1948 1st edition "First Printing, December 1948" stated; Thomas Y. Crowell Company publishers, New York; hardbound in orange boards with black lettering on spine; quite good condition with unmarked pages and minimal page ageing; no dust jacket.
Cheaper by the Dozen is a semi-autobiographical novel written by Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, published in 1948. The novel recounts the authors' childhood lives growing up in a household of 12 kids. The bestselling book was later adapted into a feature film by Twentieth Century Fox in 1950 and followed up by the sequel, Belles on Their Toes (1950), which was adapted as a 1952 film.
The book tells the story of time and motion study and efficiency experts Frank Bunker Gilbreth and Lillian Moller Gilbreth, and their children as they reside in Montclair, New Jersey for many years. Lillian Gilbreth was described in the 1940s as “a genius in the art of living.”
The best-selling biographical novel was composed by two of her twelve children who wrote about their childhoods. Gilbreth’s home doubled as a sort of real-world laboratory that tested her and her husband Frank’s ideas about efficiency.
The title comes from one of Frank Sr.'s favorite jokes: it often happened that when he and his family were out driving and stopped at a red light, a pedestrian would ask, "Hey, Mister! How come you got so many kids?" Gilbreth would pretend to ponder the question carefully, and then, just as the light turned green, would say, "Well, they come cheaper by the dozen, you know," and drive off.
In real life, the Gilbreths' second eldest child, Mary, died of diphtheria at age five. The book does not explicitly explain the absence of Mary Gilbreth. It was not until the sequel, Belles on Their Toes, was published in 1950 that her death is mentioned in a footnote.