Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years



IT WAS the desire and hope of Ichabod Washburn that he might be spared to fashion the first product of the shop. Toward the end, the success of this project was his consuming interest, and though nearly exhausted, he insisted on being driven to the top of the hill a few days before his death that he might view the progress of his workshop. Two months after his death it was sufficiently complete to admit students for practice work.

Had Mr. Washburn been spared for but a few years the early struggles of the machine shop would probably have been relieved, for he would have realized that even the generosity of his original plan was not adequate to carry the plant through the initial period of developing products and markets. The trustees to whom the affairs of the shop were committed did all in their power to make ends meet, and it was due chiefly to their tenacity that the experiment eventually succeeded.

The first shop committee was composed of Charles H. Morgan, David Whitcomb, Stephen Salisbury, and James Blake. They were commissioned to direct what kind of manufacturing business should be carried on, and to propose rules for management. The superintendent was authorized to make expenditures for stock, but not to make contracts on the credit


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