Frederick Winslow Taylor

Frederick Winslow Taylor

American engineer, founder of the scientific organization of labor and management
Date of Birth: 20.03.1856
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Frederick Winslow Taylor
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Career and Contributions
  4. Legacy

Biography of Frederick Winslow Taylor

Frederick Winslow Taylor was an American engineer and a pioneer in the field of scientific management. He is known as the father of scientific management and one of the first management consultants. Taylor's ideas have been widely adopted and used around the world.

Frederick Winslow Taylor

Early Life and Education

Frederick was born in 1856 in Germantown, Philadelphia, into a wealthy Quaker family. His father, Franklin Taylor, studied law at Princeton University and built a successful career in lending. Frederick's mother, Emily Annette Taylor, was a fervent abolitionist and worked closely with Lucretia Mott. It was his mother who took charge of Frederick's education, and he quickly progressed under her guidance.

To further his education, Frederick traveled to Europe, spending two years in France and Germany, and then another 18 months traveling around the continent. In 1872, he enrolled in Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. After completing his studies there, Frederick went on to study law at Harvard Law School. However, his plans for a legal career were hindered by health problems, particularly deteriorating eyesight.

Career and Contributions

After the economic depression of 1873, Taylor worked as an apprentice pattern maker, gaining practical experience in a large manufacturing company. He steadily climbed the career ladder, eventually becoming a leading engineer. Alongside his work, he studied mechanical engineering through correspondence courses at Stevens Institute of Technology. In 1883, Taylor earned a degree in mechanical engineering.

On May 3, 1884, Frederick married Louise M. Spooner. From 1890 to 1893, Taylor worked as the chief manager and engineering consultant for a manufacturing and investment company in Philadelphia. He later managed a factory in Maine before starting his own independent consulting firm in Philadelphia in 1893.

In 1898, Taylor joined Bethlehem Steel, where he, along with Maunsel White and a group of assistants, developed high-speed steel. This development earned him a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition in 1900 and the Elliott Cresson Medal from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. However, conflicts with other executives led Taylor to leave Bethlehem Steel in 1901.

In the same year, Frederick and his wife adopted three orphans: Kempton, Robert, and Elizabeth. On October 19, 1906, Taylor received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Later, he became a professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.


Taylor's works enjoyed tremendous success worldwide, even after his death. One of his notable admirers was Vladimir Lenin, who actively implemented Taylor's ideas in the developing industries of the Soviet Union. However, ultimately, Taylor's ideas did not find widespread acceptance in the Soviet Union, as they did not align with the more popular concepts of Stakhanovite labor or monthly production cycles. Frederick Winslow Taylor passed away on March 21, 1915, due to pneumonia, leaving behind a lasting legacy in the field of management and productivity.