Saturday, September 24, 2016

Keeping time with The Ceresota Method

I was chatting with Vince last week and he was telling me about E. L. Moore's dot method of recording how much time it took to build a project. I must admit I had completely forgotten about it, but with embarrassment as my motivation, I dug through my files to find it. I got lucky and found it rather quickly in Mr. Moore's Ceresota Flour Mill that appeared in the November 1977 issue of Model Railroader
[E. L. Moore noted on the Ceresota manuscript the cost of materials. Total cost in '75 = $2.85 US, which is about $11.15 US today*]

I was also fortunate in that there was a snapshot sized picture of the model in E. L. Moore's photo collection as well as a copy of the manuscript in the files. According to the manuscript, this is The Ceresota Method,

I guess I have a rather unorthodox way of keeping a record of time. I sit in my easy chair, pull up my TV work tray and play around a while. For an hour's work I put a dot on the calendar for that date (for half an hour, half a dot!), and for what seems like three hours, a blot. After that I hoist my feet up on a stool and pick up a book and call it a day. Union rules. When I've finished I count up the dots and blots, add a few for good measure and that's that.

I'll contact the National Institute of Standards and Technology.


* According to the cover letter to Russ Larson that accompanied the manuscript, a trip to the hospital to fix his knee cost far more than the model,

Coincidence: just finished reading Emergency Room by a hospital intern . . . now I know what the inside of an emergency room is like. Book only cost a buck, but a peek at the room cost me sixty bucks the hospital says. Out walking, sans glasses, sidewalk veered but I didn't. Nothing serious; a few stitches on the knee and a few minor abrasions. Main discomfort is brace that keeps from bending knee and pulling out stitches. Just try putting on your pants or a sock over a straight peg leg.

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