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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/104

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Letters From A Railway Official.

bering trains, cars and locomotives, we take some arbitrary basis from which we build up a logical classification. Formerly, trains, cars and locomotives were given serial numbers in the order of creation. So were letters in an office. Now the proposition is too big and we assign series of numbers for classifications which are more or less self-suggesting. Any number of men have tried to work out a filing system based on the Interstate Commerce Commission classification of accounts. Any number of men have soon encountered limiting conditions which seem to preclude a satisfactory solution.

If you had time, I do not doubt your ability to work out the best kind of a filing system, but you have not the time. If you had lived before George Stephenson you might have invented the locomotive, but George beat us all to it. If you had time you could work out a table of logarithms, or a table of trigonometric functions. Life is so short that it is better to use the tables that other people have prepared. By the same token, if I were you, I would save my company money by adopting Williams’ Railroad Classification. It is an expansive, but not expensive, decimal system suitable for