RESOURCES: The David Ferguson Websites

At the very dawn of the web, in about 1997, a safety engineer named David Ferguson created a website devoted not just to the Gilbreths, but to the minority viewpoint of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth as engineering titans. The Gilbreth Network Online attracted a number of colleagues in the field for serious discussion and appreciation on a professional level, but it wasn't long before the fans of the more popular view outnumbered the serious visitors. So he spun off a second site, Cheaper & Belles, to address those visitors, but it was never developed past a few sketchy pages.

David maintained the sites and had links to the family and related professional organizations for three or four years before he ran out of time to keep up the effort. A few updates were posted after 2003 or so, but only very few. The sites have been static since then. In my brief correspondence with David, he noted that he wasn't really a web expert, having relied on a friend to build and update the sites, and that with his recent retirement (as of 2011) he was hoping to find someone else to take over the sites and the task. I made a note of it... then was distracted myself for a few years.

When I picked up this project again in early 2018, visits to David's sites showed no changes. Worse, they showed that some kind of malware bug had invaded a few pages, resulting in a profusion of pop-up ads. Fortunately, the infection seems benign, but it is annoying and indicates that no one is watching the site's code any longer. When I attempted to contact David again, his long-time email came back no-such-user. His name is common enough that I have been unsuccessful at trawling for him on the internet, and I sincerely hope has just left all this electronic foolishness behind instead of, well, having left everything behind.

Since there is no way to take over those sites and they are hosted on the last creaky servers of the once-free, the information they contain is in imminent danger of being lost. While some of it is completely outdated and other pages are fairly generic (information about the family members, etc.) there is a considerable amount of work by David and other contributors that I feel is worth saving. Thus, this archive site, which I intend to fill with the best of the two sites — unedited, unchanged, but polished up a little in presentation and of course with full and permanent credit to the authors.

Sharp-eyed surfers will note that I have also used his excellent site logo, of a G on a motion-study grid, for this site's web icon. Full credit to David Ferguson for this brilliantly emblematic design.

I do hope visitors here see this for what it is, an attempt to rescue and safeguard web history, and not some sort of unauthorized pillaging and plagiarism. And David, if you should see this... get in touch immediately!

From The Gilbreth Network Online

From Cheaper & Belles

Sadly, the companion site has very little worth archiving. Nearly all of it is short summary pages of the books and movies, and barely-started FAQs and placeholders. A few unique pictures have been combined in the archive page above.

However, it did have a nice banner logo, which I thought was worth preserving: