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A Needed Step

From Horology magazine, October 1937

A Needed Step

Considering the small number of horological schools in the country one cannot help but wonder how students of horology receive their training. A very few or the schools are properly equipped and require a definite minimum of education as a prerequisite to admission. Of the rest, most of them are not so much interested in turning out graduates who will be a credit to the craft and will be able to do satisfactory work as they are in the financial returns. It is these schools which promise to turn out a watchmaker in 60 or 90 days and accept anyone as a student as long as he is able to pay the tuition.

There is yet another group of individuals who teach horology after a fashion. In some states provisions are made to teach a trade to disabled men, some of whom naturally choose watchmaking. It has been the policy of state educational departments to allow these men to be taught by individuals who in turn are paid the tuition fees. A hundred years ago this miKht have been satisfactory. But today it is unfortunately, or fortunately, true that the individual who is able to teach horology is almost invariably engaged in business and has neither the time nor the facilities for teaching. The horologist who seeks to obtain students for training in most cases is unfit for teaching. The state thus pays for training which the student does not receive. In addition there have been instances of outright dishonesty in the placement of such students.

It is a known fact that most students placed by the state with individuals or inferior schools are usually unable to hold a position after their training period has expired and are forced to go into business to the detriment of themselves as well as their fellow craftsmen.

It seems to HOROLOGY that the horological schools in the United States would do themselves and the trade as a whole a good turn by setting up standards of training for students. The benefits of such cooperation in raising standards among schools are obvious. Rising standards among horologists demand rising standards among schools and vice-versa. Possibly through the Horological Institute of America a start can be made along these lines. 

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