Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 31.djvu/259

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247
GRAINS OF SAND.

ceptions, rude and almost unmanageable in the class-room, uninterested in the instruction, and scarcely able to await the hour of dismissal, when they would vacate the school-room rudely and in haste. Then the class-instruction was confined to the most elementary subjects, and the boys were unable or unwilling to read technical or scientific books with any show of profit. Now there are under school-instruction seventy-five as orderly and polite boys as are to be found in any high-school of the country, and among the very best of them are boys who a few months ago were conspicuous for rudeness and insubordination. There have been classes of apprentices in geometry, algebra, physics, locomotive-engine, mechanics, mechanical drawing, free-hand drawing, geometrical drawing, English and history, and a valuable method of instruction by special reading, selected and recommended by the teachers to each pupil, with special reference to his talents and the state of his education.

Last year, as a rule, boys had to be compelled to take up algebra and geometry; at this time many are promising promptness, regularity, and other inducements to secure admission to those classes, and a number have become very urgent for the higher science and mechanical studies. Many of these boys regularly spend their noons studying works in science and mechanics, going from shop to shop and from machine to machine, studying the principles involved in their construction and operation. Every examination for apprentices brings in a better class of applicants; as the result of which the standard upon which admission to the service is predicated is being gradually raised.

It may be added that the practical result of this report has been to induce the Board of Directors of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company to make a permanent appropriation of $20,000 annually for the conduct of this school, and that Dr. Barnard is now engaged in the preparation of plans for what will be the first technical railroad-school ever established in the United States.

 

GRAINS OF SAND.
By GEORGE WARDMAN.

THE manufacture of sand is an important industry, which has Pittsburg for its headquarters, although the sand is not made within the limits of the city. There is a considerable traffic in Monongahela sand, which is scooped up from the bed of the river, to be used for common building purposes; but the manufacture of sand is quite another affair, and the product goes into quite a different commodity, which is glass.

Practically glass is almost pure sand, other substances used in its