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Lillian Moller Gilbreth

Image of Lillian Moller Gilbreth

Image courtesy of the Special Collections & University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries, New Brunswick, NJ

Lillian Moller Gilbreth (1878-1972) of Montclair, New Jersey was a pioneer in engineering and scientific management.

She and her husband were the parents of twelve children and the subject of a book, titled Cheaper by the Dozen, about their application of scientific management principles to the home.









Des Jardins, Julie. Lillian Gilbreth: Redefining Domesticity. Lives of American Women, 

edited by Carol Berkin. Boulder, CA: Westview Press, 2013.

Gilbreth, Lillian Moller. As I remember: an autobiography. Norcross, Ga: Engineering & Management Press, 1998. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/38390516

Lancaster, Jane. Making Time: Lilian Moller Gilbreth – A Life Beyond “Cheaper by the Dozen.” Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2004.

Alchon, Guy. “Lillian Gilbreth and the Science of Management, 1900-1920.” Essays in Economic & Business History

Bullough, Vern L. “Merchandising the Sanitary Napkin: Lillian Gilbreth’s 1927.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture & Society 10, no. 3 (1985): 615-627.

Graham, Laurel D. “Lillian Gilbreth’s Psychologically Enriched Scientific Management of Women Consumers.” Journal of Historical Research in Marketing 5, no. 3 (2013): 351-369.

Jane, Whitney Gibson, Russell W. Clayton, Jack Deem, Jacqueline E. Einstein, and Erin L. Henry. “Viewing the Work of Lillian M. Gilbreth through the Lens of Critical Biography.” Journal of Management History 21, no. 3 (2015): 288-308.

Krenn, Mario. “From Scientific Management to Homemaking: Lillian M. Gilbreth’s Contributions to the Development of Management Thought.” Management & Organizational History 6, no. 2 (May 2011): 145–61.


Questions to Explore

What influenced Gilbreth’s interest in engineering and scientific management?

How did Gilbreth apply the application of scientific management principles to the home?

What are some things Gilbreth and her husband learned raising 12 children that was implicated in their book ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’?

Additional Resources

Des Jardins Julie. 2013. Lillian Gilbreth : Redefining Domesticity. Boulder Colo: Westview Press. http://literati.credoreference.com/content/title/perslamlill.

Lancaster, Jane. Making Time : Lillian Moller Gilbreth–a Life Beyond “Cheaper by the Dozen.” Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2004.

Graham Laurel. 1998. Managing on Her Own : Dr. Lillian Gilbreth and Women’s Work in the Interwar Era. Norcross Ga: Engineering & Management Press.