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Members of the Technical Alliance at Columbia University, 1930

Members of the Technical Alliance at Columbia University, Circa 1930

The name Technical Alliance refers to an early technocratic organisation formed in 1920. The members of the organisation published a pamphlet where they outlined their goals of:[1]

1. Uncover waste in industry

2. Estimate the resources needed for a given standard believing

3. Show the workings of the present system in the graphic form

4. Work on a coordinated design for production and distribution

The organisation also aimed to offer applied Engineering Services and act as a consultancy firm. The organisation carried out a number of reports for various different companies. However, one of the main activities of the organisation was the energy surveying of North America.[2]

Howard Scott was its chief engineer and Sullivan W. Jones its secretary. The organisation's members also included scientists; the chemist Carl l. Alsberg and the physicist Richard C. Tolman, some medical doctors; Allen Carpenter and John Carol Vaughan, a few engineers; L. K. Comstock, Charles Proteus Steinmetz, Stuart Chase and Bassett Jones as well as some educators; Alice Barrows Fernandez and Thorstein Veblen. Other experts included the architects Benton MacKaye and Fredrick L. Ackerman, the housing expert Charles H. Whitaker as well as the statistician Leland Olds.

The organisation broke up after year due to financial problems and some internal conflicts with Scott. Howard Scott continued his work on the energy survey through the 1920s. The Technical Alliance was reformed in 1931/32 with the aid of M. King Hubbert and a number of former members.

The Technical Alliance became Technocracy Incorporated in 1933.


  1. Henry Elsner, jr., "The Technocrats: Prophets of Automation". Syracuse University. 1967
  2. William E. Akin, "Technocracy and the American Dream: The Technocrat Movement, 1900-1941". University of California Press. 1977. ISBN 0-520-03110-5