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practise he could become a skilful workman. The problem then was to fix the pupil in a position where he could get this subsequent experience. To give him some training in the school and then set him adrift to find his place in the trade was not fair to him, nor was it of any benefit to the trade. In most cases it would mean another addition to the already large number of half-trained workmen.
Consequently an indenture form was adopted, drawn up on modern lines, with terms and conditions liberal enough to attract any ambitious boy who wished to learn the trade. A new and greatly increased scale of wages was offered, and a closer scrutiny of the applicant's qualifications for the work was instituted. This apprenticeship agreement covers a term of four years, the first year of the term to be spent in the School of Printing. No wages are paid for this first year, but a tuition fee of $100 is charged. At the beginning of the second year the apprentice enters his employer's workroom and receives $9 per week for the next half year, then $10 per week for the next half year, and is gradually advanced until in the last half of the fourth year he receives $16 per week.
Since its inception the school has been guided in its policy and conduct by a board of leading master printers, who have been active in its support. These gentlemen have given much time and thought to the problem of the trade school, and it is probable that in this country no other group of employers, equally prominent in their business relations, has considered the question more closely or broadly. They have considered it always with regard to the highest interest of the apprentice (who is the future workman) and the workman already engaged in his trade, as well as of the employer who needs their service. The exploitation of one class at the expense of another has never actuated the conduct of the management of the School of Printing.
The school has an apprenticeship committee, consisting of several master printers of Boston, and
this committee, or the boys' prospective employers, select the boys who are taken into the school. In this way the effort is made to obtain boys of good character and who have the necessary educational qualifications.
A unique affair in connection with the work of the school was its Apprenticeship Festival held on the evening of October 30th last. The occasion was the signing of indentures by ten pupils in the school, and their parents and prospective employers. There were present, beside these, many other printers and persons outside of the trade who are interested in trade schools and technical education. Mr. J. Stearns Cushing, chairman of the supervisors, presided, and gave a brief sketch of the work of the school. Addresses were also made by President Pritchett of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, William H. Sayward of the Master Builders' Association, and Geo. H. Ellis, president of the United Typothetæ. These gentlemen all spoke enthusiastically of this modern revival of apprenticeship and pointed out the important part which such a scheme should play in the trade education of the future.
The instruction in the school embraces book, job, and advertising composition, and platen press work. The students are furnished with written copy and each one is required to do all the operations necessary to complete any given piece of work.
A “first proof” is, for the most part, the pupil's own conception of the work, while subsequent proofs embody the results of the instructor's criticism. If there is fault with punctuation, or use of capitals, or choice of type, or other features, these matters are usually considered one at a time, the corrections made, and another proof taken. In this way, each piece of work may necessitate a series of proofs, and during its progress the pupil has received instruction which applies not only to the particular job but to other work of a similar nature.
The “copy” for work done by the pupils is prepared by the instructor, and is graded from plain
paragraphs, in which spacing, justification, etc., are considered, gradually proceeding to the make-up of book pages, tables, general jobbing and display work; practise is also given in the composition of borders,
ornaments, and cuts. The working time of the school is the same as a regular workshop, and apprentices are responsible to their employers for regular attendance and faithful performance of the work.
THE VALUE OF APPRENTICESHIP
AN N apprenticeship indenture is simply an agree
ment between two persons to perform certain acts which are of mutual advantage. Printing, as well as other trades, is feeling the need of such an agreement as a basis of trade training, and the North End Union School of Printing deems that an apprenticeship indenture is essential to its success. It is believed that this principle is quite as essential to other trade schools wherein the shop supplements in any large measure the school training.
Why is an indenture necessary, or desirable ?
The problem of trade training is made all the more complex by the system of specialization which obtains in every trade to a greater or less extent. This system, by which the processes of manufacturing are divided into parts, each part being done by different workmen, is developing as rapidly as new inventions and methods can be discovered. The time required to learn a single process is much less than is needed to learn several, and the learner becomes a productive unit just that much sooner. It is an economic achievement in manufacturing whenever a new device eliminates a pair of hands, or a machine is so perfected that the intelligence necessary to operate it is reduced to a minimum.
However much we may inveigh against this system as regards its narro
rrowing or benumbing effect on the individual workman, we must recognize its economic value in production, and therefore this system of specialization will undoubtedly continue.
It might seem, in view of this high specialization, that the all-round workman is doomed. But it is not so. A recent inquiry was made of a number of large manufacturing machinists relative to the effect of specialization on trade training and it was the unanimous opinion that beginners from sixteen to twenty years should not specialize narrowly in learning the mechanical process, provided their education and ambition qualify them for more general training, It was further affirmed that a certain number of all-round workmen, variously estimated from ten to fifty per cent of the whole number employed, are
needed even in those industries where specialization has been carried to the extreme, and that the demand for men broadly trained and having large industrial intelligence is increasing.
One large manufacturer of machine tools says: “As from year to year machinery grows more perfect, more automatic machinery is introduced, and greater specialization in certain lines is necessary, the demand for particularly trained workmen, according to our experience, will, if anything, but greater than it is now."
Thus it will be seen that under the most modern methods of production a certain number of broadly trained, all-round workmen are needed.
It takes time and opportunity to develop this superior industrial intelligence, and if any large part of this training is to be given in the shop, it is essential that the time and opportunity be assured. An indenture gives this assurance more surely than any other method.
The National Metal Trades Association has formally declared that, “A proper apprenticeship system is essential to the education and perpetuation of skilled mechanics." AN INDENTURE GUARANTEES TO THE BOY:
(1) The opportunity to learn his trade as a whole. (2) A fixed wage and a steady increase.
(3) More rapid advancement in trade training. AN INDENTURE GUARANTEFS TO THE EMPLOYER:
(1) Continuous service of the boy for a definite time.
(2) A better grade of boy. An employer will not enter into a contract covering several years with a boy whom he does not select with care.
(3) More faithful service. By such an agreement the boy realizes that his interests are bound up with his employer's and that his advancement dependsupon how he improves his opportunity.
In a word, the employer wants a number of all round workmen, not specialists alone, and he is willing to furnish the opportunity for the necessary
[ Form of agreement between master printer, pupil-apprentice, and School of Printing /
This Indenture, made and entered into this third day of October, one thousand nine hundred and six, by and between Henry G. Brown, guardian of Louis H. Brown, a minor, at the age of seventeen years, on the twelfth day of July, and the said Louis H. Brown, whose consent to the making of this indenture is expressed and testified to by his becoming a party hereto and signing the same, parties of the first part, and Franklin W. Nelson & Co., party of the second part.
Witnesseth, that said Henry G. Brown, guardian of said Louis H. Brown, and by and with his consent, as aforesaid, has bound, and by these presents does bind the said Louis H. Brown, minor, to said Franklin W. Nelson & Co., as an apprentice to learn the trade of printing at the work-rooms and offices of the aforesaid party of the second part, for the term of four years from the date hereof, with the express understanding that one year of the said term of four years shall be devoted to the training of the North End Union School of Printing, at 20 Parmenter Street, Boston.
And hereby covenants that said Louis H. Brown shall and will faithfully serve and perform all the duties of an apprentice to the said Franklin W. Nelson & Co., and that he will not absent himself from the said School of Printing or from his place without previous permission, unless compelled by sickness or unavoidable accident.
That he will be prompt and regular in his attendance at said School of Printing, and will strive to perform to the best of his ability the work required of him in said School.
That he will neither waste the goods, nor needlessly injure or destroy any machinery, tools, or other property that may be put in his hands or under his control.
That he will use his best efforts to complete such work as may be given to him, to the satisfaction of his employer.
And that if said apprentice shall fail to perform the work of said School of Printing in a satisfactory manner, or shall prove idle or unteachable, profligate, or disobedient, or violate this agreement, the said Franklin W. Neison & Co., if they choose, may be released from all obligations under this contract.
In consideration whereof, the said Franklin W. Nelson & Co. agree and bind themselves to teach, or cause to be taught to him, said Louis H. Brown, in addition to the training of said School of Printing, the trade of printing as fully and completely as the same may be in the power of the respective parties to teach and receive, and to pay, or cause to be paid, by the said Franklin W'. Nelson & Co., to the said Louis H. Brown, for his services as an apprentice, as aforesaid, the first six months and the second six months of his term of apprenticeship having been spent in the said School of Printing, as follows:
The sum of nine dollars per week for the third six months, ten dollars per week for the fourth six months thereafter, eleven dollars per week for the fifth six months, twelve dollars per week for the sixth six months, fourteen dollars per week for the seventh six months, and sixteen dollars per week for the eighth six months ; provided nevertheless, that payment for all time which the said Louis H. Brown may be absent from the workrooms and offices of the said Franklin W. Nelson & Co. is to be deducted from the sum otherwise by this agreement due from and payable by the said Franklin W. Nelson & Co. to the said Louis H. Brown.
In testimony whereof, the said parties have hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals to duplicate copies hereof the day and year above written.
[L.s.) Louis H. Brown.
THE NEED OF AN APPRENTICESHIP SYSTEM dred thousand who are buried ? Perhaps two thou
sand, perhaps twenty-five hundred. The rest are periBY THOMAS TODD *
patetic wanderers around the face of the earth, OF
F course it goes without saying that the above “looking for a job.” If it is boot-heeling, the man
heading conveys the entire truth in the matter. is all right; if it is upholstery work, he may be set I will quote a little from a slip that I picked up, to polishing chairs or some other simple thing; which purports to be extracts from an article entitled he has no trade; he has no vocation. To my think“ The Benefits of Organization.” It says, in part, ing, the prospect is exceedingly dismal, unless there " Skilled mechanics have been gradu
is a determined effort on the part of ally decreasing in number, while in
all manufacturers to see that the the almighty rush for the dollar but
“The best I know how," proper proportion of boys are trained little provision has been made for
is the basis of thoroughly in the trade in which the the education of others to take their
success and highest
manufacturers are engaged. places. Mechanics of to-day are de
must not only save the industry generating into specialists. Both
of our country from appproaching specialists and all-around workmen
disaster, for the ultimate want of must sooner or later be replaced
sufficient men competent to operate with others competent to take their
them, but also we must afford the places.” Today you can hire a man
is the language of the
rising generation the opportunity to drive nails in the heel of a boot,
slouch, the fore
to fit themselves for a profitable or, in other words, tend a boot-heel- runner of failure
livelihood, not only for their own ing machine; and he will work faith
personal welfare, but also for the fully for you five, ten, fifteen, or
good of the country in general.” twenty-five years. At the end, if the boot-heeling I have been reading a book by Sir Joseph Moxon, machine is thrown out by some other machine that in which he gives an account of the apprenticeship includes boot-heeling with its other work, the man system in vogue two hundred years ago; excluding is stranded in his old age, and has nothing to de- the barbaric actions existing at that time, there is pend upon, unless he takes up street cleaning, shov- much which might well be imitated at the present eling dirt, or some other non-brain-requiring work. time. Of course there are a great many offices where Had the man, when he first started in to work, gone it is practically impossible for a lad to obtain inthrough the different branches of the establishment, struction in all the branches of the trade; and known something beside boot-heeling, he might, in equally of course, there are offices where one can the failure of one branch of the trade, have taken be taught. May the latter be increased, for it is for up another branch in the same place, still earning a the good of the country at large that they should living. I cite this imaginary example simply to increase in number. show that we are all specialists, or in danger of be- As to the former class, where it cannot be taught, coming so at the present time. If we look about we the Trade School is an indispensable factor in the find very few being taught the general branches of case, and should be encouraged by all manufactany trade or profession.
urers and right minded workmen to its fullest capacTake a hundred thousand trained workmen to- ity. For myself, I have just been looking upon an day, and remember that after a certain term of years apprenticeship indenture signed Thomas Todd, and every one of that hundred thousand will be dead. drawn the roth of November, 1827. It is needless Who is being trained to take the place of the hun- to say that this was my honored father. The indent
ure is hanging in my counting-room. A customer * Mr. Thomas Todd is one of the old-time printers of Boston, following the trade of his father. For nearly a century the appren
of mine, coming to the office and reading the indentticeship system has been in vogue in this family of printers. ure, turned to me and remarked, “Say, Todd, were but a
you at the Battle of Bunker Hill ?” Of course it cult, if not practically impossible, to give the apwas hard to convince him that I was not there. prentice the attention necessary to make a good Hanging underneath this indenture is the gradua- workman. Under such conditions I see no other tion diploma of Thomas Todd, my son, who is the way than to call in the aid of the Trade School to third Thomas Todd to attempt to draw profits from give the apprentice "such preliminary instruction as the printing business. Therefore, it will readily be will enable the employer to adjust him to shop conseen that there are laws of heredity. I should be, ditions and then in the shop to complete the trainand am, and hope my son will be, in favor
ing necessary to make him a competent of the apprenticeship system.
workman. With the Trade School as an The modus operandi that is carried on
adjunct of the shop, there seems to be no in my office is somewhat like this: An
good reason why the employer may not,
power, apprentice is not formally indentured with
with profit to himself and with service to
more or less, apprenticeship papers, but is put upon
the trade in general, train up skilled workhis honor. He is put to work at a living
men, provided due care is given to the wage, enough to support him decently.
quality of apprentices selected. At the end of six months he receives an
Perhaps I have wearied you ; at any rate,
up on good increase of $1 per week, and so at the end
I would say to the Trade Schools, Do all of every six months his wages are increased
you can. To the manufacturer who can $1 per week. The term usually required is
introduce an apprenticeship system, Go five years, at the end of which time the
ahead ; and to the Trade School that must apprentice, his fellow apprentices, the heads
take up the work which is impossible to do of departments, and the workmen are gathered into in so many other places, Go ahead in your good the counting-room and the “boss ” presents the work. I firmly believe not only that the good sense apprentice with his graduation diploma, $50 in gold, of the manufacturing community will sustain you, a few feeble remarks, and then the now full fledged but also that you will be supported by the contriworkman receives the congratulations and the hand- butions and assistance of all patriotic, right minded, shaking of all present. I do not remember ever to and sensible men. have had an apprentice leave me, except from sickness or some other reason entirely outside of his A PLAN of shop apprenticeship that is in operavocation. When an apprentice is backward, and fails
tion in one large sheet metal workers' estab
lishment in Philadelphia provides for a bonus to be to come up to his requirements, or rather the re
paid to the apprentice upon the completion of his quirements of the office, I hold the apprentice back
term of indenture. The apprentice is started at a until by reading and studying and application he
wage of $5 a week, which is increased $1 at the comes up to the standard. I have in this manner kept end of each six months during a period of four my office well supplied with good workmen, have years. In addition to this, his employer deposits in a furnished workmen for outside parties, and I think fund $1 each week during the entire period, making benefited the trade generally. One of my workmen a bonus of $208 with accrued interest that is paid after graduation went to Colorado, as his health
to the apprentice at the end of apprenticeship term. seemed to require it, and immediately had a situation
It is understood that this $1-a-week bonus is not at double the salary of Boston workmen ; he is now
in any sense part of the boy's wages, but is offered
as an inducement for him to serve his term faithin charge of a large department of one of the largest
fully. The agreement is made with the boy's parents printing offices in the state of Colorado. Another,
and provision is made that the amount deposited upon graduation, went to Sweden, his native land,
will be forfeited upon failure of the apprentice to and became superintendent of a large printing plant observe the agreement. there, with a salary of twenty-five hundred crowns per year. A crown has the purchasing value in
DON'T be afraid of a strict employer; you'll Sweden that one dollar in this country would have. never learn from an easy one. Don't overIn another case, I was obliged to hold an appren- estimate your talents; remember that competition tice back two years because he did not develop as is an accurate scale and may find them wanting. he should. He realized it as well as I, and today
Don't dream while you work; work and dreams don't he is a man honored in his work.
go together. Don't be afraid of hard experiences; The apprenticeship such as I håve described is
they make the best of teachers. Don't be afraid to
do little things willingly. Don't always have a grudge possible in a shop that is small enough to allow a
against your employer; he has his faults; so have close personal supervision of the work of the ap
you; no one is without them. Don't feel yourself prentice, but in large establishments employing better than your position, especially if you have a many men under the direction of a foreman having so-called "education." Don't remain unfamiliar with a multiplicity of details to look out for, it is diffi- new ideas and improved methods.