Experiment Station Efficiency Seminar.
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00000206/00038
Finding Guide: A Guide to the Peter Henry Rolfs Collection
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Title: Experiment Station Efficiency Seminar.
Series Title: Writings and Speeches 1891-1920
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Folder: Experiment Station Efficiency Seminar.
Subjects / Keywords: Agricultural extension work -- Florida.
Agriculture -- Florida -- Experimentation.
Agriculture -- Study and teaching -- Brazil -- Minas Gerais.
Agriculture -- Study and teaching -- Florida.
Citrus fruit industry -- Brazil.
Leprosy -- Research -- Brazil.
Minas Gerais (Brazil) -- Rural conditions.
Escola Superior de Agricultura e Veterinaria do Estado de Minas Gerais.
Florida Cooperative Extension Service.
University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station.
University of Florida. Herbarium.
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System ID: AA00000206:00038

Full Text

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.LA 44
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Compli mentary.

Object of the Seminar.

The founding an.-1 carryingi,:grvwar"d o the Experiment Station

Seminar ha1 its inseption the desire of the staff gett=g together

an discussing full : a freely the different-, lines of work that were

I being carried. on. Every one hoped that the criticisms 'would be very

full a.d free, at the criticisms would be such as would be very

helpful. Naturally the first speakers in the Seminar felt a con-

.siderable amount of-timidity since it was an untried project with

them. So far every speaker has :iven a rather full and lucid dis-

cussion of the particular subject taken up. Criticisms have been

offered andi so far as T'y personal knowledge goes none of "Wluz-=-= 'e

of .-captious or fault finding character, but rather either a seek-

ing for information or bringing out some weak point in the discussion

that was enteredl.-y the speaker of the day. A

I would offer as a general criticism o all the papers th.t '

have been presented that the speakers have not given their particular

subject the full attention that it ;.:erited. In fact, every one of the

s-- akers should ., ave given at lq st full day of cO.reful and system-

atic consideration a, much thought and time being needed for anr easay

of this kind to be effe'tive as for w::riting a bulletin or newspaper

article. Later in my p,.per zR'. I will touch upon t.-,ic matter of

lose of energy by iailinc to study the subject ic.atter ..it -fficicent

c .re an- diligence, thouL.' it will not ..:ne out in ::actly these

..'e r, s.

A.-other criticir. that I have to make is that every speaker

took a subject that was too iton --y for an hour'? ";ork. It

:,ould probably have be.:; uiser to have give, an outline c.f the work

in hand for a larger part of it aindl tie-n ."u'11 especially and

carefully u;-. sol.e cnc ..arti..;ular phase. .rti one Q f- Le uel.ls

'skil be chosen '.'ould aer.ed entirely upon the speaker's desire

for criticism and atsir'e for iurt-er knowledge. I take it that in

preparing our essays for the Seminar w.e have in mi;.d as much the im-

provernent of onesclf as the improving or the -eiving out g in-

formation to the audience. In other w::ords, that.-it is a Seminar in

fact as well as in name.

To carry out such a ',isussion fully, fluently and p

will require hours of careful thought and frequently -snes re-

casting of the sentences. I am inclined to believe that for the.

",ost part we who e prepare the papers %,,ill find it to have

our esz.a, written n out in full. Then after these are -:.'ritten out

give them several days of tife written form. By this process :7e

,.-ill be able to eliminate ir.uch that .vill be of trivial value to

the hearers and of no consequence to ourselves.

Another criticism that I should like to offer is one that has

been hirn';cd at repeatedly and a number of times formulated in def-

inite statements, andr thit is that the scientific worker,especially

those '-ho have a true scientific spirit, are very poor advertisers.

In other words, they have the greatest difficulty possible of rutting

th-ir rv1terial before the consumer in the best s.-, shape. I

have been forcefully struck by the weak and indifferent way in *.:.ich

many a o-ientific r.ma puts for'.i'ud some of the best discoveries he

has rimaze. This modesty while in a measure quite commendable is

t the same time the scientist's weakness It is almost impossible

for the layman or the man outside the special department to -ell

".',,hat is the most important ];je2 .-...... disco:-ery t4ma the ncien-

tist has made. This very frequently -.,.,orks to a very create dis-

adv.antrtage of the' scientist himself. He uncor -c-iously becomes hbi ,ed

in favor of some very simply point that is rc.lly of very trivial

importance. I have been fr..',e.tly i. L- iri .-d visiting scien-

tistk, in dii>t-at 1 rtIoratories l i. L n L.t they 'ere apparently y

fri:terin n. wa their time at some trivial or uniisip ortant piece of

workA -L conEuming a large percentage of their energy as x::ell as a

large percentage oi their time trying to prove cr dispro0.-e a o.ert:-in

small point that really: made very little material difference to them

or to any one else, t Iefull and free 'is-uss-icn with .scientists in

the same line of --ork would unquectionabl:ly have disillusionedAperso:rsL

In speaking of the preparation for an essay of this a:ind I

have said that most of us have taken too little time in ori.ulating

and digesting the material. e9y-e will say at once that he does

not have the time to prepare it properly, I A .. i e.... t

be r.d ,itbe "utly. Every one of these meetings co ( ts, the oIr sti-

tution from ten to forty dollars. Mhe I-n. f-ti= money value,

however, is only a small proportion of the -1r3 since the time that

an erale expenditure. The mone-
is used is/irrecoverable expenditure. The money e yv cuAl-

-- .m-

be recouped -I, J i-- _., but the time ,l o i -n.. .

- .. -- n. i[

Pre1 actions.

I have called attention to the fact t?-at our

Seminar le. tures have been of a more or less desultory characters

in the bi-ni ng. This had : -'y to-be so. We knew

just '.Wh.t our be.-rin-s were. We 'had, to look around for a solid foot-

in. for a direction in whi.h to work. This, however, laid the

fo undation for better .jeork in the future

T *atr Io will come 'ecry largely throul.h the narro;:-

in-" of our subjects, teus 1'1 ttin to : i, a ... f s-of

-e-- r---4-t-, them in a :ay th :ill 1 superior ,ec.

to _'. ii any one else in our hearing could w h.ave treated

S.t prtictlar n -
Y~ 011i^ Cfk

I believe that in the future we -.'ill be able to secure

papers from time to time from members of the University faculty. -These

papers should prove of considerable ralue to us both directly and in-


The full and free discussions of theosec papers wi l in.ro-lce

the confidence that ',we have in one another. With the isolation as it

has occurred in the past has come i:: tc s feeling t'hLt

the other fellow w was simply "laying for us", read; to make a scoop

out of the material ve. h.ar so laboriously 'Irought toget her. These

s.-oops I find in :ny persurnl experience omrne about al:'"iot entire-ly

from the lack of knowledge on the part of the other icelow. Of

course, there are some persons who are so constituted that they would

not feel at their best unless they were getting the advn.ntage of the

a I f This / is al.mo t entirely absentt under

the present crCani-ation of the University. Havinr thus 2ic.-t a

brief introductory to my Afte paper today, I shn.ll .;ish to give an

outline of the points that I wish to take up.

First The ntroiuctory rhich I have -lr dy Iiven.

Second.e The E oentials necs ssary to success under the

SaSentials :;ecese ry to success I wis, to treat a nIumbIr of subjects.


The main divi ions being n

T am Vo k

Inaividal Efficiency.


The ter:.. success is a varying, and at some times a rather

vague expression, Used in different moods and under different t con-

jditions it :ay mean the very opposite of what it would under other

cuLn-itions. Success as looked at from many a standpoint ma.y be

att -iined even through a series of failures. Ordinarily, however, if

a majority of our plans fail the whole Lroup must be called failure.

On the o-,ier 'land, if a majority of our :l-n. succeed our project

.m.a ea. idee a '.,cc.ess. Success in the E1xperime-t Station .':ork

inust be measured by the sumn ami total uf=to advancement that is

made in scientific agric .ilture. Unquestionably the organic law xmm

:ort r-.lated that Lthe Experiime~t Station should be an organic :'ole

: and not an -.ssemblage of many indepe nident parts. Unfortunately, in

the beginning it :.as difficult, if not totally impossible, to secure

the ,-a:p--f: f workers necessary to man these institutions.

The ideas as, tu whit conitits ted an E:)perimecnt Station ..:ere e:-:ceedinm-

ly variable and in some i:.t:-.es even gro. ,.,sque. This cannot be

-o ndered at hin we consider the con-ditions under '."ich many of

thi wereo es. bli..:,-. As a result of the many varying conceptions

a: *even the ,--,iconceptions as to wvi't constituted an E:Lperiment Sta-

tion-. a heter,.genouz 'mass of unityy ge thrown together '.':ith the ex-

.ctation that they wor-k out r _... These elements that

.'*ere t!ro'r toro'. uther were harmonious enough in the be rinnin1, but

!o ha-vin. lad an.' previous expe-.ience their ides as to what -.ork

ha., to be one :.n] ioo:,: this work should be carried out were exceed.in.:-

ly i-r Ious and frceU-ently This -ai ifrcutly '-ought
- 4 e :,j /
'Lout a condition that was, :-en worse than no work at all.

Team Work. -/r 4 4J

-c assermblaze of men h.lr-inr ",o,-,oc .-jc. t, C, 3' -.I

i4-, eL::== --.. -e--e -.. r r --s team work, and the

more copletely this team work is carried out, thie more likel- are we

to .-ttain .,-,-ess and the more --iftly to reac-h the -utl. To an

as.erblnCG of per- :ns -...o i: been brou.-ht up under .iIodern college

eon.i ticns the terrr"team work" need not be defined. As a .)atter of

frct, our underst-tndinLt of the v.,ord is. mnuclh m.nore perfect than could

be e::.rcssed by several .ar.,_raphs of r.,. Vi'e -have? all heard Lhe


Z4/ x

-- 9--

the expression after a football ,...u "..-t the individual plJ in -

was perfect but the team vio"k was poor -and consequently defeat s

^. 1. Also after a ... of b .l we not infrequently

hear the expression that no errors were made but the team work

Very few of our ,-r... -cial establishments recognize

S -i. qu-lity in their employ ees. It is rare that one finds an

est -.lishment even of small proportio!rs where the team work is

anything like ap)pro:,i:'g perfection. In the lar c' establisaLments

it is notoriously weak and in some c-ases entirely lalci.. The

ve.-y fact that this principle is not re :bT:ized by our c tlains ,cf

industry *E: fc i r. millions and pr-c-ly billions of dollars

,i..:,*111. A sli.'-.t readjustment and a more thorough underst.,.:.".I.L

of the word "tearn work" would acc m.lish just as much wi th about

50 or 60 per cent. of the labor expended. This is the one point

.t .'.ich more crAvn-iations breal: dc'n d become inefficient than

at any one other place., 4 c, _. -

WIe frequently speak of a man as being a good organizer and

a man :.ho gets results where others fail. If we analyze his success


and failure, we find that it is not built up by superhuman efforts

on the part of those wlho are associate' 'i'ih the .vork, but on .he

fact that Thc i-.li-.'idual .wU,' .e.-g of the or.r". L ,ti c ifon rccogniize

their r..'-,r n3iili ty and heartily coopcwqtc in taI enui,i rk. We are

often -L,,z ed -it ouine combination or assembl-a- o l mn that see-ms

t c e a mere chaotic jrc'up .':ith no vicible or"g.niiation or tangible

menais of control and yet t.is aea.- i l.age o- .i e;- are na i :.ost

astou.ndin: striqe0s an.n progress. BE.' 3Jtu.9yirn,- tuhe confi ti onc r2-

fully it wafLI seemnthat th : -i n.'li iuals themselves form i- ner-

fe.t team %::ork .r:oup. No matter ho-; efficient the chief or the

head ian of the rroup ray ': if t-he. in'l.ivi- ai -.wbcrs arc mki:g

in tea:i:n .vork, thi organization as a rul. ma:es '.rry liic l. 'oress.

The general in the army durin- war time -,.s absolu.te auto-

'-rno. c po-.:er over the army'. Thi aut'o"ratic po.'.r, io,'. r, ioes

7..o L .-tk it c ibl for him to 3seure from hir men their Znor-ous

.-. .'-. rty t .n .7ork th t is eis ntial o ,- ,.9S. T.he captain

o9 the ship during t-he voy-.age at sea .ha. an-bolute iov.'er over,xx

not only, the officers of the ship, but over the p.Q.. -..v- T a .',11.

His authority i. ab.out a.s autocratic asl cou.ild well be imaginrc-d,

"-t !-.Vs :lAoes not for one moment assure .that -ft- -i ;ill be good


tea,:2 'ork even aion.- the officers of the sip. The purser p.1lay

be jealous of the ste::.ar rl, or the rite of the purser, and so

on the whole rounds from t' to ti= captain. Where

-u1"1' t i n,~t s e:-:ist the team wr.n k is liely to be weak, j".. th

uJder normal a:-.d 'din.a.,ryj c on i tions t'" :o utor-it; of t'i. I-ptai. o

is sufficient to mainITin a rca-sonable amount of ditscil' e .- -.'I

a fni- ~. u-n. of work ac- Liched, yet th:- ..: en r :,ef..Illy

lac..king in effi iency, noL ocnu. e o" _n' ..ill in .-, o0n e '-rt

o ca',h 'o pjerfor 'his o' -n uties ut '1 .c .a f an -.'.:;i -i ::ess

on nii part to perform the dcu ies in 3u.h a *.-.':.v as to a'---'. .ce "'le

':..'o k of his -33e o iate s.

Fro..' ti"ic iT, :a: r-ea il D- ...? t'h it in- divers *. ... ''n

i,,!'i-a. ial efficiency nay occur vit -.'ut having or, ':a.n-i tional

:.ffi ,i.c. n y. Th, :o'trar," o"f t..i-- e at err. nt., how,': r, '. oul :-ot

o0 c ir. It 'w'.. d-1 ,,-ver o U r that t'-h *::.'j .i tinn coul.' ffi ,i ent

and all of the individ .uals oe in,'fficient. Still '..ith (r. or 60

pcr c:'nt. o. L'C in i-"idualG "oi.^ offi.2ient and tle craniiization

doinJ tearm ':'ork iore -ould "be :t compli1i?,d Lhan by all of the in-

dividuals being efficient a-nd the orga.-ization .o0L .loing team work.

I.id ivi] i u..l Er.riciency.

As tlere arz ..r ees oi trc'i I:'I f i.ent itali

A.7 there i ':."in 2.e rees of efficicnc- The : l'ividual, r; '- '.er,

has a v.ri i. '.t co,'.-rol over his own efficiency. It is not an

S-.req-Lent e:.::-ri,) nce to find the '.iiin :.Lo is busy all the time

*,c. -."r -et a ve-' third pace an' y.t at th r. of a r-. : or c th

h3 c 'oplishe- -.'r li 1 even, those ordinary il r-u'.ico

S :e-" to so i Y grease t-he ='ficiency of ?- e laily laborcr as

to .. '.ble 't. result of t-ie -- : r: d- one it out incr- -ing

Thc ~A cL. r ff rt '.,s is one illustration of many that

fo:: d' trained-~r'. time ke tio to ioi. about brick layit tD it was

i:i to so ir efficiency.

In-i'-:i.2.' al efficien-y may ocuur a:.- *.:el in 'ihc ab:3e,.ce of

il'.,-orate equipment ac in tUhe pr .e ,c.: of the arme. AC a m-rtc.r

of -fact, an effici o t i ,-..11 vi-.i.n.l a .or:.in. -':i ti mostt .-.: :.'. ipme nt



will produce better results that an inefficient individual with

elaborate e.. uiopnent. As a rule, the inefficient members of e:..iety

are likely. to cover up or confuse their inefficiency by a .3 iperabun-

dance of equipment. Probably one of the first symptoms or mani-

festations of the inefficient individual is the very jreat desire

to be possessed of or surrounded by a lUrze amount bf equipment

of a complicated nature. It ix ntbt equipment ha-t spells success

S:.'it the individual, but it is the individual as concerning his

efficiency xxi that either mal:es or success or for failure.

In this connection I have in mind the experience of Oscar Loew, who

was for.ierly connected ::'ith the "ureau of Plant Indultry. Dr.

Loew '.wa7 detailed to 3tudy the question of tobacco fermentation.

This subject had been under discussion for t'vo or three decades.

Voluminous papers hlad been publi3'hed on Lhe subject in Fra:nce,

Belgium, German;y and undoubtedly in many other counLrice. Many

of the ablest scientists had given the maLter careful and extended

attention. For the most part the experiments w'er-c planned elabor-

ately and the equipment generous. Dr. Loew on being detailed to

carry out this work packed an ordinary suitcase full of test tubes,

reagents, and other material, disdaining to even take with him so


large a package as would necessitate its being sent by express.

With this Inboratory equipment and a generous stock of individual

efficiency he made his way by train to Quincy, Florida, and in the

course of a few,, weeks had worked out a problem in tobacco fermen-

tation that had engaged the attention of individuals of les- eflfi-

ciency for at least two decades. A complicated lot of apparatus,

and a corps of able assistants w-ere at the corm~an.d of Dr. Loew, but

in spite of all this he started out witi a suitcase full fof mater-

ials and no assistance, arriving at a dfeinite conclusion and' nne

that so far as I know has '.':ithstoo. the attacks of those. ',.ientists

-who did not agree witL him in his findings.

Mental Efficiency.

There is really no distinction between the individual an,"- his

mental mIke ap yet for the sake of :.learness in my discusi on today

I want to make a. separ-tion between the individual and his rmental-

ity. Since there is no physiolo-ical or other renal distinction

between the individual and his mental being, I should not be ex-

pected to give you a definition that would make q. clear and clean

cut division between the two. Under these circumstances individual

efficiency n- .Lental e.ffici.ricy ";ill intr-rsrade into each other

incensibly. 3hort :uta to Lhe end make for in'l ividual efficiency

but -s d, ake for mental efficiency. In.iv-.idual quickness may

even result in mental ilu..iis-ness. An individual mi-ht be effi-

cient and yet in the cou-se of a year neglect to 0r'i.., his 1.ent 7l

part i: : ri,.-ht .ha.-nels to such ha e:.-:.et as to be entirely

inef'fi.:int. ''his mi.-lht go on to sc.. z.-. e::ent as to put him quite

outsid-e o. the :peri:.e.'t Staition u zef lness. ie '.'ild here :r.'e a

c.se of ind.i-i''.n.l .rtn:s, individual activity,andic yet rental

l,,i ":.hness. .By far the greater majorityiy of people in Experi-nr.nt

Sn. ion .:ork are suffering seriously from mental ,e::.islumber.

our -iind* exert Aonly about on-1.-Llf or less of its cepabilit a

This -t lu.'cber must in the cuuvrse of tim. result in mental

-liefficiency. We find in America t'.. there is s.o uLUch of the

hu.-.tlc, bustle and Let-'hec.c spiritt t' ,t little or no atten"iorn

iZ p.ii to the m:ttter of zs?.rin l/r :..l1U mental fi efficient j.,cing.

In the follo':i.'- paes I "..ichn to .is.uss some of the points w.vhich

make ior mental efficiency an.-d fin-.7li: to tahe up 3o-r-i of the

points whichc h will enable us to become mentally more efficient'

Waste of HAstli n.

'.'C:..; person whatJ ~., itL. ,llI; hu -'les ha; no but. -ies1 in he

E.-perient Stntion laeorat':rt. Th"re are time '-ren) even the in-

ve7Li :;tor must l-b keyed up to a ten :ion t-:.t precludes t.:J.kin. a

.?rt:al n-p. uh a z *- .e of e .2 ,,1:'..?u.ness if continued in-' f-

: I i y.*. r saltI in m n:tal br e ak own. T 1 7: :-:, :i : /: 1 .:-4 -

4-tu' :-P ,di ^f F? ._u.-l-. Hustlin.- is an attitude of ind.

o ; -.tL.'f t..t .nEl:es lots of noise about doing a very ! .11 job.

It r2a.ii 1i1s one of a .te.-:-horse power hupmiobile goi-. along a ,.i.ia4-

amized I ro.'-e., t1 h e.i ine puffing ror all it is :orth, sending c.'.t

-"'.13 of ..aoli .e .:.o: *.. tool box rattiin', tt:- machinery

f'r tl. most .:rt ill fitted and jo .tlin, ..i.nst one ..'t'.cr, e.:u

c a -" -i,? m-.in a tr ,:,-cn ous lot of noise j...l

-. tic Compare this with the fort-.-ho. se po- cr t'.irin;; car t'at

liess over the .paved r.-ad so :ilently that '.',ere one a loak ..-ay

he would never know that the machine '.,'a movi:J..

aIn vi;.' of the fact Lhat every scientific worker comes

.f:e to f-ce 'ith a condition heree it may--m n-cessaryT, for him

to call into .,-tion the greatest amount of '.ntal force thet he has


it woule sometimes seem necessary tp hustle. In the true a=:* express-

ive sense of this word, however, those conditions do not arise. Hust-

ling always carries with it a great amount of lost energy. "'Thile .

taxing one's mental forces to the limit of their working capacity

need in no sense call for any amount of lost energy fro.i this stress.

Tle electric motor will carry an overload for a considerable len..th

of time, but it ma-kes very little fuss or loses-very little energy

thereby. It means merely a more rapid 4reaki n.-r .own of the ph".si.-al

material than "vould occur under -,k lesser stress or a smaller load.

I have from time to time seen scientific men n"i o hustled, they would

begin one piece of work, co.rry it alon- vigorously for a little "1'hile

and before t.iat wa inalf Tone their mind happen, to rove on to another

piece of work That was in progress, which was promptly taken up and ika

then hustled along for a. little while. It in turn being dropped for

somet--ing else. At the end of Lhe .':eek very little had been accom-

plished and nothing had been finished. There are a few, yes, a very

few, scientific men .who have accomplished quite a ,r,-eat deal by this

kind of hustling. Rhey, however, fall outside of the cla-ssification

of what we ordinarily term a scientific man. They are a ':ind of a

prodigy, or a get.ius, or some'..inr: of that A`nd.

Was.te from rci-:: Dilatory.

The att.itne of *iind hqdt possesses a '.::r:er who is ha-it! al' v

or -.as .-ally- dilatory is ..11 e.prs. sed in the para-phrase

"Ne:vezr do L.lay what you can put off until tL-orrow". T'iis is prob -'.ly

t:.e a t oAi, G- i- L kL we i-n -. i'.;.i .i c mao c:j itj :f scientific

!.Cr zA:.r 'fn fact, there are thousands of young men who xi *"-.ile

"or".i .- assistants under the dir,'cion and instruction of the

print iple '.complish a greatt deal of work. In fact, a few of them

a.oris". h a opro-diji.:s "mst. As soon as these yu~v. men are put

in & ",,. of a i :- ce of work they become dilatory, fin,:lli lnore

dilatory, and latterly so 'il'tory u',aLt they drop out of the .cieniif-

ic e.la'soification altocLter. 'his is pro1b.2.:.' the vcrst e.-il t'at

we hvec to fight ajnirst, person:l.y, indivi1'iallry an collectively.

In the instructional side of 'a- work there is -t f diniiger fr oi,

,r i 't .nzt: frohn e''-:. 1Tie, cl-.-es have to be met

ever day, the le.zons pr..pared, a-nd materials (Lotten in r.' ..liness

for th-e lnss. .This in a way 1.ives a new impetus to the work every

"-rni'nj. In inv-.tigational ';ork the new impetus or ne-'. i.-npiration


must be generated from within. It must be a sort of storage battery

that never rULns down. To the ;,most of us it becomes nece..rary to re-

plenish the energy in tLis storage" battery from time to time. This

is accomplished in various ways. The most potent way is the annual

meetings of learned societies and the minglinEg .ith other spirits

wnho have a common interest.

Dilatorine-ss may be of two kinds. The first one and the

most frequent that we meet with being a failure to push the problem

that we have on Land. In other words, we have a certain specific

problem "-.-.ich we Lake up,w,:ork along the line vigorously, until we

come to some difficult point. The difficulty may be one of a thousand

that every scientist meets .7ith. It w:.ould take an entire page to

give even a classified list of the obstacles that are thrown in Lhe

w:ay of the worker of one of these problems. g f the obstacles

and the most serious ones of thema-r- thoao tMat arise in the imagi-

nation. They are pure bugaboos that stand in our way, not real but

faicied obstacles. They arise in a l-Lrge measure from the fact

that we doe:not see our way perfectly clear toward the solution of the



The next class of dilatoriness is that of our failing to

take up our problem at the right time. This is a real and serious

difficulty and engenders a great deal of waste of time. This waste

frequently arises from the fact that we-are busily engaged in some

nonessential of another problem, or possibly -ur attention and thought

is focused on something entirely beside the question and before we

awake from our mental reverie, the time for taking up the problem has

passed. I have said before that this trouble is the most serious

form of dilatoriness, though the formi of taking up the problem and

dropping it causes probably the greater amount of waste,

The evils arising from the waste due to dilatoriness has be-

come so ..a,entuated that it found i ;s expression, in legislative act

in administering the funds appropriated for the Adams Act. Rules

were passed requiring the scientific -orker to -:nap out his problem

fully, give a careful and detailed outline of -what he "vishzd to nc-

coiplish and .ow to accomplish it, and going still farther require

an annual written statement as well as an annual verbal statement

an to how well this resolution had been kept.

These forms of dilatoriness very frequently find their

expression in the worker being habitually tardy, a little behind


on almost everything that is done, rarely quite ready, and very

frequently uncertain in their own minds. Our ordinary 'excuse for

these forms of dilatoriness is that if we had competent help, "

sufficient ai':ount of it, et.. etc., We certainly wruld be on time and

accomplish a gveat deal. I know, however, that from personal

experience that the men who accomplish most in business lines usually

do so with the minimumm amount of outside service. These men nearly

always see to it that the work that needs to be done is thoroughly

outlined and that the results are in hand before the time that they

are actually needed. In other words, they look ahead, anticipate what

is .going to be needed, shape their work in such a way as to make it

: 1osible for ithe to accomplish this, and have their results in fine'

shape. The Bresident of our Board of Control, Mr. P. K. Young, is

one of the best illustrations of keeping ahead. of his -.jork of any

man that I have come in contact with in recent years. His office

force always seems to be ahead of their work. They have '-lots of

Lime for outside engage. ,c:ts, simply because their chief anticipates

what will be needed and succeeds in having the work accomplished

at or before the time the results are ."anted. There are quite a

number of other men whom I have met in times past that with the


minimum amount of assistance accompli'-hed a maximum amount of

o rk.

Waste by Carrying Office Detnils, ','orries and

Gossips Home.

Our homes, if they are places that are worth ha-ving at all,

should be such as to allow us to recuperate and build up the -aste

an w.orn out tissues of the day, Ta.ing for granted that our :reital ma-

chinery has received the hardest kind of usage possible during the

office niours, it naturally devolves unon us to see that we ,ut

third side of our mechanism in the repair shop for the ni-ht, drop

all of our office cares, w.vorries and gossips. Take on the form -.'

relaxation sven Lo the extent of entering into amuseiments or di-

versions that call for activities along other and" different lines,

We have frequently heard it stated and we have not infre-

quently read of instances where some of the finest inventions w.'ere

thought out during the sleepless nights of the inventor, '.,here plons

were laid comnletel:: during hours of ',vakefulncss. "'.e have enough ~tAyt

illustrations of this kind and they are detailed with sufficient

care to ohow us that these are clearly the exceptions and should not

be considered as coming under the rule. It is quite true that
-i. . '.

most of us, ii not all, require more or -less of a solitude to enable

us to do the best thinking. The best inspiritions, ho,..Iev, c, come to

us during those hours whe>n we are working: quietly in our own work '-hop,

and I think if a record could be :*.Ae .most of our best ,/orh: would be

traced rirectly bak to our laboratories and our offices, not necess-

arily during the time of quiet hibernation, but during the hours or

occasions -;hen our surroundings were such as to prove stimuli to

_-I- -w *
the. protection of'pi thought.

'4hile much time is wasted in frequent .and unnecessary con-

ferences, at the .3ame Lime L murh valuable time is conserved by these

uafie C-uonfcr., ices. The conferences '.:acte time to the scientific wcrk-

er only '::hen they are .allowed to g deJenerate into a gossipin. match

or into pleasantry nparri-i.

I have thus gune over the points whichc h it seF .ms to me are of

ths rost vital impo.rt-.nce to every i di,"idul, i1 ta'.ing these up from

the st.M-ipoint of destructive criticism. In the next few paragrahs

I '..'is- to take up the' matter in a ,o-, tructive way. The dc .vlop:r10 -,t

of 7-rej.t -cientist fr-omn the average e '-an is. an evolution pure and

simple. So for .143 my kno-'"ldge :oes, I know of no si nle'individual


*.iho attained prominence -"nc .recat honor in the sc entific lines

exn.epting by the developmental line." Revolution may o,-ur in the

mass, but in the individual the oroces? is one of evolhti on.

Efficiency by Habit.

We get into the habit of doing t ings in a certain way r.nd

continue to do it so in spite oi the fact that it is the Fore la-

borious way. In these days of laboratory psychology many of the

operations are studied and the more efficient ones are adopted. I

':ill repeat the illu:-ration that is just now gAing the round-s of the

From -illiar- 'to i3ricks

Type'.,riting is carried on by habits. The habit of
w-.':riting !rost naturally formed is that known as the siLht
system. Recently attempts ave been :u'-essr.Al, made to
ena-le the operators to form the haoit of '.vriting by touch
rather than by sight. The operator -.;io ac..itires the haoit
of locating tht- keys by touch .'.rites much .faster and -.ith
les3 nervous strain thai the operator who w':rites from sigi-t.
No one has been more successful in studying oc01.,pa-
tion habits than ir. Frank L. Gilbreth, an expert in the
building tLrades. He discovered that in constructing a -ric:
-r-,l1 a good Tiason u:.tld lay one hundr-.d -n. l entryt y bricks
in an /.our and that in laying ea'h brick he m-akes eir'teen
distinct motions. The motions were not 'mae in an >'c'lnm-
ical sequence: some o. tLhe'm -ere eroIly useless, and merely
e-dhaur ted the energy of the "workman. Mr. Giltreth attempted
to appl: the principles of pl.r 1in : billiards to the industry
of brick laying. Every motion of the mason should be a
"play for position". He should maJr. ea'-h mnot ion .-r. Lr tLo Dle
ready for the next. For example, the motion of pliarin.r7 the
mortar for the end joint sh-uld oen "vi th the tro'.cl in pos-
ition ready to ."ut off the hanging mortarr. When the .notions
ar,- made in the correct sequence, t'.-. or more of them can be
combined and performed in u;ut little .ore Lime than would be
reqAired to make each of the .separate motions, Thus, cutting

. ''. *1 '

off ..:ortar, 1:Ltterin; the enl of the id brick, and rert-h-
in.: or more r,,tar can a.1 b,: performed as a si ,'-le v'.?- .
mont.. I; th is 7:* ICthe' .o ti 02 Lhc a ,so.n ha 'been
r-d.c.cd from eighteen to five per brick. All this change
has been brought about from a stidy of the occupation habits
of masons. In discuscin- the results, Mr. Gilbreth says:
"It has changed the entire method of laying bricks by r-
ducintr the kind, number, sequence, an;-. length of motions.
The econoreaic value of lotionn study hYIas teen proved by the
fact that we have rior'e than tripled the -.orknran's output
in tricklaying and at the same time lowered cost and in-
creased wages simultaneously, and the end is- not yet."
Atter..pts to di '.-1cp benefit ial o ..-::.t "' at'iT s t .
.-- i- .;': . . .' .-:. : ,': stively and' s.ier.ti ]ic anlly
carried out. Such experiments arc, howe-ver, r'.Ire to oc
s',c1,e-ful, .., it i- qlite probiule ti"-.L ,.fr, another
decade has pass..el. L hr-its of executives "-ill h.ive been
a.- rn cce'-f lly studied an. cu-tr.ll'd 1-'-- *' he oupfa-
tiorn ;7nabit oi 0 :1echa.nics ci bove.

'We will find that if we study our dailx" onperatic.ns .

especiall- those oi us who have to repeat our '-ol'const-'ntly

and ar-c worl:i rn .ore or less in a routine th, t there a.r many

.'was i: ''..'ich our cfficie:n.cy can be very greatly incrc.E.e 3 :ith-

out incr..ring t.ae amount of l-.''bcr exp n..ned in doinc- a c .. r ib

operation. Havin- once discovcrci that a cer Ltai line of work.

:*'ill prove more efficient, it bec-romes neccssanry for us to repeat

this -;ith sufficient frequ, cncy to w0A-k it a

.O\ cit.

I am ";ell aware of the fact that '"-hen the Carnegie

Inrstitu, tion published the article on scientific Efficienc.y t;a,-

a otcorm of protest rose from quite a nirmb,?r of. .urLi.ers an.d we


have not yet heard the last of the echoes from these protests. -We

should not, however, delude ourselves with the idea that the scienjk

g wekw is human species quite different and parfe m any

other being, and that because he is working in the scientific lines

therefore his trend of thought and operations must be governed by

different laws- than those that govern other material things. We

must also give up the idea that scientific work is stch a complicated

affairs it -j areligqa 4-n to intimate that some

scientific workers are inefficient. I hold that in order to

make progress in our work it is an absolute necessity for us to stop'

at frequent intervals and take a careful spetake stock as

it were to see which way we were going and how much energy/were won-

suming in making our progress.

Habits once formed do not under all circumstances make

for efficiency. In my own experience I find that people may be

walkingg about the hall freely without increasing the labor of dicta-

tion, but if a person steps over the threshold, even if I know per-

fectly well that it is some one working in the laboratory, the diffi-

culty of dictating accurately and freely increases. This is due to

a c
^Ac -b^ c~ dw&a c^LwoL J ^.
CIZL,^ Z!- s a A ^- -- A-l- ^l

SAL^ ^. (-^r ,^ c! ,, sg. ti ^ O ^ --<


the fact that I have habitually given visitors preference to my

time over dictation. While connected with the U. S. Department of

Agriculture I had my office and laboratory entirely to myself in the

subtropical laboratory building. At frequent intervals it became

necessary for me to be present in Washington for several weeks at a

time. rwL e'ip.WuB"ILu"pt "

-" is3Jt .eoAnaeh-a ae atter. After practicing for about a week

the distraction from two or three others dictating in the same room,

or from visitors calling at their desks, soon wore off,and in the

course of three or four weeks it became quite as easyrto carry on 7 7

investigations, study and dictation in the room where sths several

other people were engaged in practically the same occupation everyone

of whom were talking sufficiently loud to be heard in any portion of

the room. The habit of non-attention to the details that were going

on about me proved extremely helpful especially when once formed.

But during the time of forming the habit the work was quite laborious.



The following is a quotation from W. D. Scott's paper on "Habits that

A Prophecy
The introduction of physics and chemistry have led to
marvelous results in methods of manufacture and transpor-
tation. Those who have given most attention to the ad-
vances of psychology during the past two decades are con-
fident that by the proper application of psychology the
efficiency of men is to be increased beyond the idle dream
of the optimist of the past. If by a study of habits
the efficiency of men in fundamental occupations has been
increased from forty to four hundred per cent., it is
hard to prohpsey what results are to be secured from more.
extensive studies.
The prohpecy has been made that as every manufac-
turing establishment employs its practical chemist, so
in the future every establishment employing large num-
bers of men will find it profitable to employ a practical

So much for the prophecy in the mechanical world. This need

not be limited to the mechanical world at all. This could as easily

be carried to the Experiment Station work and give us an increased

production of one hundred tp several hundred per cent. in the ma-

terial results.


From the foregoing sections of this essay it will be readily

seen that I lay much stress upon habit.

Just what habit is has

been C s nie __n_ t by Dr. Wh. James of Harvard University in

his Psychology.

Those of us who have -t-m= had the pleasure at

or profit of reading this chapter should avail ourselves of the

r --28--

opportunity as soon as possible. I quote from this chapters

Dr. Carpenter,from whose OMental Physiology* we have
quoted, has so prominently enforced the principle that our
organs ,grow to the way in which they have been exercised,
and dwelt upon its consequences, that his book almost de.
serves to be called a wprk of edification,.-On this account
alone. We need make no apology, then, for tracing a few
of these consequences ourselves:
"Habit a second nature: Habit is ten times nature,"
the Duke of Wellington is said to have exclaimed; add the
degree to which this is true no one can probably appreciate
as well as one wjo is a veteran soldier himself. The daily
drill and the years of discipline end by fashioning a man
completely over again, as to most of the possibilities of
his conduct.

"There is a story, which is credible enough,though
it may not be true, of a practical Joker, who, seeing a
discharged veteran carrying homehis dinner, suddenly called
out, 'Attention!' whereupon the man instantly brought his
hands down, and lost his mutton and potatoes in the gutter.
The drill had been thorough, and its effects had become
embodied in the man's nervous structure."

Riderless cavalry-horses, at many a battle, have been
seen to come together and go through their customary evol-
utions at the sound of the bugle-call. Most trained do-
mestic animals, dogs and oxen, and omnibus- and car-horses,
seem to be machines almost pure and simple, undoubtingly,
unhesitatingly doing from minute to minute the duties they
have been caught, and giving no sign that the possibility
of an alternative ever suggests itself to their mind. Men
grown old in prison have asked to be readmitted after being
once set free. In a railroad accident to a travelling
menagerie in the United States sometime in 1894, a tiger,
whose cage had broken open, is said to have emerged, but
presently crept back again, as if too much bewildered by
his new responsibilities, so that he was without difficulty
Habit is thus the mXX enormous fly-wheel of societypits
most precious conservative agent. It alone is what keeps
us within the bounds of ordinance, and daves the children
6f fortune from the envious uprisings of the poor. It
alone prevents the hardest and most repulsive walks of life
from being deserted by those brought up to tread therein.
It keeps the fisherman and the deck-hand at sea through the
winter; it holds the miner in his darkness, and nails the
countryman to his log-cabin and his lonely farm through
all the months of snow; it protects from invasion by the
natives of the desert and the frozen zone. It dooms us
all to fight out the battle of life upon the lines of our
nurture or our early choice, and to make the best of a
pursuit that disagrees, because there is no other for which
we are fitted and it is too late to beginoagain. It

r -*29--
keeps different social strata from mixing. Already at the
age of twenty-five you see the professional mannerism settl-
ing down on the young commercial traveller, on the young
doctor, on the young minister, on the young counsellor-at-
law. You see the little lines of cleavage running through
the character, the tricks of thought, the prejudices, the
ways of the 'shop', in a word, from which the man can by-
and-by no more escape than his coat-sleeve can suddenly
fall into a new set of folds. On the whole, it is best
he should not escape. It is well for the world that in
most of us, by the age of thirty, the character has set
like plaster, and will never soften again.

In this same chapter there are four maxims which I will

repeat in their order as given.

The first maxim is:ln the acquisition of a new habit, or

the leaving off of an old one, we must take care to launch our-

selves with as strong and decided an initiative as possible.

The second maxim is: Never suffer an exception to occur

till the new habit is securely rooted in your life.

Third maxim: Seize the very first possible opportunity

to act on every resolution you make, and on every emotional promp-

ting you may experience in the direction of the habits you aspire

to gain.

Fourth maxim: Keep the faculty of effort alive in you

by a little gratuitous exercise every day.


I. The success of the experiment Station depends upon team work.

II. Team work is perfect or imperfect according to the mental

attitude of the individual members of the staff.

III. The greatest amount of team work is accomplished only

when all individuals have attained a high degree of efficiency.

IV. Individual efficiency may be reduced bywaste in

hurrying; (b) by waste in lagging; (c) by indulging in office

cares, worries and gossips ia=4- A=p]A = f enjoying recreation.

Individual efficiency may be increased by forming habits

that help.