Efficiency movement

1908 US editorial cartoon on Theodore Roosevelt and conservation

Major movement in the United States, Britain and other industrial nations in the early 20th century that sought to identify and eliminate waste in all areas of the economy and society, and to develop and implement best practices.

- Efficiency movement

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Scientific management

Theory of management that analyzes and synthesizes workflows.

Frederick Taylor (1856–1915), leading proponent of scientific management
A machinist at the Tabor Company, a firm where Frederick Taylor's consultancy was applied to practice, about 1905
Photograph of East German machine tool builders in 1953, from the German Federal Archives. The workers are discussing standards specifying how each task should be done and how long it should take.

Thus it was followed by a profusion of successors in applied science, including time and motion study, the Efficiency Movement (which was a broader cultural echo of scientific management's impact on business managers specifically), Fordism, operations management, operations research, industrial engineering, management science, manufacturing engineering, logistics, business process management, business process reengineering, lean manufacturing, and Six Sigma.

Education Act 1902

Highly controversial Act of Parliament that set the pattern of elementary education in England and Wales for four decades.

A graphic representation of the legislative procedure in the United Kingdom.

It reduced the divide between voluntary schools, which were largely administered by the Church of England, and schools provided and run by elected school boards, and reflected the influence of the Efficiency Movement in Britain.

Progressive Era

Period of widespread social activism and political reform across the United States of America that spanned the 1890s to World War I.

The Awakening: "Votes for Women" in 1915 Puck magazine
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (pictured) wrote these articles about feminism for the Atlanta Constitution, published on 10 December 1916.
Colorado judge Ben Lindsey, a pioneer in the establishment of juvenile court systems
Glass works in Indiana, from a 1908 photograph by Lewis Hine
Women's Suffrage Headquarters on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio in 1912
President Wilson used tariff, currency, and antitrust laws to prime the pump and get the economy working.
Manhattan's Little Italy, Lower East Side, circa 1900.
Newspaper reporting the annexation of the Republic of Hawaii in 1898
A cartoon of Uncle Sam seated in restaurant looking at the bill of fare containing "Cuba steak", "Porto Rico pig", the "Philippine Islands" and the "Sandwich Islands" (Hawaii)
Breaker boys sort coal in an anthracite coal breaker near South Pittston, Pennsylvania, 1911

A third theme was building an efficiency movement in every sector that could identify old ways that needed modernizing and bring to bear scientific, medical, and engineering solutions; a key part of the efficiency movement was scientific management, or "Taylorism".

Louis Brandeis

American lawyer and associate justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939.

Photo of Louis Brandeis (around 1900)
Brandeis in his canoe, circa 1916
Louis Brandeis, 1915
1925 B&O Railroad bond certificate owned by Louis D. Brandeis
Brandeis (center) in his Boston office, 1916
President Woodrow Wilson, 1919
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Time cover, 19 Oct 1925
The Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville opened in 1846 and was named for Justice Brandeis in 1997.

He argued that great size conflicted with efficiency and added a new dimension to the Efficiency Movement of the Progressive Era.

John D. Rockefeller

American business magnate and philanthropist.

Rockefeller in 1895
Rockefeller's birthplace in Richford, New York
Rockefeller at age 18
Rockefeller c. 1872, shortly after founding Standard Oil
Rockefeller in 1875. By then, he shaved off his sideburns, leaving his iconic mustache.
Standard Oil Trust Certificate 1896
Share of the Standard Oil Company, issued May 1, 1878
Rockefeller in 1895
The big corporations such as Standard Oil made large contributions to McKinley's presidential campaign.
Fear of monopolies ("trusts") is shown in this critique of Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company.
Rockefeller as an industrial emperor, 1901 cartoon from Puck magazine
Rockefeller c. 1902. By then, his moustache had fallen off due to alopecia.
Puck magazine cartoon: "The Infant Hercules and the Standard Oil serpents", May 23, 1906, issue; depicting U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt grabbing the head of Nelson W. Aldrich and the snake-like body of John D. Rockefeller
Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis wags his pen at John D. Rockefeller, who is sitting in the witness stand, during the Standard Oil case on July 6, 1907
Kykuit in Westchester County, New York, where Rockefeller spent his retirement. It has been home to four generations of the Rockefeller family.
The Euclid Avenue Baptist Church and its pastor, the Rev. Dr. Charles Aubrey Eaton in 1904
Rockefeller at age 80
Rockefeller with his son John Jr., 1915
Rockefeller in 1911
Central Philippine University in the Iloilo City was founded by the American Baptist missionaries through the benevolence as a legacy university of John D. Rockefeller in 1905. It is the first Baptist and second American university in Asia.
Rockefeller in 1922
Rockefeller's grave in Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland
John D. Rockefeller's painting by John Singer Sargent in 1917

Rockefeller believed in the Efficiency Movement, arguing that: "To help an inefficient, ill-located, unnecessary school is a waste ... it is highly probable that enough money has been squandered on unwise educational projects to have built up a national system of higher education adequate to our needs, if the money had been properly directed to that end."

Charles Bedaux

Bedaux with his film crew in Canada in 1934
The Bedaux company logo, featuring its distinctive "B" unit
Bedaux consultancy advertising booklet (1928)
A cartoon attacking the Bedaux B in the Daily Worker
Charles Bedaux hosted the Windsors' wedding in his Château de Candé.
Charles Bedaux (1886-1944) grave

Charles Eugène Bedaux (10 October 1886 – 18 February 1944) was a French-American millionaire who made his fortune developing and implementing the work measurement aspect of scientific management, notably the Bedaux System.

Conference of Governors

Held in the White House May 13–15, 1908 under the sponsorship of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Top: the northern facade with a columned portico facing Lafayette Square
Bottom: the southern facade with a semi-circular portico facing the South Lawn and The Ellipse

Gifford Pinchot, at that time Chief Forester of the U.S., was the primary mover of the conference, and a progressive conservationist, who strongly believed in the scientific and efficient management of natural resources on the federal level.

Bedaux Unit

The Bedaux Unit emerged from the U.S. scientific management movement.

Frederick Taylor (1856–1915), leading proponent of scientific management

Through rating Bedaux developed the "Bedaux System of Human Power Measurement" which arrived at a universal measure for all manual work, the Bedaux Unit or B.

Nelson W. Aldrich

Prominent American politician and a leader of the Republican Party in the United States Senate, where he represented Rhode Island from 1881 to 1911.

Abigail Pearce Truman Chapman
The signature of Nelson W. Aldrich
Reformers hated and feared Senator Aldrich for killing reforms disliked by big business. 1906 Puck cartoon.
Taft tries to get progressive ideas into Aldrich
Aldrich's home in Providence, a National Historic Landmark
Portrait of Senator Aldrich

A proponent of Progressive Era themes of Efficiency and scientific expertise, he led a team of experts to study the European national banks.

Benjamin Bates IV

American rail industrialist, textile tycoon and philanthropist.

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Workers in industrial Lewiston, in the late nineteenth century
Tompkins square riot in the 1870s, due to lack of credit stability of Manhattan banks
Alexander De Witt advised Bates on development strategy in Lewiston.
Bates Mill and Canal
A bust of Bates sculpted by Franklin Simmons in 1872, held at the Boston Commonwealth Museum
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Oren Burbank Cheney
Benjamin Bates' donations to the foundation of the Maine State Seminary led the founder of the college to rename the college in his honor in 1864.
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He was the wealthiest person in Maine from 1850 to 1878, and is considered to have introduced both the Efficiency and Taylorism movements to the economy of Maine.