the name Col. John Stevens projected the circular of Stevens. Before the close of the iron fort to be revolved by steam; and eighteenth century Col. John Stevens was under his direction his son Edwin carried engaged in steamboat construction, and, on experiments to determine the results in the year 1804—three years before Ful- of firing cannon against iron plates, as ton's Clermont was started as a commer- a result of which the Stevens brothers cial enterprise-operated a steam propel- conceived the plan of applying iron platler boat on the Hudson River. His early ing to war vessels. In 1841 they entered plans, however, were many years in ad- into negotiations with the United States vance of the mechanic's art; and the pro- for the first armor-plated battleship. peller, now so universally employed, did Such were some of the inventions and not come into successful use for a long enterprises of the Stevens family of entime after. In 1807 he had under con- gineers. But this is not all, for in the struction the paddle-wheel vessel Phænir development of their comprehensive in his own shops at Hoboken; but Fulton plans in those early days, it was necesin that year imported an engine built in sary to invent many objects of detail England by Watt, and placed it in the which of themselves are of no small imClermont, thus being the first to make portance. Thus, when Col. John Stevens practical application of side-wheel boats. invented the tubular boiler, and applied By this act Fulton secured exclusive the principle of the screw to propeller rights to the waters of New York State blades in order to carry on his experifor steam navigation. Thus prohibited ments in navigation, there was no patent from operating his steamboats in home protection in this country; and so, on his waters, Colonel Stevens sent the Phænir petition, the Patent Law of April 10, around to Philadelphia in 1809, under the 1790, was founded. In order to carry on supervision of his son, Robert L. Stevens. the work of railroad development, Robert This was the first steam vessel to brave L. Stevens invented, in 1830, the T-rail the fury of old ocean. “For the resolute, and the railroad spike which are now in there is ever the open sea.”

universal use for track construction on While the construction of the Erie steam roads. It was R. L. Stevens who Canal was under discussion by the legis- used steam expansively, in 1815; who

[merged small][merged small][graphic]

MAIN BUILDING, STEVENS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, HOBOKEN, NEW JERSEY. is not the purpose of this article to enter Augustus Henderson, M. E., the sole into any further detail of their engineer- member of the first class of 1873, and the ing work. This digression is made, first, first person to receive legally the degree to show that the establishment of the of Mechanical Engineer. Stevens Institute of Technology as a Dr. Henry Morton was early engaged school of Mechanical Engineering was a as President by the Trustees; and he fitting outgrowth of the busy and suc- aided largely in laying down the plans cessful lives of three pioneer engineers; for the new institution, and in selecting and secondly, to record a matter of public the first faculty. This was a most iminterest not generally known.

portant task, for, while there were tech

nical schools in this country and abroad, Founding of the Institute

they were devoted mostly to Civil EngiEdwin A. Stevens died in 1868, leav- neering. There was no course anywhere ing in his will a block of land adjoining in Mechanical Engineering after which the family estate at Castle Point, Hobo to pattern. Under these circumstances ken, N. J.; $150,000 for the erection of a the outline on which the work of the new building; and $500,000 as an endowment institution was laid down by the Trustees fund for an “institution of learning.” and President Vorton was most remark

On the third Monday in September of able, for nothing that they prescribed the year 1871, the Trustees, having erect- has, in these thirty-three years, been ed a suitable building and assembled a found useless in a thorough course of in

[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

those who have gone beyond, builded so well that nowhere can progeny be found better fitted than their own; and so the sons of Stevens have, in the main, been chosen to carry on their work. The names of the men who thus originated and carried on the early development of the course are of men who achieved, prin cipally through their work while at the Stevens Institute of Technology, high places in their respective lines. These men were:

HENRY MORTON, Ph. D.. President.

ALFRED M. MAYER, Ph. D., Professor of Physics.

Starting with this faculty and with these subjects, the Institute has grown and broadened, always increasing its efficiency as the new facts resulting from discovery and investigation developed, until now its work might be briefly outlined as follows, taking the enumeration in the order of the departments mentioned above:

*Lieut-Col. H. A. Hascall was originally engaged as Professor of Mathematics; but, on account of ill-health, he taught only a few months. At the end of the first year he was succeeded by Professor Wood, who was the first to arrange the detail plan for this course.

[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

trol under one head, so that to-day there are in its place the Departments of Engineering Practice and Experimental Engineering, each carrying on subdivided branches of work. In the former department, the students are carried through a very thorough course of instruction in the general principles controlling the action and generation of heat, and the power and economy of prime movers. They are also instructed in the general principles governing the design and operation of various other machines and mechanisms, such as pumping engines, air compressors, and refrigerating machines.

etc.; they also include a number of experiments in hydraulics, and in numerous essential mechanical devices such as safety-valves, dynamometers, belting, gear trains, indicators, gauges, thermometers, feed-water heaters, and water heaters, and investigation of such processes as radiation, condensation, friction, flow of steam, determination of properties of woods and metals, analysis of fue gases, refrigeration, etc. This work is all carried on in the light and commodious quarters provided by Mr. Andrew Carnegie in 1902, in the Carnegie Laboratory of Engineering, which adjoins the main Institute building.

Allied with the Department of Engineering Practice is the course in Shop Work, in which the students are carried through a carefully graduated set of exercises in Carpentry, Blacksmithing, Pattern-Making, Foundry-Practice, and Steam-Fitting.

to Descriptive Geometry; Analysis of Mechanical Movements; Valves, Valve Diagrams, and Valve Gears; practical Machine Design; and practice in Steel Construction Work. It is recognized that in this department the instruction must, to a maximum degree, combine theory and practice; so the instructors aim to keep in touch with modern shop practice, and to give to the students that which will be the most useful when they enter upon their professional careers. The work of this department is carefully coördinated with that of the several Engineering Departments.

In the Department of Chemistry the students are grounded in the fundamental principles of the subject by means of experimental lectures and recitations supplemented with a thorough laboratory course in Engineering Chemistry.

The Department of Languages provides courses in French (or Spanish) and German. These languages have a practical value to the engineer in his professional work, and also afford that kind of mental discipline and culture which mathematical and physical science, if followed exclusively, would fail to supply.

[graphic]

A CORNER IN THE New MACHINE SHOP. The Department of Mathematics provides a thorough training in the principles of Mathematics, with various and numerous applications to practical engineering problems. Special attention is given in the first two years to the mathematical consideration of elementary Mechanics, and in the last two years to more advanced work in the same line. This work is made to coördinate with the work in the Department of Physics during the first two years, and with the several Engineering Departments during the last two years. It is held that in confining the work of this department as far as possible to practical problems, the students are rendered more efficient, and they gain greater confidence in the use of Mathematics.

The Department of Mechanical Drawing has enlarged upon its original scope, and is now known as the Department of Mechanical Drawing and Designing, which better describes the work conducted at the present day. The students are first taught the efficient use of drawing instruments. The course then carries them through the theoretical and practical requirements of the modern drafting room. Special attention is given

[graphic][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »