Re: Before recent Quality Standards
Hundreds of years before there were organizations devoted solely to quality regulation, the usefulness of quality marks was recognized.
1. In many European countries and perhaps in other places as well, suppliers of goods and services to royalty were permitted to mark their premises and packaging, and reference in their marketing generally, that they were "Purveyors to the Queen" or whatever...the point being that they'd been chosen by responsible and knowledgeable persons as the best, and therefore could be trusted by persons with less ability to judge all the available offerings in similar depth to be of high quality and worth.
2. In many European countries and perhaps in other places as well, before the advent of mass manufacturing with its production lines and simplified operations, complex good were produced by craftsmen. Such craftsmen typically belonged to a self-governing organization...a craft or trade union...that had as its organizational location a building called a "hall". Members of that hall were permitted to place on the goods they made a "hallmark", indicating that the item in question had been made by a craftsman that had been judged by a recognized group of highly skilled masters and sometimes senior journeymen to have satisfactorily completed the apprenticeship requirements of the craft hall, and therefore the hallmarked object could be trusted by persons with less ability to judge all the available offerings in similar depth to be of high quality and worth.
The highest quality goods of all were those produced by journeymen wishing to advance to the master ranks. They would produce a special example-piece of their best work and submit it to the masters of their hall. If it passed muster they became a master; if it failed it was destroyed. These objects were marked not only with their hallmark but also as master-pieces, and commanded general respect as examples of the highest quality.
Hallmarks of course were the immediate antecedent of trademarks, applied by businesses instead of by the craftsmen they employed to indicate that the marked object met the quality standards of that business.