Lillian Gilbreth is a stunning example of female ingenuity in the early twentieth century. At a time when women were standard fixtures in the home and barely accepted in many professions, Gilbreth excelled in both spheres, concurrently winning honors as 'Engineer of the Year' and 'Mother of the Year'. This accessible, engaging introduction to the life of Lillian Gilbreth examines her pivotal role in establishing the discipline of industrial psychology, her work as an engineer of domestic management and home economics, and her role as mother of twelve children - made famous by the book, and later movie, Cheaper by the Dozen. This book examines the life of an exceptional woman who was able to negotiate the divide between the public and domestic spheres and define it on her terms.
About the Lives of American Women series: selected and edited by renowned women's historian Carol Berkin, these brief biographies are designed for use in undergraduate courses. Rather than a comprehensive approach, each biography focuses instead on a particular aspect of a women's life that is emblematic of her time, or which made her a pivotal figure in the era. The emphasis is on a 'good read' featuring accessible writing and compelling narratives, without sacrificing sound scholarship and academic integrity. Primary sources at the end of each biography reveal the subject's perspective in her own words. Study questions and an annotated bibliography support the student reader.
About the Author
Julie Des Jardins is professor of history at Baruch College. She has published two books, Women and the Historical Enterprise in America: Gender, Race, and the Politics of Memory, 18801945 and The Madame Curie Complex: The Hidden History of Women in Science.
Series Editor Carol Berkin is a well-known women's historian and the author of many popular and scholarly books, including Civil War Wives. She is Professor of History Emerita at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and is a member of the Society of American Historians.
Table of Contents
Series Editor's Foreword ix
Author's Preface xi
1 Lillie Moller's Victorian World, 1878-1895 1
2 College and Adventure: The Sensibilities of a New Woman, 1896-1904 17
3 The Gilbreths' Brand of Companionate Marriage, 1904-1908 36
4 Scientific Management and the Human Element in the Progressive Age, 1909-1911 52
5 Dailiness in Providence, 1912-1916 70
6 Battles on the Home Front and War Front, 1916-1918 84
7 Montclair: An Experiment in Science and Domesticity, 1919-1924 98
8 The Widow: Sexism and Breadwinning, 1924-1928 113
9 Systematizing Women's Operations During the Depression, 1929-1939 128
Afterword: Domesticity on Her Terms 144
Primary Sources: Gilbreth Management Desk Brochure 153
Study Questions 159
Notes and Bibliography 160