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Cheaper by the Dozen (A Bantam starfire…

Cheaper by the Dozen (A Bantam starfire book) (original 1948; edition 1984)

by Frank B. Gilbreth, Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,833512,055 (4.03)80
Title:Cheaper by the Dozen (A Bantam starfire book)
Authors:Frank B. Gilbreth
Other authors:Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
Info:Laurel Leaf (1984), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:#25 American Industrialization & Immigration/Victorian to 1920's

Work details

Cheaper by the Dozen by Jr. Frank B. Gilbreth (1948)

  1. 40
    Life with Father / Life with Mother by Clarence Day (wisewoman)
    wisewoman: Funny family stories with a larger-than-life father, fun mother, and redheaded kids.
  2. 20
    Time Out for Happiness by Frank B. Gilbreth (kathleen.morrow)
    kathleen.morrow: Also by Frank Gilbreth - a slightly more serious look at the Gilbreth family - particularly at Frank Sr. and Lillie before they started their family and at Lillie's successful struggles to support the family after Frank's death.
  3. 20
    Making Time: Lillian Moller Gilbreth -- A Life Beyond "Cheaper by the Dozen" by Jane Lancaster (infiniteletters)
  4. 10
    Eight Is Enough by Tom Braden (infiniteletters)

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Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Ann Gilbreth, the oldest of the twelve children of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, begins to relate some episodes from her family's history. In 1921, when Ann is sixteen, the family lives in Providence, Rhode Island, where her father, an industrial engineer, is also an efficiency expert utilizing time and motion studies. Frank informs the family that they are moving to Montclair, New Jersey. Once the family is established there, Frank chairs one of his regular family council meetings to assign the children various chores that will assist Lillian and the two servants, Mrs. Monahan and Jim Bracken. When Frank goes to enroll five of the children in school, he tells the principal that he would like to meet the teachers, explaining that he wants the children placed in higher grades as their mental ages exceed their physical ages thanks to the complete home training program he has devised for them. Teenagers Ann and Ernestine, who will be attending a different school, have accompanied their father and are mortified when, though fully clothed, he demonstrates his time efficient method for taking a bath in the time it takes to play a phonograph record. Some time later, a doctor's car is parked in front of the Gilbreths' house, which normally signals the arrival of a new baby, but this time means that several of the children have whooping cough. While he is there, Dr. Burton examines everyone's tonsils and decides they should all come out, including Frank's. Always looking for opportunities to use time more efficiently, Frank decides to make a filmed record of the surgeries in order to help physicians eliminate wasted motions. The stalwart Frank thinks there is nothing to a tonsillectomy, but when it comes his turn to visit the operating room that has been set up in the house, he emerges from the procedure weak and shaken, a situation that is exacerbated by the revelation that the cameraman, Mr. Higgins, forgot to put film in the camera. Some time later, while several of the children are receiving a music lesson and are mangling their rendition of "Love's Old Sweet Song," Frank tells Lillian that he may be invited to speak on motion study at an international management conference in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Lillian then reminds him that she is on her way to the hospital to have another child. They name the child Robert, and he rounds out the "even" dozen children they planned of six boys and six girls. At another family council meeting, young William moves that they buy a dog, a motion that is carried, even though the chairman, Frank, objects. The dog, whom the family names "Mr. Chairman," develops a great affection for Frank. One day, a neighbor suggests that Lillian, who also had a career as a psychologist and industrial consultant, might serve as president of a new local chapter of Planned Parenthood, and is chagrined to find out how many children the Gilbreths have. Every summer, the family spends their holiday on Nantucket Island. One summer, Ann is attracted to young Tom Black, who attends her school, and, along with Ernestine, Ann is upset that Frank forbids them to wear bathing suits that reveal their knees. Back home, when Ann is invited to the senior prom, Frank insists on going along as a chaperone, and because the family car will not start, Frank has to go into the rumble seat of Tom's jalopy. Despite Ann's fears, Frank ends up being the hit of the dance, with many of Ann's friends wanting to dance with him. Later, Frank prepares for his two-month-long trip to Europe. After saying goodbye to the family, Frank suddenly and totally unexpectedly, collapses at the Montclair station and dies. Lillian calls a family council meeting of the older children and tells them that the money Frank left has had to go back into the business. She has talked with their grandmother in California who wants them to live with her. Their only other choice would be for Lillian to take over father's business, but that would mean that the family would have to live very simply and the children would have to help more around the house. Lillian then decides to go to Prague and London to give Frank's speeches. The children all agree that they should try to stay together and that they will manage things well. Ann finishes her account of the family history by saying that her mother did carry on Frank's work, became the foremost woman industrial engineer in the world and, in 1948, was named America's "Woman of the Year."
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
This was a delightful, nonfiction reread. It is the biography of the family of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, pioneers of time and labour saving engineering. They had twelve children, which was about as horrifying to many back then as it is to many today, and the eccentricities of their dad combined with the energy and imagination of twelve children gave plenty of humorous and inciteful fodder for this book, which was co-written by two of the children.

( )
  Karin7 | Jan 21, 2016 |
Cheaper by the Dozen is probably one of the books I've had the most fun reading. This is the story of Frank Gilbreth, his wife, and their twelve children around the turn of the 20th century. It's an account, written by two of the twelve children, of the many interesting and humorous events that they witnessed growing up in such a large family. Family life is made even more enjoyable by their extremely unique father who was a pioneer of motion-study, and who did such things as covering the walls of their home with lessons about astronomy, Morse code, etc.

In real life, Frank Gilbreth was the foremost expert in the country on motion study and its effects. Transferring this knowledge to his home life, Frank attempted to raise his twelve children according to his own unique set of rules and regulations. The result was sometimes catastrophic, sometimes brilliant, and always funny. These twelve lively kids make the book fun to read and I loved the variety of stories that made their lives memorable. Every child is so unique and by the end of the book, I really felt that I was part of the family.

I've probably read this book a half dozen times over the past fifty years. It's serious, funny, and sad in some places. I found this charming story to be captivating, motivational, heartwarming, and humorous. There are so many hilarious anecdotes I was constantly in laughter and tears. The book is full of humorous events including family trips in the car which always caused people to stare, family council meetings, and one of the most memorable, a visit from a woman representing birth control who had no idea how large the family was. I highly recommend this wonderful story about an interesting real-life family.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
This was a fun book to read. I used it in my elementary classroom as a read-aloud book. It is always interesting to me to find out a little about how other families work. ( )
  Desdelyn | Jan 13, 2016 |
Hilarious, one of my favorite books when I was growing up. ( )
  iamjonlarson | Sep 29, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gilbreth, Frank B., Jr.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carey, Ernestine Gilbrethmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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To Dad, who only reared twelve children and To Mother, who reared twelve only children.
First words
Dad was a tall man, with a large head, jowls, and a Herbert Hoover collar.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Written by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and his sister Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553272500, Paperback)

No growing pains have ever been more hilarious than those suffered loudly by the riotous Gilbreth clan. First, there are a dozen red-haired, freckle-faced kids to contend with. Then there's Dad, a famous efficiency expert who believes a family can be run just like a factory. And there's Mother, his partner in everything except discipline. How they all survive such escapades as forgetting Frank, Jr., in a roadside restaurant or going on a first date with Dad in the backseat or having their tonsils removed en masse will keep you in stitches. You can be sure they're not only cheaper, they're funnier by the dozen.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:34 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

"The classic story of an oversized family and the parents who held them together"--P. [4] of cover.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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