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Frank and Lillian Gilbreth
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Scientist
    Frank Gilbreth (July 7, 1868-June 14, 1924), born in Fairfield, Maine
    Lillian Gilbreth (May 24, 1878-January 2, 1972), born in Oakland California
    Lillian's maiden name was Moller
    Pioneers in industrial engineering
    Conducted time and motion studies
    Founded the consulting firm Gilbreth, Inc.
    Featured in 'Cheaper By The Dozen' (1948) written by Frank Gilbreth, Jr., and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
    They used their kids as guinea pigs for their theories.
    They broke down tasks into 18 basic motions that they dubbed 'therbligs' ('gilbreth' spelled backwards, with the 'th' treated as a single letter).
    Their emphasis on standardization made lots of jobs repetitive.
    They had a long-running feud with fellow efficiency expert Frederick Winslow Taylor.
    The 2003 Steve Martin version of 'Cheaper by the Dozen' has nothing in common with the Gilbreths (other than featuring 12 kids).
    Their second-oldest child Mary died of diphtheria at age six.
    Frank was a bricklayer with no education beyond high school when he began studying how to eliminate waste and inefficiency from the job.
    Lilian was the first person to earn a PhD in industrial psychology.
    Lilian served as an advisor to Presidents Hoover, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson on civil defense, war production and rehabilitation of the handicapped.
    Lilian was the first woman elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Credit: C. Fishel


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