The Boston Normal School of Gymnastics was established in 1889 by the late Mrs. Mary Hemenway. Its object is to supply the best opportunities in America for men and women who desire to prepare themselves to conduct gymnasia, or to direct physical training, according to the most approved modern methods. To this end thorough and scientific instruction is provided, not only in the Ling, or Swedish, system of gymnastics, but also in those general principles of physiology, psychology, and the hygiene of the human body, upon which sound physical training must always depend.
The staff of instructors includes specialists of distinction, and in the provision of apparatus and equipment neither pains nor expense has been spared. As a consequence, the Boston Normal School of Gymnastics, like all institutions of higher education, has never been self-supporting; and the tuition fees of the students do not even approximately cover the cost of instruction. The school is largely a contribution to the higher physical education of America.
The curriculum is so arranged that instruction in the theory and the practice of gymnastics go hand in hand. In the former the endeavor is made to demonstrate in the clearest manner the foundation, the scope, and the possibilities of rational physical training. This general knowledge, once acquired and firmly held, affords a ready insight into any system of gymnastics, and establishes those final standards of judgment by which all systems must stand or fall.
The School is at present located in the Paine Memorial Building, 9 Appleton Street, between Tremont and Berkeley Streets, and is accessible by horse-cars and steam-trains from all parts of Boston and suburban towns.
A library of about a thousand volumes and hundreds of photographs relating to the subjects of physical training and pedagogy are open and accessible to the students. Additions to the library and to the apparatus are made constantly.
The chemical, biological, and physiological laboratories of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are open to the classes of the Boston Normal School. of Gymnastics by special arrangement.
The gymnasium is thoroughly equipped.
The lecture hall is furnished with adjustable chairs and desks.
On the last Friday of each month there is held an informal reception, to which students and their friends are invited.
1. "Boston Normal School of Gymnastics", Boston Normal School of Gymnastics, Fourth Annual Catalogue of the Instructors, Students, and Graduates, Boston, 1895, pages 5 and 17.
See AlsoBoston Normal School of Gymnastics 1894-1895 Catalogue