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To the Officers and Teachers of the Public Schools, and Prin
cipals of Academies.
GENTLEMEN,—The subscriber has the honor of submitting to your consideration, a cheap, simple and practicable plan of teaching the entire elements of geometry to very young learn. ers, without changing the approved order of Euelid.
These elements belong to the education of the operative classes, whose business is to contend with the resistance of matter, not less than to the liberally educated : for, in the one case, they describe the co-operative tendencies of natural action ; and in the other, they furnish the best model of reasoning on every subject of human knowledge.
Why, it may be asked, "is geometry so slightly passed over, as though it were subordinate among scholastic studies? The reason is briefly this : the elements and the arguments are locked in the same form; and the alternative presented to the schools is-all, or none. Hence it is that geometry is so little known--so little appreciated as a branch of popular instruction ; that while other branches are cultivated to the summit of perfection, and often well over it, to continue the simile, in adapting them to all ages and tastes, this subject has been neglected. The book-makers have not attempted to reduce it to a condition which might secure the general diffusion of these elements in the schools.
The plan now respectfully submitted, proposes to teach geometry as grammar or geography is taught; that is, by questions : to which may be added the peculiar advantage of draw. ing the diagrams on slates. This, it is believed, will remove all the difficulties connected with this essentially important study ; and the introduction of these elements will improve the character of the schools.
The subscriber has pursued this subject for many years, conscientiously, and to his own disadvantage. Should it, therefore, seem proper to your Boards to adopt his plan, he will feel gratified in the assurance that he has not labored in vain to extend the basis of useful knowledge.
The publishers are prepared to supply the schools on moderate terms.
With very high respect,
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CHART AND
Philadelphia, January 31, 1845. MR. D. M'CURDY,—Dear Sir : -I have examined the Chart of Geometrical Diagrams, and Book of First Lessons, which you were so kind as to submit to my inspection. As the main design appears to be to familiarize pupils with the several propositions of Euclid's elements-to fix their demonstrations on the mind, by making the reference to the preceding propositious easy and expeditious ;-and save the time usually spent in drawing figures repeatedly, in the manner usually prevalent ; I conceive that it must commend itself strongly to the attention of teachers having large numbers of students in this branch, whose time they would economize, and whose acquisitions they would render permanent.
Prof. Math. Franklin Institute, Phila. The following gentlemen have expressed their concurrence in the recommendation of Professor Johnson, namely:
SETH SMITH, Teacher of Friends' Public School, Green St. Phila.
Philadelphia, Feb. 19, 1845. I conceive that the Chart of the diagrams of Euclid, with the accompanying book of first Lessons, containing the propositions, &c. might used to some extent in the Grammar Schools of Philadelphia, without detriment to the other branches of education taught therein ; and that its introduction would conduce to the diffusion of the elements of Geometry among a class of the community whom the present provisions never reach.
JOHN M. COLEMAN, Principal of the New Market Street Grammar School, Phila. Concurrent :
TIMOTHY CLOWES, L.L. D., Principal of Jefferson Grammar School.
P. A. CREGAR, Principal of the S. E. Grammar School, Phila.
I cordially concur in the opinion of Mr. Coleman, respecting the advantage which would result from the use of Mr. M'CURDY's plan of
teaching Geometry, in the Public Schools, of the City and County of Philadelphia ; and indeed in all other schools of like grade.
Principal of the Master St. Grammar School. Concurrent :
JOSHUA RHOADS, M.D., Principal of Palmer St. Gram. School.
Central High School, Philadelphia, February 24, 1845. Having examined a Chart of Geometry, prepared by Mr. D. M'CURDY, containing the diagrams and propositions* of Euclid, in the order of Simson's and Playfair's editions, we are of opinion that the use of it, as “ First Lessons," in schools, would conduce to the more general diffusion of Geometrical knowledge, and be very helpful to those who may want the time and facilities for a more liberal Mathematical education. The Chart appears to be correct and neatly executed.
E. OTIS KENDALL,
Lancaster, Pa. March 1, 1845. I concur very cordially with Professor Johnson of Philadelphia, in the recommendation of MR. M'Curdy's Geometrical Chart, No. 1.
I have examined the Chart of Geometry, No. 1, and feel warranted in adding a cordial concurrence with the Professors and Principals who have subscribed their names in testimony of its great utility.
The Committee on books of the Public Schools for Lancaster County, consisting of the Rev. Clergy of the City of Lancaster, passed a resolution on the day above mentioned, to recommend the adoption of the Geometrical Charts to the Board of Directors of which they are a Committee.
Columbia, Lancaster County, Pa. March 4, 1845. I have examined the Chart of Geometry prepared by Mr. D. M'CURDY, exhibiting the diagrams and propositions in the order of Simson's
* The propositions were attached to the first plate of the Chart, which are now contained in the book, called “First Lessons.'
and Playfair's Euclid, and pronounce it superior to any work of the kind, that has come to my knowledge, for facilitating the study of those elements.
THOMAS W. SUMMERS,
Principal of the Columbia Academy.
I am decidedly of opinion, that the Chart of Geometry, in the hands of judicious teachers, would be very useful in our Primary Schools, in giving to the young soine knowledge of this important branch of science.
Principal of York Co. Academy.
March 5, 1845. I cordially concur with the Rev. Mr. Boyer, in the opinion that MR. M'Curdy's plan of teaching Geometry could be used to great advantage in our Primary Schools of the South Ward, also that it would facilitate the study more than the usual books, and with less expense.
WILLIAM R. STOUCH,
Teacher, York, Penn.
Washington, March 18, 1845. DEAR SIR :- I have examined your Geometrical Charts, and am much pleased with the plan and arrangement; and believing it to be the very best system to instruct the youthful mind in the principles of this invaluable science, I will introduce a bill into the Councils next Monday, to make appropriation for the purchase of a set of those Charts, for each of our Public Schools. The simple fact of having those figures before the eyes of the children familiarizes their minds with them; and the questions they will naturally ask in relation to them, will so impress them on their minds, that the study itself in more advanced years will be comparatively easy. In fact I consider the pictorial plan of instruetion as much of an improvement on the old system, as steam and magnetism are on the plans of locomotion.
Very truly, your friend,
Alderman of the Second Ward, Washington. D. M'Curdy, Esq., Washington, D. C.
The Mayor of Washington certifies that on the 2d of June, the Board of Trustees ordered the purchase of a set of the Charts, &c., for each of the Public Schools.
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War. The course of practical Geometry, after the method of Mr. M'Curdy, may be introduced with advantage amongst the non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the army.
We have schools at many of our military posts, where the men receive gratuitous instruction from their officers, in the ordinary branches
of an English education; and I would regard the addition of Mr. M'Cur. dy's Geometrical Charts, as an important first step, towards bringing into our service, a system of instruction kindred to that adopted for the non-commissioned officers of the British army, and with so much succoss, at the Royal Military School of Woolwich.
May 31, 1845. H. L. Scott, Aide-do-camp.
A true copy.
The Chart and First Lessons have been introduced into the Union Public Schools, and several private Academies in Wilmington, Del. Also in Georgetown, D. C. ; in Camden and Burlington, N. J.; in Frankford, Germantown and Bristol, Pennsylvania ; and in several Academies in Philadelphia. And the Commissioners of Public Schools in the city of Baltimore, in August last, ordered the Charts and First Lessons to be used in the schools of that city.
New York, Oct. 18th, 1845. We have examined M'Curdy's Chart of the diagrams of Euclid, and the book of “ First Lessons" connected therewith; and think his plan well adapted to the purpose of teaching large classes, and children of immature minds. Its use is a desideratum in the schools, (Signed) DAVID PATTERSON, M.D. | Teachers of the Malo
JOSEPH M'KEEN, A.M. Normal* School.
WILLIAM BELDEN, A.M. Normal School. Concurrent. ISAAC F. BRAGG, Prin. Male High School.
JAMES N. M'ELLIGOTT, Prin. Mech. Soc. School.
I have examined M'Curdy's “ First Lessons and Chart;" and have no hesitation in stating my belief, that they will prove a valuable auxiliary to the acquisition of the important study of Geometry.
(Signed) JOHN W. KETCHAM, Prin. Pub. School No. 7. Concurrent. JOHN PATTERSON, Prin. Public School No. 4.
MR. FOULKE,-Dear Sir,—Mr. M'Curdy will show you a map to facilitate the study of Geometry, with a very concise little work on the subject, which we, the school officers, think well of. If you approve of the same, I authorize you to take one set of the maps and a dozen of the books, and send the bill to me. Yours, truly.
HENRY NICOLL. Tuesday, Nov. 11, 1845.
Having hastily examined the work above referred to, I have no hesitation in saying, that I think the plan of the author well adapted to the
• In these Institutions teachers are prepared for the Public Schools.-Ed.