Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/268

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258
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

curricula of the great universities of Europe; and afterwards special schools were founded for teaching the applications of science to the arts. In France, the École des Ponts et Chaussées, originally started in 1747 as a drawing school, was organized in 1760 for the training of engineers. In the States of Germany, a number of similar schools were organized early in the present century. In America, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the pioneer in technical education, was founded in 1821, and was the only school devoted to applied science until the forties, when Joseph Sheffield and Abbot Lawrence established the schools which bear their names, in connection, respectively, with Yale and Harvard.

 
PSM V57 D268 Roger and walker buildings at mit.png
The Rogers Building, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is at the right, the Walker Building at the left.
 

With the development of railroads, which dates from the thirties, and of manufacturing, which began in this country but a few years earlier, urgent need was felt for schools which should fit younger men to grapple with the problems which the new industries offered. These schools, however, maintained for many years but a precarious existence and were quite elementary in character. The Civil War interrupted their growth and absorbed for a time all the resources of the nation; but its termination set free an abundant store of energy, henceforward to seek its chief application in the development of trade, commerce, manufacturing and industrial pursuits of every kind. From this time the success of schools of technology was assured. They were needed to supply young men for the development of the arts; but, on the other hand, as in all things not purely material, they were to create a demand for such men by first