Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Shop Management

Jesse Halsey | 1927

My friend Johnston—he’s a minister—went to the Automotive Trade school to speak on Lincoln’s Birthday. After the assembly, the principal was showing him around. They came into a machine shop with the crack of two decrepit engines being timed, a planer was scraping in one corner and a lathe groaning in another; every half second there was the explosion of the main engine that drove the main shaft over head; there were revolving pulleys and flying belts everywhere—confusion worse confounded, thought my studious friend.

At one side of this busy shop room was a long table and at the table fifteen boys were absorbed in their books—more than less.

“How in the world can they study?” asked the preacher. “It would drive me crazy to read in here.”

When they reached the quiet of his office, the principal explained.

“That’s what we call ‘shop management.’ These boys are going to work in the noise of machine shops and garages, such thinking and planning as they do will be done in confusion and noise. We are training them for their work and purposely have the classes, most of them, right in the shops.”

The preacher went home thinking about it.

His study had become an office. Telephone calls by the score came in each day. Some could be shunted to his helpers, but the bell rang just the same. No sooner was he immersed in reading of the composition of some sermon, than in came a caller on some errand or other.

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