In the school report for 1916 below, there is mention of
the high-tech device of the time; the Victrola. The
Victrolas used in the schools were likely similar to the
one in the picture, though perhaps not as fancy.
September 1, 2016
School Report, 1916
Hopedale in August
During the past two weeks, additions have been made to the following previously existing pages on
hope1842.com: Miscoe Hill, Mendon (The mystery of 13 missing families.) Draper and Dutcher Temples
(From Mechanical and Organizational Innovation: The Drapers and the Automatic Loom by William Maas.)
Twenty-five years ago - September 1991 - The United States re-recognizes the independence of Estonia,
Latvia, and Lithuania and the US government reopens the embassies there.
The name Saint Petersburg is restored to Russia's second-largest city, which had been renamed Leningrad
Macedonia, Tajikistan, and Armenia declare independence from the Soviet Union.
President Bush announces unilateral reductions in short-range nuclear weapons and calls off 24-hour alerts
for long-range bombers. The Soviet Union responds with similar reductions on October 5.
Fifty years ago - September 1966 - While waiting at a bus stop Ralph Baer, an inventor with Sanders
Associates, writes a four-page document that lays out the basic principles for creating a video game to be
played on a television: the beginning of a multibillion-dollar industry.
Star Trek debuts on NBC-TV in the United States with its first episode, titled "The Man Trap".
The Bechuanaland Protectorate in Africa achieves independence from the United Kingdom as Botswana.
text box. The clippings for 1966 and 1991 are from the Bancroft Library, and were printed in the Milford
Daily News. The clippings from 100 years ago, also from the Bancroft Library, were published in the
Hopedale School Superintendent's Report, 1916
Since this is back-to-school season, I thought it would be a good time to look at a bit of what school was like
in Hopedale a century ago. Here are excerpts from Superintendent F.G. Atwell's report.
The use of these instruments (Victrolas) in the public schools, both as a means of instruction and
entertainment, is becoming very common. Thousands of schools have been equipped with them during the
past few years, and their use is rapidly extending. We now have three Victrolas of a standard school type and
a good stock of records with which to make a beginning. Much praise is due the supervisor of music for the
time and care she has given to the selection of records. She has chosen each record with a definite purpose
in view. It may have been to illustrate some particular principle in music or to familiarize the pupils with the
various types of voice or instrument, either singly or in combination. Other records have been chosen as a
means of teaching musical appreciation. Story-telling, folk-dances, and bird-music have not been forgotten.
With a piano in each building, our musical equipment is quite complete and satisfactory. It is the intention to
use modern language records at the high school. Accuracy of pronunciation and accent may be illustrated as
in no other way except the employment of native French or German teachers. (When I was in Park Street
School in the early 1950s, there were still Victrolas in the classrooms. Probably the same ones that had been
first used in the teens. Although electric record players were certainly in use by then, there was no need to
throw out perfectly good Victrolas. The main use for them that I can remember is that each day some lucky
kid would get to crank it, while the rest of us got our exercise by marching around to perimeter of the room to
a John Philip Sousa march.)
It is a little singular that neither the methods nor aims in these fundamental subjects (arithmetic and
spelling) are fixed or uniform. Some very progressive towns are now adopting the plan of teaching arithmetic
so as to secure mechanical accuracy in computation and a working knowledge of processes without giving
very much attention to the analysis of problems or the comprehension of principles. This may be entirely
correct, but we are still trying to cultivate the power to image and to analyze as well as to develop mechanical
facility in computation.
In spelling we are trying to conform to the newer practice of teaching only those words which are found in the
written vocabulary of the average adult. Several recent investigations show pretty conclusively what these
words are. We are insisting that spelling should be taught as intensively as arithmetic, and that the majority
of pupils learn the form of a word most readily through the eye rather than writing it either ten or fifty times.
Our course in manual training is not so extensive as would be offered in a larger place, but it includes about
all there is any real need or demand for in a place of this size. We cannot expect very much without the
installation of some machinery, and for this we have no room. So far as our manual training goes, it is of the
customary type, and seems to me very satisfactory. The majority of the boys are working upon some article of
utility which they will take home when finished. Not all the boys will become pattern-makers or skilled
mechanics as a result of their training, but all are doing good work and are interested and happy. The course
has gained steadily in value and efficiency under Mr. Stanley's instruction. (When General Draper High
School opened in 1927, there was more room for shop and home ec. In the 1950s, and probably earlier than
that, those subjects started when we were in the eighth grade. Half of the class would begin the school day at
the high school instead of at Dutcher Street one day each week, and the other half of the class, another day.
All would continue with them for the first two years of high school, and some would take them for all four
years. I made the table my computer is on now in school shop about sixty years ago.)
Equally good work is being done in the cooking and sewing classes, though it is doubtful if the girls are quite
so deeply interested in housekeeping and dressmaking as the boys are in carpentry. Miss Bennett took a
summer course at Columbia this last season, the results of which are reflected in her work. A desire for
professional improvement is always commendable.
With gratitude for cordial and generous co-operation from all sources, this report is
Superintendent of Schools
Early History of the Hopedale Schools Ezine Menu HOME
Hopedale News - September 1991
Hopedale News - September 1966
Hopedale News - September 1916
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