List of Physical Visualizations
and Related Artifacts

1915 – Wire Models of Factory Worker Movements


3D wire models of hand motion paths (or chronocyclegraphs) created by Frank Gilbreth, a pioneer in the study of motion in the workplace. In his 1917 book, Gilbreth explains how he created these solid models from time-lapse photographs, and how useful they are to study and teach human motion.

Left image:

Wire model of foreman on drill press. This shows “positioning” in the midst of “transporting.”

Right image:

First photograph of wire models showing one man's progress of learning paths of least waste. These wires represent the paths of the left hand of a manager on a drill press, - a machine which he had not touched for twenty-five years.


  1. Régine Debatty (2012) The Chronocyclegraph.
  2. Everardo Reyes-Garcia (2014) Explorations in Media Visualization.
  3. Frank Bunker Gilbreth (1917) Applied motion study; a collection of papers on the efficient method to industrial preparedness.
  4. Left image from Régine Debatty, right image from

Added by: Pierre Dragicevic. Category: Passive physical visualization  Tags: factory, hand movement, pragmatic, temporal data, wire