FAQ : The Historical Development of Lean Manufacturing?
The Timeline of Lean Manufacturing:
1926 - Sakichi Toyoda patents Toyoda Automatic Loom with Non-Stop Shuttle-change motion
1936 - Kiichiro Toyoda (Sakichi’s son) starts Toyota (then called Toyoda) using Sakichi’s JIT principles
1956 - Taiichi Ohno introduced kanban techniques into the Toyota Production System
1970 - Toyota trains its suppliers in JIT
1975 - JIT spreads across Japanese companies
1980 - West studies Japanese companies
1983 - Canada and Europe show interest
1985 - Adopted by pioneering companies in the west
1990 - The Machine that Changed the World (James P Womack, Daniel T Jones & Daniel Roos) re-named JIT "Lean Manufacturing"
For more information on the techniques see World Class Manufacturing e-book.