Bust of John Passmore Edwards

The Autobiography of John Passmore Edwards

Technical Education


Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall Moving on parallel lines with public libraries are art galleries, science schools, and technical institutions. Never in the history of the country has there been a time when it was more necessary to foster, by public help, the industrial arts and sciences than now. This is not a mere matter of opinion, but one of certain and commanding importance. Paramount circumstances ask, with united voice, that augmented educational facilities should be placed within the reach of citizens. The strong and well-equipped nation will win in industrial competitions, and its strength and fitness will mainly depend on the quantity and quality of the education received and utilised.
The first requisite is the best reachable economic methods of production, and the second is a careful use of the products realised. We have in many ways been following slowly when and where we should have led. Up to within the last few years it has been more difficult to get from Parliament a shilling for education than a pound for the Army or Navy. We spent more national treasure-or, rather, wasted it-in the ill-conceived and blunderingly-executed war to crush the Boers than was voted by Parliament for educational purposes during the whole of the last century! We must now improve our ways and quicken our pace, or lose national vantage-ground. Animated with this conviction, I have, for many years last past, endeavoured to multiply agencies for the extension and application of the arts and sciences; and to that end I have provided the Art Gallery for the Newlyn Colony of Artists; the Technical Institute, Hayle; a similar institution at Helston ; the Art Gallery, Camberwell; the Central Technical Schools for Cornwall, Truro; and mainly the Art Gallery, Whitechapel, and the Camberwell Polytechnic.
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Passmore Edwards autobiography, A few Footprints
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April 18, 2005
Acknowledgement of contributions and  copyright
© Dean Evans 2003