chapter  5
46 Pages

Lukens 1900-1915: An Explosion of Technical Communication

The social discourse community at Lukens Steel exploded from comparative silence into a multiplicity of voices as operating the plant became more complex and technical communication became a necessary component of almost every process. The foremen of each unit had to be able to communicate to the managers of each division who, in tum, had to communicate with one another in addition to the people who did the testing and Charles Lukens Huston himself. Most of the types of communication described in the previous chapters-data collection, record keeping, correspondence, etc.-continued on, but there were also board meeting minutes, handwritten notes between Charles Lukens Huston and the department heads, drawings and blueprints, boiler testing documents, published articles in trade journals, product descriptions, and testing documents (letters, drafts, meeting minutes, transcriptions of arguments, papers, and publications). This was no longer solely the voice of the owner or the partners; many people in the plant participated, and this is where technical communication emerged and grew.