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Welcome to the current issue of The Quest, Vol. 5, No. 4, Winter 2002, published in March 2002. The Quest is published quarterly.

The Quest is published by and copyright David Ferguson.

Inside this Issue:

  • »SAM Awards Gilbreth Medal
  •  
  • »A Lasting Legacy
  • »Please Send Your Best Wishes
  • »An Amazing Discovery
  • »That Time of Year
  • »The Gilbreth Legacy Continues
  • »New Members
  • »Winks

See The Quest index for back issues of the newsletter.

Volume 5, Number 4
Winter 2002

SAM Awards Gilbreth Medal

If we have a few buttons popping, with pride, it's due to Mary Ann Hainthaler being this year's recipient of the Gilbreth Medal, awarded by the Society for Advancement of Management. Mary Ann is our tireless creator/manager of the Gilbreth Network web site. She has been responsible for helping us reach thousands of people through our web site. Indeed, after she created the Gilbreth Network site, it became so popular that she started the "Cheaper/Belles" web site, for those interested in the Gilbreth family and the classic books about them.

She has done all this work while earning her PhD and beginning her marriage. The results of her efforts have shown the true value of the Internet, when it comes to education and information. The Gilbreth Medal comes as a well-deserved addition to several Internet awards, and the gratitude of so many of our sites' visitors.

Personally, I cannot say enough about the dimension her work has added to the Gilbreth Network. I could never thank her enough for her dedication.

Mary Ann will be receiving the award, during the Society for Advancement's annual conference, in Washington D.C.

Please join me in offering our warmest congratulations to Mary Ann.

A Lasting Legacy

In the collected works of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, few items provide a truer flavor, for their work, than The Quest for the One Best Way: The Films of Frank B. Gilbreth.

This is a film, made up of clips from the thousands of feet of Gilbreth motion study and family films. This film wouldn't exist were it not for James S. Perkins, who with Ralph Barnes and Lillian Gilbreth put together a sampling of the Gilbreth's work. Indeed, this film is the only surviving footage of the Gilbreths' work.

We are happy to announce that this film will now be given to America's museum, the Smithsonian Institution, thanks to the generosity of James Perkins. Mr. Perkins gave us a taste of Gilbreth history when he created the film. Through the years, he has kept it available (in film and videotape) for those of us just beginning to discover the Gilbreths. And now, his kind gift will assure that the film will be available for future generations.

At present, plans are to first, apply restoration and enhancement technology to the original film. Then, the film will be available to documentary producers as well as for the general public and libraries, in VHS videotape.

One of Mr. Perkins lasting hopes for the film was that it be distributed to schools and universities, so as to peak the interest of students, in the Gilbreths' work. We would ask the Network members to assist in this effort, by helping us to publicize the film, with their local schools and if possible, to buy a copy and donate it to your favorite university. We will have more details on ordering information, when the copies become available.

Please join me in our warmest thanks to Mr. Perkins. He is a long-time supporter of the Gilbreth Network, and a stalwart defender of the Gilbreth legacy. And now, he has given us a very important and wonderful gift. Thank you Mr. Perkins.

Please Send Your Best Wishes

During the process of arranging a new home for the Gilbreth film, Mr. Perkins fell into ill health. Please join me in sending best wishes for a speedy recovery, to our long-time and dear friend. In this way, we can let him know just how much he is appreciated and that we all wish him the best. You can write him, in care of his home address: Mr. James S. Perkins
4600 Middleton Park Cir. E., Apt. A-223
Jacksonville, FL 32224-3204

An Amazing Discovery

Would you like to own a brand new, hardcover copy of one of the Gilbreths' books? Or, have you tried to vain , to find, a reprint of an original book on Scientific Management? We are happy to announce that the long-lost inventory of Hive Publishing has been found.

During the 1970s, Hive Publishing developed the Hive Management Series; a collection of reprints of the early books in Scientific Management/management theory. This included the full collection of books by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth. Subsequent owners of the company mysteriously disappeared in 1995, leaving the question as to what happened to their inventory of books.

We are happy to announce that these books have been found. This collection includes the following titles by Frank and/or Lillian Gilbreth: Field System; Concrete System; Motion Study: a Method for Increasing the Efficiency of the Worker; Primer of Scientific Management; Psychology of Management; and Quest for the One Best Way.

In addition, there are numerous volumes from the golden age of Scientific Management and the Efficiency Movement. They are being sold by Louis Goldberg Library Book Supplier, 45 Belvidere St., Nazareth, PA 18064-2110. Tel. (610) 759-9458, Fax (610) 759-8134; e-mail: books@nni.com.

You can also search their inventory through ABEBooks.com. If you have any questions, you may contact Robert Tomino.

This is a great opportunity for you to acquire your own copies of these books or to acquire and donate them to your favorite library. Book prices range from $10 to 100. Be sure to mention that you are a member of the Gilbreth Network for a discount.

That Time of Year

It seems hard to believe that the Gilbreth Network is about to enter its sixth year of operation. We hope the membership continues to find the Network a useful organization.

The Network could not exist without your continued support. Our many members have provided financial support, to continue to provide the means for producing our newsletter, acquiring books and other Gilbreth-related material.

It is, once again, time to ask for your financial support. Our only source of operating funds is the donations our members make.

These monies allow us to publish The Quest newsletter, acquire Gilbreth materials, and develop our recent Gilbreth "e-books" and to provide assistance to those needing assistance.

We would like to thank the following people for their kind support during this past year. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

  • Rod Boggild
  • Ernestine Carey
  • David Gilbreth
  • J.M. Juran
  • Skip Leifer
  • Gerald Nadler
  • Alexis Swoboda

The Gilbreth Legacy Continues

Let no one ever, again ask what relevance the Gilbreths' work has today. Actually, it's hard not finding modern versions of the Gilbreths' innovations.

Take, for example, C-Four, whose president, Carl Lindenmyer, is a member of the Network. C-Four has long been noted for it's time study/work measurement software. While the Gilbreths never emphasized time study per say, C-Four is now following the Gilbreths ideas of the importance of training workers and management, in the methods and goals of work study. C-Four now supplies an extensive library of training videos, designed to help employees learn to apply methods of work measurement within their company. You can view their products at www.c-four.com or by calling 1-800-558-2514.

****

The Ben Graham Corporation continues to promote and teach the art and science of Work Simplification, originated with the Gilbreths and later refined by Ben Graham, Sr. and Allan Mogensen, as well as Process Charting, invented by Frank Gilbreth and refined by Ben Graham, Sr. They offer a wide range of material and software and also offer Process Improvement Workshops. This year, they have workshops scheduled for Dayton, OH, on March 13-15, June 19-21, and October 23-25. They can be reached at www.worksimp.com or by calling 1-800-628-9558

****

Do you remember reading about the Gilbreth Non-Stooping Scaffold? It was Frank Gilbreth's first patent, back in 1894. The scaffold, designed for bricklayers had 3 levels, for standing, material loading and material storage, and could be raised up, as the wall progressed, so bricklayers wouldn't have to stoop over. The scaffold sold for $100.

Well, the modern version will cost you a little bit more. While the frame is now steel, instead of wood, and the scaffold is raised by motorized power, rather than hand jacks, the basic concept is still the same, but the price has gone up to $21,000 for the base unit. A company called Mason King sells such a scaffold. So far, I have had no cooperation in contacting them, but there is no question the concept of their product is pure "Gilbreth."


Look familiar? Mason King Scaffold


Gilbreth Scaffold

In addition, if you follow the PBS show, This Old House, they recently used yet another version of the Gilbreth scaffold. Again, adjustable up and down, with a second, raised level to store materials. As this was made from aluminum, it was not made for bricklayers, but I'm sure Frank wouldn't want to see painters and siding installers stoop either.

New Members

Please welcome the following new members. Those with e-mail addresses listed have agreed to be listed on our web site, to share information.

Edward Graham is a Project Manager at a United States Air Force maintenance depot. He work involves analyzing work methods to reduce personal fatigue and work delay, which naturally led him to an interest in the Gilbreths. He can be reached at: edgraham@caci.com .

Jose Dias Lopes is a PhD candidate at the Instituto Superior de Gestao Bancaria, in Lisbon Portugal. His is interested in the Gilbreth management philosophy. You can contact him at J.lopes@isgb.pt.

Dr. Roger O. Smith teaches at the College of Health Sciences/Center for Rehabilitation Sciences & Technology, at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His interest in the Gilbreths includes historical roots of industrial engineering, ergonomics and occupational therapy.

Corrections/Changes

We listed the wrong e-mail address for William C. Hyer. He is the Director of Vocational Services, at the Gompers Center For Adults and Children with Disabilities. His main, Gilbreth-related interest is Job Adaptation/Accommodation for People with Disabilities; work very close to the Gilbreths' hearts. His correct e-mail address is: bill@gompercenter.org.

Michael L. Parish is now at a new location and with a new company. He is now the Director of Performance Engineering, at Providence Services, Seattle, WA. You can reach him at: mike_parish@premierinc.com.

Winks

Rumors abound that auditions may be underway for the long-awaited remake of Cheaper by the Dozen. So far, we've seen a few messages posted on our Cheaper/Belles site, but nothing from any official sites. In doing a search, about all we've found for sure is that Matt Williams will be the Director. We have heard conflicting stories about Chris Columbus being the Producer. He was slated for this slot, two years ago, when a remake was first discussed, but it is unknown at this point whether he's still on the project. If you have any information or can point me to a web site, for further news, let me know.

Speaking of the Movies---We are trying to start a campaign to have Fox Films re-issue the videos of the original Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes. Requests for information on these films, are some of our most frequent web site questions.

Here's the story. About 2 years ago, Fox or some distributing company put out Cheaper by the Dozen on videotape (some say they've also seen Belles' on tape as well). It was a small printing and I think the going price was $19.95. Now, if you're a movie/video fan, you know most of these re-issues of old movies average about $10 or less at the discount stores.

What has happened, however, is that the distributor has long-since stopped selling the tapes, but the enterprising people on the E-Bay Auction site, seem to have plenty, which start out at $30-40 and end up in the $50-80 range. I, for one, think this is getting out of hand. As I've stated on our web site, we need to organize a letter writing campaign, to Fox, to get them to re-issue the videos. I'm sure their prices would be much fairer than those found on the auction sites.

I don't know who is the best person to write to, but a starting point would be: 20th Century Fox, 10301 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064.

Coming in the Next Issue

Prof. Sandor Vajna, has been kind enough to submit another article, on his continued work, involving the application of Therbligs. Entitled "Dynamic Project Navigation:Modelling, Improving, and Reviewing Engineering Processes", it will be included as a supplement to the Spring issue of The Quest.

Also, in the next issue---Gilbreth Shaving: Revisited---everything but two razors.

We Need Your Articles

In the next and future issues of The Quest, we need your stories, articles or thoughts. The fun of The Quest, is having a wide range of articles, from different contributors. These articles can be on any subject, related to the Gilbreths. Please send your article to the address below, preferably on computer disk or via e-mail.