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Finsbury Technical College and the Central Institution

    Naturevolume 134page807 (1934) | Download Citation



    IN a recent number of the journal of the old students of the City and Guilds (Engineering) College, the Central, is a characteristic article by Prof. H. E. Armstrong on “The Beginnings of Finsbury and the Central”. Finsbury Technical College in Leonard Street and the Central Institution in South Kensington were both the outcome of the formation in 1877 of the City and Guilds of London Institute for the Advancement of Technical Education, and Prof. Armstrong's article will be read with interest by all those who have been connected with those institu tions or the many notable men who held office in them. With Prof. Armstrong at Finsbury were Ayrton and Perry, “the Japanese twins”. “We were three of the rankest radicals ever brought together, dissatisfied with the narrow formal teaching then given, each of us with clear-cut constructive ideas for its practical improvement. We were bent on developing a rational experimental course of in struction, suited as we thought, to the coming needs of students who were to enter industry”. So writes Prof. Armstrong, who after a short time was, with Ayrton, appointed to the Central Institution, where he had as colleagues Henrici and Unwin, who “were both dead set in their ideas, and took no special interest in developing method”. “The ‘Finsbury Spirit’ never descended upon the Central Institution and other colleges set up,to rival it and some day Leonard Street will figure upon the map as a small oasis in the midst of a great London educational desert”. A sketch of the history of Finsbury College was given in the Central of July 1933.

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