Sanford E. Thompson Papers

Collection Number: 5615

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
Sanford E. Thompson Papers, 1888-1978
Collection Number:
5615
Creator:
Thompson, Sanford E.
Quantity:
8.5 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Reports, articles, pamphlets, correspondence, publications, papers, photographs.
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Personal, professional and business correspondence, notebooks, pamphlets, newletters, manuscripts, and experimental data and results.
Language:
Collection material in English


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Sanford E. Thompson, construction engineer, scientific management practitioner, and consultant, is best known for his application of Frederick W. Taylor's principles of scientific management to various construction and manufacturing problems, in an effort to develop accurate methods of management planning. Born on February 13, 1867 in Ogdensburg, NY, he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he studied civil engineering and chemistry. He held several positions as engineer and superintendent of construction at a variety of plants until 1896, when he started consulting work. Between 1917 and his death in 1949 he was a partner in the Thompson and Lichtner Company, a management and engineering consulting firm. Thompson also served in a number of governmental posts between 1921 and 1943.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The papers include routine job measurement forms; charts; notes and reports; correspondence with management theorists, including Frederick W. Taylor and Frank Gilbreth; and publications and reports by Thompson. Papers of Frederick W. Taylor, contained in the Thompson papers, pertain generally to Taylor's and Thompson's collaborative efforts in the building trades (1892-1915).
The professional papers include routine job measurement forms; charts; notes and reports; correspondence with management theorists, including Frederick W. Taylor and Frank Gilbreth; and publications and reports by Thompson. Papers of Frederick W. Taylor, contained in the Thompson papers, pertain generally to Taylor's and Thompson's collaborative efforts in the building trades (1892-1915). Thompson's papers include charts, notes, reports, time cards, job instructions, and computation sheets pertaining to consulting work in job design, operations management, and work measurement studies for the following companies: Moosehead Paper Co. (1889-1890); Manufacturing Investment Co. Paper Mills at Appleton, Wisc. and Madison, Me. (1892); Mt. Tom Sulphite Pulp Co., Mt. Tom Mass. (1893); Umbagog Papers Mills (collaborative study with Frederick Taylor on work measurement, 1892); Tabor Foundry (operating under Taylor production system, 1914-1915); Forstmann Woolen Company (1939-1940); Schwarzenback Huber Weaving Company (1928-1938); and Ludlow Textile Manufacturing Company (1915).
Also, notes and drafts for books on marketing and scientific management (1940); reports on spinning mills (1936), defense production (1941), and unemployment and emergency measures for the construction trades (1921); correspondence pertaining to Thompson's work with the U.S. secretary of war on operations management and planning (1917); letters to E.C. Harwood and John Maynard Keynes on economics, unemployment and the Depression (1934-1935); professional certificates; MIT notebook (1888-1889); notebook on experiments (1896); a contract between Thompson and Taylor for collaboration on work measurement and construction studies (1895); press releases; and notes, brochures, and clippings on economics, engineering, marketing, and military spending.
The correspondence series includes Thompson's correspondence with various manufacturers and suppliers of machinery and work measurement devices; with the Boston Society of Civil Engineers on programs (1894-1948); with the Midvale Steel Company, Philadelphia, on Taylor's production system (1895); with Frank Gilbreth on concrete studies, construction, publications, and various work measurement studies (1897-1905); with Carl Barth (Bethlehem Steel Company) on Taylor's operation research (1902); with Frederick W. Taylor on concrete and work measurement studies (1915); with Mrs. Frederick W. Taylor on a biography of Taylor (1923); with William Danforth (Ralston Purina Company) on marketing, productivity and wages (1933); with E.C. Harwood (director, American Institute for Economic Research) on national economic policies (1934-1935); open letters to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the economy (1934); and correspondence with Ordway Tead (Harper and Brothers) on the biography of Taylor (1936-1938). Also, letters on personal matters, consulting work, speaking engagements, publications (1892-1949), and three letter press books of outgoing letters to various manufacturers and suppliers, and some letters to Gilbreth and Taylor on construction, concrete, and work measurement studies (1903-1905).
The publications series includes notes, rough drafts, and correspondence regarding the production and publication of Reinforced Concrete Bridges (John Wiley, 1939), written in collaboration with Edward Smulski. Also, articles and supporting documents pertaining to various issues in economics, marketing, management, and work measurement. The subjects include scientific management, productivity, wages, unemployment, profit, cost accounting, production, purchasing, management and marketing in the apparel, construction, textile, and rubber industries, engineered marketing, technological change, defense production (1941), and post-war cost reduction (1944). Also included is a speech on the Salvation Army (1939), a speech, with program, from a "Symposium on Frederick W. Taylor" (Boston, 1933); and charts, notes, and drafts on chapters for an unpublished book on marketing (ca. 1946).
The Thompson & Lichtner Company files include statements and reports on company policy; promotional letters and brochures; and notes and reports on the following topics: job design, work measurement, bricklaying (1902), marketing, management, finance, Hoover's approach to economic problems (1930), an opinion survey of retailers and manufacturers (1946), productivity, post-war costs (1946) and various personnel management issues. Also, publications of the Thompson & Lichtner Company, and scattered letters concerning routine business matters, including letters regarding Thompson's appointment to various associations and organizations.
Correspondence between Thompson and Frederick W. Taylor concerns personal matters and Thompson's career plans (1892-1893), as well as the conduct of experiments, technology, work measurement and publications on coal, plastering, bricklaying, pig iron, and concrete and soils studies conducted by Taylor and Thompson (1892-1914). Also, correspondence of Carl Barth concerning the Bethlehem Iron Works experiments (1901-1903); and Frank Gilbreth concerning the reinforced concrete experiments (1904-1906).
Materials pertaining to Thompson and Taylor's concrete studies include notes, letters and reports on experimental procedures, specifications for pouring and mixing and strength testing (1909).
Soil and grass experiments were conducted by Thompson and Harold Van Du Zee for Taylor (1909-1915). Documents include graphs, charts, diagrams, computation sheets, and notes and instructions from Taylor on conduct of the experiments. Also, correspondence between Thompson and Van Du Zee on the conduct of the experiments, and the work measurement studies directed by Taylor (1909-1915).
Additional documents pertaining to Taylor include notes, reports and data on pig iron experiments (1901), work measurement studies, and a job design study conducted by Taylor for the Philadelphia Civil Service Commission (1912-1914); articles by Taylor on scientific management and profit sharing (1909-1912); photographs and diagrams of machinery and testing instruments; Taylor patents (1897-1902); Industrial Management (photocopy of book by Taylor and Morris Cole) (1909);correspondence of Taylor with Frank Gilbreth on concrete experiments (1908); National Consumers League on productivity and work measurement (1910-1912); and a letter to Richard A. Feiss on Taylor's visit to the Joseph & Feiss Company (1915); correspondence of Gilbreth and H.K. Hathaway on their meetings with Thompson and Taylor; notes and letters of the Stevens Institute of Technology regarding Taylor's professional papers (1963); and a document (upon Taylor's death) establishing Carl Barth, Morris Cooke, James M. Dodge and H.K. Hathaway as collaborators in Taylor's work in scientific management (1915).
SUBJECTS

Names:
Barth, Carl G., 1860-1939.
Danforth, William.
Feiss, Richard A. 1878-1954.
Gilbreth, Frank Bunker, 1868-1924.
Harwood, E. C.
Hathaway, H. K.
Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964.
Keynes, John Maynard, 1883-1946.
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945.
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919
Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 1856-1915.
Tead, Ordway, 1891-1973
Thompson, Sanford E. (Sanford Eleazer), b. 1867.
Van Du Zee, Harold.
Bethlehem Iron Works.
Boston Society of Civil Engineers.
Forstmann Woolen Company.
Ludlow Textile Manufacturing Company.
Midvale Steel Company.
National Consumers League.
Ralston Purina Company.
Salvation Army.
Schwarzenback Huber Weaving Company.
Thompson & Lichtner Company, inc.
Umbagog Paper Mills.
United States. War Dept.

Subjects:
Business cycles -- United States.
Concrete construction.
Concrete testing.
Construction industry -- United States -- Management.
Construction materials--Research.
Depressions--1929--United States.
Foundries--United States--Management.
Hosiery industry--United States--Management.
Industrial engineering--United States.
Industrial management.
Industrial management -- United States.
Industrial mobilization -- United States.
Industrial productivity--United States.
Management science.
Marketing -- United States.
Methods engineering.
Paper industry--United States--Management.
Profit-sharing--United States.
Rubber industry and trade--United States--Management.
Scientific management.
Textile industry--United States-- Management.
Unemployment--United States.
Wages--United States.
Work design.
Work measurement.
World War, 1939-1945--Economic aspects--United States.
Business consultants.

Form and Genre Terms:
Corespondence.
Papers.
Articles.
First drafts.
Patents.
Photographs.
Publications.


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Access Restrictions:
Access to the collections in the Kheel Center is restricted. Please contact a reference archivist for access to these materials.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
Sanford E. Thompson Papers #5615. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related Collections:
6217: John D. and Valerie C. Stelling Collection of Sanford Thompson Files
SERIES LIST

Series I. PROFESSIONAL PAPERS, 1888-1949
Series II. CORRESPONDENCE, 1892-1949
Series III. PUBLICATIONS, 1925-1946
Series IV. THOMPSON & LICHTNER COMPANY FILES, 1906-1947
Series V. FREDERICK W. TAYLOR FILES 1892-1915
Sub-Series 1. R.W. Taylor/Sanford Thompson Correspondence, 1892-1915
Sub-Series 2. Taylor/Thompson Experiment Documents 1905-1915
Sub-Series 3. A. Miscellaneous Taylor Files 1892-1963
Sub-Series 3. B. Publications

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1 1947
Box 1 Folder 2
Box 1 Folder 3 1895
Box 1 Folder 4 1936
Box 1 Folder 5-7
Box 1 Folder 8
Box 1 Folder 9
Box 1 Folder 10
Box 1 Folder 11
Box 1 Folder 12
Box 1 Folder 13
Box 1 Folder 14
Box 1 Folder 15 1892-1893
Box 1 Folder 16
includes photographs
Box 1 Folder 17
newspaper articles
Box 1 Folder 18
Box 1 Folder 19
Includes correspondence with John Maynard Keynes
Box 1 Folder 20-23
Box 1 Folder 24 1888-1889
MIT
Box 1 Folder 25 1889-1890
Moosehead Paper Co.
Box 2 Folder 1 1892
Manfacturing Investment Co. - Paper Mills at Appleton, Wisconsin and Madison, Maine
Box 2 Folder 2-3 1893
Mt. Tom Sulphite Company, Mt. Tom, Massachusetts
Box 2 Folder 4 1896
Box 2 Folder 5 1941
Box 2 Folder 6 1940
Box 2 Folder 7 1931-1932
Box 2 Folder 8
Includes payroll records, time records, etc.
Box 2 Folder 9
Rate Forms
Box 2 Folder 10
Weaving Rate Forms
Box 2 Folder 11-12
Miscellaneous Charts
Box 2 Folder 13
Miscellaneous Forms. Includes expense schedules, earning charts, etc
Box 2 Folder 14
Miscellaneous
Box 2 Folder 15
Weaving Data
Box 2 Folder 16 1936
Box 2 Folder 17 1936
Diagrams
Box 2 Folder 18 1914
Box 2 Folder 19-21 1915
Box 2 Folder 22 1896
Originals
Box 2 Folder 23-25 1921
Box 2 Folder 26
Box 3 Folder 1 1914
Includes information of time studies
Box 3 Folder 2-4 1915
Box 3 Folder 5 1915
Box 3 Folder 6-11
Box 3 Folder 12-14 1914
Box 3 Folder 15-18 1915
Box 4 Folder 1-4 1915
Box 4 Folder 5-7 1916
February 10, l916
Box 4 Folder 8 1914-1917
Box 4 Folder 9 1916
Box 4 Folder 10
no date
Box 5 Folder 1 1892-1893
Box 5 Folder 2 1894
Box 5 Folder 3 1895
Box 5 Folder 4 1896
Box 5 Folder 5 1897-1899
includes correspondence with Frank Gilbreth
Box 5 Folder 6 1901-1904
includes correspondence with Frank Gilbreth
Box 5 Folder 7 1901-1904
illegible
Box 5 Folder 8 1905
Box 5 Folder 9 1905
includes correspondence with Frank Gilbreth
Box 5 Folder 10 1907-1914
Box 5 Folder 11 1915-1917
Box 5 Folder 12 1923
Thompson's copy of a letter to Mrs. F.W. Taylor, regarding a book on the life of F.W. Taylor
Box 5 Folder 13 1927
Box 5 Folder 14 1930-1931
Box 5 Folder 15 1932
Box 5 Folder 16 1933
Box 5 Folder 17-18 1934-1935
includes correspondence with E.C. Harwood, Director, American Institute for Economic Research
Box 5 Folder 19 1936-1938
Box 5 Folder 20 1939
Box 5 Folder 21 1941
Box 5 Folder 22 1942
Box 5 Folder 23 1943
Box 5 Folder 24 1945-1947
Box 5 Folder 25 1948
Box 5 Folder 26 1949-1952
Box 6 Folder 1 1903
includes correspondence with F.W. Taylor, Frank Gilbreth
Box 6 Folder 2 1903-1904
Box 7 Folder 1 1904
includes correspondence with F.W. Taylor, Frank Gilbreth
Box 7 Folder 2 1905
includes correspondence with F.W. Taylor, Frank Gilbreth
Box 8 Folder 1-2 1932
Box 8 Folder 3 1936
Box 8 Folder 4-5
no date
Box 8 Folder 6-7 1930
Box 8 Folder 8-9 1928
Box 8 Folder 10 1925
Box 8 Folder 11
Box 8 Folder 12-13 1933
Box 8 Folder 14 1932
Box 8 Folder 15-17 1933
Box 8 Folder 18
no date
Box 8 Folder 19 1927
Box 8 Folder 20 1924
Box 8 Folder 21 1933
Box 8 Folder 22
no date
Box 8 Folder 23-24 1945
Box 8 Folder 25 1932
Box 8 Folder 26
Box 8 Folder 27-29
Box 8 Folder 30 1940
Box 8 Folder 31
Box 8 Folder 32 1940
Box 8 Folder 33 1932
Box 8 Folder 34-35 1939
Box 8 Folder 36 1944
Box 8 Folder 37
no date
Box 8 Folder 38 1931
Box 8 Folder 39 1925
Box 8 Folder 40 1939
Box 8 Folder 41 1927
Box 8 Folder 42 1931
Box 8 Folder 43 1941
Box 8 Folder 44
no date
Box 8 Folder 45
no date
Box 8 Folder 46 1936
Box 8 Folder 47
no date
Box 8 Folder 48 1931
Box 8 Folder 49 1926
Box 9 Folder 1-19
Includes manuscript, diagrams, drafts, etc.
Box 10 Folder 1-23
Includes index, footnotes, notes, etc
Box 11 Folder 1-3
typed manuscript
Box 11 Folder 4-19 1946-1947
Includes notes for the book, chapters, etc.
Box 12 Folder 1
Box 12 Folder 2 1930
Box 12 Folder 3 1932
Box 12 Folder 4 1946
Box 12 Folder 5 1937
Box 12 Folder 6 1946
Box 12 Folder 7-12 1902-1908
Box 12 Folder 13 1930-1947
Box 12 Folder 14
no date
Box 12 Folder 15
Includes information on job evaluation, problems of management, etc
Box 12 Folder 16 1928
Box 12 Folder 17 1938
Box 12 Folder 18 1944
Box 12 Folder 19
no date
Box 12 Folder 20 1946
Box 13 Folder 1 1891-1893
Includes letter of advice from Taylor to Thompson
Box 13 Folder 2 1894
Box 13 Folder 3-4 1895
Box 13 Folder 5-8 1896
Box 13 Folder 9 1897
Box 13 Folder 10 1901-1903
Box 13 Folder 11-12 1904
Box 13 Folder 13 1905
Box 13 Folder 14-17 1906
Box 13 Folder 18 1907
Box 13 Folder 19-22 1908
Box 13 Folder 23 1908
illegible
Box 13 Folder 24 1911
Box 13 Folder 25 1913
Box 13 Folder 26 1914
Box 13 Folder 27
illegible
Box 14 Folder 1-16 1907
Contains data pertaining to these experiments. Included are letters, notes, etc. Some are illegible
Box 15 Folder 1-5 1910
Correspondence - S. Thompson with H. VanDuzee
Box 15 Folder 6 1912-1915
Correspondence - S. Thompson with H. VanDuzee
Box 15 Folder 7
Charts, diagrams, no date
Box 15 Folder 8-13 1909
Computation sheets, instructions
Box 15 Folder 14-19 1910
Computation sheets
Box 15 Folder 20 1911
Computation sheets
Box 15 Folder 21-22 1912
Computation sheets
Box 15 Folder 23
Includes general notes, instructions of F. W. Taylor, etc.
Box 16 Folder 1 1906-1912
Box 16 Folder 2 1911-1914
Box 16 Folder 3 1891-1892
Manfacturing Instruments Company letters
Box 16 Folder 4 1901-1914
Includes correspondence with Frank Gilbreth.
Box 16 Folder 5 1915
Box 16 Folder 6 1915
March 11, l915. Letter refers to Taylor's visit to Feiss factory. Written a few days prior to Taylor's death.
Box 16 Folder 7 1915
May 11, l915. Carl Barth, Morris Cooke, James Dodge, H.K. Hathaway
Box 16 Folder 8
Box 16 Folder 9
Box 16 Folder 10 1892
Box 16 Folder 11 1912-1913
Box 16 Folder 12 1913-1914
Box 16 Folder 13
Box 16 Folder 14
no date
Box 16 Folder 15-17
Vol. 10, #6; Vol. 11, #2-5; Vol. 12, #1,6; Vol. 13, #1,3,5
Box 16 Folder 18
no date
Box 16 Folder 19 1978
Box 17 Folder 1-10 1909
Box 17 Folder 11