In the late 19th century, some innovative educators conceived of the idea of a high school that would combine a traditional curriculum, including subjects such as mathematics, science, and Greek, with courses in manual skills, such as mechanics, drafting, and home nursing. The school, originally known as the Industrial Training School, opened its doors in 1895 and quickly gained national attention as a successful educational experiment. The name of the school changed several times in the early years and finally, in 1916, the school became known as Charles E. Emmerich Manual Training High School in honor of the school’s first principal.
It was Mr. Emmerich who, in 1909, began the tradition of planting a sprig of ivy against the west wall of the school. The Ivy Day tradition continued and, in 1949, the school yearbook’s name was changed from the Senior Booster to the Ivian.
Some notable alumni of Manual include Walter Bedell Smith, U.S. Army general and Eisenhower’s chief of staff; Maria Cantwell, U.S. senator; Dick and Tom Van Arsdale, professional basketball players; and Joe Rand Beckett, a prominent Indianapolis attorney who led the drive to build modern housing for low income residents of Indianapolis.
The Indianapolis Public Library and its digitization partner, IUPUI University Library, are happy to present this digital collection of Emmerich Manual High School materials made available by Emmerich Manual High School and the Manual Alumni Association and published here with the generous funding of The Library Fund, a fund of The Indianapolis Foundation.