Carey, Ernestine Gilbreth 1908-2006

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Carey, Ernestine Gilbreth 1908-2006


See index for CA sketch: Born April 5, 1908, in New York, NY; died November 4, 2006, in Fresno, CA. Businessperson and author. Carey was best known for collaborating with her brother Frank on the lightly humorous novel Cheaper by the Dozen. One of twelve children, she was the third-oldest child of engineer parents who were experts in "motion study." In other words, they advised companies on improving worker efficiency. This fascination with efficiency also applied to the home, and Carey's parents made their six sons and six daughters fill out charts to indicate their progress in homework, chores, and other tasks. The scientists also observed their children, making note of how they washed and dried dishes to determine whether or not any movements were being wasted. Despite such surveillance, Carey and her siblings enjoyed a loving home, and her parents' quirks are gently spoofed in Cheaper by the Dozen (1949; revised edition, 1963) and its sequel, Belles on Their Toes (1950). Written with Frank Carey, both were best-selling Book-of-the-Month Club selections. The first installment was adapted twice to film, once in 1950 and a second time in 2003, while the sequel was made into a movie only once in 1952. Carey went on to graduate from Smith College in 1929, and she pursued a career as a buyer. She worked for R.H. Macy & Co. from 1930 to 1944 and for James McCrerry and Co. from 1947 to 1949. When her book met with sucess, Carey left her office job and became a professional writer and lecturer. She also published three solo works: Jumping Jupiter (1952), Rings around Us (1956), and Giddy Moment (1958).



Chicago Tribune, November 7, 2006, section 2, p. 9.

Los Angeles Times, November 7, 2006, p. B10.

New York Times, November 6, 2006, p. A21.

Washington Post, November 10, 2006, p. B6.

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Carey, Ernestine Gilbreth 1908-2006

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