The Rational Factory
Architecture, Technology and Work in America's Age of Mass Production
Searching for a "rational" workplace, turn-of-the-century engineers and industrial architects recast the factory itself in the image of the machine. Indeed, they considered the factory building the "master machine," containing and coordinating all of the machinery within. Such rational factory planning improved production speed and the management of workers. Once created, the rational factory transformed the nature of work, both human and mechanical.
In The Rational Factory, Lindy Biggs contends that factory design played a crucial role in the development of American mass production. Her interdisciplinary study draws from the fields of business history, engineering, technology, architecture, and theories of modernity. Why did some people want to rationalize the factory, she asks, and how did the system impact those who worked under it?
About the Author
Lindy Biggs teaches history at Auburn University.
"Traditional business history at its best, essential reading for anyone interested in the history of efficiency, technology, and work in the United States."
"Enhances our understanding of the shift away from a more romantic nineteenth-century artisanal world to the rational, machine- and factory-based, mass production of the twentieth century."
"This interdisciplinary study aptly illustrates how buildings are much more than silent historical witnesses; they are in fact central, active components within the process of social change."
"An important addition to the literature of industrial development."
"The Rational Factory is a substantial contribution to the history of industrial engineering and industrial architecture in the 19th and 20th centuries."
|Johns Hopkins University Press|
|Studies in Industry and Society|
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