Site Updated 2019-11-27

You're Beyond Cheaper by the Dozen...
  Welcome to the Real Gilbreth Family!

You've found the world of one of America's most fascinating families.

The entire Gilbreth family, 1925

The Gilbreth family in 1924, shortly before Frank Bunker Gilbreth Sr's death, with all eleven children who survived to adulthood. Standing are Fred, Dan and Jack. Seated are Frank Jr, Martha, Dr. Lillian Moller Gilbreth, Frank Sr, Ernestine and Anne. On laps are Jane and Bob. Seated in front are Bill and Lillian Jr. (Original image from Purdue University archives)

This site has two purposes:

What's Here?

A growing amount about the Gilbreth family, including ancestors, family branches and their interlocking worlds—family life in the early part of the 20th Century, the development of efficiency engineering, the careers of some astounding women who greatly exceeded educational and career norms of the day and much more.

There's already a lot of solid information here, mostly biographical, and more is being added on a regular basis. I hope a few unfinished corners won't drive anyone away.

I have started to include essays that are developing from my research, which often go much further and into more detail than is appropriate for the book. Many of these represent brand-new investigation into collateral topics—and my dedication to telling a complete and accurate tale, not one based on long-recycled and well-polished snippets. They can be found at that link or under Resources from the menu, and I invite comment and critique on each, separately from the main thrust here.

What's Coming?

More. Much more. I have extensive archives of related material and years of research on hand, and I plan to put much of it up here for public reference and entertainment. (Not as much as I plan to put into the forthcoming book, but I do have to get you to buy it, after all!)

Please do feel free to connect with me if you are at all interested in ongoing efforts, discussion and participation. I hope to build on the knowledge and interest of everyone even lightly concerned with the topic, whether they are from the engineering community, just fans and admirers of this wonderful family and its lasting accomplishments or — please! — family themselves.

So, if you share my interest in the Gilbreth family, to any degree, drop me a note. Comments, questions, encouragement, ideas and big family jokes I haven't heard all welcome.

I'm James Gifford, and no, I'm