Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

No other major changes in personnel occurred prior to Dr. Fuller's resignation in April, 1894.

During this period a new technical college came into existence. Its entire plan was a reproduction of the Worcester school, and its early operation was guided by Worcester teachers. The state of Georgia, realizing the need for technically trained men in the rebuilding of the South, sent a special committee of its legislature, in 1883, to study schools in the North. The committee spent much time at Worcester, and was so favorably impressed that a bill was introduced that summer, which called for the establishment of a school giving a course "as near as may be practicable to the course of training at the Free Institute, Worcester, Mass." The enactment of this bill authorized the foundation of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Professor Alden and Mr. Higgins went to Atlanta in the winter of 1886-87 to assist in developing plans for the new school. Subsequently they were offered attractive positions on the new faculty. After considerable thought both declined, but the Georgia Tech trustees requested permission to borrow Mr. Higgins for the opening year, 1888-89. Worcester trustees were reluctant to grant the request, but eventually gave him leave of absence at half pay. He did a noteworthy piece of work in establishing the new shops on the Worcester plan. For many years the work done in the the two institutions ran along nearly parallel lines. The Georgia installation was Mr. Higgins' second contribution to shop education outside of Worcester. About five years before he had directed the beginnings of the Miller Manual Training School in Virginia.

Professor Alden gained much prominence as an educator and mechanical engineer. He served as a member of the Worcester school board, wrote numerous engineering articles, and was a frequent speaker before technical and educational associations. He was most active in affairs of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, of which he was elected


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Last Modified: Fri Jul 30 11:15:25 EDT 1999