Coyne American Institute: A 100-year-old training gem

July 19, 2000
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CHICAGO, IL — The year was 1899. The President was William McKinley. Marconi arrived in the United States to display his wireless telegraph.

U.S. automobile production reached 2,500 vehicles. A century of steam power was drawing to a close, and the age of electricity was dawning.

And another thing was true in 1899: There was a need for well-trained, skilled technicians.

Coyne American Institute, possibly the Midwest’s oldest technical trade school, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

In 1899, the Coyne Electrical School of Boston established a branch of its technical school in Chicago. (The Boston school had been established by the Coyne brothers three years earlier.)

Setting standards

Over the next 50 years, the school (operated by the B.W. Cooke family) started many training traditions, such as:

  • The Coyne three-step “Practical Technical Training Method,” under which students are taught classroom theory, practical demonstration, and real job performance;

  • Ongoing placement support for graduates; and

  • Partnerships with industry and community organizations.

As the age of radio evolved, Coyne’s proficiency in radio training proved vital to the war effort in the 1940s. When television became the main source of in-home entertainment in the 1950s, TV service and repair was added.

However, the school’s core of excellence is in its electrical maintenance and hvacr curricula.

When Coyne Electrical merged with the American Institute of Engineering and Technology in the late 60s, Coyne American Institute took shape and the current location on Fullerton Ave. became home.

The school now offers core training in electronics, including computer training from the technician’s perspective.

Hat’s off to this 100-year-old tradition that’s poised to ride the wave of the future!

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History of your company

shelly A. Ur lacher (Swanda)
January 22, 2009
Looking for Information on Coyne Electric trade school in 1930's. My grandfather went to school there. We will be in Chicago in May and would like to see where the school might have been? Or any information we could find. Thanks Shelly Urlacher Swanda James Swanda- Grandfather

Diploma application

Donald R. Jansky
October 26, 2009
I am a graduate of, at one time,"Television Home Training Division". Your address at that time was 1501 West Congress Pkwy. Chicago, Ill, 60607. The director of training was J.P. Hanan. I am not aware of making application for a engraved diploma. I would like at this time to make that request. The letter that I have signed by Mr. Hanan does not have a date. What I do have is a lapel pin. If there is a need to see the letter from Mr. Hanan I can fax it. Thank you.

my cousin Laron Walton, graduate of Coyne School

Gayle Walton Fuller
November 29, 2009
I'm trying to write a book on my Walton family & looked up the Coyne Electrical School where my cousin graduated with honors in October of 1954 ... earning all 3 keys in electricity, television & refrigeration. He had fallen in love with Shirley Johnson & he needed a trade to find work in Ogden, UT, Boise, ID & Lompoc, CA areas to support his family. The story goes, he sold his car & house to go to Coyne School in Chicago. Shirley is 82 years old, but has no idea where to find his diploma. Laron died in 1970 at age 43. What I don't have is a picture or a copy of the diploma. Is there anyway you'd have a copy in your files? I'd certainly appreciate hearing from you, one way or the other. Thank you so much. Gayle Walton Fuller

history of coyne trade & engineering school

donald bertelsen
May 14, 2010
My father ERVIN BERTELSEN graduated from coyne trade and engineering school 7 April 1923. I would like to know more about the school at that time.

Information on coyne School

John Plosila
May 29, 2010
I was an instructior at Coyne and wrote some of the books. there ae pictures of the building. A hsopital is on the site now.

Information on the school

Cat Bradley
November 24, 2010
My father George Harry Okegawa graduated from Coyne Electrical School in 1946. I would like to know more about the school at that time.

Information on the school

Cat Bradley
November 24, 2010
My father George Harry Okegawa graduated from Coyne Electrical School in 1946. I would like to know more about the school at that time.

1949 &1950 Coyne school magazines

Wes McCarroll
January 7, 2012
I have 2 school magazines from Coyne. One is a 50th anniversary edition from 1949 and the other is from 1950. The 1949 is ne excellent condition and the 1950 is in good shape. Email me for pictures.

Coyne Electronics Catalog

Ron Petkunas
July 23, 2012
I have a 1969 COYNE Electronics Institute Catalog in absolute pristine condition including the Business Reply Card and a Classes Are Now Forming Sheet with the original mailing envelope from 1501 West Congress Parkway, Chicago IL address. Pictures available by sending me your interest to



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