CWRU Links

MELLEN, LOWELL O.

MELLEN, LOWELL O. (18 Dec. 1897-16 Jan. 1993) pioneer in the successful application of Training Within Industry (TWI) programs, was born in Streetsboro, Ohio, the son of Ottis and Gertrude (Cannon) Mellen. After attending Ravenna High School for 2 years, the family moved to Cleveland in 1910 where he specialized in shop courses at West Technical High School, graduating in 1912. Mellen began his career in industrial training and instruction at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in Akron. After returning to Cleveland in 1921 he taught drawing and math at local industrial plants and opened his own automobile agency. He moved to Buffalo, New York, in 1924, serving as district sales supervisor for B. F. Goodrich until 1941. Returning to Cleveland, he became the Northern Ohio district representative for the new Training Within Industry programs set up by the U.S. government to improve productivity and production of critical war-related industries. Mellen organized courses in job instruction, work methods, and worker-supervision relations. After WORLD WAR II, he formed a company to market TWI programs to peacetime industries. His company attracted the attention of General Douglas McArthur who, fearful of mass starvation and unrest in occupied Japan, was anxious to revive industry there. In 1951 Mellen took the TWI program to Japan where his efforts did much to shape the postwar Japanese management style. Back in this country, he continued to teach TWI techniques until he retired in 1985.

On 31 Aug.1929 Mellen married Mildred Manthey (d. 1965); they had no children. A resident of BAY VILLAGE, he was buried at Lakewood Park Cemetery.


Lowell Mellen Papers, WRHS.