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Author photo. Photographed by Harris & Ewing; image provided by the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Photographed by Harris & Ewing; image provided by the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Lillian Gilbreth (1878–1972)

Author of As I Remember: An Autobiography

Includes the names: L. M. Gilbreth, Lillian Moller Gilbreth

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Short biography
Lillian Evelyn Moller was born in Oakland, California and studied English literature at the University of California at Berkeley. She earned a Ph.D. from Brown University. In 1904, she married Frank Gilbreth, with whom she had 12 children. Lillian Gilbreth was appointed as professor of management at Purdue University in 1935, and went on to establish and organize the Time and Motion Study Laboratory there with her husband. They became partners in a management consulting firm, Gilbreth, Inc., as efficiency experts. Their family life became the subject of the wildly popular classic books Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes, written by their children Ernestine Gilbreth Carey and Frank Gilbreth, Jr., about how they applied their time and motion study to the organization and daily activities of a large family. Cheaper by the Dozen was made into a successful 1950 film. Mrs. Gilbreth was one of the USA's first working female Ph.D.-level engineers and one of the first true industrial/organizational psychologists. She became the first woman to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and the U.S. Postal Service placed her portrait on a stamp in her honor in 1984. Her portrait hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
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