Via Instapundit, here’s an article about Lillian Gilbreth and the invention of the modern kitchen. If you’ve read Cheaper by the Dozen, the Gilbreth name will be familiar to you. (If you haven’t, go do so now.) Gilbreth was the wife of Frank Gilbreth; she and her husband were pioneers in the area of motion study and eliminating needless motions from different kinds of industrial work. After his death, she began to revise the kitchen along the same lines; the modern kitchen “work triangle” comes directly from her work.
According to the lore of Jane’s family, they’ve got a mild Gilbreth connection. In Cheaper by the Dozen, there’s a scene where Frank is left to manage the children (they had twelve) while Lillian is away for the day. When she returns, he says something like, “They were no trouble, except for that red-haired kid. Him I had to speak to several times.” And Lillian said, “But Frank, he’s not ours. He lives next door.” Jane’s Uncle Dudley always claimed to be the red-haired kid.