Frederick W. Taylor

Machine Tool Builder

Machine Tool Hall of Fame

Frederick W. Taylor (1856-1915)

Over a period of 26 years, Taylor conducted research in metal cutting that converted it from an art to a science. After an apprenticeship as a patternmaker in a steam-pump works in Philadelphia, he started as a laborer at Midvale Steel. He soon proposed a central tool grinding facility and invented an improved tool grinder. He went to Stevens at night and finished the mechanical engineering course in three years. He became chief engineer at Midvale and started tests to study the different methods of cutting. He began working on the composition of tool steel and left when the then president would not let him include tungsten. He served as general manager of a firm operating pulp mills in Maine, later worked as a consultant on shop management, developing his ideas on piece rates and time study. Then he went to Bethlehem Steel to improve the output of their machine shop and resumed his Midvale research. Working with Maunsel White he developed with chrome, tungsten, and critical hardening temperatures what we know today as high-speed steel. He completed his cutting tests, having used 800,000 pounds of steel and spent $200,000. He titled the treatise that made a science of metal cutting ‘On the art of cutting metals.’

Elected 2000