I have a presentation to make and while i somewhat recall the connection between the space shuttle and the Romans, I can't remember what part of the space shuttle it was.
What i'm talking about is : there is a part of the spaceshuttle (payload compartment?) that had to be redesigned to fit onto a truck to be shipped from where it was manufactured. The truck axle is a particular size because it stems from the railroad car axles, which are a particular size because of the width of the railroad track, which is a particular width because of the ruts in the road which fit the axles of wagons which were designed to fit within the width of the early roads, which were made that size to fit 4 Roman soldiers walking abreast.
Or something to that effect. It's the cute little example of how standards come into being and how they continue to affect things long after.
Although I'm told that modern ISO came into play as a result of WWII military weapons standards, this other one is more dramatic.
The history of standardization. Do you know the example of the road width? That's the one that I'm wanting. I don't remember all the particulars - or at least I'm not sure if it's exactly right the way I remember it.
So I guess I shouldn't have referred to it as ISO history, but rather standards history.
This is what you wanted. It won't take 1 minute to show. Is this really what you want for a presentation. or, is just a sort of ice breaker to get the show on the road?
Railroad Track Width
Why are the Railroad Tracks 4 feet 8.5 inches apart?
The English built their railroads to this size and so when America was developing it's railway system, English expatriates used the same methods and guages.
Why did the England build them like that? Their railways were built by people that built the pri-railroad tramways, and thats the guage they used.
Why did tramways and wagons have that particular wheel spacing? Wheels would break on the old long distance roads in England if other than the standard wheel spacing was used because of the ruts in the road.
Who built the old rutted roads? The first roads built in Europe were built by Imperial Rome for the legions. The ruts in the road were formed by Roman chariots and everyone else had to match these wheel spacings or else destroy their own wagon wheels.
Why did the romans use this wheel spacing? Because the chariots were just wide enough for two horses.
An interesting twist to this is......The next time you see a Space Shuttle on the launch pad, notice the two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These solid rocket boosters are made by Thiokol in Utah. Nasa engineers wanted them larger in diameter, but because these are shipped from Utah on the railroad, they must fit through several tunnels.
So it is interesting that the width of the rails can be traced back to the width of the rumps of two old Roman chariot horses. And today, the world's most advanced transportation system (the Space Shuttle) is limited by a system determined over two thousand years ago.
> Although I'm told that modern ISO came into play as a
> result of WWII military weapons standards
If you're referring to ISO 9001 (and it's companions) - Not so. That IS part of the history of quality assurance and the role the US government plays in setting 'quality' standards (or did for many years). But - you can in reality take that back to the Civil War (in the US) where military contractors were supplying bad product. Even worse, unintential bad product was less of an issue (like bullets and such) than the issue of outright fraud (bullets with little or no gun powder - stuff like that - on purpose).
Page through the first part of http://Elsmar.com/Imp/ ISO 9001 is a result of the European Common Market of the 1960's and they were looking for liability control. I'd go through the whole bit but most of it's in the link I posted.
This is excerpt from my excellent Powerpoint Presentation on ISO that I uploaded here just for you!
•(AQAP) Allied Quality Assurance Publication..WW11. A series of publications on everything from production efficiency to selection of suppliers.
•AQAP Series was adopted by the UK Ministry of Defense for the British Arms Forces.
•A trickle down effect was more organizations began to require Quality Assurance Programs from their Suppliers.
•1979 British Standard (BS) 5750 adopted based largely on the AQAP Series. The British version addressed the diversity issues emerging in the requirements for different organizations
•BS 5750 was so effective, it was adopted with very little changes by ISO in 1987 as ISO 9000.
•The formation of the European Union and the perception that it (ISO) was required in order to do business with Europe, lead to the widespread acceptance of the ISO series.
Ok - you made me do it. You're detailing the history of different quality 'specs' or 'standards'. Which is fine. But not the whole story.
In the 1960's when the common market was all the rage, they (governments) started looking at reconciling liability issues between countries. I live in France and buy a German made product. It fails. What recourse do I have? What it the failure injures or kills? Stuff like that.
Many different standards were looked at but the ones that closest fit the bill were quality standards of one sort or another. These are the ones most presentations cite. Here you must remember why people have said for years - and still say - and I still say - ISO 9001 has nothing to do with the quality of a product. The carryover from the sources is a hangover. It is true that these standards were typically originated because of war profiteering (more than for 'quality' reasons). And it is true that the standards they were looking at were WW II babies - almost. Standards like them also came out of WW I and our Civil War. When doing a presentation like this, the question becomes - How far back do you want to go and how detailed do you want to be? WW II and the standards from that time era are far enough for most people.
In 1978-9 the committee for ISO 9001 was formed. It took them about 9 years (1987 was the release) to write 12 pages. (And we complain about how long it takes to switch an ISO manual from the 1994 format to the 2000 format - would that we could take 10 years or so...)
ISO 9001 is, and has been, a document requiring consistency in manufacturing/production and defined responsibilities. Not quality. Well, I say that with some hesitation. As we all know, the folks pulling all this together - sitting on the committees - are from big corporations. QS-9000 has influenced the 2000 version. Significantly (and in my opinion negatively). It is, none the less, the first version where one can really say ISO 9001 has something to do with quality.
My source for the liability aspect - the real reason ISO 9001 came about - was an English fellow who I believe I cited once in a thread in an explaination. He was my instructor in my first Lead Audiitor Course in early 1994 and sat on the original ISO 9001 committee in the late 1970's and early 1980's. If need be (in another thread there's a question of validity of posts being discussed) I can get the old book from the garage shelf and get his name.
So - that's the scoop - as I know it. Of course, I could be wrong. :thedeal: