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the conditions of maintenance and regular working, which constant familiarity with objects and phenomena alone can provide, are earliest in order. Conservation first and improvement afterwards.
Another consideration in this connection, is that scientific aid appears to be more readily provided for the practical” man, than practical aid for the "scientific" man. The trained scholar can the more readily adapt himself to the situation. He should suggest many more improvements than would ever crystallize in an equally good, but undisciplined mind. Yet his attempt, with mere scholastic aids, to carry these improvements out, might disorganize a whole establishment. As there must be one final authority, judgment founded on experience almost universally ranks the wider and more fruitful culture of the school. And if we ask those great masters whose experimental knowledge is as wide as their scientific culture, they will tell us, tliat as the inert and clumsy fly-wheel, that typical conservator, is more helpful to a steam-engine in the long run, than a valve-gear so highly organized that it seems to know what it ought to do—so in their own undertakings, plodding, practical economics must sit in judgment upon Theory and limit the reaches of Imagination.
Another evil growing out of the inadequate regard of mere schoolmen for practice, is the frequent failure of their works or their inability to complete them. Inventions and constructions designed after a scientific method and under the light of organized facts and detailed history as laid down in books, may fail simply in default of a practical knowledge of how far the capital at hand will reach, or what the means at hand will do, or what the materials at hand will stand, or what the labor and assistance at hand can be relied on to accomplish. A vast number of facts about the operation of forces in materials are so subtle, or so incompletely revealed or disentangled from groups of phenomena, that they cannot be defined in words, nor understood if they could be formulated. But after long familiarity with the general behavior of materials under stress, a practical expert can, by a process more like instinct than reason, judge how far and in what directions he may safely push his new combinations. Thus while the unschooled practician usually wastes his energies in unscientific methods and on impossible combinations, but generally carries into successful use his comparatively few well-founded attempts, the student merely of principles and abstract facts usually originates the ideas upon which progress is founded, and rarely clothes them with practical bodies. In this chasm between science and art, how much effort and treasure, and even life, are swallowed up year by year!
These are not theoretical considerations. The blast-furnace, the converter and the open-hearth have already been referred to; let us observe some other illustrations. A bridge-builder will tell us that few structures in his department of engineering fail by reason of mistakes in calculating the strain-sheet, but that the majority of failures arise from vibrations, buckling, rapid wear of important parts, shapes that weaken the material inequalities in the material, and similar causes which are not stated in books, which assume different aspects under every change of proportions and dimensions, and which can only be inferred by means of a long familiarity with the behavior of similar structures during varying periods of service, and with the processes by which materials and members are fabricated. The builder of a machine like a marine-engine, or a locomotive, or a rolltrain, or a steam-hammer will tell us that, in designing new adaptations, after every stress that can be distinctly analyzed is provided for, mass to resist vibration, changes of shape to insure sound casting, and various modifications which cannot be formulated for the want of even approximately complete knowledge of their conditions, must still be supplied, simply by judgment founded on long observation of phenomena under similar conditions. And he will thus explain nine-tenths of the failures. Who can imagine the volume of a book, or of an author wbich should adequately teach the principles of construction as affected by the chiefest of all practical considerationsthe economics of the foundry, the forge, and the machine-shop ? With the tools and facilities at hand, what divisions of a particular structure, what shapes and sizes and methods of joining will be cheap as well as strong and efficient, in all the infinite forms of mechanism ? Obtaining such facts from any other source than personal practice, would be like an oarsman studying a book to know when and how in the race he must husband his power, or like a wrestler looking out in a cyclopædia the probable feints of his antagonist.
The successful constructor will assure us that no possible training in the school nor any genius in invention can build economically without such a knowledge of the shop as the athlete has of the possibilities of muscular strength and agility.
These arts have been selected as examples, not because they chiefly depend on skill, but because they so largely involve the highest, formulated mathematical knowledge. How much more important, then, is practical training in those departments where physical laws are very incompletely understood and formulated. How far short of practical success will abstract science stop in sinking pneumatic piles through wrecks and boulders, in tunneling rocks traversed by subterranean, streams and beds of quicksand, in cheaply applying hoisting, ventilating, and draining machinery to mines where the scene and conditions of operation are constantly shifting, in firmly founding heavy and vibrating machinery on treacherous ground, in handling and casting melted steel, in constructing refractory metallurgical vessels, in delivering bars red-hot and crooked in infinite directions to a roll-train, in fabricating durable breech-loading cannon, in building boilers that shall provide for vaporization, circulation, separation, cleaning, and durability, in designing enginery like the horse-shoe machine to shape metals, in proportioning gasfurnaces, in submarine warfare, in aerial navigation, in machinetools, in traction-engines, in scaffolding and erection, in railway running-gear, in forming artificial stone under water, in permanent way, in coal-cutting, 'in dredging-machinery, in moulding and casting, in brick-machinery, in tube-drawing, in coal-burning, in pavements ? Limited or impossible as would be the progress of engineering arts in the absence of that knowledge and those methods which are imparted in schools, delay and failure would hardly be less conspicuous if the schoolmen should stay in the schools and thence attempt the application of abstract science, or expect mere workmen to apply it by hearkening to their directions,
I hope it may not seem that the dignity of abstract scientific investigation is undervalued by the utilizers of nature's powers and materials, or that any considerations of profit obscure even in the average commercial mind, the splendor of those achievements made in the mere love of truth, with thought of neither commercial application por pecuniary reward-achievements which distinguish such names as Faraday, Bunsen, Leverrier, Mayer, Joule, Henry, Darwin, and Tyndall. Do not their successes rather encourage us, in our lower sphere, to more persistently pursue the method of these great discoverers—the original investigation of Nature's truths ? Not less literally than in the poet's fancy,
“ To him who in the love of Nature holds
To the skilled artisan she reveals herself as truly, though not as widely, as to the philosopher. In the aphorism of Goethe,
“Mankind dwells in her and she in them.
With all men she plays a game for love,
But the undervaluation of the study of objects and phenomena by schoolmen, is not the principal hindrance to the complete union of science and art. A greater obstacle is the combined misapprehension and ignorance on the part of a large class of “practical” men, of what they are pleased to call “theory,” meaning by theory, something which is likely to be discordant with fact—or possibly with the interests of the craft. We can hardly complain that their objection is ill-grounded, in so far as it is grounded upon the practice of theoretical men, but the world has a right to complain of their narrowness of observation, of their stolid incomprehension of the results of science, of that pride of ignorance, of that bigotry, of that positive fear of the diffusion of knowledge, the normal condition of those who range only within the sphere of their own practice, and to whom analysis and generalization, in their business affairs, as well as in morals and politics, are an unknown thing. It is unfortunately true that a large number of managers in metallurgical enterprises--men who are deemed indispensable, and who, probably, are indispensable, in the average state of practical science, are thus not incorrectly characterized. Conscious of their power as conservators, ignorant of the elements of improvement, and not unfrequently jealous and blindly fearful for the interests of their craft, they sit triumphant on an eminence (the steady undermining of which they cannot observe), and sneer at the too frequently condescending magniloquence of recent graduates and bookmen. The best of this class are the workful and painstaking men who come up from the ranks—men who are plucky in emergencies and regulative of labor—men whose unconscious reasoning or intuition covers the ordinary exigencies, and who, perhaps for this very reason, never inform themselves outside of their own range of observation, nor observe in a methodical or fruitful manner.
There is also a class of practicians who do secretly and abstractly respect the labors of the scientific investigator, and are unwillingly governed, more or less, by his conclusions ; but their minds are so barren of general facts and so untrained in the scientific methods of utilizing facts, and, hence, so distrustful of any ideas which reach beyond their own practice, that they, also, are impediments rather than helpers in the union of Science and Art. It is often said, I am aware, that there is never any real antagonism
Ι between Science and Art, and that all men respect, even if they do not promote, the efforts of both scientists and practicians, to forward the useful arts. What then shall we say of that phase of tradesunionism, which not only tends to repress improvement but which, often, violently defeats the works of progressive thinkers, and sometimes destroys their authors ? Let us also observe an extreme, but not isolated, case of the executive treatment of science. Long before the professional career of most of us began, the Erie Railway Company commenced a series of experiments in civil and mechanical engineering, sometimes elaborate, like those of Zerah Colburn on traction, and always useful; many of them incorporated with and improving the practice of the road for a quarter of a century. The voluminous drawings and records of this experimental practice, always preserved by the engineers of the road, were just beginning to be remembered by young and inquiring engineers, as a mine of professional information, when it was discovered—you will hardly. believe me—that the engineer of the Erie road having been turned out, the whole of this priceless accumulation of reports and drawings was dragged off by the cartload to a paper mill, and destroyed by James Fisk, Jr. In reviewing the railway history of the country, many of you will remember that this act of vandalism bas been by no means the worst blow which engineering has received from so-called practical” men.
I have referred to these exceptional cases, merely to correct a modern idea that engineering progress, especially by scientific methods, is, as yet, the creature of popular favor. It is refreshing to turn from such considerations to the still exceptional but happily growing appreciation and helpful respect of practitioners and scientists for each other, as sometimes exemplified in the various departments of mining engineering. When we see recent graduates patiently leading the untrained, confused, but determined mind of the workman, painfully wrestling with hard names and occult processes, into methodical habits of thought and the rudiments of organized knowledge; when we see the grimy workman, not standing aloof for fear of his craft or of his trades-master, but dragging the recent graduate into mines and furnaces, and patiently teaching him how to recognize that matter, in mass and under mighty forces, which he had heretofore