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these was the discovery made by Messrs. Taylor & White in testing tool steel, that certain kinds of self-hardening steel had an important property previously unsuspected. By taking advantage of this property, and making use of it under a proper system of management, it is possible to practically double the output of a majority of the machine shops in the world.
THE SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF WHAT A MAN CAN DO.
The value of scientific knowledge to engineering and industry has long been recognized, and the great advances that have been made in this country and in Germany are due largely to the fact that such knowledge has been applied; but the idea of making a scientific study of what a man or a machine could do was new, and so complicated that few looked upon it with favor.
A workman was allowed to do the best he could with the appliances he liked, and a machine or a tool was expected to do what its builders claimed for it. An effort to get more work out of a man or a machine had been made by paying for the amount of work done instead of for the time taken; in other words, by the introduction of piecework in place of daywork; but the knowledge of how much a man or a machine could do was so vague that piece prices set by records or "judgment" were invariably found to be wrong, and the attempt to change them has caused more labor trouble than all other causes combined.
Eliminating, then, the method of setting piece rates by judgment" and by previous records, the method of investigation or experiment was the only one from which anything could be hoped. No two men worked exactly alike, and few used exactly the same tools. The capacity of a machine and the best method of operating it were seldom what its maker stated. That there is a best method of doing a piece of work, or that there is a best method of operating a machine, and a maximum capacity for that machine, are not doubted, but the problem of determining them was something for which there was no guide except the general principles of scientific investigation.
A GREATER OUTPUT, AND GREATER REWARD, OF LABOR.
Believing firmly that if piecework is to be permanently successful the rates must be properly fixed in the beginning, and not "cut," Mr. Taylor undertook to determine by the above method the amount of work to be expected, and fixed his piece rates accordingly, with the result that men provided with the proper appliances, educated in the best methods, and given a piece rate that was
permanent, have produced a greater output at much less cost than under the older method, at the same time earning larger wages.
The difficulty about this method is that the investigation is often long and tedious, for no permanent rate should be set until we know the best method of doing the work, and the exact time it will take a good man to do it.
For financial reasons it is frequently impossible to wait for a complete scientific investigation of every condition before fixing a rate of pay, and the need of a means of making use of a partially completed scientific investigation, or of what knowledge we have, has long been felt. Piecework will not do it satisfactorily, for it is not desirable, or even feasible, to change rates frequently, as the workman never feels settled, and is continually afraid of having his wages reduced. This unsettled feeling, which always accompanies the old-fashioned method of rate setting, is the source of the opposition to that type of piecework, and the reason why so many men prefer daywork at smaller wages.
The first requirement, then, of any system aiming to take advantage of a partially completed investigation is that, no matter what other changes are made, the workman's weekly pay shall not be reduced.
THE LAWS GOVERNING THE OUTPUT OF LABOR. It is a well-established fact that a man who is working at day's wages never does work to his maximum capacity, but will do so if he can be sure of earning a commensurate additional compensation. If the work is light, and does not require much physical effort, this additional amount may be as low as 30 per cent. of his day rate. If, however, the work is hard labor, and he becomes physically tired at the end of the day, he requires 50 per cent. additional to make him put forth all his energies; and if, in addition to the physical strain, the conditions under which the work is done are unpleasant, such as severe heat, he requires 70 or 80 per cent. additional to make him do his best.
THE WORKING OF THE "BONUS SYSTEM.
These facts, which have been established by history, enable us to take advantage of the results of a partially completed investigation; for, if we set for a day's work such a task as our investigations prove can be done, and offer for its accomplishment the proper premium or bonus," in accordance with the facts just stated, we shall find a very large proportion of men ready and willing to do the work in the manner and time specified in order to earn the increased pay. This, then, is the bonus system,' which was
first introduced by the writer in the works of the Bethlehem Steel Company. It consists of teaching an ordinary workman to do a piece of work by the best methods we can devise, and asking him to do it in the time it would take a good workman. If he accomplishes the task in the time set, he is given the wages of the good work. man; otherwise he gets simply his own day Aside from the educational effect, which is most marked, the result of this is that many ordinary workmen, who lacked only incentive, promptly take their place among those that naturally have more ambition, and the general moral tone is elevated.
When we write out a set of instructions according to the results of a partially completed investigation, the remaining information will, in the long run, generally be found out either by the expert who is making the investigation or the workman. In the first case, a new set of in structions is made out in accordance with the additional information and the proper bonus set. In the second case the same thing should be done, but in addition the workman discovering or devising the improved method should be given a cash compensation commensurate with the value of the improvement, which should thereafter be long to his employer. By such a system the workman is encouraged to be something more than a machine, for he is first taught the best knowledge available, and paid for learning more.
THE ADVANTAGES TO WORKMEN AND EMPLOYER.
Add to the satisfaction that comes with increased wages honestly earned, increase in quantity, and, as experience has shown, improve ment in quality of work at a lower cost, and we have a condition that rapidly tends toward prosperity for all concerned.
As in any manufacturing establishment it is important to obtain the maximum output from the plant, it is very essential that the maximum product should be gotten from every machine, and the fact that a man loses his bonus when he fails to get out this maximum product is a very big factor in accomplishing the desired result, for he learns to take care of his machine or tools, and complains promptly if his work is interfered with.
Again, those who are indirectly connected with the output, such as foremen, men who supply material and appliances, and those who repair machines, all should receiv a bonus in proportion to the number of men that produce the maximum output, and the whole makes a system that is as nearly automatic as is possible; for what is for the good of one is for the good of all, and a man who will not do his duty soon finds that he is in the wrong place.
EXACT BOOKKEEPING FOR LABORING OPERATORS.
This description of the principles on which the bonus system is founded gives but little idea of how it is carried out, but a very little thought shows that proper appliances for doing the work and a complete and exact system of time and Thanks record keeping are the first essentials. to the recent advances made in the art of doing such work, an exact system of keeping time, records, and costs can to-day be made a source of economy by preventing the errors and waste which always go with those methods which depend upon verbal reports and memory.
It has long been the custom to keep a daily record of cash, which must balance to a cent. Modern methods require that we shall keep a daily record of labor and material, and the bonus system in its best development compels a modern system of management in that it requires that we shall at all times know the work done and to be
done, and the means for doing it. Such a system requires that work for men and machines should be laid out as fully as possible the day before, which has a strong tendency to do away with delay and idleness, which are expensive alike to the manufacturer and the bonus workman.
That such a system requires more organization than the ordinary shop possesses is not denied, but few realize how little such organization costs, and how many times it pays for itself in the course of a year.
OUTPUT OF THE BETHLEHEM COMPANY DOUBLED.
The principles above outlined were applied during the spring and summer of 1901 to the ordnance and armor-plate machine shops of the Bethlehem Steel Company, and resulted in a short time in more than doubling the output of those shops. The system is still in use substantially as introduced, and the superintendent, Mr. Archibald Johnston, in his testimony before the House Committee on Labor, February 13, 1902, makes the following statement regarding it: "This arrangement has worked very satisfactorily, both to the men and the company, for it has enabled us to get work out more quickly, and to add to the producing capacity of our invested capital; while for the men it has been a great benefit, as we have many instances of employees who have bought homes for themselves principally from their extra earnings on the bonus system, and from overtime work. The system has been a stronger incentive to industry than any other we have been able to put into effect in our plant."
The cause of this result is not hard to find, for the men, realizing that their interests are being cared for, give their coöperation.
IMPROVED CONDITIONS IN THE AMERICAN
BY CLARENCE H. MATSON.
`OR several years students of social and political problems have been discussing the tendency of rural communities to rush to the cities and the impending evils resulting therefrom. They have watched with alarm the manner in which urban populations have increased at the expense of the country, and they have sought a solution to the problem of how best to stop it.
But like many another vexatious question, this one bids fair to solve itself. In the East the well-to-do are beginning to leave the cities and are seeking rural homes. They are realizing that the city saps their strength and vitality, which can best be regained "next to the soil, living in the open air of the country and in contact with trees and birds and flowers.
In the West still more potent influences are beginning to keep the agricultural classes on the farms. The forces that impelled the country boy to the city to seek his fortune are losing their power. This wonderful twentieth-century development of ours is bringing about a revolution in farm life. The farm telephone, rural free mail delivery, the traveling library, and rural school consolidation are tending to make farm life more attractive, and remove from it many of its objectionable features.
The chief cause of the exodus from country to city has been the isolation and loneliness of farm life. Especially has this been true in the West, where farms are large and neighbors are far apart. The majority of the inmates of the insane asylums in some Western States are women ; a large per cent. of them farmers' wives, sent to the insane hospitals, according to medical experts, by the melancholy induced by isolation. The farmer's children have felt this influence too. They have usually been compelled to help about the farm work during the day, and when night came they had little in the way of books and papers to amuse them, and neighbors were too far apart for frequent gatherings. The monthly trip to the county seat allowed them was a great event to the children, and it is little wonder that they found the town attractive. As they grew older the fascination of town life grew upon them. Sometimes they were sent to the town to attend the graded school, and this increased the irksomeness and loneliness of the farm
when they returned to it, with the result that the boy left the farm to seek his fortune in the city.
But now all this is changing. Rural free delivery of the mails is taking daily papers and illustrated magazines into the farm homes. The telephone is connecting neighbor with neighbor and with the surrounding towns. Late books follow the magazines into the homes of those who can afford them, and the traveling library supplies those who cannot purchase the books. The consolidation of rural schools, while only in its incipient stage, gives promise that it will supply the boys and girls of the farms with the advantage of a high-school education without the necessity of leaving their homes.
In discussing these new conditions in the West, I shall speak primarily of my own State, Kansas, because I am more familiar with the changes in farm life in that commonwealth.
RURAL FREE DELIVERY OF MAIL.
Four years ago there were only three rural delivery routes in Kansas, and they did not amount to anything. At that time the PostOffice Department determined to give the free delivery of the mails in the country a thorough test. To-day there is scarcely a county in the State, except the cattle-range country of the extreme western portion, that has not from three to twenty routes. In some counties practically every farmer has his mail delivered to him daily, even though he lives ten miles from his postoffice, and those communities which are not already served are clamoring for an extension of the service.
For the little sum of two cents the United States Government will carry a letter from New York to Kansas and place it in the hands of the farmer to whom it is addressed, perhaps out in his cornfield miles away from his post office, and all within the shortest possible time. Under the new system, without leaving his farm the farmer can buy a money order and send it East for a year's subscription to a magazine, or for some article which has caught his fancy. This system has been a wonderful help to the mail order book business. The rural delivery carrier has brought the farmer into the habit of reading and writing more than formerly. A few years ago the writ
ing of a letter also involved the task of taking it to the post office, and in a busy season the trip was not usually made oftener than once a week. But now, when the letter is written, it has only to be placed in the box by the farmer's gate, and the Government does the rest. Formerly the farmer's reading was largely confined to his local paper and the weekly edition of some metropolitan daily. Now the weekly edition no longer suffices him; he has learned the value of the daily. He wants his market reports every day, and he is as anxious for the current news as is the merchant in the large town. He was as interested in reading the details of the Martinique volcanic eruption as was the professional man, and he discussed it a great deal more with his family and his neighbors than did the man in the city. It is a fact that a majority of Kansas farmers who are served by rural mail delivery are subscribers to one or more daily newspapers. The farmer takes more interest, too, in agricul tural papers, and from them he gets new ideas about his work.
Closely following the rural delivery of the mails has come the farm telephone. There are thousands of farm homes on the prairies of Kansas which are in telephonic communication with the surrounding towns within a radius of fifty miles or more. Seven years ago the telephone was a novelty even in towns of five and ten thousand inhabitants. But with the expiration of the Bell patents it became more common. In time it was introduced into towns of only one and two thousand people, and to-day there are dozens of little places of six hundred inhabitants or less which support a flourishing telephone exchange. To aid in the expense of maintaining these small exchanges, "party lines" were run two or three miles out from the towns in several directions, and a number of farmhouses were placed on each line. Toll lines were built between exchanges, and farmers along the route were also connected with these. The telephones proved such a blessing that farmers more remote from the towns began to organize mutual companies of their own, a company taking in an entire community for miles around. This mutual company connected with the nearest exchange, where it met the lines of other mutual companies in other parts of the same county. These companies are so popular, and the demand for telephone apparatus is becoming so great throughout the West, that numerous telephone-supply companies have been formed, and the manufacture of farm telephones has become an industry of considerable importance. The farmers usually build their
own lines, employing an electrical expert to install them. There are numerous instances in central Kansas where wire fences are utilized for miles for telephone lines.
The benefits of the farm telephone can scarcely be overestimated. If a farmer breaks a bolt in his machinery, he telephones to his hardware dealer, and the rural mail carrier brings a duplicate of the broken part to the farmer on his next trip, perhaps only two or three hours after the break. If a physician is wanted, the telephone saves much valuable time-perhaps a life-and possibly a fifteen-mile ride on a stormy night for the farmer. If the farmer's wife is lonesome, she can take down the telephone receiver and visit with any of her neighbors for several miles around. If the farmer wants his neighbors to help him thresh, he can summon them in as many minutes with the telephone as it would require hours without it; and in Jewell County, Kan., some of the farmers' wives who have telephones have formed the habit of telephoning to town each morning for their groceries, perhaps six or eight miles away, and the rural mail carrier delivers them in time for dinner. The value of the telephone was especially demonstrated the past winter when the weather bureau sent out a bulletin that a severe storm was approaching. The news was telephoned from neighbor to neighbor, giving the farmers twelve hours to gather up their stock and haul feed in anticipa tion of the storm, which would otherwise have caught them unawares.
THE "MAIL ORDER BUSINESS AND THE RURAL MERCHANT.
It is true that rural free mail delivery is proving disastrous to the country merchant who is not progressive enough to meet the changed conditions, but the farm telephone will help to readjust these things. The mail-order houses of the big cities have not been slow to take advantage of the new order of things, and they have flooded the farmers with mail-order catalogues. They have come into direct competition with the country merchant; and as it has been possible to buy of the mail-order house without leaving the farm, the farmer has frequently given the country merchant the worst of it. It is so easy for the farmer to sit down in the evening after his work is done and pick out a bill of goods by his own fireside from the catalogue of the big city firm, and to send for it with a post-office money order, also without leaving his farm, that the moneyorder business of the Post-Office Department has vastly increased in communities having rural delivery. But with the farm telephone added, the country merchant will again have the ad
The people in the cities and larger towns generally have access to public or circulating libraries, but for years it has been a problem how to extend the same privilege to the residents of agricultural communities. The traveling library is designed to solve this question. Any country lyceum or club can secure a library of fifty books, free of cost, by applying to the librarian in charge of the traveling library, who is now a State officer in Kansas. A library may be kept in one community for six months if desired. It is then returned to the librarian, and another, containing an entirely different assortment of books, may be secured. One library will furnish a winter's reading to a rural community.
In Kansas the club women inaugurated this movement, but it proved of such great benefit that after one year the State Legislature took it up and made it a State institution. It now consists of upward of one hundred libraries, of fifty books each, and it is being added to as fast as legislative appropriations become available.
CONSOLIDATION OF COUNTRY SCHOOLS.
The educational problem in rural communities is still unsolved to a great degree. Heretofore it has been customary to send the more ambitious children, whose parents could afford it, to the graded school in town after they have passed through the district school, where perhaps the school term was only five or six months long. Sometimes this has furnished a strong incentive to the farmer to leave the country and move to the town or city, in order that his children may have the best in the way of educational advantages.
While it is still a new idea to many people, the consolidation of rural schools bids fair to bring directly to the farm the educational advantages of the town. The plan has been tried in a small way in Ohio, in Iowa, in Kansas, and in
other States, and it has been remarkably successful. The last Kansas Legislature passed a law to make the plan general wherever communities desire it, and Prof. Frank Nelson, State superintendent of public instruction, has made it his special work to encourage the adoption of the plan. Superintendent Nelson has become the apostle of school consolidation in Kansas.
Several years ago four school districts around Lorraine, Ellsworth County, Kan., were consolidated, and a central schoolhouse was built at the village of Lorraine. After the consolidation three teachers did the work which required four formerly, and as the school was graded they did it better. Some of the children lived several miles from the schoolhouse, but they were transported to and from school in covered spring wagons at the public expense. Last year a twoyears' high-school course was added to that of the common school, and now the entire cost of maintenance is but little more than that of the four separate districts before the consolidation. The extra expense is largely due to the transportation of the pupils. To offset the small additional expense the term is considerably longer, the work much better done, the high-school course has been added, the schoolhouse is much more sanitary, and the advantage of transporting the children to and from school, especially in bad weather, can scarcely be estimated. The consolidation idea is growing rapidly in Kansas, and movements to consolidate rural districts are now under way in many counties in the State.
EASING THE BURDENS OF LIFE ON THE FARM.
These are some of the main reasons why farm life is more attractive in the West than it was a few years ago. There are other minor ones. With increasing knowledge and intelligence the farmers are putting more of science into their work. Improved machinery is making the farmwork lighter. The well-to-do are establishing acetylene gas plants in their homes, alleviating the heavy housework which falls to the lot of the farmer's wife. The gasoline engine, too, is supplying the place of the city waterworks.
There will doubtless always be a certain flow from the country to the city. It should be so. The city needs the vitality and strength of the country boy. But the rush from the farm to the large centers of population, to escape the hardships and isolation which have been a part of farm life in the past, will probably cease to a great degree.