Modern Origins of Mass Manufacturing

I picked up a book on the recommendation of fellow bibliophile geek and co-author, Mark Warren. The book is VERY obscure, and it escapes me where Mark stumbled across this little gem. Secrets of Industry, by Lewis C. Ord was first published in 1944. The book, in a nutshell is about the evolution of industry in western societies, with a focus comparing Britain and America. For those of you who have an interest in economics, history, industry and politics, its a little gold mine of information from the perspective of a career industrialist. Not full of anything new, but full of tidbits - many of them recognized by leansters.

I'm trying to figure out how to either republish this or just get it posted online since it is still technically within copyright. In the meantime, here are two chapters that I found interesting: Chapter II - Origin and Principles of Mass Production and Chapter III - Later Developments in Mass Production.

Enjoy! I'm curious to hear your comments about the content in Ord's chapters...

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At January 12, 2011 at 10:02 AM , Blogger Darrin Thompson said...

I just took a quick sample near the beginning of what you posted there. Very interesting.

Thanks for posting that.

In the spirit of an Amazon suggestion, if you liked this you might like...

I've gotten through a some of "The Puritan Gift" which attempts trace the rise and recent decline of American industry in a historically rigorous way.

At January 12, 2011 at 10:23 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Darrin,

The Puritan Gift is one of my favorite books and I recommend it to TWI Blog readers. It's right up our alley. Here is a link to my review of that book - http://trainingwithinindustry.blogspot.com/2010/09/lean-book-review-puritan-gift-by.html

At January 12, 2011 at 10:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This made for interesting reading. It is interesting to note that the goals and objectives really aren't that much different from what we're trying to do today!

I have to wonder whether manufacturing has really continued to evolve. We seem to be teaching the same principles like commercials that continue to sell the same products day after day.

Very interesting indeed.

At January 12, 2011 at 11:28 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for commenting, 'leanexecution':

When you say that you wonder whether manufacturing has really evolved, I'm curious about what you mean by that. I agree that, generally speaking, we continue to be teaching similar principles today as were practiced in the period of 1890-1950. So I wonder if you feel we should have evolved those principles themselves, evolved away from them and created new principles, or is there something else that you mean by this statement?


At January 12, 2011 at 7:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The material handling aspect used by Henry Ford is very interesting, as it closely resembles the JIT or Kanban methods used later in Japan. That aspect came full circle in the mid-eighties when it was brought back here. We thought it was something new.


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