Friday, June 24, 2016

Valparaiso Technical Institute: resources offer window to another era

Alumni of Valparaiso Technical Institute (VTI) located in Valparaiso, IN maintain a web site providing access to a number of interesting historical items.  You can find a history of the institution, Dodge's Institute to Valpo Tech 1873-1991, written by Leland L. Hite and a short video with areal footage of the former campus and alumni at a gathering in 2012.

VTI traced founding to the telegraphy department of Northern Indiana Normal School and Business Institute.  The department separated and became independent as Dodge's Telegraph, Railway Accounting and Radio Institute.  The name changed in 1944 to Valparaiso Technical Institute.  Dodge and VTI were one of the more successful institutions with an estimated 8,000 graduates before the closure in 1991.  Graduates served successfully in a wide variety of roles for railroads, the military, and the emerging radio and electronics industries. 

The Porter County INGenWeb Project offers a fascinating 1926 viewbook for Dodge's Institute that includes a number of photographs of both the institution and the city of Valparaiso.  There are also a great many details of the curriculum and various aspects of what a potential student might expect.