History of Quality Control

Paul Simpson

Trusted Information Resource
Thanks for the explanation, Wes. Having written my share of stuff over the years - both here informally and for some more formal applications I am conscious of the dangers. Particularly when there are only so many ways of stringing the same set of facts together!


Wes, thanks.


Not quoting proper sources is unacceptable. Not finding the original source for information is borderline.

I am in a quality control class right now that had Juran's Trilogy Diagram. They did provide the source, but completely left off a couple of sections of the diagram. Why? Did they not agree? Or did they even look at the original diagram?

That's why I provided the source on this subject that I did. As a premier journal, they heavily cite their sources, and they are good sources, too. Also, authors that do the work should get the credit.


Quite Involved in Discussions
I saw that nobody referred to: Juran's quality handbook fifth edition
section 35 Quality and society
see also
35.1 The background
36 Quality and the national culture
37 Quality in developing countries
38 Quality in Western Europe
39 Quality in central and eastern Europe
40 Quality in the Unated states
41 Quality in japan
42 Quality in the people's republic of china ( historical backround very interesting too)

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
To build on what Jim said about quality and military: U.S. quality systems were pumped up after the USS Thresher was lost in 1963.

Even though the reasons for Thresher's loss are still argued (submariners I've spoken with maintain the conspiracy theory) the truth is that the modern Navy's quality systems were redesigned right after Thresher. Here's a link.

Let's not forget Philip Crosby's Zero Defects program. From Wikipedia:
The Martin Company (later Martin Marietta after a 1961 merger) was awarded a CPFF (cost-plus-fixed-fee) contract for research, development, and initial production of the Pershing system under the technical supervision and concept control of the government. As Martin's quality control manager for the Pershing, Phil Crosby developed the concept of Zero Defects that enhanced the production and reliability of the system.

C Logan

Here is a start

"In the beginning God created......he saw all that he had created and it was good." (Genesis) Despite what should have been perfect planning and execution it was necessary to reject all mankind (apart from Noah). It is hard to say if the planning and execution were better the second time or the customer's requirements were less.

Good one, a unique perspective unthought of. :agree1:

Howard Lee

In The Metrology Handbook, edited by Jay Bucher in Chapter One, History and Philosophy of Metrology/Calibration, it tells about the Royal Cubit in Ancient Egypt that was the carved out of stone and the length of Pharoh's arm. Certain slaves were keepers of the working cubits that were used to make measurements and made of wood. These slaves were required to bring in the working cubits every full moon to be compared to the Royal Cubit or face a penalty of death. It seems quality was taken pretty seriously in Ancient Egypt.:whip:
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Paul Simpson

Trusted Information Resource
It's getting close! Thanks to all who have taken the time to provide input to the article. Please find attached a version that is almost complete.

Any comments gratefully received!


  • 070322 History of Quality.pdf
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Paul Simpson

Trusted Information Resource
I learned this one in a Strategic Planning training session about 10 years ago. See the 3rd paragraph of Chapter VI The Unity of the Social Process, in The New State, written by Mary Parker Follett in 1918. The presenter put forth the suggestion that this was the first documented introduction of the the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle and the grand idea of continual improvement. Mary Parker Follett Website.

Thanks, Icy, not one I found. I will have a look!
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