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Frank Bunker Gilbreth

From Academic Kids

Frank Bunker Gilbreth (July 7, 1868-June 14, 1924), born in Fairfield, Maine, was a proponent of Taylorism and a pioneer of time-motion studies. With his wife and collaborator, Lillian Moller Gilbreth, he sought to understand the work habits of industrial employees and to find ways to increase their output. He and Lillian were partners in their own management consulting firm, Gilbreth, Inc., which focused on such endeavors.

Gilbreth was a prolific researcher and often used his large family (and himself) as guinea pigs in his experiments. Their exploits are lovingly detailed in the book Cheaper by the Dozen, which was written by his son Frank Jr. and daughter Ernestine Gilbreth Carey and published in 1950. The book has since inspired two movie versions, one in 1950 and the second in 2003. The first, starring Clifton Webb and Myrna Loy, is considered by many to be superior to the 2003 version, which stars comedians Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt and takes considerable liberties with the original story.

Gilbreth died suddenly of heart failure in Montclair, New Jersey on June 14, 1924, leaving behind 11 children and a wife, who subsequently raised the children on her own. Their subsequent adventures are outlined in a second book by Frank Jr. and Ernestine, Belles on Their Toes, which was published in 1952.

See also Therblig

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