Page images

The efficiency of an illiterate people in competition with an educated nation is as the crooked stick against the sulky plow; the sickle against the reaper; the bullock cart against the express train, the ocean greyhound, and the aeroplane; the pony messenger against the telegraph, telephone, and wireless; the individual harangue against the printing press, the newspaper, the library; the spinning wheel against the factory; the pine fagot against the electric light; the peddling of skins and herbs from the oxcart against the bank, the check book, the railroad, the department store; the log hut against the steel skyscraper; the unaided eye against the microscope and telescope; incantations and magic against the chemist, the hospital, the modern physician and surgeon. Take away from one entire generation all education, and society must revert to the stick plow, the oxcart, and such primitive means, because steel implements, locomotives, steamships, electricity, telephones, telegraph, waterworks, steel buildings, mining and chemical industries, factories, modern sanitation, hygiene and medicine, books, newspapers, courts of justice, and laws that protect property and defend the rights of the weak are all impossible without education and are efficient only in proportion as educated intelligence is applied to them.1

The necessity for education rapidly increasing.-The necessity for education has increased and will continue to increase with the advance in the complexity of the processes of civilization. Because of the unparalleled progress in the arts and sciences during the past fifty years the need for education has in a generation multiplied many fold. For example, a century ago a transportation system was little more than a wagon and a driver who knew the road. Now, in handling a problem of transportation, experts in traffic must first determine whether a road in that place will be worth while, and what kind of road will be most economical and efficient; experts in finance must provide the tremendous sums needed to build the road; civil engineers must lay it out; bridge engineers plan the bridges; chemical engineers test the materials; mills and factories with scores of chemical and physical experts make the rails, build the locomotives and steel cars; and a host of traffic experts, auditors, accountants,

1 The advantage to each of the education of all is admirably brought out in the following paragraph from Mr. Clarence Poe: " You prosper just in proportion to the prosperity of the average man with whom you are brought into business contact. If the masses of the people are poor and ignorant, every individual, every interest, every industry in the community will feel and register the pulling-down power of their backwardness as inevitably as the thermometer records the temperature of the air. The merchant will have poorer trade, the doctor and lawyer smaller fees, the railroad diminished traffic, the banks smaller deposits, the preacher and teacher smaller salaries, and so on. Every man who through ignorance, lack of training, or by reason of any other hindering cause, is producing or earning only half as much as he ought, by his inefficiency is making everybody else in the community poorer."-"Asia's Greatest Lesson for the South," Clarence H. Poe, pp. 3-4.

and specially trained managers and clerks, telegraphers, engineers, conductors, and others keep the trains moving with safety and with profit. In like manner the farmer can no longer merely exhaust one fertile piece of fresh soil after another by crude methods of agriculture. Intelligent rotation must be planned, soil must be conserved and built up, improved stock and seed must be bred; methods of cultivation that stimulate growth and conserve moisture and fertility must be practiced; markets must be studied and considered in planting; new methods of marketing must be used, accounts must be kept, and homes must be made healthful. If this is not done the landowner will soon lose his land and become a tenant and the tenant become a day laborer. In law, in medicine, in teaching, in manufacturing, in trade and industry of all kinds, this same increased demand for education is found.

A banker's opinion.-Speaking in 1905 at Girard College, Mr. Vanderlip said:

The mental equipment of a business man needs to be greater to-day than was ever before necessary. Just as the sphere of the business man's actions has broadened with the advent of rapid transportation, telegraphs, cables, and telephones, so have the needs of broad understanding of sound principles increased. It was steam processes of transportation and production that really made technical education necessary. The electric dynamo created the demand for educated electrical engineers. So the railroad, the fast steamship, the electric current in the telephone and cable, and the great economic fact of gigantic and far-reaching business combinations are making the science of business a different thing from any conception of commerce which could have been had when Girard was the most successful of business men. The enlarged scope of business is demanding better trained men, who understand principles. New forces have made large scale production, and we need men who can comprehend the relation of that production in the world of markets. There has been introduced such complexity into modern business and such a high degree of specialization that the young man who begins without the foundation of an exceptional training is in danger of remaining a mere clerk or bookkeeper. Commercial and industrial affairs are conducted on so large a scale that the neophyte has little chance to learn broadly, either by observation or experience. He is put at a single task; the more expert he becomes at it the more likely it is that he will be kept at it, unless he has had a training in his youth which has fitted him to comprehend in some measure the relation of his task to those which others are doing.

Business growing more complicated. An excellent illustration of the manner in which modern business has widened the scope of its demands for training and broad education is given by J. T. Young in speaking of several modern industries:1

The production of oil has led to an especially interesting series of auxiliary enterprises. Crude and refined oil, petroleum jelly, gas, gasoline, and light oils, fine and heavy lubrication oils, wax, paraffin, chewing gum, oil cake,

1 Annals Amer. Acad. Pol. and Soc. Sci. 28, pp. 28-37, "Business and Science," by J. T. Young.

barrels, tin cans, bags, and wooden boxes are all manufactured in the various departments and plants of the industry. In addition, it has proved profitable to own and operate banks, steamship lines, and various other commercial undertakings.

In gas manufacture, tar, briquettes, light oils, dyes, creosote, and coke are resultant by-products leading to the development of new markets and new departments of business. The most successful meat-packing concerns have been directed by men who are able to develop extensive "allied" industries. Besides the usual dressed fresh, canned, dried, and smoked meats, the packing interests manufacture soups, meat extracts, sausage, lard, toilet, laundry, and wool soap, gelatin, pepsin, glue, fertilizer, etc., and operate printing establishments, can, box, and paint factories, extensive refrigerator car lines, and meat, fruit, and vegetable refrigerating plants. In addition to the manufacturing side of the business, a wholesale organization has been built up which distributes some of the products throughout practically the entire domestic market.

The manager of a modern business enterprise of any size must be able to trace the exact cost of production of each article, study the markets of the world in order to make wise contracts for sale and purchase, must know how to advertise economically and create or increase his market, must be able to organize and reorganize the departments of his plant, borrow money advantageously, secure favorable transportation rates, stop wastes, work up by-products, and do many other things that were unknown a few years ago. Without the wide use of former waste products, few large enterprises could now maintain themselves. Indeed, so carefully have these been studied that the by-products are at times the chief source of profit, in some cases modern science turning what was formerly a source of trouble and expense into one of great revenue, as was the case in the turning of the injurious sulphur fumes given off in smelting into sulphuric acid. The Tennessee Copper Co., of Copper Hill, Tenn., several years ago was sued for heavy damages by owners of neighboring land because the sulphurous fumes given off by the plant did great injury to the trees and other vegetation around. The expert chemist was called in, and he, by his superior education, was able not merely to stop the injury to the vegetation but to convert these sulphurous fumes into sulphuric acid, one of the profitable byproducts of the smelter.


Who's who in America.-That national wealth and industry are dependent primarily on education and must in the nature of things become more and more dependent thereupon as civilization advances is now so obvious that further illustration is unnecessary. That individual education is an equally vital factor in individual efficiency and success in the varied walks of practical life is a matter about which the facts are not so obvious, as the occasional large successes of com

paratively unschooled men and the not infrequent failures of men of much schooling have attracted disproportionate attention and obscured the more significant facts. But in recent years several studies have been made which show the influence of education upon individual success.

An investigation of the educational advantages enjoyed by the eight thousand persons mentioned in "Who's Who in America," for the years 1899-1900, brought out the following facts: Out of the nearly five million, uneducated men and women in America, only 31 have been sufficiently successful in any kind of work to obtain a place among the 8,000 leaders catalogued in this book. Out of thirty-three million people with as much as a common-school education, 808 were able to win a place in the list, while out of only two million with highschool training, 1,245 have manifested this marked efficiency, and out of one million with college or university training, 5,768 have merited this distinction. That is to say, only one child in one hundred and fifty thousand has been able in America, without education, to become a notable factor in the progress of his State, while the children with common-school education have, in proportion to numbers, accomplished this 4 times as often, those with high-school education 87 times as often, and those with college training 800 times as often. If this list had been selected by the universities or school-teachers, or if literary leaders only were chosen, it might easily be claimed that the apparently greater success of the educated was due to the line of work from which the leaders were selected. But the selection of the men and women in this book was not in the hands of professors, but in the hands of a firm of business men. They selected leaders in all lines of industry, commerce, agriculture, and other fields of practical endeavor besides the professions, and still this enormously increased efficiency and productivity of those with education was found.

In interpreting the results of this study, as in the interpretation of all of the following comparative studies of those who have education with those who do not have it, let it be understood that the remarkable superiority of the educated must not be attributed entirely to their education. Those who receive education are a selected lot to begin with. Their parents were, as a rule, persons of more than average efficiency, and hence were able to keep their children in school; they were more intelligent than the average, and therefore induced or required their children to remain in school. The child himself probably had more than average ability,.else he would have wearied of the intellectual labor of the school and would have left it

1" Who Are the Eight Thousand?" a study by W. W. Smith, chancellor of the Randolph-Macon system. Similar statistics given in "Who's Who in America," p. xix, for 1910-11, and covering 15,794 notable Americans, show results "nearly identical" with those for 1899-1900.

95620°-17-Bull. 22- -3

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][subsumed]

The figures are taken from a study of the distinguished men catalogued in Who's Who in America entitled "Who Are the Eight Thousand," by W. W. Smith.

« PreviousContinue »