OTHER PIONEERS OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING (Part one)
In 1912, the originators and early pioneers, the first educators and consultants, and the managers and representatives of the first industries to adopt the concepts developed by Taylor and Gilbreth gathered at the annual meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in New York City. The all-day session on Friday, December 6, 1912, began with a presentation titled “The Present State of the Art of Industrial Management.” This report and the subsequent discussions provide insight and understanding about the origin and relative contributions of the individuals involved in the birth of a unique new profession: industrial engineering.
In addition to Taylor and Gilbreth, other pioneers present at this meeting included Henry Towne and Henry Gantt. Towne, who was associated with the Yale and Towne Manufacturing Company, used ASME as the professional society to which he presented his views on the need for a professional group with interest in the problems of manufacturing and management. This suggestion ultimately led to the creation of the Management Division of ASME, one of the groups active today in promoting and disseminating information about the art and science of management, including many of the topics and ideas industrial engineers are engaged in. Towne was also concerned with the economic aspects and responsibilities of the engineer’s job including the development of wage payment plans and the remuneration of workers. His work and that of Frederick Halsey, father of the Halsey premium plan of wage payment, advanced the notion that some of the gains realized from productivity increases should be shared with the workers creating them.