Given to W. Giddens of Brantford Ont. for completing study of Geometry and Trigonometry (97%) of the Mechanical course.
Signed by the principal of the Correspondence School of Mathematics 22 Jan. 1903 .D Gravatt
Dimensions: 22.5 X 14 cm
Condition: Horizontal fold, small corner fold, creases.
The International Correspondence Schools of Scranton, Pennsylvania was founded in 1891 in the pages of Colliery Engineer and Metal Miner, a mining journal published in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. Due to an excessive amount of mining accidents, Thomas J. Foster, publisher of the journal, insisted that miners be educated in mine safety beyond what they learn from their apprenticeships. Therefore, the state of Pennsylvania passed the Mine Safety Act of 1885, requiring miners and inspectors to pass examinations on mine safety. The test was exhaustive and the language was incredibly confusing, especially for miners who spoke little or no English.
With their jobs in danger, miners demanded information to help prepare them for the examination. To assist them, Thomas J. Foster began publishing a "question and answer column" in the journal on mining methods and mining machinery. Later, the column was renamed the "correspondence column." Foster invited miners to send questions and problems to the staff and they would answer them. The number of questions was so great the staff had trouble providing satisfactory solutions. In response, Foster began preparing correspondence courses in coal mining.
In an editorial for the October 1891 edition of "The Colliery Engineer," the editor announced an arrangement between the journal and Alexander Dick, "an efficient and experienced Mining Engineer and Colliery Manager" to conduct a school of mining. The school would be known as "The Colliery Engineer School of Mines" with Alexander Dick serving as the director. Until the International Textbook Company incorporated the school in late 1894, the names Colliery Engineer School of Mines, School of Mines, Correspondence Schools, and the International Correspondence School were used.