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Noah Bunn For The Sheffield Amateur Industrial History Group

OK, I've been a little busy and haven't done my homework properly, then I lost my source, my library book, on a nightmare flight the other day, so easy tigers, I will pay that fine.

Frederick Taylor was born around the middle of the nineteenth century into a wealthy, largely Quaker Pennsylvanian family. As far as I recall anyway. His father a non practising lawyer and landowner, his mother a daughter of whaling money, both parents highly literate, father went to Harvard,  I think. Father shy but firm, Mother social and political regards slavery, a link between his parents. Frederick had a brother and sister, brother haughty, cant remember a lot of his sister, not sure he had one.

American Civil War in his youth, none of the family directly involved, though suggestions of a black escape route to Canada through his wealthy Pennsylvania community. Strong links between a handful of influential families with the Taylors. Banking and Industry. Family using language like “thee, thou art … etc” biblical, traditional, even for then, I gather.

Frederick takes a long, several years, tour, cultural and educational through Europe, largely central Europe and works real hard at Maths and languages. Rides an early bicycle. There is a story about him and his group finding integrating with European pupils, Germans I think, difficult, antagonistic. Another story about him refusing to make way for a German soldier on the street, collision then Frederick refusing a duel with gusto. Don't really know what to think about that. A story can be so twisted or altered in the way that it is told that this feels like Playdoh.

He returns to Europe and is shortly enrolled into a Harvard feeder school, I think they called it. Does well academically, residing with friends in a boarding house and living an austere academic life. He gets into trouble with his school for taking a book into church, letters from to his father about it. There's no rule against it.

Taylor was bold, I don't think that he always was, but he could be. He's still cited unanimously as THE man to know about, by Management Consultants. I don't know about his later life, I've never read his master work, “Principles of Scientific Management”, and it would be a little interesting to know what Walter Benjamin would have said about how his name is used now. Even after all this time. The book I read gave the impression that he was racked and scarred by union men politicians before his death. But I didn't read that far, wasn't there, and I've lost the book and have to pay the fine soon.

For more information and impressions from history amateur Noah Bunn visit him on Facebook. You can also find Noah Eric Bunn from Northampton on LinkedIn.