How this family built life hack culture

  • Published: 02 April 2019
  • They inspired “Cheaper by the Dozen.” But their story is far more interesting than a movie.

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    This famous family was fascinating, unique, and contributed to the way we live today.

    In this pilot episode of History Club, Vox’s Phil Edwards and Coleman Lowndes discuss the incredible Gilbreth story, with all its twists and turns.

    The Gilbreth family became famous in the film "Cheaper By The Dozen" but they were far more interesting than the most recent incarnation. Though the 1950 movie came closer to the truth, the real Gilbreths were pioneers in home life and the business world.

    Frank and Lillian Gilbreth were equal partners in their unique business of time efficiency. Frank Gilbreth brought a construction background, while Lillian was the psychological half. Together, their time and motion studies mixed analysis and psychology in a seamless fashion.

    Later on, Lillian led their business alone — and her pivot to home life has a clear connection to the life hack culture we live in today.

    Note: The headline for this video has been updated since publishing.
    Previous headline: How this woman built life hack culture is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

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Comments • 3 776

  • Slapstick Genius
    Slapstick Genius  5 days back

    I’ve watched a Czech cartoon called pat and mat with my brother on Apple TV. The titular characters are awesome life hackers!

    • jup1828
      jup1828  2 weeks back

      Moana....let phil and colman keep making these

      • duvine
        duvine  4 weeks back

        Odd how in measuring efficiency time, no one thought of bureaucracy "red tape" as a time stopper & delayer of progress; into the equation.

        • Jennifer Y
          Jennifer Y  1 months back

          more please

          • Jody Hepperly
            Jody Hepperly  2 months back

            Dude on the left looks a lot like John Vanderslice!

            • Music Lover
              Music Lover  3 months back

              Howard Hughes would make a great episode because he was so outlandish, eccentric and weird.

              • heysyasya
                heysyasya  3 months back

                Mona, let Phil and Coleman keep making this 🙌🏻

                • mary mary
                  mary mary  4 months back

                  I thought we'd be seeing something about the Gilbreath family. Only a blurb.

                  • wander*wish
                    wander*wish  4 months back

                    Is that book titled 'Beautiful Minecraft' behind him?

                    • B bo
                      B bo  4 months back

                      Seems like her work would be very appealing to golf players looking to understand how a proper swing can improve accuracy including distance and direction.

                      • Brandon Stennett
                        Brandon Stennett  4 months back

                        Hey ,favor could you guys explain the NO BAIL SWEDEN SITUATION ? would help us ASAP.

                        • yonatan granot
                          yonatan granot  4 months back

                          Am I the only one who loves the content but hates them! Their dynamics is terrible

                          • Petitio Principii
                            Petitio Principii  4 months back

                            They're certainly efficient procreators.

                            • Ingrid Pinzón
                              Ingrid Pinzón  5 months back

                              I loved it, guys! Keep going with it.

                              • Chelsea Laraman
                                Chelsea Laraman  5 months back

                                Please mona

                                • German Flores
                                  German Flores  5 months back

                                  wtf is that hashtag

                                  • triskut
                                    triskut  5 months back

                                    I LOVE that he loves Amelia Earhart

                                    • elira matira
                                      elira matira  5 months back

                                      Why you don't make similar video to Hong Kong but about Georgia

                                      • Hannah Chebeleu
                                        Hannah Chebeleu  5 months back

                                        Mona pls

                                        • prarthna bhaththiwala
                                          prarthna bhaththiwala  5 months back

                                          #pleasemona keep making this videos

                                          • Ikra Islam
                                            Ikra Islam  5 months back

                                            #pleasemona let Coleman continue making these films

                                            • L Mo
                                              L Mo  5 months back

                                              A big part of the book their kids wrote “cheaper by the dozen” discusses how they were the ones to invent the QWERTY typewriter layout

                                              • Ebenezer Kalarama
                                                Ebenezer Kalarama  4 weeks back

                                                Wasn't that the Dvorak keyboard? Sadly never adopted widely.

                                            • Luiz de França Afonso Ferreira Filho


                                              • Zuzanka Baouardy
                                                Zuzanka Baouardy  5 months back


                                                • Dwayne Shayne
                                                  Dwayne Shayne  5 months back

                                                  Anybody notice how the audio skips at 1:44

                                                  • Jocelyn Leclerc
                                                    Jocelyn Leclerc  5 months back

                                                    I wanted to watch this video because the topic seemed interesting but i couldn’t make it past this god awful format and long intro to tell you how the show is going to go

                                                    • Kathleen H
                                                      Kathleen H  5 months back


                                                      • Mujtaba Rafid Ibrahim
                                                        Mujtaba Rafid Ibrahim  5 months back


                                                        • random individual
                                                          random individual  5 months back


                                                          • random individual
                                                            random individual  5 months back


                                                            • Tryo707
                                                              Tryo707  5 months back

                                                              If they don't green light this, we gunna get Mona. She gone wish she done right when we done with her.

                                                              • Kate
                                                                Kate  5 months back


                                                                • t1n
                                                                  t1n  5 months back

                                                                  Love it!

                                                                  • Gabriel Amador
                                                                    Gabriel Amador  5 months back

                                                                    #pleasemona ✨

                                                                    • Matthew Anderson
                                                                      Matthew Anderson  5 months back


                                                                      • Jeff Human
                                                                        Jeff Human  5 months back

                                                                        This is all over the place. Your story line needs more structure

                                                                        • Aditya Nath
                                                                          Aditya Nath  5 months back

                                                                          One every week

                                                                          • Human Centered
                                                                            Human Centered  5 months back


                                                                            • Noe Alejandro Hernandez
                                                                              Noe Alejandro Hernandez  5 months back

                                                                              #pleasemona Let Phil and Coleman continue this series.

                                                                              • aeonjoey
                                                                                aeonjoey  5 months back

                                                                                Video starts at 1:50 you're welcome.

                                                                                • aeonjoey
                                                                                  aeonjoey  5 months back

                                                                                  what even is this? did i stumble onto someone's podcast uncut recording?

                                                                                  • mololongo83
                                                                                    mololongo83  5 months back


                                                                                    • Fishisemily
                                                                                      Fishisemily  5 months back


                                                                                      • fychxhs
                                                                                        fychxhs  6 months back


                                                                                        • simply elesay
                                                                                          simply elesay  6 months back

                                                                                          So, the Steve Martin version is an obscene remake of a 1950 film that was actually about the real Gilbreth family (based on books written by their children). It also has a sequel named Bells On Their Toes. They are quite good and star Clifton Webb and Myrna Loy.

                                                                                          I REFUSE to watch that horrible remake. The trailer was enough for me.

                                                                                          • lisbel mijares
                                                                                            lisbel mijares  6 months back


                                                                                            • janyour
                                                                                              janyour  6 months back

                                                                                              #pleasemona please let them do more of this stuff

                                                                                              • D. Sanders
                                                                                                D. Sanders  6 months back