Meyer Bloomfield


1878 – 1938

Meyer Bloomfield, grandfather of Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr., was born on February 11, 1878, in Bucharest, Romania. When he was 4 years old, his father, Maurice Bloomfield, and his mother, Bertha Pastmanten, moved the family to Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Bloomfield attended public high school, graduating from the Technical Institute of New York City. He earned an A.B. (artium baccalaureatus degree) from the City College of New York in 1899 and a second A.B. in social work from Harvard University in 1901. Pauline Agassiz Shaw, a noted philanthropist, provided funding for a new settlement house in the North End, to provide educational opportunities for immigrants and young persons seeking work, and chose Bloomfield to head the new Civic Service House. In January 1917, Bloomfield became editor of “The Employment Manager’s Department,” a new section in a magazine called Industrial Management. Bloomfield became editor-in-chief of the 12 manuals for the LaSalle Extension University course titled “Modern Foremanship and Production Methods.”

In September 1917, he was called to Washington, DC, by General Goethals, renowned builder of the Panama Canal, who President Wilson had designated as general manager and director of the Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation of the U.S. Government. He made Bloomfield the department chief to address labor problems in the shipyards, as not one shipyard had an employment manager. By the end of World War I, 34 shipyards had employment managers. All told, the U.S. Government spent $300 million to teach 350,000 men and 130 new managers how to build ships.

After the war he worked as a YMCA emissary to Russia. In 1919, The Saturday Evening Post sent Bloomfield to Europe to investigate how countries were converting wartime enterprises to peacetime use. Bloomfield turned the resulting series of articles for The Saturday Evening Post into the book titled Management and Men. Returning to Boston, Bloomfield and his brother Daniel founded “Bloomfield and Bloomfield, Consultants in Employment Management and Industrial Relations.” In 1922, President Harding sent Bloomfield to Russia as an advisor. He subsequently made several trips to Russia and other parts of Europe to study social conditions and represent American businesses.