Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr.

Frank Bunker Gilbreth (* July 7, 1868 in Fairfield, Maine, † June 14, 1924 in Montclair, New Jersey) applies in addition to Frederick Winslow Taylor as one of the founders of the company philosophy, which by its advocates as Scientific Management, or in a more critical view is referred to as Taylorism.


Gilbreth had only a high school graduation. He began his career as a bricklayer. As Gilbreth masons at work was watching, it occurred to him that any unnecessary wasted power. The search for the optimal method of work is no longer let him go. He worked his way up to independent contractors and inventors. In contrast to Taylor Gilbreth was less interested in an increase in labor supply than at the optimal method of work and job design. He also drew fatigue-free work, the instructions of the workers and the like in the center of his research. Gilbreth founded the movement studies. Therefore, he used the film and a follower timepiece.

According to his theory, all human movements on 17 basic movement elements ( Therbligs ) can be traced back. To determine the optimal method of working, he eliminated every now therblig, did not serve the work progress. He is regarded as the founder of the system of predetermined times. Therblig way, is the inverse of Gilbreth when viewed TH as a letter.

His wife, who holds a doctorate organizational psychologist Lillian Gilbreth Evelyn, who had previously worked intensively with Gilbreth, put the joint work after his death in 1924 alone and successfully continued, and took over the role of the breadwinner of the family. However, Mrs. Gilbreth published under the name of her deceased husband, as their contemporaries did not take a woman in a typically male profession seriously.

Private life

Frank Gilbreth died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of only 55 years ago when he was on the phone at the station. His wife Lillian Evelyn Gilbreth was left with 12 children.

Gilbreth as book and film character

Frank Gilbreth became famous not only for his work, but also thanks to the written by Ernestine Gilbreth Carey his two children and Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr. books on her own family:

  • Cheaper By The Dozen, ISBN 0 - 06-008460 -X ( German: Cheaper by the Dozen, ISBN 3499117215 ), which summarizes the events of the youth of Lilian Moller Gilbreth and Frank Bunker Gilbreth until his death, and
  • Belles on Their Toes, ISBN 0-690-13023-6 ( German: From children are people, ISBN 3442072565 ), which depicts the family life after the death of his father.

Both books deal humorously with his and her work and thereby influenced family life and were in the 1950s, under the titles of novels ( Cheaper by the Dozen ( Cheaper by the Dozen, 1950) and Belles on Their Toes ( In the dozen marriageable, 1952 ) ) filmed in which he was played by Clifton Webb.

Remakes of movies

In 2003, a remake of the first film with the same title was Cheaper by the Dozen ( Cheaper by the Dozen ), which uses only the subject of a large family of twelve children, but Baker is, and the title of the first book. In 2005, the film received a sequel in similar style, Cheaper by the Dozen 2 ( Cheaper by the Dozen 2). 2011, the third part, entitled Cheaper by the Dozen 3 ( Cheaper by the Dozen 3) hit theaters.


  • Along with Lillian Moller Gilbreth: The magic of movement studies, photography and film in the service of psycho-technique and the Scientific management. Edited by: Bernd Stegler, Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Paderborn, 2012.