Guide to the The Scott Company Records

Collection Title: The Scott Company Records
Dates: 1919-1923
Identification: 55/6
Creator: W. D. Scott and Company
Extent: 3 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: The Scott Company Records produced between 1919-1923 have been separated into five major categories: the General Administrative Records, the Business Contacts, the Testing and Rating Materials, the Personnel Materials for Companies and Publications. Materials that pertained to the Committee for Classification of Personnel in the Army were removed and filed with the Walter Dill Scott Papers. The records also contain Leonard W. Ferguson's history of the Scott Company which comprises one chapter of his Heritage of Industrial Psychology.
Acquisition Information: The records of the Scott Company were donated to the Northwestern University Archives by Leonard W. Ferguson of Ohio University on November 22, 1976. He had received the records from Robert W. Clothier, one of the company's executives.
Processing Information: Michael Sedlak and Elisabeth Wittman, July 1977.
Separated Materials: The following items were separated to the Artifacts Cabinet:59 cards - with pictures or samples for salesperson interview examinations, c. 1919-1923.2 newspaper plates - Walter Dill Scott, Northwestern University, c. 1919-1923.The following items were separated to the Photographic Collection (see Walter Dill Scott File):3 photographs - charts and graphs showing industrial organization.6 negatives - charts and graphs showing industrial organization.23 photographs - used as plates and photographs to illustrate: “The Right Man in the Right Place in the Army” by the Committee on Classification of Personnel in the Army, Washington, D. C., c. 1917-1919.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

The Scott Company was a consulting firm which was established in 1919 by Walter Dill Scott and several of his colleagues. Scott, who had graduated from Northwestern in 1895 and McCormick Theological Seminary in 1898, became interested in the new field of psychology and received his PhD. in psychology and educational administration from the University of Leipzig in 1900. He returned to Northwestern as assistant professor of psychology and pedagogy. It was during this time that he became interested in the application of psychology to industrial personnel, particularly the psychology of advertising and salesmanship. In 1916 he took a leave of abscence to work in the recently established Bureau of Salesmanship Research of the Carnegie Institute of Technology. When the United States entered World War I, in 1918, Scott and his colleagues offered their services to the government. They adapted the rating scale for salesmanship to rating of army personnel. The Committee of Classification of Personnel in the Army implemented their scientific personnel methods in all United States Army training camps. At the close of the war, Scott and several other committee members continued their association by forming their own “research and consulting agency in the field of industrial personnel”.

The organizational meeting of the Scott Committee, as it was initially called took place in Washington, D.C. on December 29, 1918. The following month, Scott, Robert C. Clothier, Beardsley Ruml, Joseph W. Hayes, Stanley B. Mathewson and Louis B. Hopkins formed a partnership for the purpose of incorporation. They were officially incorporated on March 3, 1919 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with Scott as president, Clothier as vice president, Hopkins as treasurer and Ruml as secretary.

The company's first clients were the Domestic Engineering Company and the Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (Delco) both located in Dayton, Ohio. In June, 1919 Scott returned to Evanston and began promoting the company in the Chicago area. The three main operating bases of the company thus came to be in Chicago, Ohio and Philadelphia. During the first year the company had 30 clients, 17 of which made use of the company's services beyond the preliminary survey stage.

The Scott Company developed techniques and policies to increase personnel stability in its clients firms, primarily by improving the job selection services available to industry during the immediate post war period. The staff's research into the psychology of job satisfaction and mental testing resulted in the publication of three books: Common Sense in Working with Men (1921), Psychology of the Executive (1921), and Personnel Management, Principles, Practices and Point of View (1923).

Scott's decision to return to Evanston to assume the presidency of Northwestern in 1920, coupled with severe economic contraction of the early 1920's forced the company to restrict and eventually curtail its activities. The partnership disbanded in 1923.

Sources

Northwestern University Alumni News, Walter Dill Scott, Reprint by the Scott Hall Committee, Evanston, Illinois, 1939.

History, Sources (cont)

Leonard W. Ferguson, “The Scott Company”, The Heritage of Industrial Psychology, (1976), Chapter 15. (See Box 1 Folder 1).

Scope and Content

The Scott Company Records produced between 1919-1923 have been separated into five major categories: the General Administrative Records, the Business Contacts, the Testing and Rating Materials, the Personnel Materials for Companies and Publications. Materials that pertained to the Committee for Classification of Personnel in the Army were removed and filed with the Walter Dill Scott Papers.

The records also contain Leonard W. Ferguson's history of the Scott Company which comprises one chapter of his Heritage of Industrial Psychology. Included with the Executive Committee and Company Meeting Minutes is the agreement signed by the company's principal partners to incorporate. The Lists of the Scott Company Files contain one list with annotations saying whether a file had been destroyed or not. The General Administrative Records also include materials prepared by the company's staff in the general course of their activities. Many of these materials served as the firms promotional literature and was drawn upon by speakers representing the Scott Company. The Business Contacts section includes a list of prospective clients, located primarily in the industrial corridor stretching from New York City to Chicago. The Testing and Rating Materials and Personnel Materials for Companies were prepared for the Scott Company's clients and includes examinations, charts, rating scales forms and cards.

Subjects

Corporate Name

W. D. Scott and Company

Subjects

Advertising--Psychological aspects

Psychology, Industrial


Container List / Contents

  • General Administrative Records
    • “The Scott Company”, by Leonard W. Ferguson, 1976.Box 1, Folder 1
    • Incorporation Paters, 1919.Box 1, Folder 2
    • Proposed By-Laws, 1919.Box 1, Folder 3
    • Executive Committee and Company Meeting Minutes, 1918-1919.Box 1, Folder 4
    • Treasurer's Financial Reports, 1919-1920.Box 1, Folder 5
    • Memoranda and Clippings, 1919-1923.Box 1, Folder 6
    • Lists of the Scott Company Files, 1922.Box 1, Folder 7
    • Statement of the Work, Purpose and Point of View of the Scott Company, January 1919.Box 1, Folder 8
    • Organization and Work of the Scott Company, c. 1919-1923.Box 1, Folder 9
    • Outline of Work of the Scott Company, c. 1919-1923.Box 1, Folder 10
    • The Scott Company Bulletins, December 17, 1919-August 1920.Box 1, Folder 11
    • Promotional Pamphlets and Articles, 1919-1921.Box 1, Folder 12
    • Promotional Speeches and Essays, c. 1919-1923.Box 1, Folder 13
    • Bibliographies on Industry, 1919-1920.Box 1, Folder 14
    • Labor Turnover Materials, c. 1919-1923.Box 2, Folder 1
    • Industrial Democracy Speeches, 1919-1920.Box 2, Folder 2
  • Business Contacts
    • Correspondence/List of Contacts, 1920.Box 2, Folder 3
    • Contacts Made and Notes, c. 1919-1923.Box 2, Folder 4
    • Prospects, 1918-1920.Box 2, Folder 5
    • Prospects, c. 1919-1923.Box 2, Folder 6
    • Prospects-Ohio, c. 1919-1923.Box 2, Folder 7
  • Testing and Rating Materials
    • Trade Test Materials, 1919.Box 2, Folder 8
    • Trade Test Materials, 1919-1920.Box 2, Folder 9
    • Rating Scale Materials, 1919-1920.Box 2, Folder 10
    • Rating Scale Materials, 1920-1921, 1923.Box 3, Folder 1
    • Job Specifications and Qualification Materials, 1919.Box 3, Folder 2
    • Salesperson Interview Tests, 1919-1920.Box 3, Folder 3
    • Interpretation of Facts on Qualification Cards, c. 1919-1923.Box 3, Folder 4
    • Technical Charts, 1919-1920.Box 3, Folder 5
        Note:  Package #1 Technical Charts, Diagrams and other Materials, 1920.
  • Personnel Materials for Companies
    • National Cash Register Company, December 13, 1920.Box 3, Folder 6
    • Wholesale Clothiers Association, 1919 and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, 1922.Box 3, Folder 7
    • Hale and Kilbourn Manufacturing Company, c. 1919-1923.Box 3, Folder 8
    • Philadelphia Civil Service Commission, c. 1919-1923.Box 3, Folder 9
    • Suggestions for Improvement (various companies), by Walter D. Scott, c. 1919-1923.Box 3, Folder 10
    • Occupational Descriptions (various companies), c. 1919-1923.Box 3, Folder 11
    • Shop Organizational Plans (various companies), c. 1919-1923.Box 3, Folder 12
  • Publications
    • Personnel Management, Principles, Practices, and Point of View, by Walter Dill Scott and Robert W. Clothier, Manuscript (incomplete), 1923.Box 3, Folder 13
    • Psychology of the Executive, by Mary H. S. Hayes, 1921.Box 3, Folder 14