Chapter 6 1941 - 1950 6:8. Education Programs that Support the Growth of Amateur Woodworking

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Industrial Arts Programs Push the Home-Workshop Concept

Starting in the mid-1920s, woodworker's manuals -- such as  William H Johnson and Louis V. Newkirk's General Woodworking  1946 --  promoted home workshops for boys taking Industrial Arts courses for about three decades, until the mid or late 1950s.  

The jpg below captures the explanation of the "home workshop" in Emanuel E Ericson's 1946 Teaching the Industrial Arts, which starts on page 141, but the home workshop theme is developed further on pages that follow and the bibliography section lists several other studies on the home workshop idea.

home workshop ericson 1946

Johnson and Newkirk, toward the  end of the two decades, dedicate a chapter -- almost 20 pages of text -- to the concept, "the homeworkshop" . The box below contains a fragment of their manuals last chapter:

At times you [the student taking a course in woodworking] may wish to build a wooden object that cannot be made in the school shop but might well be made at home. This is particularly true of objects that require more time than is available at school or those that require considerable space.

The Purpose of a Home Workshop

The home workshop enables a boy to spend his leisure profitably. In working there he gains valuable experience with tools and materials. Much technical information is acquired in working with wood and other materials and in doing repair jobs in the home. The home workshop may be devoted entirely to working with one kind of material, such as metal, wood, plastics, or clay, or it may be designed so that work may be done there in more than one of these materials.

If you live in a home where repair jobs on the building must be done, provision should be made in the workshop for such work as painting window screens and making minor plumbing and electrical repairs. Since this is a book on woodworking, we are concerned mainly with a home workshop that is centered about wood. However, many objects made chiefly of wood have some metal parts, and often electrical connections are desired....

Source: William H Johnson and Louis V. Newkirk  General Woodworking  New York: Macmillan, 1946

See also George A.Willoughby and Duane G. Chamberlain, General Shop Handbook; Instruction Units for Beginners in School and at Home. Peoria, IL: Manual Arts, 1943. 96 pages  and/or   Woodworker's Manuals #8: Authors of Woodworker's Manuals Advocating Homeworkshops for Boys in Woodwoking Courses    (The second of three editions, the first and third, respectively, 1936 and 1958, Willoughby and Chamblerlain's woodworker's manual follows the same theme as the textbooks designed for industrial education by Emanuel E Ericson -- four eds for 1930 through 1976 -- the inclusion of the homeworkshop component for boys. What is different about Willoughby and Chamberlain is that not until 1958 is any attention given power tools in the textbook's contents.)

On the Home Front, Woodworking Courses Given Under Wartime Conditions

Using the database, I located the article below. While locating it, I saw several other articles about similar programs offered across America. With this evidence,  I am convinced that, more or less, the conditions concerning programs for adult education in the World War II era in Cedar Rapids IA that this article describes prevailed throughout the nation's cities and towns.

Tailored To Wartime Conditions, Night School Will Open Sept. 20, 1943

Adapting its calendar and curriculum more and more to wartime conditions, the Cedar Rapids night school will open next Monday. Sept 20, at 7 pm, for the fall session of twelve weeks, with a schedule rearranged for the convenience and benefit of Cedar Rapids citizens who wish to develop new skills or improve old ones. All classes will be held at McKinley high school with the exception of woodworking, which will to taught at Franklin.
(A display advertisement to this issue or The Tribune lists the various courses to be offered,  together with class: schedules and fees.)

E H Christensen, night school principal, reminds the Cedar Rapids public night classes are open to all persons who are not enrolled in regular day school and there are no educational, training or age requirements. Enrollments in  all classes will remain open for two weeks after the session begins or until classes are filled. A two-dollar registration fee, plus the cost of any books or materials, covers the cost of the twelve weeks of work.

Courses offered include the following: machine shop training, blue print reading, shop arithmetic and measuring tools, mechanical drawing, sheet metal pattern drafting, woodworking, shorthand, typing, bookkeeping and sewing.
Shop Courses Open to Women
Because of the manpower shortage in local industry, women will be taking over many of tint shop positions formerly held by men. Local industries have therefore recommended that women  be encouraged to enroll for night school courses in either blueprint reading, shop arithmetic or drafting. These courses cover the  basic steps in shop practice,  and are set up not only to train beginners, but also to broaden the knowledge of men and women already employed in defense plants.

In order to reduce gasoline and tire consumption of those  driving to night school, the schedule has been revised so that class which formerly met three nights per week now meet two nights per week for a longer perlod. All classes will meet on Monday all Thursday evenings, with the exception of advanced typing and shorthand....

Woodwork will taught at  Franklin high school on Tuesday and Thursday evenings beginning Tuesday evening, Sept. 21, at d:30. Those wishing to take woodworking may enroll at Franklin on Tuesday evening in the woodworking shop. ... These classes meet three times per week, three hours each day.
It you are working in an essential war plant, consult the personnel director about these classes. If you are not in an essential industry, you are may enroll at the United States Employment Service office.
Training is given on the drill press, engine lathe, milling machine, and bench and layout work. ...

Source: Cedar Rapids, IA Tribune Sept 16, 1943, pages 1 and 4

The Struggle to Achieve Teaching Standards in Industrial Arts

(This is a topic that I intend on developing in greater detail later. At the moment, because of an over-due date on a library book, I am simply making a note:

The Craftsman Prepares to Teach, by David Frederick Jackey and Melvin L. Barlow, New York: Macmillan company, 1944, is a treatise that addresses a simmering problem in woodworking courses: for effective command in the high school woodworking courses -- to master your "trade" -- you must have proven (1) skill in woodworking and (2) expertise as a classroom teacher. Since these two talents don't often come together in one person, the matter became a problem the profession tried to fix, a problem made even more acute when 100s of 1000s of America's men were deployed into combat in World War II.
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