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How one family built life hack culture

The real Cheaper by the Dozen family was so much better.

Do we live by this family’s rules?

The Gilbreth family — headed by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth — is best known for being the basis for the Cheaper by the Dozen movies (both the 1950 film and the modern franchise). But they were also pioneers in industrial engineering, efficiency, and even the “life hack” culture that’s familiar today. As the above video shows, this amazing family did a lot to shape how we think about our daily lives.

Through groundbreaking time and motion studies, the Gilbreths analyzed the way we work in a quest to make many tasks more efficient (you can read some of their co-authored work at the Internet Archive).

It’s a story with some fascinating twists and turns. Watch the video above to learn how this famous family changed how we think about efficiency.

You can find this video and all of Vox’s videos on YouTube. And if you’re interested in supporting our video journalism, you can become a member of the Vox Video Lab on YouTube.

About Aaron Rupar

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