Frank and Lillian Gilbreth were instrumental in blazing the trail for time and motion study. They were some of the first efficiency experts. Their field of expertise was to reduce the number of motions required to perform a task efficiently. In fact, Gilbreth's studies on doctors performing surgery helped lead to the current method of surgical nurses handing surgeons the required instruments.
The Gilbreth family had some fame in their own time, but really became famous after two of the 12 children in the family, Frank Jr. and Ernestine, wrote the books "Cheaper by the Dozen" and "Belles on Their Toes." Both books were bestsellers and movies were also made of the books, both starring Myrna Loy as Lillian Gilbreth. Clifton Webb played Frank Gilbreth Sr. in "Cheaper."
No article about motion study is complete without a mention of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth.