chapter  6
36 Pages

Lukens 1915-1925: The Union of Words and Work

The evolution of technical communication at Lukens Steel was "additive": when new forms were introduced, they did not replace old ones, but existed side-by-side with them. The account books, the correspondence, the open hearth and defective records, the testing documents and drawing continued, with new forms added as they were needed. As we saw in the last chapter, many more workers in the factory joined the ongoing exchange of ideas, information, and written problem solving in an increasing number of ways. However, the 10 years in this chapter are not significantly different from the previous 15, except for an increasing sophistication in the forms of technical writing and in the addition of another new type of worker, the consultant, who analyzed industrial processes, produced reports, and taught the firm to manage itself with the aid of more written documentation.