This article offers a close examination of the early twentieth-century studies of surgical motion conducted by Frank Gilbreth, the celebrated industrial efficiency expert. The willingness of surgeons to submit to Gilbreth's studies challenges conventional historical narratives, which have read these studies primarily as examples of the individual-effacing effects of technocracy. Through an exploration of the multiple motivations that brought surgeons and Gilbreth together, the article raises new interpretive possibilities for the study of American medicine, and also of industrial work and American culture in this period.

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