July 22nd, 2012 Emerson C. Harrington
Emerson Columbus Harrington (March 26, 1864 – December 15, 1945) was the 48th Governor of Maryland in the United States from 1916 to 1920. He also served as Comptroller of the Maryland Treasury from 1912 to 1916.
Harrington Emerson's Twelve Principles of Efficiency
1. Clearly defined ideals.
2. Common sense
3. Competent counsel
5. The fair deal
6. Reliable, immediate and adequate records
8. Standards and schedules
9. Standardized conditions
10. Standardized operations
11. Written standard-practice instructions
For more information regarding Harrington Emerson's Twelve Principles of Efficiency follow this link.
Early Life, Career, and Family of Emerson Harrington
Emerson Harrington was born to John E. Harrington and Elizabeth Thompson Harrington in the town of Madison in Dorchester County, Maryland. He attended the public schools of Madison until he turned 16, at which point he went on to attend St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. He received a bachelor's degree in 1884 and a master's degree two years later. He became a tutor at the college after graduation, and, as a result of an instructor falling ill, was elected to be an assistant professor. Before assuming his new position, he accepted a position as principal at the Cambridge Academy, a position he served in for 12 years. He married Gertrude Johnson on June 27, 1893, and with her had three children, Emerson C., Jr., Mary Virginia, and William Johnson.
State Political Career
After studying law, Harrington was admitted to the bar in 1898 and commenced practice soon thereafter. In 1899, he was elected as the State's Attorney for Dorchester County, and served in that position until his election defeat in 1903. As state's attorney, Harrington gained a reputation as a hard-liner, and was an aggressive prosecutor. This, along with party conflict, contributed to his defeat.
Harrington resumed the practice of law in Cambridge, Maryland in 1903. In 1910, he was appointed as Insurance Commissioner, a position he served in until he was elected Comptroller of Maryland in 1911. During the election, he defeated Republican challenger John A. Cunningham by 7,800 votes. Harrington was re-elected two years later, defeating challenger Oliver Metzerott by a comfortable margin.
Governor of Maryland
In 1915, Harrington chose to run for Governor of Maryland. During the heated Democratic primary, Harrington's opponent Blair Lee I accused him of poorly managing the state's finances during his tenure as Comptroller, and Baltimore Mayor John H. Preston spoke ill of Harrington regarding his handling of a dispute between Baltimore City and Pennsylvania Railroad. The disputes were settled, however, and Harrington won the Democratic primary. During the general election, Harrington defeated Republican Ovington E. Weller by 3,181 votes and was sworn in as Governor on January 12, 1916.
As governor, one of Harrington's primary initiatives was to establish a ferry service between the Eastern Shore and Annapolis. The Claiborne-Annapolis Ferry Company began service in June of 1919, and the first ferry was named after the governor. During World War I, Harrington established the Council of Defense, which assisted in the establishment of armories throughout the state, including at the Maryland Agricultural College. The Council also lobbied for the creation of a military base, which later became Fort George G. Meade.
Regarding social issues of his era, Harrington's views on women's suffrage and prohibition caused surprise to many Marylanders. In a state that was widely considered to be "wet", or in favor of legal alcohol, Harrington caused a great deal of upheaval when he announced his support of prohibition, citing concerns for the common welfare. He also surprised his constituents with his support of the proposal to grant voting rights to women, even though he was believed to be against such an initiative.
Harrington's term as governor ended on January 14, 1920, and afterwards he returned to his law practice. He remained active in politics, but was unsuccessful in an election for judge of the First Judicial Circuit in 1926, and was again unsuccessful in an election for the First Congressional District of Maryland. Harrington served as President of the Peopleï¿½s Loan, Savings and Deposit Bank of Cambridge, Maryland, and also as the President of the President of the Annapolis-Claiborne Ferry Company, that he had established as Governor, until operations were taken over by the state.
He died at his home in December of 1945 from a short illness, and was buried in the cemetery of the Christ Protestant Episcopal Church.
Biography of Harrington Emerson
Harrington Emerson (1853-1931) was one of America's pioneers in industrial engineering and management and organizational theory. His major contributions were to install his management methods at many industrial firms and to promote the ideas of scientific management and efficiency to a mass audience. One of the most erudite and cosmopolitan personalities associated with the scientific management movement, Emerson established a modestly successful consulting business as an "efficiency engineer," an author of books on industrial efficiency, and a promoter and popularizer of the movement. Nearly two hundred companies adopted various features of the Emerson Efficiency system, which included production routing procedures, standardized working conditions and tasks, time and motion studies, and a bonus plan which raised workers' wages in accordance with greater efficiency and productivity. In conjunction with his consulting work, Harrington Emerson evolved an elaborate philosophy of efficiency and disseminated his ideas in books and periodicals. As a writer and lecturer, he broadened the public understanding of scientific management and defined a larger social role for engineers beyond the solution of technical problems.
Emerson was born on August 2, 1853 in Trenton, New Jersey. The eldest of six children reared by Edwin and Mary Louisa Emerson, he descended from Anglo-Irish political and religious dissenters on his father's side of the family. His mother's forebears were prominent Pennsylvania Quakers, long active in Bucks County society and politics.
Emerson's maternal grandfather, Samuel Delucenna Ingham, had served two years as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury in Andrew Jackson's first administration before amassing a fortune as the founder and owner of the Hazleton Coal and Railroad Company.
Following Ingham's death in 1860, the Emerson family inherited a substantial trust fund. The inheritance enabled Edwin, a Princeton-educated clergyman and academician, to pursue full-time academic study and to direct the educational development of his children.
Harrington Emerson received a continental European education. From 1862 to 1876 he studied under tutors and attended private schools in England, France, Italy, and Greece. In addition to learning languages and archeology, he attended engineering classes in the Royal Bavarian Polytechnique from 1872 to 1875. Emerson returned to the U.S. in 1876 and acquired a position as Professor of Modern Languages at the University of Nebraska. His secular and progressive educational ideas clashed with the religious fundamentalism of the University regents, and he was dismissed from the faculty in 1882.
Emerson embarked upon a career as a frontier banker, land speculator, tax agent and troubleshooter for the Union Pacific and Burlington and Missouri railroads. His work took place during the settlement of Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado. Emerson established his own private loan company in 1883 and in partnership with his brother Samuel formed a land company which invested in future town sites in western Nebraska. As emigration agent for the Union Pacific Railroad, surveyor with the Lincoln Land Company, and land agent for the Burlington and Missouri Railroad in Keith County, Nebraska, Emerson gained invaluable knowledge of choice lands. The Emersons invested $70,000 in the project before drought and crop failures dropped crop prices and interrupted mortgage payments. As a result, Emerson lost his first fortune. Undaunted, Emerson joined the Reliance Trust Company of Sioux City, Iowa which underwrote farm mortgages and tax liens on Colorado farm properties. He served as liaison between the company's western offices and eastern financiers who floated the concern. The company failed during the Panic of 1893.
During the next two years Emerson divided his time between representing an English investment syndicate in America and campaigning in the presidential election of 1896.
Emerson investigated over one hundred mining and manufacturing concerns throughout North America and Mexico in an attempt to obtain English capital for developing American industries. Despite his failure to underwrite the financing of a single large company, his investigations brought him broad knowledge of industrial conditions and created a foundation for his later work as an industrial efficiency consultant. Emerson joined William Jennings Bryan's election campaign for U.S. President. The two had become acquainted during Emerson's years on the University of Nebraska faculty. Both had been active in the Democratic Party and in Nebraska state politics. In 1888, Emerson and Bryan canvassed Nebraska as stump speakers on behalf of the Democratic Party. Although a supporter of Grover Cleveland during the 1880s, Emerson became a silver currency advocate and ardently supported Bryan when the latter declared his candidacy. Emerson organized political rallies, directed campaign activities, and solicited campaign funds from relatives, friends, and business associates.
Bryan's defeat in 1896 dashed Emerson's hopes for obtaining patronage and a fortune from a silver-based monetary system.
Shortly after the campaign, Emerson began mechanical engineering work, devoting exclusive attention to the application of electric and diesel power to marine navigation.
He obtained a position with the General Electric Storage Battery Company of New York in 1897 to pursue this line of investigation. At the company's request, Emerson moved to Seattle, Washington and experimented with the navigation of electric powered ocean vessels. Attracted by the lure of the Alaskan Gold Rush in 1897, Emerson and several business associates undertook a variety of speculative projects in the Alaskan Territory.
These ventures included operating a shuttle steamer between Seattle and the Alaskan gold fields, managing a postal route between Juneau and Skagway, and seeking investors to lease mining properties in Alaska. One of Emerson's most ambitious projects involved the proposed construction of a trans-Pacific telegraphic cable from Seattle to the Philippines via Alaska. Each of these projects floundered, resulting in financial and legal complications for Emerson and his business partners.
Emerson took up industrial consulting work to defray the debts incurred from his Alaskan projects. After a successful tenure as a general manager of a small Pennsylvania glass factory in 1900, Emerson resolved to take up efficiency engineering as a profession. Through meetings of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, he became personally acquainted with the pioneering work of Frederick W. Taylor, the founder of scientific management, ans assimilated much of the methodology for standardizing work and remunerating workers in accordance with productivity.
Emerson's most notable consulting assignment was the reorganization of the machine and locomotive repair shops of the sprawling Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad.
Three years in duration (1904-1907), this work involved the first successful application of scientific management to a large railroad system. Engineering and railroad periodicals gave much attention to the system of "shop betterment" which he installed.
Emerson also developed and implemented a bonus pay system which was widely accepted in a number of industries. As a result of his successful work for the Atchison, Topeka, Emerson began to attract an industrial clientele. During his tenure as a Standard Practice Engineer for the American Locomotive Company, Emerson also founded the Emerson Company. This company hired out associate consulting engineers to other firms on a contract basis. Emerson ssociates were entrusted with the tasks of standardizing work procedures and applying the Emerson bonus plan for client companies.
Between 1907 and 1910, the Emerson Company achieved modest success. The company consulted over 200 corporations, submitting reports for which they were paid twenty-five million dollars. Emerson efficiency methods were applied to department stores, hospitals, colleges, and municipal governments. Between 1911 and 1920 Emerson's firm averaged annual earnings of over $100,000.00.
Emerson occupied himself with soliciting business and managing the financial affairs of the company, leaving the consulting work to his associates.
Branch offices were established in New York, Pittsburgh, and Chicago. Attempting to promote his company and to distinguish his methods from those of Taylor, Emerson published three books:
1. Efficiency as a Basis for Operation and Wages (1909)
2. The Twelve Principles of Efficiency (1912)
3. Colonel Schoonmaker and the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad (1913).
The 1910 Eastern Freight Case brought much wider public attention to Emerson's ideas than ever before. Emerson served as Louis D. Brandeis's star witness in the appeal of major eastern trunk railroads to the Interstate Commerce Commission for a rate increase. Emerson testified that the railroads wasted one million dollars daily by not applying efficiency methods. His brief against the railroads won wide acclaim and marked the growth in public awareness of cientific management. In the wake of the Freight Case, Emerson became known as the "High Priest of Efficiency." He spoke more frequently about his effficiency ideas to businessmen, civil organizations, and management and engineering students. In 1912, Emerson helped to found the New York Efficiency Society which promoted and disseminated the ideals of reform through scientific management.
In addition to business success. Emerson emjoyed growing stature in the engineering profession. He was identified as one of the pioneers of modern management and industrial engineering, along with Taylor, H. L. Gantt, and Frank Gilbreth. Emerson joined these and other progressive engineers in founding the Society of Industrial Engineers in 1917.
Emerson also participated in the engineering profession's defense of scientific management against public misconception and antagonism from labor organizations.
He testified in 1912 before a U.S. House of Representatives committee investigating the impact of scientific management on labor. He also submitted a statement in 1914 to the United States Commission on Industrial Relations, later undergoing cross-examination as well. Emerson prepared lectures and pamphlets which stressed efficiency and patriotism in production for World War I.
In 1919 Emerson reorganized the Emerson Company into the Emerson Engineers and continued the consulting work for American manufacturing firms that his company had done before and during World War I. Disagreements among Emerson and his partners in the Emerson Engineers, however, resulted in his being removed from the firm in 1925.
Emerson spent most of his time from 1919 to 1931 on special projects, many of them in foreign countries. The overseas work concerned the development of transportation, industry, and communication. Between 1921 and 1928, he advised government leaders and transportation ministries in China, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Poland, and the Soviet Union. Emerson drafted and submitted plans and proposals for financing these projects at a minimum expense to the host country. Using his contacts with influential industrialists and financiers, he served as a liaison between American companies seeking investment opportunities and those countries lacking engineering and financial resources for industrial development. Through the decade of the 1920s, Emerson
publicized the potential for promoting efficiency on a global scale. He was particularly optimistic that the Soviet Union's bureaucratic and centralized state offered a uniquely fertile ground for applying scientific management and efficiency principles in a systematic fashion. Emerson also took part in important projects in the United States during the 1920s. He was one of eighteen prominent engineers chosen by Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover in 1921 to serve on a committee investigating the elimination of waste in industry. Emerson's responsibility for this project was to study problems in the railroad and coal industries, but due to project financial problems, his report was not published.
Emerson saw himself in this period as an efficiency educator. In 1924, he re-wrote and marketed an earlier version of a correspondence course in human engineering. Under the aegis of the Emerson Institute, Emerson's home study course in personal efficiency had a nationwide subscription of 40,000 in 1925. Despite the fact that the Institute became insolvent in 1928, Emerson planned to have his course translated and marketed in the Soviet Union and Poland.
In the final years of his life, Emerson turned his attention to writing his memoirs, overseeing his family's investments in Japanese securities, and considering solutions to unemployment in the initial phases of the 1930s depression. He continued his entrepreneurial pursuits by dabbling in Florida land purchases and by developing plans for a high speed monorail. As an elder statesman of the efficiency movement, he felt troubled by the evidence that his reputation had been overshadowed by that of Taylor.
Up to his death in May, 1931, he documented his contributions to scientific management and industrial engineering in his manuscript autobiography, in essays, and in personal letters.
Emerson was married twice: in the 1870s to Florence Brooks and in 1895 to Mary Crawford Supple. His son Raffe was born in 1880. Emerson and Mary Supple had three daughters: Louise, Isabel, and Margaret.