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We employ in this department an average of about fifty boys, ranging in age from 12 to 21 years.  These boys, as in other departments, are detailed to attend school one half the day and work in the shops the other half day.  During the two months in summer the boys are hired out among the farmers, and the force in the department is cut down to about 25.  The school term being five years, and the boys being detailed but one half day in the departments, two months of summer being spent on farms, the average time each boy has to learn his trade does not exceed two solid years.  At least 25 per cent of these boys, notwithstanding the limited time they have in which to learn their trade, go out from the school expert mechanics, able to compete as carpenters and wood workers with any they meet outside, and a young man from this department, very recently was offered and accepted a position in the Pennsylvania Railroad shops at Altoona at a salary of $1000 a year.

CONSTRUCTION--A force of boys ranging from 12 to 21 years of age are under the direction of the Master Carpenter.  There are many repairs and considerable new construction going on all the time.  The boys are taken like any apprentice and put through the same amount of work, covering two years, when they become efficient workers.  Five years of labor on outside construction makes them competent journeymen.  They can plane, lay off and execute regular carpenter work.--Running lines, setting batters, leveling, squaring, framing-sills, studding, joists, rafters, sheathing, shingling, weather-boarding, setting door and window frames, hanging sash, blinds, doors; and all necessary carpentry.

In the carpenter shop are 12 double benches, each side having a vise and three tool drawers.  Each bench is supplied with the usual number of saws, planes, chisels, bits, braces, etc.

There is also an excellent equipment of machines, viz. mortiser, tenoner, scroll saw, circular saw and borer, planer, moulder, and lathe.  The machines are run by individual motors.


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Instruction is given in care of fire, kinds of fuel, proper heat, care and use of blacksmith's tools, drawing out, upsetting, bending, twisting, punching, cutting off, welding, brazing, tempering, annealing, heading and threading bolts, riveting, hack-sawing and tire-setting,--complete carriage and wagon smithing.  Especial attention is given to horse-shoeing.--Stripping and preparing foot to receive new shoe, nailing in place to give correct lines to agree with pastern bone.  Making special shoes to overcome defects in feet, corns, contractions, quarter-cracks, etc.  Also to shoe so as to overcome interfering, stumbling, knee-knocking, etc.

This shop is equipped with eleven stationary forges and three large drill presses and vises.  Near each forge is a 120-lb. anvil and a tool bench.  Each bench is supplied with the usual sledge and hand hammers, swages, tongs, punches, etc.

Carriage and Wagon Making

Instructions in the use of tools and care of them as in the carpentry department.

Plaining, squaring, marking, mortising, tenoning and framing, instructions in the names of every part of the buggy, carriage, surrey, cabriolet, or wagon.  To make a detailed drawing of the body or gear which is to be made; then the young man begins the construction of the body or gear, taking great pride in his work usually, and after two years in the shop, the ordinary boy can construct a body from the rough plank, equal to any mechanic.

The several iron parts are also explained as the blacksmithing department is close related and nearby.

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