Daniel Willard

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Daniel Willard

Post by hutton_switch »

Of those who know anything about him, Daniel Willard is revered as one of the best railroad men who ever lived. His presidency of the B&O from 1910 to 1941, one of the longest of any railroad presidents ever, extended beyond the B&O to being a conciliator between railroad labor and management, and he served as chair of the Railroad Administration during WWI. "Uncle" Dan's success was due not only to his conciliatory style, but also to the fact that he started at the very bottom of the ladder as a railroad MOW worker, to brakeman, to fireman, to engineer, and eventually into management all the way to the top.

Anyone wanting to know more about the man can read Edward Hungerford's hagiography, Daniel Willard Rides the Line, but David Vrooman's study, Daniel Willard and Progressive Management gives a better idea of how Willard's innovative management style was a predecessor of W. Edwards Deming Total Quality Management (TQM), a corporate management style that was successfully adopted by the Japanese and resulted in the phenomenally successful post-WWII rebirth of their economy to what it is now. Both books are available at the B&O RR Historical Society's Company Store at http://borhs.org/Shopping/index.html.
Wade Rice
Member, B&O RR Historical Society
Daniel Willard (1860-1942) and Jervis Langdon, Jr. (1905-2004) - Two of B&O's best presidents and managers!
President Leonor Loree (1858-1940) brought the B&O into the 20th century!

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