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Women in the Nineteenth Century Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 18 May 2017

Women in the Nineteenth Century

Contributions to Psychology: Dr. Gilbreth was one of those rare breed of individuals who achieved widespread acclaim in more than one discipline, psychology and engineering. Dr. Lillian Gilbreth and her husband Frank (who never went to college) created the field of time and motion study. Although her doctorate was in psychology, she managed to blaze paths in engineering where she achieved many firsts and in psychology.

Dr. Gilbreth’s brought and recognition of the importance of psychology to the work place and was the first person to integrate psychological concepts into industrial management, but she achieved as many, perhaps more accolades and honors in engineering as in psychology. Dr. Gilbreth’s ideas were not widely adopted during her lifetime (Maisel, Merry and Laura Smart, 1997), but she managed to blaze a path that management would follow in the future.

Frank focused on the technical aspects of worker efficiency and Lillian focused on the human, psychological aspects such as the importance of job satisfaction, worker fatigue, direct and indirect incentives to motivate workers towards greater productivity and efficiency. (Maisel, Merry and Laura Smart, 1997) Ultimately, their work on worker motions was combined with Frederick Taylor’s work on techniques of time efficiency in the workplace. This combination evolved into time and motion studies, or time-motion studies, that improve workplace efficiency by reducing the number of motions used to perform a task.

Passing: Dr. Gilbreth picked up her husband’s banner which by then had also become her own and continued the pursuit of methods to improve the efficiency of business for nearly five decades after his death. She remained active and worked tirelessly well into her 80s. She was successful in pursuing a career while simultaneously leading a good married and family life until her passing at the age of 92. She was so successful at what she did that in 1944, the California Monthly called her “a genius in the art of living. ”

During her lifetime, Dr.  Gilbreth achieved a lot, won many accolades and awards and managed to leave an admirable legacy of accomplishments to inspire others. Lillian Gilbreth died on January 2, 1972 at the age of 94 in Phoenix, Arizona. Summary and Conclusion: Frank and Lillian Gilbreth are the American industrial psychologists who are credited with inventing the field of time and motion study. Today, perhaps they are best known best known through the biographical 1950 film and book Cheaper by the Dozen written about their family life and their large family.

Their impact on business and increasing productivity and efficiency in the workplace was tremendous. In their analysis, each task in the workplace is analyzed by recording the therblig units used in a motion and optimizing the motion. Frank and Lillian worked together briefly as a team from their marriage in 1904 until his untimely death in 1924. Then, Dr. Gilbreth picked up the banner alone and continued to bear it and refine it. She lectured and taught engineering at institutions around the US and elsewhere.

Today, Dr. Gilbreth and her husband Frank are recognized pioneers in the field of time and motion study and workplace efficiency.


Burki, Mary Ann Mason, (1997). “Women in the Nineteenth Century as Seen through History and Literature. ” The History Teacher. Feb. , 1975: 193+. JSTOR. U of L Library. March 22, 2005. <<http://www. jstor. org>> Carey, Ernestine G. , and Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. (1948, 1963). Cheaper by the Dozen, New York, NY: Crowell. Carey, Ernestine G. , and Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. (1950). Belles on Their Toes, New York, NY: Crowell.

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