School of Mechanic Arts

Completion of the new Mechanical Building in 1888 made it possible for President Dabney to institute a School of Mechanic Arts. This school acted as a service program to other degree-granting curricula. Within it, one might take a year of woodworking (meeting six hours a week), one term in forging, about a year and a half in machine-shop practice, as well as some pattern making. All engineers took such courses. The purpose was not to train artisans, but to “teach self-mastery, to develop a respect for labor, to train hand and mind to move together, and to learn and appreciate drawing and accurate observation.” Dabney persuaded the navy to detail an engineer to the university to teach mechanical engineering, arguing that to do so would be to create a source of trained men in mechanical matters if the navy needed them. Engineer T. F. Burgdorff was detailed to the university for four years, assisting with mechanical engineering.

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  • Title School of Mechanic Arts
  • Author
  • Keywords School of Mechanic Arts
  • Website Name Volopedia
  • Publisher University of Tennessee Libraries
  • URL
  • Access Date April 21, 2024
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update October 16, 2018