Frank Gilbreth’s efficiency studies (1910-1924)

The motion study man

Frank B Gilbreth was one of the very first efficiency experts — he helped companies minimize the number of steps (and, therefore, the amount of time) required to get a given task done. His twelve kids were his first guinea pigs, and experienced firsthand how to become more efficient at doing everything from showering to having a tonsillectomy. Two of his children worked together to write a family memoir, Cheaper by the Dozen.

Below is a highlight reel of some of Gilbreth’s work analysis films, based on footage shot between 1910 and 1924. From this, his motion study technique was developed.

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