ALLINGHAM, Henry William



16th July 1882 to 1st January 1970


Biographical Text

Allingham was an engineer and production manager who became a consultant specialising in scientific management.

Allingham was born near Witley in Surrey, the son of the Irish poet William Allingham and his wife Helen, a well-known artist. He trained as an engineer at University College, London and then worked as a machinist and toolmaker at various factories in Britain; he seems also to have worked in the USA at one point. From 1905-11 he worked with a subsidiary of Westinghouse, and then from 1911-15 was a senior engineer with Hans Renold Ltd in Manchester before joining the Ministry of Munitions. In 1916 he spent ten months in the USA studying the application of scientific management, primarily in the armaments industry. In 1917 he served as assistant director of national projectile factories with the Ministry. Following the end of the First World War, Allingham went freelance as a consulting engineer. He was vice-president of the Institute of Works and Cost Accountants. No further details of his life are known.

Allingham's lecture is largely an explanation of scientific management and its basic principles, and he describes the use of time and motion study in several factories. He refers explicitly to Taylor, but despite frequent references to motion study there is no mention of either Frank or Lillian Gilbreth. He argues that firms, even if they do not adopt Taylor's principles wholesale, need to be come more attentive to detail and more precise about their methods: 'the study of details, and yet more details, is really the first essential, if not the basic principle, of successful factory administration'.


Boyns, T., 'In Memoriam: Alexander Hamilton Church's System of 'Scientific Machine Rates' at Hans Renold Ltd., c. 1901-c.1920', Accounting Information, n.d.,

'Henry W. Allingham', Who's Who In Engineering, 1922,


“ALLINGHAM, Henry William,” The Rowntree Business Lectures and the Interwar British Management Movement, accessed July 16, 2020,