This is the ending of my fourth year as Principal of the San
Francisco Polytechnic High School. During this time the school has
passed through many changes in administration, in buildings, and in
The average daily attendance has increased from 327 to over 1100.
The teaching staff has increased from nineteen to fifty members, and
only fourteen of the present faculty were in the school four years
Two years ago we were in the old Earthquake ‘shacks’; we moved into
our present ‘academic’ building during the fall of 1915.
Seventy-five thousand dollars has been expended upon a modern
equipment for our departments of Art, of Mechanical Arts, of
Science, of Mechanical Drawing, of Physical Education, and of
Household Arts. There is every reason to believe that even greater
results will be accomplished during the next four years.
The lessons of preparedness point to the necessity of greater
efficiency along scientific and mechanical arts lines among our
boys. Our students should give careful consideration in the future
to the opportunities offered by courses in industrial history, in
hygiene and first aid, in electric and mechanic arts, and in science
and agriculture. With the present excellent spirit of serious and
conscientious efforts on the part of the Faculty, and with a
continued splendid response on the part of the students for the
up-building of the school, it is safe to predict that the ideals of
social service will in the near future fully control the purposes
and progress of the Polytechnic High.
James Edwin Addicott
Polytechnic is not a trades school. Far from it. We
offer a certain amount of trades work, have a wonderfully equipped
set of shops, but do not offer an entire trades course. We are
rather an academic school. We have a set of shops to infuse into the
individual a sense of the practical. Too much of the theoretical is
bad for anyone. The shops and the drawing departments do away with
this. Do not mistake the school for a trade school.
The new year 1917 began a new era for the Student
Body . . . this term the Board has attempted more, and sponsored
greater ventures than ever before.
taking of the Cafeteria into Student Body control was the most
important issue. This entailed some spirited soliciting for the ‘Caf’,
which was done by the Cafeteria Committee . . .
treasurer, Ramona Hamilton, has collected more dues than have been
collected in the past . . .
fair way to distribute the budgets was devised by President Hamill.
He received them all and cut them down in equal proportion on each
one. So it was that many organizations were aided financially and
the money more equally distributed. The orchestra was backed to a
considerable extent this term; but that organization has already
proven that it is worth much more than can be given to them.
account of the Cafeteria deficit, the Student Body assumed the moral
obligations, and that accounts for the many social events given this
term to raise money. These have created more of a get-together
spirit amongst the boys and girls, and so have served a double
purpose . . .
constitution [needed] many amendments [with] several new ideas. . .
of a Student Bookstore could not be developed this term, but it is
bound to come with Poly’s growth. . .
The season of the spring 1917 has been one which
will long be remembered by the members of this organization . . .
much has been accomplished, of which Polytechnic may well be proud.
Polytechnic may also be proud of the men who have responded to the
call of their President and their country and have gone out to serve
in rank and file. It would be well here to mention the names of
Cadets Bolton, Truitt, Stafford, Villasanta, Oyer, and Crowe, who
have gone to serve their country. We would like to give a list of
those who stayed at home and with their labor and faithfulness made
the Cadets what they are, but space limits. . .
Cadets do not always have to work, for sometimes they have a
playtime, or they make work of their play, which is far better. For
instance, the first week of Easter vacation, or early in April,
ninety-six cadets reported at the school, where they were met by
autotrucks, which conveyed their baggage to the ferry, while they
boarded a street car. At the ferry they took the Key Route boat to
the pier and boarded a special O., A. & E. train for Walnut Creek.
disembarked and with tents supplied by the State of California they
pitched camp. The routine work of the camp became enjoyable under
those conditions, and a hard day’s drill was just like play to them.
Skirmish drill and sham battles. . . practice marches and other
hikes took places in the program.
Orchestra: A Great Advancement in the Way of High School
Orchestras”, reads a headline. What other high school orchestra
might venture Haydn’s Surprise Symphony and Beethoven’s Pastorale
It is perhaps the
first time that any high school orchestra has been asked to play in
public, but when a teacher’s meeting was called at the Columbia
Theater the 24th of April (to give farewell to the University boys
leaving for France) the Polytechnic Orchestra showed the results of
its hard, faithful study. There were praises everywhere and
compliments and thanks to the leader, Mr. Lamp. What a great start
to our promising band of fifty-three, thanks to him. . .
And now for ‘The
Band’, the name given to a few of the Orchestra members who play at
the games. Music holds sway over all in the end; we need it almost
as much as we need the ‘rooters’. What spirit it puts into the
students and players!
Evelyn de Marta
introduced a plan to the whole school, for the saving and
accumulation of all waste paper, to be sold as such, and the money
to be used for buying a beautiful flag for the edification of the
school auditorium. The Honor Society was placed as overseers in this
work. Staffs were formed and the work began. Each room in the school
was placarded by a graph, the object of which was to indicate the
weight of paper brought in for any day. . .
About 215 students
have lunch in the Cafeteria daily. At the same time an average of
$50 is taken in [note added: this calculates to 25¢ each]. There are
200 who buy from the stands outside in the corridor, but even this
is not enough. With the $110 received monthly from the Board of
Education toward the debt, and the teachers’ thrift in the buying of
food and the setting of the prices, the larger figures of the debt
are rapidly disappearing. . . We have taken over the Cafeteria,
further your interests by helping to hasten the end of the debt.
Association meets regularly each month in the School Gymnasium. . .
attended by a great many graduates, both of recent classes and of
those whose memories go back to the old building at Bush and
Stockton Streets. . . The annual dues are one dollar. Not only
graduates, but any who have attended the school for a year and whose
class has since graduated, may join.
On the 24th of
April last, fifteen thousand enthusiastic yet serious San Franciscan
patriots gathered in the Civil Auditorium to do honor and bid
Godspeed to sixty-three students of the universities of California
and Stanford, comprising two hospital corps units on their way to
the French battlefront. Students of Polytechnic thrill with pride
when they think that one of those “noble youths who went in the
interests of Humanity, to succor the wounded, to save life, not to
destroy it,” was Norman Waterlow Ford, who graduated in June 1916
and is a Freshman at the University of California. . . Sigma XI
Fraternity is a scholarship frat for students engaged in research
work. During this term two young men who are recent graduates from
Polytechnic were admitted, Walter Rupple and Arthur Siemer. . .
Notices like the above glorify the name of the school.
The trend of
modern secondary education is to furnish, in coordination with
academic education, some line of instruction which can successfully
induce the exercise of the originality in its development. . .
Education in its broadest and its true sense has for its end the
affording of an opportunity for the all round development of
individuality. . . men who can adapt their knowledge to existing
conditions, men who can evince unique powers and abilities. And the
technical school is the best avenue of self-expression. The
curriculum of a technical school, such as Polytechnic, offers a
complete list of academic subjects and a varied assortment of
manual-arts courses. The academic course gives to the student a
foundation of education, of thought; presents to him the classics of
the ages, and a general knowledge along the lines of mathematics and
sciences, literature, art, etc. Yet it is possible for the academic
course not to awaken the interest of the student. There must be some
means provided to draw out the ingenuity which exists in varying
degrees in every human person. This great function is the other
part, and the main part, of a polytechnic education. Further, it is
a great educational aid to the student who successfully qualifies in
the academic course, because it presents conditions of reality and
original problems which are without their counterparts in the purely
Manual Arts Department, or the Shop Department, as it is more
familiarly known, consists of the following divisions of technical
work: mechanical drawing, joinery, wood-turning, pattern-making,
forge-work, foundry-work, and machine-shop.
The Mechanical Drawing Department has
completely reorganized its courses during the last semester. By the
increase in the number of instructors, the department has been
enabled to use its experts for a double-period course in each of the
three main branches offered: general drafting, machine design, and
architecture, with the respective instructors Messrs. Wm. J. Drew,
C. C. Walker, and J. A. Magee. A fourth instructor, Miss M. E.
Burnham assists with the elementary work.
Sophomore grades in Mechanical Drawing have a prescribed course of a
series of plates, involving geometrical problems, orthographic
projection, developments, intersections, standard styles of
lettering, and the elements of machine design, necessitating the use
of the various drawing instruments, and affording a practical
knowledge of their purposes. In the third year the student takes up
individual work, and is permitted to make his choice of one of the
three main branches.
includes civil engineering, ship drafting, building construction,
and university preparatory drawing. Under these headings the
following work is being done: A standard plate on the ‘composition
of forces,’ laying out a country estate and calculating the areas of
the irregular portions by means of the planimeter, an instrument
that enables one to calculate quickly and accurately any areas, no
matter of what shape; sewer construction, cesspools, and manholes;
various tabulations, bills of materials, and special furniture for
our own school and for the City Department of Industrial Education;
and a pair of sliding garage doors to replace the dilapidated ones
now in use at our shop entrance. In the line of marine work, several
plates of lines and the necessary calculations for type ships,
ranging from motor cruisers to coast-wise steamers, are being drawn.
The blueprint room, containing the electric blueprinting machine, is
proving of great utility in this department, especially as it is
integral with the main drafting room.
In the advanced
machine design classes several well-proportioned projects are being
undertaken by the students. Actual working plans of a model
steam-engine, two electric motors, a lathe (patterned after the
wood-turning lathes), a jointer, a belt-sander, a steam-box or
dry-kiln, and a pair of new Ideal mechanical drawing compasses
(originated by our own Mr. Walker), drawings for a jardiniere stand,
chair and flower basket, for the Parental School, are being made by
the students working in teams, two or three at a job. From these
plans patterns will be made and the actual machines and devices
constructed for use in the various shops for which they are
intended. Consequently, it is evident that these drawings are being
made with painstaking accuracy and careful technique, and reflect a
great deal of credit upon this department.
The students in
the architectural room make drawings, tracings and renderings in
wash and india-ink of the Five Orders. As soon as this course is
completed, special projects are undertaken. An extremely interesting
and notable feature of this term’s work is the drafting of complete
full-size working drawings of an idea California bungalow of five
rooms, which is being constructed in the Joinery, one-sixth actual
WOOD TURNING AND JOINERY:
This is the first shop that the
entering student meets, and the keynote of individuality is sounded
directly to him. The prescribed course consists of introductory
exercises covering the fundamentals of wood construction and tool
manipulation. At any point in the course, if the student
demonstrates the ability to direct his tools with the required
adeptness, he is . . . allowed to proceed with some project of his
own, which must receive the sanction of the instructor as being
necessary and within the student’s ability. The work here interlocks
with that of the Mechanical Drawing Department. In this shop, from
plans drawn by the architectural branch of the Mechanical Drawing
Department, a one-sixth scale model bungalow is being constructed,
complete in every detail, including miniature window sashes, some
five or six inches high. In this job, the boys elected a foreman and
have their regular working gangs, similar to actual contractors.
canoes, a 17-foot motor boat with a 6-h.p. motor, many fine pieces
of furniture, including library tables, desks and pedestals, are
also being made. This term a great deal of veneering and
steam-bending is being done, in conjunction with the furniture and
boat construction. A platform for the Lowell High School stage and
stage construction for the Polytechnic High School Auditorium,
including scenery framework for the presentation of ‘Everyman’ and
‘As You Like It”, are among the accomplishments of this term. The
wood-turning room is producing elegant turned work, such as nut
bowls, goblets, Indian clubs, mallets, gavels, and reproductions of
extraordinarily up-to-date equipment of these shops, consisting of a
full complement of motor-driven lathes, a sanding machine, circular
saw, pattern-maker’s lathe, planer, jointer, jigsaw, band-saw, power
grindstone, has been augmented this year by the addition of a new
heavy-duty signal-surface planer and Universal saw-table, and a
Greenlee hollow-chisel mortiser, bringing them to a state of
capability compatible to the best woodworking shops in the city.
PATTERN-MAKING AND FOUNDRY:
Pattern-making is the branch of
woodwork which deals with the construction of models of machinery in
wood, from which the actual machine parts are cast in the foundry.
The pattern-maker’s art requires a maximum of skill in handling
tools and materials. The finished pattern-maker is also a thorough
draftsman in the interpretation of drawings. The student in the
Foundry course takes the pattern-making course in conjunction with
it, and the actual processes met here immensely clarify the
theoretical work in the pattern-making room. The elementary students
are going through the different processes of pattern-making:
straight-lift pattern, split pattern, core box-work, faceplate work,
and rechucking, and are molding their own patterns and casting from
them in the Foundry. The advanced students are making patterns for a
lathe, a motor, an end lathe-rest stand, and a new type of
woodworking vise, designed by our Mr. Carniglia, and expect to cast
them in the Foundry.
The blacksmith shop marks the
transition from the use of wood to the use of metal as a material.
This course is open to High One students, and comprises a list of
models which include a pipe-hook, a ring, a figure-eight or ‘S’
hook, staple, gate-hook, and then two welds: a lap, and a chain. The
advanced work consists of the making of a pair of chain tongs and a
pair of square-bit tongs. When this course is finished, the students
produce such pieces of work as fire-irons, andirons and umbrella
racks, of unique style and excellent workmanship. The work then
dovetails into the tool-making course, where the students forge
tools from tool steel, involving a study of the properties of this
metal and results of certain treatment on it, a study which is
indispensable from the viewpoint of a prospective mechanic. The shop
is very well equipped with a set of thirty downdraft forges, a
250-pound belt-hammer, emery-wheel, shears and a sensitive drill
press. The department hopes in the near future to have installed in
the forge room a new apparatus, the oxy-acetylene welding process,
which is in vogue throughout the United States.
The machine shop is the final course
in the Manual Arts Department. The course is well arranged and
calculated to enable the student to understand the various machines,
tools and their uses. The first model is a simple cylinder. The next
three models involve tapering, V and square threading, and the lathe
work ends with a nut-and-bolt model requiring the use of the milling
machine. The student then chips, files, bevels, scrapes and polishes
by hand a cast-iron block, gaining valuable practice in hand
finishing, which is essential for smooth operation and long life in
machine parts. A model made on the shaper, which entails the
processes of vertical and horizontal cutting, angular cutting and
grooving, ends the course. The prescribed work completed, the
students undertake a great variety of special machine work, either
for themselves or as assigned projects, such as gear-cutting, motor
Worthy of special
mention this term is the building of a regulation machine-shop lathe
by the students. A machine of this nature must necessarily be
constructed and finished with great accuracy, and the fact that the
class can undertake such work speaks well for the standard of
ability developed, especially when it is considered that three
classes daily use the tools and machines, and that the resulting
confusion from a triple use of the same tools is overcome in a very
few minutes at the opening of each working period.
A special feature
of this term’s work is the construction of several baby-racer
chasses. This work affords a fine preliminary training for boys who
intend to go into the automobile branch of general machine-work. The
motors are purchased outside, chasses built entirely inside, car
assembled, tuned up and a finished machine turned out. The
popularity of these small cars and the ability of the shop to
produce them promises to make their building a feature of the
advanced work here. Several students availed themselves of the
opportunity afforded by the garage in connection with this shop to
perform the otherwise expensive tinkerings on their cars. The
equipment is very complete, including lathes of widely different
uses, shapers, milling machines, drill presses, a large planer,
power hacksaw, and three emery-wheels. The shop also possesses a
Studebaker automobile chassis, the study of which is carried on in
conjunction with the University Extension courses given here.
received in the Polytechnic Shops works toward the induction of a
superior manual dexterity and a closer correlation between the
mental and manual processes, and the sharpening of perception and
increase of accuracy, due to training in related but differing
machine processes. The course presents actual conditions and
original problems; the work done under such circumstances develops a
mode of thought which is far removed from the dreamy, or purely
theoretical, but a creative mode, with practical accomplishment as
its cynosure. The general public have come partly to appreciate the
benefit to be derived from such a training, and registration in the
Shop Department has increased to such an extent that we find almost
every instructor working far beyond the legal limit, and the shops
crowded to their utmost capacity. This stress will be relieved in a
great degree by the two new shops, one a wood-working-room and the
other a forge room, situated under the present ones, and which
formerly were the forge storeroom and cadet armory, respectively.
BOYS’ FREEHAND DRAWING:
All mankind claims a love for some
kind of art. ‘Many a time and oft’ in our happy youth have we drawn
the faithful and antedated pitcher. The vain attempts to fixate the
virile russet of the ripening apple we recall with mingled pleasure
Yet there is a
chance for ye, ye who delight in misrepresenting Nature with brush,
pen, pencil or other soulless instruments of sordid man.
Polytechnic’s fourth floor is devoted to the disciples of Phidias,
Raphael, Michael Angelo [sic], and the rest of that glorious
affiliation. To further the artistic efforts of the students, the
lighting is obtained solely through the medium of skylights, so that
the aforementioned disciples may gaze only upon the majestic,
changeless heavens, the inexhaustible limitless source of human
inspiration, and have their thoughts sheltered from the low
commercialism of the dulling streets.
students, as usual, armed with pencil and pad, tussle daily with the
simple still life objects. One year of this work, and the student
passes to machine sketches in pencil, pen and ink, and finally wash.
Then the artistic
soul is hatched, to fly whither it will. The Art Department is
growing rapidly and offers many courses for the more advanced
students, with promises of others to come. Poster-work in colors,
lettering, magazine and book illustration, outdoor sketching,
cartooning, and pen-and-ink and wash studies of an ever-increasing
collection of fine casts, friezes, capitals and still life models,
including famous classic statues such as the Discus Thrower, the
Venus de Milo, and the Flying Mercury, form the work at the present
The various crafts
which have been fostered by the Art Department have developed to a
degree where it has been found advisable to organize them as a
separate department. A pre-vocational art class has been formed for
the purpose of direct instruction for the students specializing in
architectural elements, medical lines, and those looking forward to
advanced art study. Special emphasis will be given in this class to
the study of capitals and columns, skeletons and detached bones, and
casts and friezes as applying directly to the above-named fields.
There is also to be a class in ornament and design as applied to
architecture, and a class in electrical sketching, correlating with
the work in the electrical shop.
scholarships offered in competition by the San Francisco Institute
of Art with all the high schools of this broad state as eligible
competitors, two were captured by girls (Mabel McPhillips and
Lillian Fiala) of our own school. The W. P. Fuller Interior
Decoration contest also found eager entries from our school.
department deserves the highest credit. By gradual advancement,
each step being carefully planned, a complete knowledge of
dressmaking, tailoring and remodeling is acquired. This course has
its commencement in the teaching of the fundamental stitches and its
termination in the completion of the graduation dresses. Pattern
drafting is done in the second year and then dresses are constructed
from these drafts. Thus a thorough knowledge of patterns is secured
that is helpful in the more advanced sewing which follows.
In the third
year, tailored coats and suits are attempted, and the results of the
girls’ efforts are astonishing. A careful study of textiles is an
addition which is thoroughly appreciated by the students, because of
the opportunity this renders in the proper choice of materials as to
adaptability and consistency.
with this department, there has been established since this semester
the subject of costume design. Its object is to render assistance
in the planning of garments and to produce such ornamental designs
as Dame Fashion has added to our modern styles. Fashion plates are
not only designed, but executed in colors. This offers the
practical side of the training.
There certainly lies some pleasure in
being able to create things. If this statement is true, then
millinery affords pleasure. Chic creations are the results of the
girls’ efforts in this line. A thorough knowledge of the subject is
secured. The making of wire frames gives skill in handling the
work also includes the making of elementary samplers and buckram
shapes. These illustrate the latest fads and styles in millinery.
Ribbon and straw ornaments give opportunity for displaying
originality. After the completion of this preliminary work, hats are
attempted. There are large hats and small hats, evening hats,
children’s hats, hats of all sizes and descriptions. This course
consists of one year’s work; six months of winter work and the other
term is spent in making spring and summer hats.
This course has
proved so popular that an advanced millinery class or an addition of
another year’s training has been adopted. During this extension at
least five hats must be made by each girl; but usually the girls
make more than this requirement. Making of bags to match the hats is
a novelty introduced into this course, and the effect has been
It is with utmost enthusiasm that the
girls constituting the embroidery class devote themselves to their
work. Dainty articles displaying a rare combination of handwork and
design are here produced. A towel done in Swedish drawn work, done
in various colors, is the first piece attempted. Varieties of
crocheted samplers are made. Beaded collars have been popular in
this term’s work. Pieces of tapestry done in cross-stitch have
proved very interesting as well as beautiful work. A large and more
difficult piece, combining utility with beauty, is lastly made. The
display at the close of the semester shows us what splendid work has
been accomplished by the girls.
One entirely new course has been very
successful this semester. Judging by the work produced, interior
decoration is rapidly winning favor among the girls. This course
includes the making of candle shades, decoration of baskets and like
small articles that help to beautify the home. Designs for the
furnishing of an entire house are made. The various wall coverings
are discussed and appropriate designs for all rooms are made in
All ye sculptors take heed! With the
Polytechnic modeling department in full swing, rivals are growing
more numerous each term. These are quickly becoming proficient. The
elementary work is not so interesting, but it lays the foundation
for higher achievements. Statues and work of this type are
principally modeled. The more advanced students do some
life-portrait work, and here some really creditable work is
produced. Various models are cast, and here again we have some
results of high quality, as far as design and beauty go.
All interests are centered on the
Domestic Science Department, whether it is because of the ‘Domestic
Science Special’ served daily in the cafeteria, or on account of the
fact that this department boasts of two masculine cooks, offers a
mystery too deep for solution. A close study of food dietetics, food
nutrition, and analysis thereof is taken up in connection with the
practical training, which is the cooking itself. The cost of food
and the planning of menus usually precede the lesson of actual
cooking. In this course, the theoretical and practical training have
been well combined.
A cooking and
sewing class has been organized in connection with this department.
Special attention is given to table decorations and correct serving
of meals for all occasions. To give practical application as well as
to illustrate their ability, the girls of this class serve luncheons
to the faculty on certain occasions. If the faculty voted them
successful, they surely must be so. A charming tea was tendered to
the faculty on a Friday afternoon.
A beneficent as well as interesting
course is offered to the girls in household management. A time will
come for most girls when the will have a home of their own to
manage. It is then they will realize the true value obtained from
this course. Various problems confronting the housekeeper of today
are solved. Among such we find the problems of marketing and
domestic service; both are given careful consideration. Economy
with its relation to the household is introduced into the course.
Menus emphasizing economy, and showing the possibility of living
comfortably on a moderate income, are given attention. Budgets for
various phases of household expenses are prepared by the girls, and
this work is thoroughly enjoyed by all.
The house itself
is given thought. The consideration of the evolution and their
construction are followed by its furnishing and decoration. Care
and cleaning in connection with sanitation are discussed. Personal
accounts are accurately kept, and household accounts are not
neglected. The study of bills, checks and like forms of business
documents, which enter into the home, is included in this course.
Art Metal is thoroughly enjoyed by the girls
taking up this work. Designs are first created and then they are
executed. Penknives, flower vases, trays, and like small articles
constitute the work of this department.
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