As per our current Database, Frederick Winslow Taylor died on Mar 21, 1915 (age 59).
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Frederick was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania into a well-to-do and influential family that traced their descent to the Mayflower pilgrims.
Frederick Winslow Taylor got an early taste of efficiency from his mathematics professor, who timed class problems by average students and made exams fitting exactly the time allotted for class.
Taylor was born in 1856 to a Quaker family in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Taylor's father, Franklin Taylor, a Princeton-educated lawyer, built his wealth on mortgages. Taylor's mother, Emily Annette Taylor (née Winslow), was an ardent abolitionist and a coworker with Lucretia Mott. His father's ancestor, Samuel Taylor, settled in Burlington, New Jersey, in 1677. His mother's ancestor, Edward Winslow, was one of the fifteen original Mayflower Pilgrims who brought servants or children, and one of eight who had the honorable distinction of Mister. Winslow served for many years as the Governor of the Plymouth colony.
Educated early by his mother, Taylor studied for two years in France and Germany and traveled Europe for 18 months. In 1872, he entered Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, with the plan of eventually going to Harvard and becoming a lawyer like his father. In 1874, Taylor passed the Harvard entrance examinations with honors. However, due allegedly to rapidly deteriorating eyesight, Taylor chose quite a different path.
Instead of attending Harvard University, Taylor became an apprentice patternmaker and machinist, gaining shop-floor experience at Enterprise Hydraulic Works in Philadelphia (a pump-manufacturing company whose proprietors were friends of the Taylor family). He left his apprenticeship for six months and represented a group of New England machine-tool manufacturers at Philadelphia's centennial exposition. Taylor finished his four-year apprenticeship and in 1878 became a machine-shop laborer at Midvale Steel Works. At Midvale, he was quickly promoted to time clerk, journeyman machinist, gang boss over the lathe hands, machine shop foreman, research director, and finally chief engineer of the works (while maintaining his position as machine shop foreman). Taylor's fast promotions reflected both his talent and his family's relationship with Edward Clark, part owner of Midvale Steel. (Edward Clark's son Clarence Clark, who was also a manager at Midvale Steel, married Taylor's sister.)
While Taylor worked at Midvale, he and Clarence Clark won the first tennis doubles tournament in the 1881 US National Championships, the precursor of the US Open. Taylor became a student of Stevens Institute of Technology, studying via correspondence and obtaining a degree in mechanical engineering in 1883. On May 3, 1884, he married Louise M. Spooner of Philadelphia.
Taylor was an accomplished tennis and golf player. He and Clarence Clark won the inaugural United States National tennis doubles championship at Newport Casino in 1881, defeating Alexander Van Rensselaer and Arthur Newbold in straight sets. In the 1900 Summer Olympics, Taylor finished fourth in golf.
From 1890 until 1893 Taylor worked as a general manager and a consulting engineer to management for the Manufacturing Investment Company of Philadelphia, a company that operated large paper mills in Maine and Wisconsin. He was a plant manager in Maine. In 1893, Taylor opened an independent consulting practice in Philadelphia. His business card read "Consulting Engineer - Systematizing Shop Management and Manufacturing Costs a Specialty". Through these consulting experiences, Taylor perfected his management system. His first paper, A Piece Rate System, was presented to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in June 1895.
In 1898 he joined Bethlehem Steel to solve an expensive machine-shop capacity problem. While at Bethlehem, he discovered the best known and most profitable of his many patents: between 1898 and 1900 Taylor and Maunsel White conducted comprehensive empirical tests, and concluded that tungsten cutting-steel doubled or quadrupled cutting speeds; the inventors received $100,000 (equivalent to $2.5 million today) for the English patents alone, although the U.S. patent was eventually nullified.
Taylor was forced to leave Bethlehem Steel in 1901 after discord with other managers. Now a wealthy man, Taylor focused the remainder of his career promoting his management and machining methods through lecturing, writing, and consulting. In 1910, owing to the Eastern Rate Case, Frederick Winslow Taylor and his Scientific Management methodologies became famous worldwide. In 1911, Taylor introduced his The Principles of Scientific Management paper to the ASME, eight years after his Shop Management paper.
On October 19, 1906, Taylor was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science by the University of Pennsylvania. Taylor eventually became a professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. In early spring of 1915 Taylor caught pneumonia and died, one day after his fifty-ninth birthday, on March 21, 1915. He was buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery, in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.
Future US Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis coined the term scientific management in the course of his argument for the Eastern Rate Case before the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1910. Brandeis argued that railroads, when governed according to Taylor's principles, did not need to raise rates to increase wages. Taylor used Brandeis's term in the title of his monograph The Principles of Scientific Management, published in 1911. The Eastern Rate Case propelled Taylor's ideas to the forefront of the management agenda. Taylor wrote to Brandeis, "I have rarely seen a new movement started with such great momentum as you have given this one." Taylor's approach is also often referred to as Taylor's Principles, or, frequently disparagingly, as Taylorism.
In 1911, Taylor collected a number of his articles into a book-length manuscript, which he submitted to the ASME for publication. The ASME formed an ad hoc committee to review the text. The committee included Taylor allies such as James Mapes Dodge and Henry R. Towne. The committee delegated the report to the editor of the American Machinist, Leon P. Alford. Alford was a critic of the Taylor system and his report was negative. The committee modified the report slightly, but accepted Alford's recommendation not to publish Taylor's book. Taylor angrily withdrew the book and published Principles without ASME approval. Taylor published the trade book himself in 1912.
The introduction of his system was often resented by workers and provoked numerous strikes. The strike at Watertown Arsenal led to the congressional investigation in 1912. Taylor believed the laborer was worthy of his hire, and pay was linked to productivity. His workers were able to earn substantially more than those under conventional management, and this earned him enemies among the owners of factories where scientific management was not in use.
The Taylor Society was founded in 1912 by Taylor's allies to promote his values and influence. A decade after Taylor's death in 1915 the Taylor Society had 800 members, including many leading U.S. industrialists and managers. In 1936 the Society merged with the Society of Industrial Engineers, forming the Society for Advancement of Management, which still exists today.
Taylor and his theories are also referenced (and put to practice) in the 1921 dystopian novel We by Yevgeny Zamyatin.
Around 1922 the journalist Paulette Bernège became interested in Taylor's theories, which were popular in France in the post-war period. Bernège became the faithful disciple of the Domestic Sciences Movement that Christine Frederick had launched earlier in the United States, which Bernège adapted to French homes. Frederick had transferred the concepts of Taylorism from the factory to domestic work. These included suitable tools, rational study of movements and timing of tasks. Scientific standards for housework were derived from scientific standards for workshops, intended to streamline the work of a housewife. The Comité national de l'organisation française (CNOF) was founded in 1925 by a group of journalists and consulting engineers who saw Taylorism as a way to expand their client base. Founders included prominent engineers such as Henry Louis Le Châtelier and Léon Guillet. Bernège's Institute of Housekeeping Organization participated in various congresses on the scientific organization of work that led up to the founding of the CNOF, and in 1929 led to a section in CNOF on domestic economy.
In the early 1920s, the Canadian textile industry was re-organized according to scientific management principles. In 1928, workers at Canada Cotton Ltd. in Hamilton, Ontario went on strike against newly introduced Taylorist work methods. Also, Henry Gantt, who was a close associate of Taylor, re-organized the Canadian Pacific Railway.
In Switzerland, the American Edward Albert Filene established the International Management Institute to spread information about management techniques. Lyndall Urwick was its Director until the IMI closed in 1933.
Particularly enthusiastic were the Cadbury family, Seebohm Rowntree, Oliver Sheldon and Lyndall Urwick. In addition to establishing a consultancy to implement Taylor's system, Urwick, Orr & Partners, Urwick was also a key historian of F.W. Taylor and scientific management, publishing The Making of Scientific Management trilogy in the 1940s and The Golden Book of Management in 1956.
Harry Braverman's work, Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century, published in 1974, was critical of scientific management and of Taylor in particular. This work pioneered the field of Labor Process Theory as well as contributing to the historiography of the workplace.