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March 20 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Was There “One Best Way?” – Revolution in the Air Winter Lecture Series


Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park and the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor present our Winter Lecture Series – “Revolution in the Air.” This six-part series investigates how the Blackstone River Valley has served as an incubator of revolutionary thought and change. Scholars and park staff will lead presentations on a variety of topics including labor reform, ethnic religion and politics, the cotton economy, and architecture.

Lecture #5: Was  There “One Best Way”?

Speaker: Jane Lancaster, Ph.D., Freelance Historian

Synopsis: Efficiency experts in the early twentieth century suggested that there was only one way to increase worker productivity, a “one best way” imposed on the workers by “experts.” This was, naturally, resisted by many of the workers.

In this talk, Dr. Jane Lancaster will explain how one of those experts, Dr. Lillian Moller Gilbreth, used insights gained from her doctorate in educational psychology at Brown to modify the idea that there was only one best way to work and by so doing encourage workers to follow the new methods.

Lillian Gilbreth is best remembered now as the mother of a large family celebrated in Cheaper by the Dozen but in her long lifetime (she died in 1972 aged 94) she was famous for her work in government, with people with disabilities, with the Girl Scouts, and in mentoring a whole generation of female engineers.

Bio: Dr. Jane Lancaster is an award-winning independent scholar. She specializes in women’s and African American history, with a special reference to Rhode Island. She has taught at the Lincoln School and at RISD and Brown, where she earned a doctorate in history with a dissertation on Lillian Gilbreth. She is the author of four books, and many articles. She splits her time between Providence and Beverley, a small market town in Yorkshire, England.

To register for the Zoom link, click here: https://bit.ly/RevolutionInTheAir

To learn more about the Virtual Winter Lecture Series, visit: https://www.nps.gov/blrv/planyourvisit/revolution-in-the-air-winter-lecture-series.htm


March 20
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category:




Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor
Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park