Compiled by David Ferguson
Newsletter of the Gilbreth Network
Welcome to The Quest, Winter 1999-2000, published in January 2000. The Quest is published quarterly.
The Quest is published and copyright by David Ferguson.
Inside this issue:
Our big news
Please, we need your support
Editorial: A Call for Fairness
Vol. 3, No. 4 Winter 1999-2000
We are pleased to announce that the Gilbreth Network is now on the Internet. What has been a dream for 3 years, is now reality, thanks to the tireless work of Mary Ann Buschka Hainthaler, a member of the Gilbreth Network for more than two years.
Mary Ann is a Ph.D. candidate, in history, at the University of Delaware. She is a native of the Keystone State, born under the Liberty Bell and now residing in York, Pennsylvania. She holds a Bachelor's in English and a Master's in history. In her spare time, she likes to design web sites; lucky for us. I think we could call Mary Ann our latter-day Irene Witte. Frau Witte translated the Gilbreths' writings into German and Mary Ann has translated The Gilbreth Network into html (the language of the Internet).
Her topic for her dissertation is Lillian Gilbreth's application of scientific management in the home. Any of you who can help her out on this, please do so. We owe her a big debt of gratitude.
The web site, though just in the early stages of growth, already has many useful features. You can find current and back issues of The Quest, as well as a bibliography of books, by and about the Gilbreths. There are also links to other web sites of interest. There is a guest book, where visitors can tell us about themselves, and a bulletin board, where people can post questions.
The bulletin board is going to be a very useful tool in that people with questions can post them and get responses from any number of informed members. Now, you have a method of getting your questions answered, which is much more efficient.
We have also posted the names and e-mail addresses or phone numbers of Active Members, as available resources of Gilbreth information. If you would like to be listed, and are currently not an Active Member, you will need to complete an application, which gives us your permission to list your name, contact information and interests. You can download an application from the web site or write me for one.
In addition to Mary Ann, we should also thank Dr. Gerald Nadler who first suggested the idea of a web site, back when the Network was first forming. He continues to be a valued mentor to the Network.
Our address is: https://gilbrethnetwork.tripod.com/front.html. Please be sure to first type in the address as it is written (and save it as a bookmark, when the page loads). On some browser software, if you just type "gilbrethnetwork," the software will insert "www." You will not be able to reach the web site, as the address doesn't have a "www" in it. Please enjoy our newest addition to the Gilbreth Network.
Please be assured that with the advent of the web site, we will not abandon mailing out The Quest to anyone who wants it. Our new web site is an enhancement of our work, not a substitute.
In addition to our quarterly mailing of the newsletter, we will also be posting it on the web site. Members will also continue to receive annual lists of Active Members, who can be contacted for research information.
There are some features, like special articles or the bibliography, which are only available on the web site. We can mail printed copies to members who want them, for a small charge, to cover printing and mailing. We will keep you posted on new features added to the site so that non-web users can have equal access.
It's the time of year when we, once again, ask you for your generous financial support of the Gilbreth Network. It is only through your continued help that we can offer our newsletter and many services provided.
The funds go to pay the costs of publishing, printing and mailing the newsletter to over 70 individuals and organizations. Funding also covers the costs of phone calls, faxes, and mailing of material to researchers and documentary film makers, etc. Of late, we have also been acquiring Gilbreth books, such as As I Remember and Managing on Her Own, so that they may be distributed to college and university libraries for future researchers. It should also be noted that the Coordinator and the Web Mistress received no compensation, so your donations go directly towards operation of the Network.
Financial supporters of the Gilbreth Network will have their names listed in our sponsors list (unless anonymity is requested). The categories are based on the levels of total contributions:
Therblig- $25; Motion Study- $50; One Best Way- $100 or more. The following is the list of past contributors.
Martha M. Trescott
Daniel A. Wren
One Best Way:
Frank Gilbreth, Jr.
Ben Graham, Jr.
Joseph M. Juran
We thank these people for their continued support of the Gilbreth Network and ask all of you for your future support.
Please send checks to:
The Gilbreth Network
113 Kay Ct.
Cloverdale, CA 95425
Equally valued, as financial support, are your contributions of articles and stories. We have a very interesting and diverse membership who has much to share. The Quest needs you to add diversity to ideas and opinion. An article can be on a Gilbreth related subject or story or cover a particular aspect of their work which interests you. If you're an avid reader, why not write a book review of an old or new Gilbreth related book? If you disagree with an editorial or article, voice your opinion (please, however, address it as a Letter to the Editor).
The Quest was never intended to reflect just one point of view. We need the diversity and variety which your stories can provide.
You can submit your article either typed (double spaced), neatly printed or, of course, you can send it directly in as a word processing file to my e-mail address. There is no limit as to length, although longer articles may be published in two successive issues.
Your support will be appreciated.
Oh, to be off to college again. If you were one of the lucky ones to get into the Walter A Haas School of Business, at the University of California at Berkeley, you would be required to take BA 204. This is the Introduction to Operations Management. In addition to textbooks required, they have recommended books.
In this case, one of three recommended books is none other than Cheaper by the Dozen. Well, I must say that at least today's students have more interesting supplemental reading than we ever did.
In the last issue of The Quest, we asked for your help in acquiring copies of the two Gilbreth books which IIE has published. As they are closing their book publishing operation, we asked your help in buying and distributing these books to your local or college library, so future students can have access to these important volumes.
I am happy to report that we've received commitments from 6 members who committed to buying at least one book of each title and donating them to your favorite library. In addition, as promised, the Gilbreth Network has taken our income from royalties on As I Remember and is also buying 3 pair, of the two books.
On-line users note:
click here for information on how to buy these books.
Once again, your dyslexic coordinator has mis-spelled the name of one of our new members. It's bad enough to have done it once, but to do it twiceCI must beg your forgiveness and that of Professor Vajna. Prof. Sándor Vajna is our very patient new member. Please make the proper corrections on your lists.
As we reach the end of the third year of the Gilbreth Network, it has become apparent that we need to update the old records. Some of you, whom we haven't heard from in a while, will be receiving post cards along with your newsletter. Also, there were a number of people who never filled out an application, but wanted to be on the mailing list. We just need to be sure we're not sending newsletters to bad addresses.
On the cards will be some questions and check boxes. If you want to continue to receive The Quest, all you have to do is check the YES box and mail the card back. If you would prefer to simply read The Quest from our web site, there's a box you can check for that, and we will also keep you name on the membership list.
If we do not receive back a card within 30 days, from time the newsletter is mailed, we will drop your name from the list. You can also e-mail a response to me (
For those who do not receive a post card, you have the easy job and don't have to do anything. However, if you are active on the Internet and would rather read the newsletter on the web site, drop me an e-mail.
Important: If you are an Active Member, whose name is on the resource list, please be sure we have current and accurate contact information. Please send me (by mail or e-mail) any corrected information. And PLEASE, if you have an e-mail address correction, send it to me on the Internet. I've made many honest mistakes trying to read the printed addresses from a number of you. A quick e-mail to me will assure we have the proper information.
We will be sending out new Active Member lists with the Spring issue, so send in your corrections.
If you are a Contributing or Associate member, also be sure I have your correct contact information.
While I would grant anyone his/her due, when it comes to disagreements over history or the respective legacies of the Gilbreths versus Taylor, let's at least "play fair." Taylor and the Gilbreths certainly had their disagreements and some of Taylor's followers had little compunction about taking credit for Gilbreth innovations, however, this is in the past and should remain so.
PBS television stations have recently been airing a special called Stopwatch, about the contributions of Frederick W. Taylor and his supposed influence on modern work and business. In the piece, you will find two clips from The Original Films of Frank B. Gilbreth, edited by James Perkins plus a clip of a later kitchen demonstration; part of Lillian Gilbreth's kitchen design work. The clips were never given proper credit in the body of the film nor in the closing credits. [indeed, the closing credits ran be so fast, Evelyn Wood would have developed a headache].
As mentioned in the last Quest, a similar occurrence was found on the Peter Jennings, ABC News "The Century" piece, done on Taylor. This use of Gilbreth film was even more onerous in that they implied that all the work methods demonstrated in the film were Taylor's inspirations. And, again, no credit was given to the Perkins film or, for that matter, to Frank and Lillian Gilbreth.
For those who don't know it, James Perkins along with the help of Ralph Barnes and Lillian Gilbreth, edited clips of Frank Gilbreth's films before World War II and then re-worked the film with narration of Mr. Perkins and Dr. Gilbreth, for the Frank Gilbreth Centennial, in 1968. Since then, Mr. Perkins has kept the prints available and later converted the film to video tape.
The legal issue of Mr. Perkins' copyright on the film is a point of contention, since the actual footage used may not be copyrighted, only Mr. Perkins' narration (this according to a legal opinion Mr. Perkins received). But legality be damned! If it weren't for the work and effort of James Perkins, none of us would have any of the Gilbreths' work to view.
I cannot speculate as to Mr. Robert Kanigel's role in these pieces, from an editorial or content perspective, but he was featured prominently in both broadcasts. His book on Taylor (The One Best Way: Frederick Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency), was in part sponsored by the Sloan Foundation, as was the show Stopwatch. I would call on both Mr. Kanigel and Sloan to give proper recognition/credit to James Perkins and in the interest of historical accuracy, give credit to the Gilbreths for their unique work, represented in the films.
— from the website The Gilbreth Network Online. Reformatted but unedited. All rights remain with the author and/or publisher.
It can be assumed that all physical and web addresses in this document are obsolete.