Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

August 2008


A dissertation submitted to the graduate faculty in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY. Major: History of Technology and Science, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 2008.
Copyright © Paul Nienkamp, 2008. All rights reserved.


This manuscript examines the intellectual, cultural, and practical approaches to science and engineering education as a part of the land-grant college movement in the Midwest between the 1850s and early 1900s. These land-grant institutions began and grew within unique frontier societies that simultaneously cherished self-reliance and diligently worked to make themselves part of the larger national experience. College administrators and professors encountered rapidly changing public expectations, regional needs, and employment requirements. They recognized a dire need for technically skilled men and women who could quickly adapt to changes in equipment and processes, and implement advances in scientific knowledge in American homes, fields, and factories. Charged with educating the “industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life,” land-grant college supporters and professors sought out the most modern and innovative instructional methods. Combining the humanities, mathematics and sciences, and applied or practical skills that they believed uniquely suited student needs, these pioneering educators formulated new curricula and training programs that advanced both the knowledge and the social standing of America’s agricultural and mechanical working classes.

Research for "CHAPTER 6. LITERIS DEDICATA ET OMNIBUS ARTIBUS – ENGINEERING EDUCATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA BEFORE 1893" was assisted by the archivists and assistants in the University archives and special collections of the UNiversity of Nebraska Libraries, and the author has graciously permitted this electronic copy to be hosted in UNL's institutional repository.