October 13, 2009

Motion Study


At first glance, this is a cool picture, capturing a worker's movements for study. But if you know about Frank and Lillian Gilbreth and their 12 children and their research in efficiency and modernizing the work place, it becomes fascinating. (Heck, I'm pretty sre I still wash myself the Gilbreth way every morning.)

Gelatin silver print
1914, photographer Frank Gilbreth
from The Smithsonian Institute

5 comments:

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Would you please explain the Gilbreth body washing method? Just curious and bored, obviously.

Love,

SB

Steph(anie) said...

Awaiting the answer to SB's comment.

downtown guy said...

There's this whole bit in "Cheaper By the Dozen" (the book written by some of their kids about their childhoods) in which Frank explains how they should wash with maximum efficiency. It sort of involves starting at the top and going around and down, hitting all the major spots in turn.

Ms. Moon said...

I wonder if Frank timed Lillian while she was in labor each time, saying, "Lillian, you are not doing this efficiently! You could be writing up our data from the last project while you are giving birth!"

downtown guy said...

If I remember correctly, he was a little sad that they couldn't have all their kids in one big litter, like puppies.