Wednesday, August 19, 2015




CONSIDERED in relation to the time during which it has
been applied to the trades, scientific motion study can show
most satisfactory results.

The workers in the field as well as in the office have been
quick to appreciate and adopt the new methods suggested
by motion economy.

This has been especially the case in the crafts. Nearly
every proficient workman loves his trade. He loves the
joy of achievement. He can achieve most when useless
motions have been eliminated for him, and he welcomes
improvements, as the bricklayers have welcomed the brick
coming right side up on the packet.


To the casual reader it may seem that the task of evolving standard practice from usual present practice, and
from the best practice, is simply a case of observing, recording, and eliminating. The student will see that it
requires the closest concentration to do even the necessary scientific observing and recording, while to deduce and systematize standard motions for any one trade would furnish a life work for several trained scientists.

It is a difficult task for an inexperienced or untrained observer to divide an operation correctly into its motions.  Enumerating the variables that affect each motion is a task big enough to satisfy the most ambitious student of waste elimination.


We have found it helpful in recording our observations to use charts. Some such form as that shown on
pages 88 and 89 is used.

This chart is one made during an observation of bricklaying before the invention of the packet, the packet scaffold, and the fountain trowel.

The operation of laying a brick was divided into the
motions of which it consisted (column i). The usual
(present) practice of the time (given as "the wrong way,"
column 2) showed the units into which the operation was
divided. The best practice of the time ("the right way,"
column 3, now obsolete) was charted in such a way that
its relation from a motion standpoint to the usual practice
was clearly shown.

Column 4 shows how the usual practice may be trans-
formed into the best practice. It would serve as an in-
struction card to the workman, showing him not only
where his method needed to be improved but also exactly
how to improve it.

This chart, together with a plan showing the workman
where he should put the stock and where he should place
his feet (Fig. 14), and with pictures showing how he should
lay the brick, etc., proved most successful for instruction
as well as for recording.

At first glance this chart, and the others like it, which
we used at that time, seem very crude. In fact, compared
to what has since been done to standardize operations,
they are crude. But they mark a distinct phase of motion
study. They show plainly, as careful reading will prove,
that an earnest study of motions will automatically pro-
mote the growth of the study.

For example, study of column 4 in the sample chart
given led to the invention of the packet scaffold, the
packet, the fountain trowel, and several other of the best
devices, and the u packet-on- the- wall" method now used
in brickwork.

These inventions in their turn necessitated an entirely
new set of motions to perform the operation of laying a

So, likewise, the progression also went on before the
days of conscious motion study: observation, explanation,
invention, elimination, and again observation, in an upward
helix of progress.

The great point to be observed is this: Once the vari-
ables of motions are determined, and the laws of underly-
ing motions and their efficiency deduced, conformity to
these laws will result in standard motions, standard tools,
standard conditions, and standard methods of performing
the operations of the trades.

Conformity to these laws allows standard practice to be
attained and used. If the standard methods are deduced
before the equipment, tools, surroundings, etc., are stand-
ardized, the invention of these standard means is as sure
as the appearance of a celestial body at the time and place
where mathematics predicts that it will appear.

It is as well to recognize first as last that real progress
from the best present method to the standard method can
never be made solely by elimination. The sooner this is
recognized the better. Elimination is often an admirable
makeshift. But the only real progress comes through a
reconstruction of the operation, building it up of stand-
ardized units, or elements.

It is also well to recognize the absolute necessity of the
trained scientific investigator. The worker cannot, by him-
self, arrange to do his work in the most economical manner
in accordance with the laws of motion study. Oftentimes,
in fact nearly always, the worker will believe that the new
method takes longer than the old method. At least he
will be positive that many parts, or elements, of the pro-
cess when done under the new method take longer than
under the old style, and will not be in sympathy with the
scheme because he is sure that the new way is not so
efficient as his old way. All of which shows that the worker
himself cannot tell which are the most advantageous
motions. He must judge by the fatigue that he feels, or


else by the quantity of output accomplished in a given
time. To judge by the quantity of output accomplished in
a given time is more of a test of effort than a test of mo-
tion study, and oftentimes that element that will produce
the most output is the one that will cause the least fatigue.

The difference in amount of merit between any two
methods can perhaps be best determined by timing the
elements of the motions used in each. This is the method
of attack usually accepted as best, because it separates each
motion into its variables and analyzes them one at a time.
It is out of the question to expect a workman to do such
timing and to do his work at the same time. Furthermore,
it is an art in itself to take time-study observations, an art
that probably takes longer to master than does shorthand,
typewriting, telegraphy, or drafting.

Few workers have had an opportunity to learn the art
of making and using time-study observations, because
our school educators have not had any mental grasp
of the subject themselves. Add to the difficulties to be
overcome in acquiring the knowledge of observing, re-
cording, and analyzing the time-study records, the knowl-
edge necessary to build up synthetically the correct method
with each element strictly in accordance with the laws
of motion economy each by itself and when used together
in the particular determined sequence, and you will see
the reason why the worker by himself has not devised,
cannot, and never will be expected to devise, the ultimate
method of output. It does not then, after all, seem so
queer that the workman's output can always be doubled
and oftentimes more than tripled by scientific motion study.
Again, scientifically attained methods only can become
Ultimate methods.

Any method which seems after careful study to have
attained perfection, using absolutely the least number of
most effective, shortest motions, may be thrown aside
when a new way of transporting or placing material or
men is introduced. It is pitiful to think of the time, money,
strength, and brains that have been wasted on devising
and using wonderfully clever but not fundamentally de-
rived methods of doing work, which must inevitably be
discarded for the latter.

The standardizing of the trades will utilize every atom
of such heretofore wasted energy.

The standardizing of the trades affords a definite best
method of doing each element.

Having but one standard method of doing each element
divides the amount of time-study data necessary to take
by a number equal to the number of different equally good
methods that could be used.

The greatest step forward can be made only when time-
study data can be made by one and used by all. A system
of interchange and cooperation in the use of the data of
scientific management can then be used by all persons

This reduction and simplification of taking time study is
the real reason for insistence upon making and maintain-
ing standards for the largest down to the smallest insig-
nificant tool or device used.

Much toward standardizing the trades has already been
done. In this, as in almost countless other lines of activity,
the investigator turns oftenest with admiration to the
work of Frederick W. Taylor. It is the never-ceasing
marvel concerning this man that age cannot wither nor
custom stale his work. After many a weary day's study
the investigator awakes from a dream of greatness to
find that he has only worked out a new proof for a problem
that Taylor has already solved.

Time study, the instruction card, functional foreman-
ship, the differential rate piece method of compensation,
and numerous other scientifically derived methods of de-
creasing costs and increasing output and wages these are
by no means his only contributions toward standardizing
the trades whose value it would be difficult to overesti-
mate; they are but a few of the means toward attaining
standards which have been placed by Taylor, their dis-
coverer, within the hands of any man willing to use them.

The great need to-day in standardizing the trades is for
cooperation. In other times all excellent methods or
means were held as "trade secrets," sometimes lost to the
world for generations until rediscovered. The day for
this is past. Thinkers of to-day recognize that the work
to be done is so great that, given all that every one has
accomplished and is accomplishing, there is room and to
spare for every worker who cares to enter the field. Co-
operation and team work is the crying need.

Conservation and comparison of knowledge, experi-
ments, data and conclusions are what we need. The
various engineering journals are to be commended for
r:cognizing the importance of this, and for furnishing an
excellent means for recording and spreading much needed

The ideal conservator of knowledge in this, as in all
other branches, would be the United States government.
The government should maintain a permanent bureau, with
experiment stations, as is done with the Department of

Individual investigators, corporations, and colleges, all
would be willing to turn over the results of their work to
such a government bureau. The colleges would cooperate
with such a bureau, as do the agricultural colleges with
the Department of Agriculture. The bulletins of such a
bu"eau would be invaluable to the men in the trades, as
are the agricultural bulletins to the farmers.

The Department of Agriculture is an excellent model.
The form for a department or bureau of trades is all at
hand. It is only necessary to translate the language of
agriculture into the language of labor. It is only through
such a bureau that the trades can formally be standardized.

Such a bureau would have two main tasks: (i) To sub-
classify the trades; (2) To standardize the trades.
The first task should be successfully completed before
the second is undertaken.

We have spoken briefly, in considering cost of motions,
o the necessity of separating those motions that require
skill from those that require nothing but strength and

This sub-classifying of the trades according to the types
or grades of motions that they use, or according to the
brawn, brain, training, and skill required to make the
motions, will cut down production costs. It will raise
the standards of all classes. It will do away with differ-
ences between employers and employees. It will eliminate
unnecessary waste. It will raise the wages of all workers.
It will reduce the cost of living.

We might call such a sub-classification as desired a
" functional" classification of the trades.

For example, for brickwork we recommend five classes:

Class A. Ornamental and exterior face brick and
molded terra cotta.

Class B. Interior face tiers that do not show at com-
pletion, where strong, plumb, and straight work only is

Class C. Filling tiers where only strength is needed.

Class D. Putting fountain trowels and brick packs on
the wall near the place, and in the manner where the other
three classes can reach them with greatest economy of

Class E. Pack loaders, brick cullers, and stage builders.

The pay of the A and B classes should be considerably
higher than is customary for bricklayers. The pay of the
C, D, and E classes should be lower than is customary for
bricklayers, but much higher than the pay of laborers.
This classification will raise the pay of all five classes
higher than they could ever obtain in the classes that they
would ordinarily work in under the present system, yet
the resulting cost of the labor on brickwork would be
much less, and each class would be raised in its standing
and educated for better work and higher wages.

In the case of brickwork this new classification is a cry-
ing necessity, as the cost of brickwork must be reduced
to a point where it can compete with concrete. Im-
provements in making, methods of mixing, transporting,
and densifying concrete in the metal molds of to-day
have put the entire brickwork proposition where it can be
used for looks only, because for strength, imperviousness,
quickness of construction, lack of union labor troubles,
and low cost, brickwork cannot compete with concrete
under present conditions.

Having sub-classified the trades, the second step is to
standardize them.

And both classification and standardization demand
motion study.

The United States government has already spent mil-
lions and used many of the best of minds on the subject
of motion study as applied to war; the motions of the
sword, gun, and bayonet drill are wonderfully perfect from
the standpoint of the requirements of their use. This same
study should be applied to the arts of peace.

It is obvious that this work must and will be done in
time. But there is inestimable loss in every hour of delay.
The waste of energy of the workers in the industries to-day
is pitiful. But it is far more important that the coming
generation of workers should be scientifically trained.

The science of management of the future will demand
that the trades be taught in accordance with the motion
standards of a United States Bureau of Standardization
of Mechanical Trades. The present method of teaching
an apprentice is the most unbusinesslike event that takes
place in any of our industrial institutions.

We have never heard of a trades school, manual training
school, or technical school that makes any attempt to
solve questions of motion study. The usual process is to
teach a student or apprentice to do his work well first,
and after he has finally accomplished the art of making or
doing the thing in question, then to expect him to learn
to do it quickly. This process is a relic of the dark ages.
A novice should be taught to do what he is trying to do
with certain definite motions, and to repeat the opera-
tion until he is able automatically to use the standard
motions and do good work.

If an apprentice bricklayer, blacksmith, or tool sharpener,
for example, is not instructed to count his motions when
doing a certain piece of work, he will surely get into the
habit of making extra motions that cannot be omitted
later without almost as much effort as that spent in learn-
ing the trade. There is little incentive for an old mechanic
to teach a boy so that he will excel his teacher, and per-
haps run him out of a job about the time that he, the
apprentice, becomes expert.

One of the most common causes for neglecting the
important subject of motion study is that the boss of the
establishment is not himself really a master of the trade
that is being taught, or, if he was master once, has for-
gotten it because there are no books or systems that have
so described, charted, and illustrated his trade as to refresh
his memory.

Again the teacher is often a mechanic who is not trained to impart what knowledge he has, has never studied pedagogy, and is expected to do a full day's work at the same time that he is teaching his apprentice.

The arts and trades of human beings should be studied,
charted, photographed, and motion-pictured, and every employer, apprentice, and student should be able to receive bulletins of his trade for a sum equal to the cost to a farmer of a bulletin from the Department of Agriculture instructing how to increase the outputs of cows, hens, and bees.

One great aid toward cutting down the work of every one
out of the trades as well as in, would be the standardizing
of our written alphabet to conform to the laws of motion
study. The most offhand analysis of our written alpha-
bet shows that it is full of absolutely useless strokes, all ** f
which require what are really wasted motions.

Consider the single example of the first stroke on the
first letter of each word. Here is a motion that can be
eliminated wholly. While its existence is necessary in type
that represents handwriting or imitates engraved plate
work, and in enameled separate letters of window signs, its
adoption and use in handwriting is of no purpose and is
wrong from the standpoint of motion economy.

Each letter of our written alphabet is a natural devia-
tion from our printed alphabet that is the result of leaving
the pencil on the paper.

Now the time has arrived for revising our written lan-
guage by means of a new scientifically invented alphabet
specially devised for the purpose of securing clearer writ-
ing, made of connected letters, each designed of itself and in
connection with all the other letters, so that it conforms to
the laws of motion economy. This is not a suggestion that
we should adopt stenographic signs for words or sounds,
although a general knowledge of one standard steno-
graphic system would also be a great benefit to a nation.

The suggestion is, that in as much as it is the aim of
our nation that all citizens should be able to read and
write, a new written alphabet should be devised for us
that shall conform to the laws of motion study, that we
all can increase either our outputs in writing or else that we
all may be able to do such writing as we are obliged to do
in less time.

It is to be hoped that an international society of highly
trained educators, similar to those composing the Simplified
Spelling Board, may be called together, as was the Sim-
plified Spelling Board, to give this matter immediate
attention. A written alphabet for all languages of the
world should be determined and used not only by the
users of each language, but also by the societies advocating
and promulgating such world's second or international lan-
guages as Volapiik and Esperanto.

One great drawback to the more rapid progress of any
artificial or second language has been the difficulty of
reading the correspondence between enthusiasts who were
proficient in speaking their thoroughly agreed upon inter-
national language.

It would not be desirable to abandon our present written
alphabet. There are now literally hundreds of different
styles of lettering that all can read, yet how few of them
can any of us make with pen or pencil.

To add one more style of lettering to the now existing
hundreds could scarcely be considered as confusing by even
those who are constitutionally opposed to changes in any-

Therefore, there should be devised one more style of
lettering, specially adapted to cutting down the time of
writing and adding to the general legibility when written

Let this be our second written language. Let us use
the present system and the new one. Let the generations
to come have the benefit of the application of science to
their future writing, and let the present style be also used,

provided it does not die the natural death in the combat
of the survival of the fittest.

We may have to wait for international coinage, inter-
national postage stamps, international courts, international
arbitration, and international weights and measures; but
there can be no reason for not having an international
system of written alphabetical characters, and while hav-
ing it let us decide in favor of that system that fulfills
the requirements of motion study, both of the hand in
making, and of the eye in reading.


In the meantime, while we are waiting for the politicians
und educators to realize the importance of this subject and
to create the bureaus and societies to undertake and com-
plete the work, we need not be idle. There is work in
abundance to be done.

Motion study must be applied to all the industries.
Our trade schools and colleges can:

1. Observe the best work of the best workers.

2. Photograph the methods used.

3. Record the methods used.

4. Record outputs.

5. Record costs.

6. Deduce laws.

7. Establish laboratories "for trying out laws."

8. Embody laws in instructions.

9. Publish bulletins.

10. Cooperate to spread results and to train the rising

This is the era now. We have a scientific method of attack, and we have also scientific methods of teaching.

The stereoscopic camera and stereoscope, the motion picture machines, and the stereopticon enable us to observe, record, and teach as one never could in the past.


The " pack-on-the-wall "method is the latest development and is an actual direct
result of motion study. It has again  changed the entire method of laying brick by reducing the kind, number, sequence and length of motions. It reduces the fatigue of the bricklayer and he is therefore able to make more rapid motions.

The economic value of motion study has been proved by the fact that by means of it workmen's outputs have been more than tripled, production costs lowered, and wages increased simultaneously.

This book is written for the express purpose of calling to the attention of the nation that what has been done in a few trades can be done in each and every trade.

The most important matter before the public to-day is the creation and operation of a department at Washington for discovering, collecting, conserving and disseminating data relating to Taylor's method of Intensive Management commonly called Scientific Management.

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