Case 1: The Early Years

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Under Principal Eugene C. Colby, the Rochester Mechanics Institute established a program of classes for drawing and designing. The program had three goals for the first year, “(1) a felt need for trained men to man the industries; (2) a desire to help worthy young people to better their ways of living; and (3) a belief in the educative value of training in the sustaining activities of life.” Curious as to what professionals do with their free time? Click on Eugene C. Colby to find out. 

The first class met on Monday, November 23, 1885. It was a mechanical drawing course held in the upper floor of the Free Academy building, now a residential and retail space, on Fitzhugh Street. -Click on the link to find out what the building looks like and learn more about the history of the building.

Participants in evening classes were maintained for employed men while the day classes were for public school teachers, homemakers, children, and young people in the upper grades of grammar school and high school.


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