Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Vintage photo: Learning practical design in Boston

For Back to School Week, it doesn't have to be all about the kids. The caption on this photo from a 1908 book states: "Students of practical design at work-school of industrial art, Boston."

All of the students shown in the photo are women, with the except of one young man on the left.

Clearly, he either flunked out of law school or was smart enough to realize how great the female-to-male ratio of students was at this place.

There is no mention of the specific name of the school. I wonder if it's the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, which opened in 1873 and is located in Boston. It was originally called the Massachusetts Normal Art School and was founded in the same general time period when MIT first opened its doors. These days, MassArt offers degrees in studies ranging from animation to architectural design to photography.

This crop and enlargement provides a closer look at some of the students working at tables.

The book that contains this photograph was compiled by a man whose name is familiar here at Papergreat — Henry Davenport Northrop, D.D., The Well Known Author. Henry, of course, specialized in books with long titles. And this 700+ page volume was no exception:

"The American
Home Educator

Book of Universal Knowledge

Concise and Exhaustive Articles Upon Science, Arts and Mechanics — Automobiles, Aerial Transportation, Cinematograph, Liquid Air, Submarine Navigation, Pneumatic Tubes, Wireless Telegraphy, War Balloons, Etc., Etc.,
All The latest Discoveries and Inventions
Ship Building; Petrified Forests; Gold Products of the World; Curious Facts; Wonders of Electricity; History and Travel; The X-Ray, Etc., Etc..
Being A
Complete Treasury of Knowledge
on Scientific, Historical, Artistic and All Important Subjects, the Whole Forming a Superb Library of the Most Valuable Information
including the
Best Selections from the Writings of Hundreds of Men Renowned in Science, Invention and Discovery, such as Edison, Marconi, Tripler, Mergenthaler, Tesla, Roentgen, Bell, Proctor, Morse, Etc."

That's five uses of "Etc." in one title, if you're scoring at home.

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1 comment:

  1. Dear Chris Otto: Thanks for a fascinating post. The "Students of practical design at work-school of industrial art, Boston," pictured in the Henry Davenport Northrop volume were more likely enrolled at the Lowell School of Practical Design which was organized under the auspices of MIT. The school, located in Boston's Back Bay, is now part of Northeastern University. Dr. Geoff Drutchas