Gilbreth, Lillian

Gilbreth, Lillian (Evelyn b. Moller)

(1878–1972) consulting engineer, household efficiency expert; born in Oakland, Calif. She and her husband, Frank Gilbreth, pioneered the application of motion studies in industry (1910–24); they served as consultants to numerous firms in America and abroad, and collaborated on several books and many articles. She wrote four books on her own; she taught at various colleges including Purdue, Bryn Mawr, Rutgers, and Newark College of Engineering; and she served on various governmental committees. She was a pioneer in making the environment easier for the physically handicapped. She also sought to apply business methods to home economics and the management of the home; this aspect of her and her husband's interest was amusingly captured in a best-seller written by two of her 12 children, Cheaper by the Dozen (1949).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.