glyph 407: entrepreneurial education, libraries, books, conversation ... non-centralized education, diversity in education ... a place for explorers, thinkers, venturers, writers, artists ... small press, independent publishing ... site of a FLOW event, October 2007 ..... Andrew Carnegie, his vision endures ... 1921 Club


The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York

20 West 44th Street, New York, New York, founded 1785

The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York was founded in 1785 to provide cultural, educational and social services to families of skilled craftsmen.

In 1820, The General Society opened one of the city's first free schools as well as the Apprentices' Library. The school, which became the Mechanics Institute in 1858, continues to provide tuition-free evening instruction in trades-related education. Also founded in 1820, the General Society Library is the second oldest in New York City. The Library has more than 120,000 volumes of current fiction, non-fiction and research materials and is host to the Small Press Center.

Twenty West Forty-fourth Street is the fifth home of the General Society and a New York City landmark. The main reading room soars to a height of three stories and is topped by a magnificent skylight. The building was purchased in 1899 and expanded in 1903 through gifts from member Andrew Carnegie.

The General Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and remains dedicated to improving quality of life through educational opportunities, a 220-year old mission of improving the quality of life through education; sharing and furthering the history of skilled craft; and promoting independent publishing. Support is provided entirely by endowments and gifts from members and friends like you.

Explorers Foundation learned of the General Society when FLOW scheduled an event there for Wednesday, October 10th, 2007, 6:30 8:30 pm. The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, 20 West 44th Street, New York, New York.

Explorers Foundation seeks connections with the Mechanics Institute of San Francisco.
October 7, 2007; edited/updated November 26, 2015

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