Registration circa 1915

What courses would you have taken if you were registering 100 years ago?

In 1915, UBC’s Applied Science course schedules were quite a bit different than they are today. For a quick break from registration, take a look at the 1915 engineering course schedule. You can get a sense of the ways engineering has changed profoundly over the years just from the course descriptions. The drawing, shop and field-work courses are particularly indicative of how much the curriculum has changed.

First and second year were the same for all Applied Science students in 1915 and the degree could be completed in three years. In their final year, students could specialize in chemistry, chemical engineering, civil engineering or mining engineering. Students with an interest in electrical engineering would have taken their third year in the Department of Civil Engineering.

First Year

Mathematics 1 
Geometry, Algebra, Trigonometry

Descriptive Geometry 1
Geometrical drawing ; orthographic, isometric and axometric projections; shades and shadows.

English 1
In view of the importance of accuracy of expression in the case of those engaged in scientific or professional work, a course on English composition is prescribed for all undergraduates.

Drawing 1 and 2
Freehand Drawing- the object is to train the hand and eye so that students may readily make sketches from parts of machinery, etc., either as note-book sketches, diagrams, perspective drawings in light and shade, or as preparatory dimensioned sketches from which to make scale drawings.
Lettering , plain block alphabets, round writing, and titles, such as are chiefly in use in draughting offices, will be dealt with. In this course, also, tinting, tracing, blueprinting, and simple map-drawing will be included.

Mechanical Drawing 1 
Elementary principles of mechanical drawing and draughtsmanship ; preparation of working drawings and tracings of simple machine details.

Mechanics 1 
An elementary course in dynamics, statics, and hydrostatics

Physics 1
The Laws of Energy Heat, Light, and Sound;

Shop-work 1,2 and 3
Carpentry and Wood-turning .—Sharpening and care of woodworking tools ; sawing, planing, and paring to size ; preparation of flat surfaces, parallel strips, and rectangular blocks ; construction of the principal joints employed in carpentry and joiner work, such as end and middle lap joints, end and middle mortise and tenon joints, mitres, dado and sash joints ; dovetailing ; scarfing; joints used in roof and girder work

Smith-work.—The forge and its tools ; use and care of smith’s tools ; management of fire ; use of anvil and swage-block ; drawing taper, square, and parallel work ; bending, upsetting, twisting, punching, and cutting ; welding and scarfing.

Foundry-work .—Moulders’ tools and materials used in foundrywork ; the cupola ; the brass furnace ; preparation of mouldingsand ; boxes and flasks ; core-making ; use of core-irons ; bench moulding ; blackening, coring, and finishing moulds ; vents, gates, and risers ; floor moulding ; open sand work ; melting and pouring metal ; mixtures for iron and brass casting.

Required Summer Reading

Southey’s “Life of Nelson.”
Lamb’s “The Essays of Ella .”
Kingsley’s “Hereward the Wake .”
Dickens’ “David Copperfield.”
George Eliot’s “Adam Bede.”

Second Year

Analytic Geometry and Calculus

General principles involved in modern chemistry.

General Engineering 1
Materials of Construction.—Manufacture and properties of cast iron, wrought iron ; crucible, bessemer, and open-hearth steel ; principal alloys ; considerations governing selection of materials ; manufacture and properties of Portland and natural cements ; limes ; concrete ; stone and brick masonry ; principal kinds of timber used for engineering purposes.

Structural Engineering 1
Graphical Statics.—Composition of forces ; general methods involving the use of funicular and force polygons ; determination of reactions, centres of gravity, bending moments and moments of resistance ; stresses in cranes, braced towers, rooftrusses, and bridge-trusses.

Mechanical Drawing 2 
The making of assembly and detail drawings of machine parts.

General principles of statics, and of the dynamics of a particle

Mechanical Engineering 1 
Heat Engines and Auxiliaries—The mechanical engineering of large and small steam and internal-combustion power plants, with consideration of the economical selection of equipment.

Physics 2 
Electricity, and Magnetism

Shop-work 4 and 5
Shop Processes.—Tools ; tool-steels; forging, hardening, and tempering ; case-hardening ; grinding and abrasives ; brazing and soldering ; modern welding processes ; fits and fitting ; interchangeable processes of manufacture ; lathe construction, adjustments, and practice.

Machine-shop Work.—Exercises in chipping ; preparation of flat surfaces ; filing to straight edge and surface plate, scraping, screwing, and tapping ; use of scribing block and surface gauge; marking off work for lathes and other machines ; turning and boring cylindrical work to gauge ; surfacing ; screw-cutting and preparation of screw-cutting tools ; machining flat and curved surfaces on the planing and shaping machines ; drilling and boring ; cutting angles and speeds ; dressing and grinding tools.

Mapping 1 
Drafting from notes obtained in field-work.

Surveying 1 
Chain and angular surveying, surveying instruments and equipment, their construction, use, and adjustment; topography, levelling, contouring, stadia surveying, railway curves, etc. ; Provincial and Dominion surveys.

Field-work 1 
Farm survey, with chain and compass ; (2) compass and micrometer survey ; (3) detail survey by chain and pickets; (4) levelling ; (5) transit work.

Third Year

If you were interested in Electrical Engineering you would have joined the Civil Engineering Department in 1915 where one course specifically in Electrical Engineering was offered.

Descriptive Geometry 
Mathematical perspective ; perspective of shadows ; spherical projections and construction of maps.

Physical Geography.—Three hours per week, lectures and recitations, laboratory and field work as arranged. First term : The lands, the atmosphere, and the oceans, materials of the earth, its structure, and the history of the earth, with its plant and animal inhabitants. The geology of Canada.

Engineering Economics
General finance ; barter and sale ; money and credit ; stocks and bonds ; partnership and corporations ; estimating ; cost analysis ; valuations ; operating and fixed charges; specifications and contracts

Mechanics 3 
Equations of motion of a rigid body in two dimensions ; practical problems on rotating and oscillating bodies, the elementary consideration of the gyroscope, etc

General Engineering 2 
Strength of Materials.—Stress, strain, resilience ; bending moment and shearing force diagrams ; simple, continuous, and cantilever beams; strength of shafting ; spiral springs ; elementary consideration of compound stresses and shearing in different sections.

Mechanical Engineering 2, 3 and 4
Heat Engines and Auxiliaries.—The mechanical engineering of large and small steam and internal-combustion power plants, with consideration of the economical selection of equipment.

Laboratory.—The testing of various power plants and of the efficiency of transmission.
Thermodynamics.—The fundamental principles of thermodynamics ; the efficiencies of ideal heat engines ; the properties of steam and the elementary theories of different heat engines.

Railway Engineering 1 
Location and grade problems ; economics of location ; reconnaissance, preliminary, and location surveys; yards and terminals ; details and materials of construction ; estimates of probable receipts and expenditures

Structural Engineering 2 and 3
Foundations and Masonry.—Borings ; bearing power of soils; pile and other foundations ; coffer-dams ; caissons ; open dredging ; pneumatic and freezing processes ; estimates of quantities and costs.

Problems illustrating designs in structural engineering and reinforced concrete ; drawing estimates of quantities and costs.

Hydraulic Engineering 1 
Application of hydraulic pressure in the case of dams, gates and pipes ; flow of water and measurement of volume by various orifices and weirs ; flow in open channels, ditches, flumes, etc. ; elementary study of the theory of water-wheels, turbines, etc.

Electrical Engineering 1
An essentially practical course designed to give the student acquaintance with and experience in the handling of electrical machinery. The selection of proper apparatus for any particular service and the construction of a simple lighting system will be considered.

Surveying 2 
Theory and use of instruments, plane table surveying, mine surveying, hydrographic surveying ; theory and setting out of railway curves ; elements of geodetic surveying ; elements of practical astronomy ; Provincial and Dominion land surveying.

Mapping 2 
Draughting from notes obtained in field-work and from other notes.

Field-work 2
Topographical, hydrographical, and railway-location surveys ; mine surveys ; use of plane table, sextant, barometer, etc.

Military Training

“As the University of British Columbia is a public institution supported by state funds, and as the physical exercise, discipline, organization, and study of military science are highly beneficial to the student, Military Training for two sessions is compulsory upon all male students.”

Photo: “Electricity Class at UBC’s Fairview Campus”. This photo is not dated; the Fairview Campus was used between 1915 and 1925. University of British Columbia Archives [UBC 1.1/2308]