Cheaper By The Dozen – Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

81rD3tXNwALThis is a very charming, funny, true book about Frank and Lillian Gilbreth who married in 1904 and became partners in a business consulting firm. We still use many of their methods today. They aren’t best know for their work, however, but for having 12 children — two of whom wrote this book. Frank is the larger-than-life central character who saw his family as a laboratory for time-and-motion studies, requiring them, for example, to run whenever they heard a whistle blow. He smoked cigars, was a snazzy dresser and drove like a madman. Back then, cars were still a novelty. An open Pierce Arrow crammed with 12 kids was a show stopper. Frank knew how to handle hecklers. When one guy shouted, “Say, Noah, what are you doing with that Ark?” Frank replied, “Collecting animals like the good Lord told me . . . All I need now is a jackass.  Hop in.” He died a young man. Lillian picked up his work, becoming widely respected in a man’s world, but Frank’s passing left a void in the family impossible to fill.

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