You are here:

FREE Newsletter

Lillian Moller Gilbreth (1878-1972)
Lillian Gilbreth and Frank Gilbreth - The Birth of Ergonomics
Lillian Moller GilbrethLillian Gilbreth
More of Lillian Gilbreth
Lillian Gilbreth
"Mother of Modern Management"

Mother of Modern Management
Lillian Gilbreth, together with her husband Frank Gilbreth, pioneered industrial management techniques still in use today.

Lillian Gilbreth - Frank Gilbreth
The Gilbreth's carried out numerous studies of industrial efficiency between 1910 and 1940.

Lillian Moller Gilbreth
In 1952, J. W. McKenney declared Lillian Gilbreth "The World's Greatest Woman Engineer."

Making a Difference
Lillian Gilbreth (1878-1972) - a career of 'firsts' for mother of twelve.

Related Innovations
Women Inventors 
Home Innovations 
Kitchen Appliances 
Ergonomics Society
Ergoweb - The Trusted Source for Ergonomics
Safety and Health : Ergonomics
Cornell University Ergonomics Web
Posture, Movement and Ergonomics
International Ergonomics Association
Office Ergonomics Training

Lillian Moller Gilbreth was an inventor, author, industrial engineer, industrial psychologist, and mother of twelve children. A pioneer in ergonomics, Gilbreth patented many kitchen appliances including an electric food mixer, shelves inside refrigerator doors, and the famous trash can with a foot-pedal lid-opener. Lillian Gilbreth is best known for her work to help workers in industry with her classic Time & Motion Studies, which supported work simplification and industrial efficiency. Lillian Gilbreth was one of the first scientists to recognized the effects of stress and lack of sleep on the worker.

After the death of her husband Frank Gilbreth with whom she had co-authored many of the worker studies and were partners in the management consulting firm of Gilbreth, Inc., Lillian Gilbreth continued her work and turned her attention to the household worker and increasing the efficiency of kitchen appliances.

Lillian Gilbreth was an industrial engineer for General Electric and worked on improving kitchen designs. Gilbreth interviewed over 4,000 women to design the proper height for stoves, sinks, and other kitchen fixtures. In 1966, she became the fist women to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

What is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics is essentially fitting the workplace to the worker. It involves the application of knowledge about human capacities and limitations to the design of workplaces, jobs, tasks, tools, equipment, and the environment.

The goal of ergonomics in the workplace is to prevent injuries and illnesses (work-related musculoskeletal disorders or WMDs) by reducing or eliminating worker exposure to occupational hazards. These hazards include:

  • Awkward postures 
  • Repetition 
  • Force 
  • Mechanical compression 
  • Duration 
  • Vibration 
  • Temperature extremes 
©Mary Bellis
Reference -

Next page > The History of Kitchen Appliances

From Mary Bellis,
Your Guide to Inventors.
FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!

Important disclaimer information about this About site.

Newsletters & RSSEmail to a friendAdd to
All Topics | Email Article | |
Our Story | Be a Guide | Advertising Info | News & Events | Work at About | Site Map | Reprints | Help
User Agreement | Ethics Policy | Patent Info. | Privacy Policy | Kids' Privacy Policy

©2006 About, Inc., A part of The New York Times Company. All rights reserved.
Mental Health

Depression Self-Test Vitamins for Depression? Bipolar Red Flags Coping With Disasters Celebrities With Bipolar

What's Hot

Gyroscopes - Elmer Sperry and Charles Stark Draper Gyroscope...Angel AlcalaThe History of the BikiniRusi Taleyarkhan Jack Johnson