Friday, March 6, 2015

Hunkus the Ash Hound

Really, that's what they named this high school ash tray project!

From Louis A. Shore.  Arts and Crafts for Canadian Schools.  J.M. Dent & Sons (Canada) Ltd., 1946.

Below, instructions for making it.  Amazing what kids were encouraged to do in art class back then!  Not to mention the use of sharp instruments, open flame and powerful acids!

They could also make the things pictured below, including paper knives!

Kids today aren't even allowed to bring toy knives to school to go with their Hallowe'en costumes.

Below, signs the students could make for their classrooms.  Quite a few of these courses disappeared decades ago.

The author, Louis Shore, attended the College of Art before becoming a teacher at the Central High School of Commerce in Toronto.  He went on to become the director of art with the Toronto Board of Education.  I doubt there's a similar position today.  Sadly, he died at age 63, six weeks following his retirement.  His widow survived him to become a centarian.

The high school was built in 1916, but didn't receive its name until 1925.  In 1991, staff and students voted to change the name again, this time to Central Commerce Collegiate.  The school is still in operation.


Tom Gaspick said...

One of our metal shop projects at Earl Grey Senior Public School (1963/64) was an ashtray with a Scottie dog motif.

The Scottie dog's profile was scroll-sawn, as I recall. The tray portion of the project was our introduction to the metal spinning lathe. All of the projects were thoughtfully contrived to acquaint the student with the fundamentals of the machinery and processes of metalworking, and leave the student with something useful to boot.

The shop's equipment and the teacher were first-rate, and the same was true of the school's woodworking shop. Those shops are about all of my 'education' that I look back on fondly, and with respect.

Mister G said...

I still remember the projects in Mr. Bells grade 7 and 8 industrial arts class. A tie rack copingsawed out of wood, a belt hook, (The Duke did a post on that one), acrylic candy dish, a sheet metal tray. Lots of hand cutting, filing, sanding and finishing. It taught tool use and mostly that you could make anything you need to. Still using those skills today.

Steve said...

My high school was fortunate enough to have a small foundry, and one of my projects was a cast aluminum ashtray with an embossed image of a hunter with a rifle and his retriever dog on it (I doubt that today they would have approved of anything that promoted smoking or contained an image of a gun on it). Other items that we cast were T-handle gear shift knobs, "bare foot" gas pedals, and large cast bottle openers (long before twist off caps showed up).
I visited the school a few years ago and sadly, the foundry, as well as the sheet metal shop and the welding shop are gone, displaced by classrooms and computer labs. As well, the machine shop, the woodwork shop, and the automotive shop have all been drastically downsized. I feel fortunate to have been able to have learned so many hands-on skills then that are no longer being offered to today's students.

The Duke said...

I remember in the 1980's the closure of a high school machine shop in Kingston. The school board was selling off all of the metal lathes and associated tooling. When I asked why they would do such a thing, I was told that CAD was the coming technology, and that students no longer needed instruction in operating machine tools. Shortsighted in more than one way, if only because this move denied young people the opportunity to discover how enjoyable and rewarding it could be to make things on their own, even if they never used these skills occupationally. The emphasis was solely on education for employment, when it should also have included education for enjoyment.