Thursday, November 20, 2003

Ohio moments


OMI founded to aid machinists, artisans

On Nov. 20, 1828, the Ohio Mechanics Institute - one of the first technical schools in the United States - was organized in Cincinnati.

Machinists and artisans were offered evening instruction in the scientific and technical arts. In some ways, it was as much a club as a school. For a $3 fee, members could hear lectures and get training in the operation of factory machinery. They could also use the library.

By the 1850s, the institute boasted about 1,200 members - even though immigrants and blacks were not admitted. Day courses were introduced in 1901, and in 1919 college-level programs were offered.

In 1958, OMI's name was changed to the Ohio College of Applied Science. It merged with the University of Cincinnati in 1969.

Today, about 1,400 students are enrolled in the OMI College of Applied Science. It offers a broad course of study that includes mechanical and computer engineering and construction management.

Rebecca Goodman

E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com or call (513) 768-8361.




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