JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
When I saw the cover for this pamphlet I thought that the "Human Engineering Laboratory" was going to be some sort of Frederick Winslow Taylor thing. It is a little late for that wave of interest (printed in 1939) and then when I saw the imprint (Stevens Institute of Technology) I realized it was going to be something different. And it was--instead of Fordian/Randian/Taylorist functioing of workers this pamphlet turned out to be about vocational aptitude tests. I guess if one thought too hard about this it could fit into the category of the pre-history of robotics in the robots' history of themselves, the test trying to assess where people will best fit into the giant machinery of society.
In the outline of services the pamphlet notes that each test-taker will be charged a $20 fee for the service, plus $10 if the test was taken a second or third time. That was a stiff fee--according to the inflation calculator at the Bureau of Labor Statistics that 20 bucks has the buying power of $321 today--but I guess it may have been worth it to take a peek into the future to see what best thing you might be suited for. Still, that was a lot of money at the end of the Depression to pay for someone to fit you into a grid.
I'm posting this mostly because of the great title.
It also reminds me of another title, though this one is Outsider-y: