Our History

Before John D. O’Bryant High School and Boston Technical High School, there was Mechanic Arts High School. The highly anticipated Mechanic Arts High School was the first of its kind in the region, designed to prepare the students for higher education in the field of engineering. Mechanic arts was the name for what we now call engineering. Mechanic Arts High School first opened its doors in 1893, admitting students in the three year curriculum. The construction of the school, on the corner of Belvidere and Dalton streets, had cost about $5.4 million (after adjusting for inflation). When it opened, MAHS had employed one head master, two junior head masters, three full-time instructors, and one part-time instructor. Images from Thomas Hayden’s “No Smoking in the Triangle” depict some of the day to day activities of the study body while at the school. By 1906, a mandatory fourth year was added to the curriculum.  Mechanic Arts High School continued to attract intelligent and hardworking students until 1944 when it became known by another name, Boston Technical High School.  


                            Boston Technical remained in the same location as the original school. The name change was                             prompted by a need to provide clarity to prospective students about the schools intent.                                       Interestingly enough, students found themselves teaching U.S. soldiers mechanic arts and even building machinery for WWII. One distinguishable change was the school’s emblem; formerly the crest pictured to the left, it became the black emblem we see below. In the summer of 1960, Boston Technical relocated to Townsend street where it stayed for another 27 years.  

In 1987, the school moved once again, this time to New Dudley Street (now called Malcolm X Blvd). Two short years later, Boston Technical merged with Mario Umana Technical High School, keeping the Boston Technical name. Finally in 1992, Boston Tech was renamed to what we know it as today, John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. The school was named after community activist and educator John D. O'Bryant, who actually taught at Boston Technical when it was located in the Back Bay area. Our new seal, pictured below, incorporates both the past and present.