Standardising Modernities


To consider the modern age without attending to the standardisation of producing and consuming is to miss developments which went beyond work and warfare to penetrate family life, science and the arts.[1] According to the founding General-Secretary of the Australian Commonwealth Engineering Standards Association in 1928 “[t]here is practically no phase of life untouched by the present waste of time and material”.[2] Hence, the drive to eliminate it affected every experience.

To treat standardisation as synonymous with modernisation could involve fewer opportunities for error than will the neglect of its impact.[3] Redressing the want of attention paid to standardization in most accounts of Modernism in the arts must not erase the countervailing tendencies. Those retarding forces were stronger in Australia than in German or the U.S. of A. The task is to track the advance of standardization while accounting for delays and lacunae in its application. Opponents feared the costs, resented the challenge to professional and managerial prerogatives or trade skills. In addition, the resistance gathered support from people whose lives had not been touched by standardization of the economy. That movement threatened their sense of self, to provoke reactions against the squashing of individualism by another stock phrase of the time - “the machine age”.

Interlocks in practice for domestic life, materials, production and the sales efforts.

Plenty of gaps and obstacles, yet standardization became a net tightening over all aspects. Generated an ideology of its own kind and its opposite.

Standardisation moved through phases. Their effects overlapped more as the pace of its application increased and percolated around the globe. Looking back three millennia, this essay sketches the origins of standard measures in currencies, land and time. These three strands were drawn towards each other through their connections with the pricing of labour. The industrial revolution increased the precision essential for scientific testing which contributed to the interchangeability integral to mass production. The competition for world markets, including by war, stimulated government support for the standardizing and simplifying of production through national standards associations. From the 1920s, corporations extended the procedures they were developing for production to the realm of marketing.

The sketch of these developments leads onto four inter-dependent elements in the drive to sustain the rate of profit-taking through standardisation: price-fixing; the disciplining of labour-times, often through piece-rates; cost accounting; and brand labeling. The operations of that quartet of business practices are then enriched by case studies of the standardisation of the colouring agents used by printers and decorators respectively. The account then proceeds from the standardization of colours for inks and paints to the setting-up of Colour Councils to channel consumer preferences.

The survey concludes with the unease caused by standardization as an agent in the contraction of individualism during the machine age of monopolizing capitals. In a revolt against the masses, critics doubted that standardization could preserve standards of quality?. The analysis is rounded off by noticing how Modernist painters responded during the Second World War. Attempts to escape  by transforming it, whether by spiritualising the machine, or escaping its discipline in the dream-world of Surrealism.

Conclude with what?????

Capitalists faced conflicting needs. They could profit from multiplying the variety in consumer items only by contracting the variants in their production equipment. That standardization of manufacture kept the differences in the commodities for mass consumption superficial. As a result, as much effort went towards standardising consumer preferences as had gone into the standardization of manufacturing processes. Both those marketing strategies will be examined below in regard to the use of colour as a sales ploy.

production goods and consumer items

The elimination of waste in the manufacture of consumer goods took flight in the 1920s under the rubric “simplification”. It soon became a branch of standardization in practice and in speech. The distinction did little to convert the public and pundits from their fears about uniformity.

Each firm hoped that its standard would become the industry standard, in short, that it would become the monopoly supplier, as happened to Bell telephone. Less ambitiously, managers believed that, by preserving distinctions, they could bind existing customers to them. Oligopolisation of the chemical and automotive industries contributed as much to national standards as did the reports of any standardisation agency. (IBM, Intel and Microsoft pursued this marketing stratagem into the present.)

Golden standards

All forms of money, whether shells or credit cards, expedite the exchange of commodities. In 1857, Marx depicted London streets

crowded with shops whose show cases display all the riches of the world, Indian shawls, American revolvers, Chinese porcelain, Parisian corsets, furs from Russia and spices from the tropics, but all of these worldly things bear odious, white paper labels with Arabic numerals and then laconic symbols £. s. d. This is how commodities are presented in circulation.[4]

Capitalism could never have existed if a pair of sandals had had to be swapped for a sack of corn. Without some standard against which the value of all commodities could be measured, commerce would have remained shorter, if less nasty and brutish. Money, therefore, had to be the first commodity to be standardised so that it could serve as a universal equivalent for every other commodity. The medium for these exchanges has usually been a precious metal, gold being the least vulnerable to wear-and-tear. Magna Carta of 1215 specified the amount of gold in coins, later known as sovereigns (or a Louis). Although debasing the currency bordered on high treason, kings were never averse to swindling their subjects in this way.[5] 

Britain’s adherence to the gold standard for international commerce and domestic solvency both expressed its power and helped to protect its manufacturers and enrich its financiers in the City of London. Unsettled by the Baring Bank crisis of 1889, and then by the bi-metallist revolts in the United States during the 1890s. ??????  Britain left the gold standard in order to finance the Great War, returned in 1925, abandoning it again in 1932, never to return.

Just before Britain returned to the Gold Standard in 1925,[6] the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Reginald McKenna, argued that its “moral effect” was the most potent of all its “great and striking advantages” because “[a] nation will think better of itself, will almost regard itself as more honest, if its currency is convertible into gold”.[7] Australian commentators once more contrasted the ethical imperative that guaranteed that a Britisher would always pay his debts with the shonky dealings by the United States.[8]

This surrender of the value of the currency was as great an affront to public morals as was the Labor government’s flirtation with deficit financing during 1931. By sapping the fibre of the nation, inflation devalued more than the currency. Any failure to balance budgets was denounced as a moral failing just as repudiation of public debt was a character flaw.

Experts debated these financial questions in terms of confidence” and “debasement”. The instability of the monetary standard shook the confidence of consumers in the quality and value of the commodities for which gold was supposed to provide a universal equivalent.

As U. S. Treasury Secretary in 1902, the Chicago banker Lyman Gage had encouraged the transformation of the Office of Weights and Measures into the Bureau of Standards. Gage extended his faith in the ethical dimension of the Gold Standard to the moral benefits from accuracy in science. Against the prevalence of “looseness” in methods, ideas and spirit, Gage praised an “absolute standard, to which fidelity in all relations of life affected by that standard is required”.[9]

The Gold Standard came and went several times before it disappeared around 1971.

Inflation during the Great War, and the German example of hyper-inflation in 1923, which ruined most of the middling classes, solidified the orthodox fear of inflation even during the deflationary cycle of the 1930s.[10]

From the mid-1940s until 1971, the U.S. dollar provided the standard for all the trade in the capitalist orbit. Washington was supposed to keep a quantity of gold in proportion to the volume of its dollars in circulation. This fiction lost all credibility in the late 1960s as the U. S. Imperium attempted to pay for its war against the Indo-Chinese by passing devalued money off onto its trading partners in Europe and Japan. The sellers of oil got some of their back pay in 1973??????

Since then, the U.S. has operated on an entirely fiat currency, supported by its Military clout and its share of the world trade. The ghost of gold haunts financial markets whenever the real economy is threatened. The “barbarous relic” remains the currency of flight.[11]

The value of a precious metal is determined on the same basis as applies to the zillions of commodities for which it acts as a substitute, namely, the cost of producing the socially-necessary labour-power that goes into their making.[12]

The standardising of those commodities interacted with the standardising of units of labour power to reduce the unit cost of producing every one of them.


To explain why capital needed industrial standards in terms of labour costs etc????

Over-Time: Every attempt to measure the passage of time has set up a standard against the rhythms of nature. Reform of the Julian calendar has not tidied up

Attempts at ten-day weeks in the French Revolution

Spread of time zones

And work times from Eighteenth century onwards

Factories all had to start and finish at the same time unlike farming

As markets spread

Driven by railroad companies in the U.S. of A about 1883.[13] In Australia, the uniformity was a matter for governments since they ran the railways set up in 1896.[14]

Proclaiming a standard time zones did not put it into effect. In 1912, the clocks within Melbourne’s Flinders Street station varied by ninety seconds. Electricity promised uniformity but even today it has not been achieved.[15]

Crucial to the discipline of labour and the standardisation of the value of the labour-power expended in the production of other commodities.

In 1913, an Australian trade journal for engineers explained the invention of Micro-Motion Study as combining a

chronometer and biograph machine for taking pictures of the operations … Micro-motion study reveals wasteful movements. Apparently its inception is based on the perversity of humanity, evidence in this instance in the desire to defeat the true study man by “soldiering”… This mechanical invention is the most powerful toll ever utilized in the measurement of efficiency, suggesting the whip of owners or taskmasters in other and earlier times. Nevertheless it is considered by engineers and others to possess a great advantage over time study, and time study is the basis of al modern management.[16]

The  response to the boon of the “Eight-Hour Day” and to shorter working weeks, down to around forty-four hours by the 1920s. If the length of the working week were reduced with no cut in wages, then the employer tried to pass the cost on – possible in contracts for public works. In general, the purchaser of labour power had to reclaim its increased cost by intensifying its application.[17]

????? Magnus Alexander recognized that the scientific management of Frederick Taylor had married the elimination of waste in materials to the discipline of the application of labour power. The one could not proceed without the other. [18]

WAR The results from standardised tests for aptitude and intelligence to service conscription for the European War supplied a data base that businesses used afterwards. The promoters of such testing complained that their research was “much handicapped by the idea that this is a new dodge to put labor in its place and reduce wages”.[19]

Carry over to piece rates????

Land: Distances are easier to calculate than area surveys based on one of those lengths as a base line. The boundaries to landed property needed to be established for the owner to garner the wealth that labour could add to nature. The Domesday Book of 1086 recorded estates according to measures of how many people the soil could support. A “hide”, for example, could sustain one farm labourer. These ??? established the rudiments for a labour theory of value. Set measures for areas gained importance in 1538 for the sale of church demesnes. At that time, the English adopted the “rod” [16 and half feet] to calculate the area [two square rods] that one person could work in a day.[20] Rough determinations would suffice, more or less, until land became another commodity in nineteenth century.[21] 

Standard measures for land could not establish their boundaries. The tools for precise surveys included the longitude????? Theodolite  very poor surveys until geo-positioning

The want of exact measurement or expeditious conveyancing never impeded the expropriation of land by force, as happened during the Enclosures or the occupation of the New Worlds. 

Thus far, our survey of standardization has been confined to measures for only three commodities: a medium of exchange; time and land. The triad underpinned standardization for a myriad of commodities.

A pre-condition for the spread of mass production was to standardise the equipment on which the commodities were made. In a simple example, the lasts on which shoe-makers cut to size had to be uniform.[22] ++++++++++

But also standardize the machines that made the machines that made the consumption goods

In the era of tools, each tradesman adjusted his grip to his implements and fashioned them to suit his hands.[23] To bring one’s own carpentry tools was a mark of pride, a remnant of independence. As production moved away from tools, By contrast, for machines to be uniform in operation they had to be uniform in design. Under this rule, the actions of the operatives shed their individual characteristics. Managers tried to make even the most skilled operatives into another exchangeable part.[24]

During the first industrial revolution, the earliest products to contain standardised components were clocks and rifles. Then screw threads and rail lines and rolling stock. The inventor was not always the first to carry a discovery to a commercial scale. Clock-makers had developed interchangeable parts.

Warfare contributed a standardised mentality before it called for interchangeable weapons. Charles I (   ) authorized uniform patterns for guns, but his armourers did not have metal patterns (jigs) to guide their production. Prussian monarch Frederick the Great (17 – 17  ) drilled his troops as if they were the toy soldiers with which he planned his campaigns. His infantry was among the first to march in step.[25] The French gunsmith Le Blanc constructed musket locks with interchangeable parts in the 1780s, reducing the labour time and cheapened the price.[26]

Eli Whitney’s cotton gin in 1793 turned fabrics into the first cheap commodity. Another of the earliest instances of standardisation for large-scale manufacturing came after 1798 when he produced rifles with interchangeable parts. Whitney directed their production so that, as he said, they were “as much like each other as the successive impressions of a copper-plate engraving”[27] – a comparison to delight Walter Benjamin.[28] Whitney has been more acclaimed than Le Blanc because generations of U.S. engineer-entrepreneurs carried his methods into an “American system” for all commodities, notably, canned food, sewing-machines, typewriters, bicycles, cameras and automobiles.[29]

Whitney over praised  ?????

Small arms continued to lead the way. The U.S. annexation of Mexican territory of Greater Texas in 1844-46 underwrote the success of Samuel Colt. By 1853, his armoury in Connecticut was the pinnacle of “large-scale precision manufacture”.[30]

On the eve of the Crimean War in 1854, the British copied the “American system” by setting up a small-arms factory at Enfield. Every week, its workers performed 700 operations with interchangeable parts to produce 2,000 rifles.[31] In America, the Civil War accelerated the use of automatic lathes for the mass production of screws.[32]

Followed by C M Spencer’s and cylindrical cams????

Robert A. Howard has shown that complete interchangeability in small arms was too costly for the manufacturer aiming at private sales, which was by far the larger share of the market. Revolvers are still hand-filed and assembled. Colt relied on machines to produce the parts but was never after perfect interchangeability. Government orders were different because of their size, purpose and a preparedness to pay a premium.[33]

Battlefields called forth rounds of standardization. Germany set up the Physikalische-Technische-Reichsanstalt after the victory over France had sealed the unification of the German States under Prussian leadership in 1871; Britain’s Royal Society established the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington in time to investigate the interchange shell fuses in he Boer war. The National Bureau of Standards in Washington followed the Spanish-American War of 1898. In 1917, the German government would set up Normenausschuss der deutschen Industrie (an Institute of Standards). Management guru Peter Drucker noted that the “first conscious and systematic application of management principles was not in a business” but for the reorganization of the U.S. Army in 1901 by Secretary of War, Elihu Root.[34]

Meanwhile, F. W. Taylor was installing chains of command and regularising the pattern of work at the Watertown arsenal.

Just as the “American System” reduced the labour time and the skills needed to manufacture arms, so did mass production alter the balance of forces on the battlefield. In 1862, a naval engineer advised Lincoln that “Such is the inferiority of the Southern States in a mechanical point of view, that … if you apply our mechanical resources to the fullest extent, you can destroy the enemy without enlisting another man”.[35] The equalization of those resources among the rival imperialist powers delayed the delabourisation of warfare for another hundred years. Governments backed their weaponry with universal conscription. The dangers from arming the populace were obvious in Russia in 1917. 

Armaments alone would never have established a market for machinery large enough to install the “American system”. Before 1840, machines were custom made, often in-house. No firm specialized in their production. Those that began to do so began as adjuncts to textile houses which produced for other textile manufacturers. Some applied the operating principles of those machines to the construction of machines to make other commodities. For instance, the turret lathes devised for Colt revolvers were adapted for sewing machines. Rosenberg referred to this way of enlarging the market as “technological convergence”. By passing the principles and operating principles from small arms and textiles to railways and later to bicycles and typewriters, the machine-making firms did not need access to the world’s market in order to obtain economies of scale for the production of production goods. The integration from birth smoothed the path to standardization, and oligopolies.[36]

For as long as nuts and bolts were being made by hand, their threads were compatible only with each other’s. If you lost a nut, you needed to buy another set. For less precise work, an operative could force odd ones together if they were cut to the same design. Once Henry Maudslay (1771-18  ) promoted his screw-cutting  lathe for making nuts and bolts in 18--, his foundry’s nuts were interchangeable with its bolts. However, they were not compatible with those made by machines in other workshops.[37]

Once threads were no longer cut by hand but by engineers needed to standardise the making of the self-acting lathes with change gears as well as what they turned out.

Calls went out for an industry-wide thread with the same number of turns per inch. In 1841, the PLACE engineer Joseph Whitworth proposed standard designs for screw threads.[38]

Whitworth contributed even more to “rigorous measurement”, dismissing the attempt to distinguish between a “bare sixteenth” and a “full thirty-second” as meaningless.[39] His machine for end-measuring to one-millionth of an inch assured the majority of machinists of as much accuracy as they needed, down to one ten-thousandth of an inch. In addition, by 1890, every machinist had the micrometer calipers needed for precision at the bench. Workshops applied these devices to standarised drawings. The next leap forward … The handicraft manufacture of slip gauge blocks established the exact measurement of dimensions. By 1918, the U. S. Bureau of Standards had developed a mechanical means for their production, replacing the patience and skills of the Swedish craftsmen around ???? Johansson. By all these means, machinists and engineers had reduced average variations from one-sixteenth of an inch down to five one-thousandths.

Such precision depended on the calculations that Europeans had been teaching themselves in order to service their trading, which had led, in 1478, to the printing at Treviso of a primer on arithmetic.[40] The spread of standardization needed the system of decimal geometric progressions that was developed after 1880.[41

The standardisation of thread tracks on bolts paralleled both the transformation of the labour process and the extension of market areas. Prior to Maudsley’s lathe, a craftsman would sell the product of his workers to trades-people whom he knew within the distance he could walk or perhaps ride. He managed his operatives so as to get all of them to match the best production time for each unit by his most skilled turner. Maudslay could send batches of his nuts and bolts to people whom he would never see.[42] The craftsmen had to compete against Maudslay’s lower costs. They either went out of business or purchased one of his machines. Its owner then had to match the labour time of all his operatives to that for makers of screws anywhere that he faced competition from firms with the latest equipment. The universal labour time had been slashed as the zone for the sale of its products had expanded.[43]

Whitworth’s method extended interchangeableness to British dependencies. His standard was not so welcome in the U.S. of A. In1864, the Philadelphia industrialist and engineer, William Sellers (18 – 1905) proposed a simpler design standard. His version against “the attention of engineers is constantly directed to so perfect machine tools as to utilize unskilled labor”.[44] The U.S. Navy’s adoption of his method in 1868 underpinned acceptance across the United States..

NOT The machine allowed for nine pre-determined operations but a degree of skill was needed only to set it up. The American System won out, partly to get cheaper labour and partly because the United States was short of craftsmen.[45]

In 1928, the General Secretary of the Australian Standards Association thought that the screw thread was not “a happy illustration”.[46] The U.S. of A. and the U.K. did not standardise their screw threads until after 1948. That tardiness cost the Allies a billion U.S. dollars in the second world war.[47]

Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (19 ) has bequeathed an image of the “American System as a production line along which each worker repeats one tiny task. In fact, behind that particularization ran a long chain of standardised materials, practices and machinery. Ford’s T-model depended on the “heavy-duty, precision, high-production-rate grinding machine” introduced by Charles H. Norton in 1900. His crankshaft grinder “could do in 15 minutes” what had taken a craftsman five hours.[48] To maintain a uniform finish, the grinders required an abrasive of unvarying quality which artificial corundum supplied.[49] A synthetic could be standardised in a way that natural emery could not. Many discussants of “Fordism” have failed to appreciate this interlock by attending too closely to the labour process. Even there, they have concentrated on the extreme division of labour to the neglect of the savings that industrialists derived from continuous flow.[50]

Standard measures were of greatest importance to the makers of the machines, known as machine-tools, that made other machines.

The era of confidential standards ended in order to ensure that “the cost of machine tools remained competitive”.

Despite the advance of interchangeable production before 1900, firms maintained their own rules about the limits and fits of their machinery. One of the first tasks of the British Standards Institution was to survey engineering shops to establish a set of standards, published in 1906.[51] Germany and the U.S. of A. produced their own handbooks. Despite this advance, the “assessment of performance” remained “a matter of subjective judgement on the part of machine-tool manufacturers and users until the 1920s”. Mass production depended on the unvarying position of cutting devices. That entirely required machines to check and control alignments. The permissible errors were standardised during the 1930s.[52]

Rail: Cheaper manufacture depended on increasing the quantity of uniform products as illustrated. Iron rails tethered market areas to each other.

Rolling stock, for example, couplings had to be repaired hundreds of kilometers from the place where they were made, perhaps an ocean away.

An 1884 report by the General Manager of the South Australian railways, Henry Coathupe Mais,  sa pp found that, in the U.K. and U.S., each rail company had its own sections of rail, shaped as differently, a later standardiser quipped, as “Ladies’ dresses”, and with “as much reason”.[53]

The six Australian colonies had three different rail gauges. Other differences compounded the Australian situation. For instance, to supply the market for wheel tyres, in 1923, the Commonwealth Steel Products Co. at Newcastle had

to get 35 main rolls for the different sections and 80 different pressure rolls, giving a total of 115 different kinds of shape necessary owning to the specifications of the various Governments. For wheel centers they make 15 different patterns; … It can be obviously seen how hampered the manufacturer is, if he has to supply the authorities with stock like that, instead of having one or two standard patterns. [54]

Electricity was as essential to the expansion of capital as Lenin proclaimed it would be in the building of communism. Safety and economy required standardisation, which its novelty should have allowed. Industry and public officials had discussed uniform wiring for years before reaching an agreement in 1923.[55] All bayonet light bulbs fitted all baynet sockets. The voltages, however, varied between capital cities, and even within Melbourne. Hence, bulbs and motors were not interchangeable across the continent. Suppliers had to match twenty voltages.[56] 


By 1900, corporate managers were on their way to developing “standardisation” into a strategy for expanding their capitals. By designing a smaller number of interchangeable items, the mechanical engineer could slash the waste of materials and labour-times. This containment of costs, allied with an acceleration of turnover through streamlined distribution, would contribute to the competitiveness of each firm, and so to that of each nation-market-state. The increased total output, in turn, strengthened the competition from rival businesses or countries, and so called for ever more standardised production and greater efforts at marketing.

In 1901, British engineers formed their own Standards Association.[57]

WHERE These overlaps provided support for the others. For example, Germany industrialists benefited from their nation’s physical laboratory, (Physikalische-Technische Reichsanstalt). The U.S. of A. established a Bureau of Standards in 1902, inside the new Department of Commerce and Labor. By 1916, the Bureau’s integration of the research needs of industry and government contributed to the war effort and then to the extension of standardization to consumer goods in the 1920s.

USA Federated American Engineering Societies, ??? Herbert Hoover, report on Waste in Industry (New York, 1921). Hoover’s concern with “waste” came out of the two conferences on Industrial “Peace”.[58] The reduction of waste depended on acuriing statistics and using both to expand domestic and overseas sales. He glimpsed that mass production required a new kind of consumption. The savings in production would pass along to the consumer in lower prices and to the capitalist in higher profits.[59]

This happy thought failed to go below the surface of capitalism. For a start, the proliferation of commodities would increase the socially necessary costs of reproducing labour power by adding needs. Hence, any cut in the price of  items in the household budget would be balanced by a growth in the total needed to live at the level installed through mass marketing.[60] From the viewpoint of the capitalist, the lowering of unit production costs would not automatically generate more sales or maintain rates of profit, still less boost them. The elimination of waste would do so. But the extra investment on the most efficient machinery and plant drove up the organic composition of capital. Could be covered by ever great output and sales.

Encouraged oligopolisaiton at home and imperialism in trade, the Open Door Policy which had underpinned Wilson’s Fourteen Points.

In June 1921, the recently appointed U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover, initiated ????? to promote efficiency and expansion through standardization and simplificaiton.[61]


The era of oligopolising was the age of organisations, whether trade associations, professional bodies or registration boards with state authority.

QUOTE   what????

Also part of the extension of the state to build up national efficiency, for war.[63]

In 1901, British engineers formed their own Standards Association. Its work contributed to victory in the war when 400 factories manufactured parts that were assembled into mines to blockade the North Sea.[64]

The number of tramway rails went from seventy to five.

Standardising meant more than interchangeability of parts for mass commodities. The raw materials had to be standardised, for example, the moisture content of each batch of coal that went into a blast furnace.


The new Commonwealth parliament debated the introduction of the metric system of measures in 1904, sixty years before the introduction of a decimal currency.[65]

Federation tilted the economy towards uniformity. For instance, from 1906, Commonwealth and States Statisticians agreed on common returns for the first Commonwealth Census in 1911. Federation also coordinated postal[66] and telegraph services. The Commonwealth did not take up its constitutional power to enforce weights and measures across the continent. The States persisted with slack and untestable standards, which were appropriate to ploughs but not to pistons. See the BOOK ON subject???? JAN TODD

On the eve of the Second World War, the position remained “Chaotic”. Even after a National Standards Laboratory opened in September 1940, it could not supply the range of tests available at its overseas models.

Need to make slip gauges from scratch in the early 1940s. Employed troops of Girl Guides to polish them by hand.

The diversity of artillery pieces and shells held by the Australian colonies in the 1890s was a driver for Federation. Unless the batteries could be integrated they were of little use to Imperial strategists such as Colonel Hutton, who had been commander in New South Wales from 189 to , commander in South Africa and then ????? QUOTE HIM[67]

The construction of a small-arms factory at Lithgow, near the country’s only steel works, Lysaght Bros, had long-term consequences. The 1909 contract went to Pratt and Whitney, a U.S. firm, not a British one, because the American System of “repetition manufacture” was superior. The decision to favour the U.S. firm took place in a world-wide struggle for dominance of the engineering trade. In Australia, the competition centered on grain harvesters, between H. V. McKay’s Harvester works at Sunshine and the International Harvester Company.[68] The project encountered an obstacle race of in matching the new rifles with those on hand. Although the production at Enfield had been standardised, the armoury maintained two measures. Lengths up to two inches were given according to the “Enfield inch”, while those greater than that conformed to the Imperial Standard Yard. The British had failed to indicate this difference on the drawings sent to Pratt and Whitney, whether by oversight or out of malice.[69] Working with Pratt and Whitney introduced a generation of Australian engineers to the most advanced forms of standardization, which carried beyond government service.[70] 

The greatest push that Federation gave standardisation was the start towards installing a continent for a market by removing inter-colonial tariffs. A mess of non-tariff barriers remained, whether natural-cum-physical ones, or those imposed by State authorities. These impediments were not broken down until the Competition Policy of the 1990s, authorised by the Keating government’s “One Nation” programme of 199 .

The standardization should have been easier to achieve in new areas such as wireless, electricity and aviation where there were fewer existing capital investments.

Australians watched U.S. developments, sending a mission there to study efficiency in 1926-27??? Nonetheless, the local Standards Association decided that “British engineering standards should receive first consideration”, which was sensible because so much equipment and operatives came from the United Kingdom. Australian manufacturers sent their measures to the National Physical Laboratory in England until 1925 when the Munitions Supply Laboratories at Maribyrong, Victoria, took receipt of some equipment for checking against the Imperial Standard Yard.[71]

WOTNot a great problem because so little production here needed the exact measures of military equipment. 

A local standards laboratory did not start until???? Yet the importance of U.S. machinery was growing. Australians were being urged to accept whichever standards were best for local conditions.[72]

The volume of imports meant that the standardisation overseas flowed through to Australia, as in the case of paper sizes.[73] Nonetheless, coordination was a slow slog. In 1935, the Standards Association produced its Fifth Report on reducing differences with the U.K.[74]

1926, 1930 and 1932 Impeiral Conferences

Despite this lack of personnel, the Association displayed the Australian “talent for bureaucracy”.[75] By 1931, the welding industry had appointed a Boiler Sectional Committee which established a Sub-Committee on power boilers which thereupon set up a panel on welding which divided itself into two sub-panels:

At this stage, however, other Sub-Committees of the Boiler Sectional Committee, notably those dealing with unfired pressure vessels and miscellaneous boilers, found themselves in contact with the same subject and applied for assistance … The Sectional Committee thereupon decided that welding was worthy of special attention, and separating the panels from the power boiler Sub-Committee, appointed a Welding Sub-Committee with metallic-arc and oxy-acetylene panels with instructions to report direct, and not through the Power Boiler Sub-Committee.[76]

The Boiler Code emerged after four years of these deliberations. The standardisers were in need of standardised procedures.

Building and construction: 
Builders made spasmodic attempts to standardise construction materials. From the Eighteenth century, pre-fabrication had foreshadowed many of the processes that would become the norm with building after 1945. In 1886, the gauge of the flutes in thirteen brands of corrugated-iron sheeting varied from five-sixteenths to thirteen-sixteenths of a inch.[77] A trade journal judged that manufacturers and merchants favoured coordination but that nothing would happen until ironmongers could “form an Association capable of dealing authoritatively with this and other questions of importance”.[78]

Connection between the publication of a journal, the establishment or strengthening of an association, the standardisation of products and the fixing of their prices. GIVE EXAMPLES

Standards could apply at the level of a firm, an industry, a nation-market-state or transnationally. Trade associations played an important part in achieving consensus. For instance, the Brisbane District Joinery Association got local architects and the Master Builders to agree to reduce the range of mouldings to fifty and door designs to eighteen.[79] Notwithstanding this arrangement, architects continued to call for special patterns.[80]

To bring some order into contracting, the New South Wales Master Builders Association drew up a Standard System of measurements and pressured architects to supply quantities on jobs valued at more than £2000, publishing a joint booklet in mid- 1908. The impetus for ??? came from the chronic under-bidding. Without quantities the builders could only guess at costs.[81] Meanwhile, the proliferation of building codes by municipal authorities had become “a growing evil”.[82]

Master Builders in New South Wales had spent several months in 1903 negotiating with architects and timber suppliers to achieve “stock sizes of timber”, but the suppliers were not keen “to remedy an abuse in the building trade provocative of much inconvenience and annoyance”.[83] By January 1922, timber sizes had not been standardised here as in the United States, but were as much needed here.[84] By then, architects were calling for factory-made houses to eliminate waste on building sites.[85]

Doors from 1931 report

Even rudimentary standardisation provided capitalists with some relief from the costs of skilled labour. In 1928, a firm making panels for pre-fabricated sheds found that their units could be assembled in a jig by a boy while the welder was welding a panel previously assembled by the same boy in another jig”. By this method, a boy and a man could erect of an 11 by 17ft building in less than a day.[86]

Advantages of coordination praised by Premier Sir William McPherson to Master Builders, a cousin to standardization. Difficult for a liberal individualist

Problems: did you give power to the state, even if only in its municipal manifestation, or did you invest it in a professional body backed by the state?

Building trades depended on architects and quantity surveyors to estimate the materials and labour needed to complete a contract in the stipulated time so that a contractor could make a bid would return a profit and not incur a penalty for lateness. WOT Better than nothing, but remained rough and ready.[87] The custom of the trade was to add or subtract ten percent, just to be sure. Guesstimates persisted into the 1950s. One Melbourne firm avoided legal action for supplying underestimated “by converting square feet to square yards by dividing by eight instead of nine and cubic feet to cubic yards by dividing by 25 instead of 27”.[88]

Even if a quantity surveyor had saved the contractor from under-bidding, once the project was underway, the construction firm was in the lap of the architect and the clerk of works – if any. In the 1910s, a U. S. builder, Henry Laurence Gannt, developed a visual tool to warn the builder of time and cost over-runs. A Gannt Chart showed the actual progress against that scheduled.[89]

Once a project fell behind, or was costing more than estimated, the contractor had to drive his workforce, or skimp on materials. Scaffolding was expensive and so was the first item to be cut. Only direct action by unionists on the job could enforce whatever regulations existed.

The workers were not safe when their masters increased the ratio of sand to cement. The leading Melbourne firm ????? 1925 five killed when a wall collapsed on them.


Neither quantity surveying nor the Gannt Chart standardised either building materials or labour times. Rather, they combined to show how necessary standardization was, and how its benefits could be calculated.

The element of spontaneity in the standardisation of screws could not keep up the needs of capital for war, production, or sales. A sequence of government-backed bodies supported testing agencies, some established by associations of engineers or scientists.

Australia did not go through a scientific standardization phase because forces did so little research and imported so much equipment and expertise.

CSR a rare exception.

One of the blessings of the 1914-18 war, according to the Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sydney, S. H. E. Barraclough, was more and better “organisation”.[90] That benefit applied to his profession in 1919 when ten State bodies amalgamated as the Institution of Engineers, Australia. At the same time, the recently appointed Commonwealth Institute of Science and Industry convened meetings of engineers in each State capital. These gatherings led to a 1921 conference of chemists, engineers, metallurgists and miners to approve an Australian Commonwealth Engineering Standards Association, with State government representation.[91]

While war was intensifying the standardisation of the items needed for destruction, the military’s appetite for all products pressured manufacturers of civilian commodities to restrict their ranges. A shortage of cardboard, for example, obliged the footwear trade to slash the variety of its cartons.[92]

Standardising of shoes was deemed impossible because feet were so different.[93]

The traders were even more adamant that no government could ever eradicate profiteering through setting a maximum price.[94] They did call upon governments to adopt “a standard leather measuring machine” to remove the eccentricities of men and equipment which resulted in boot-makers paying for more leather than they received.[95]

The fickleness of nature, however, did not excuse the disparities in stated sizes. Manufacturers should at least be able to agree on how long and how wide was a size 4. Acceptance of standard measurements for each size could not of itself make all size-4s equal. Only uniformity of the lasts on which the shoes were shaped could achieve that outcome. Moreover, even if all the manufacturers of lasts were to standardise their measures, a last was subject to wear and tear, and the final fit dependent on the skill of the operatives.[96] 

WOT Also spread ?????

The fickleness of fashion in boots in Australia is dealt with in a discussion on the standardization of boots in Great Britain. One witness declared that women’s boots and shoes were now in the same category as millinery, and the prospect of the disappearance of “fashion lines” was viewed with dismay. Workmen, too, had displayed a tendency to sport boots made from light expensive leathers, instead of the heavier, more serviceable, and economical varieties formerly worn. One manufacturer produced over 1,200 styles of boots made in his factory, and in one shop 972 distinct styles were stocked.[97]

On the question of standardizing boots, the commission remarked that the double advantage of lower price and guaranteed quality would result, but both effects could be secured without that reform. Consideration of standardization might be deferred until the experience of the United Kingdom was available.

After the 1921 Conference the President of the Institution of Engineers, University of Adelaide Professor Robert William Chapman, visited all States, using his “great gift of lucidity” to educate the public.

The variations posed “a very serious handicap” to infant secondary industries, not to mention blighting their chances to export. On top of having to “pay high wages and shorter hours than in most countries … [o]ur manufacturers” Professor Chapman pointed out, “have no chance whatever to compete with the industries of other countries unless we can take advantage of every possible aid to efficiency and economy of production”.[98]

The pace of change varied between States. Queensland set up an organizing committee in mid-1924.[99] Next year, its spokesperson acknowledged that “very little has been attempted”. Indeed, firms were reneging on some of consensual arrangements to eliminate waste by reducing the designs produced “for one and the same purpose”.[100] The Queensland Branch became active on matters ranging from the lining for cement bags.

to the plywood panels for stock doors, which it reduced from 118 to 48.[101]

The Standards Association was voluntary and co-operative, with industry contributing only £539 in the first three years. In 1925, its office bearers decided to employ secretarial assistance - if funds became available.[102] Next year, municipal authorities had joined.[103] By 1927, an Association of Simplified Practice was formed before the two bodies amalgamated in 1929 as the Standards Association of Australia. Thereafter, that institution concentrated “upon sizes, types and varieties in greatest demand”, to eliminate waste, whether in building materials or women’s clothing.[104] As ever, the state was attempting to provide for the expansion of capital what its managers could not achieve through corporations.[105]

Depression two Imperial Economic Conferences in 1926, 1930 and 1932

As a second war loomed, the SAA Bulletin quoted the Vice-Chairman of the Britain’s Advisory Committee to the Ministry of Munitions: “If simplification and standardisation had not been adopted, we would have lost the war”.[106] That lesson inspired a renovation of the Australian Association. It published its own Bulletin. Its library became “a clearing house” for data to tenderers, its work increasing “a hundredfold”.[107] Emergencies and shortages meant that many standards had to be relaxed for the duration.[108]

Import replacement and servicing half-a-million US troops presented manufacturers and the military with monumental tasks. Fulfilling them depended on a multitude of minute matters. To rephrase the old saying, for the want of a matching screw thread, the war could have been lost. Spare parts for imported machines could be made here more readily if their countries of origin had published standards.[109]

Some problems had to be solved in the field. With U.S. forces to arrive in four days, the Australians had to supply water to the airstrip at Charters Towers. Australian fittings did not match the U.S. pipes. Hacksaws and mobile welding plants connected the ablutions blocks.[110]

Even the emergencies of battle could not church out standards “made-to-order”, although the adoption of some was “streamlined”.[111]

In Japan, Brigadier J. W. O’Brien Deputy Master General of the Ordnance (Equipment) and Chief of the Scientific and Technical Division of SCAP, addressed the new Japanese Standards Association set up in December 1946, warning them that failure to achieve their aims would handicap their overseas trade. He encouraged them to see the destruction of their industry as an opportunity to impose standards and quality.[112]

In October 1946, a British Commonwealth Conference on standardization met a fortnight before the International Standards Conference in London. The discussions dealt with administrative arrangements, not technical decisions.

By 1947, the Standards Association of Australia had a staff of fifty, including eighteen professionals, the largest among the Dominions.

Royal Charter in 1950

Visible hands
In the commercial realm, as in the domain of politics, the sovereignty of the masses had to be managed.

WHERE The practices grouped into standardisation supplied several of the controls needed for aggregate capital to expand and for particular capitals to outlast their competitors. Standardising contributed to an abundance of commodities, reduced the cost of labour-power in each unit, and simplifying the channels through which firms might secure a larger share, as profits, from the surplus value.

Corporate managers and marketers did as much to standardise everyday life than could any government agency, trade association or engineer. The four most significant contributions from the business sector came through supplying the needs of capital for price-fixing; piece-rates; cost accounting; and brand labels.

Price fixing
Support for the standardisation of prices grew in reaction to the evil of price cutting. A 1923 editorial in the Commonwealth Jeweller and Watchmaker complained that many in the trade “have been harassed by the ever-present menace of that vicious form of competition known as price-cutting”.[113] Thirty-two years later, the journal panicked at the havoc to come from the “insidious and evil discount war” waged through the sale of jewellers’ items by chemists and newsagents.[114]

The editorial writer for a group of trade newspapers explained the motivation of the price-cutter:

He is convinced that if he gets more turnover he can make more profit – or, in most cases, turn loss into profit – by the savings of overheads, buying in bigger parcels and utilising his labour potential and his factory or shop capacity to the limit. Therefore, he chops his prices, rarely considering the mathematics involved, and hopes that his customers will buy so many more of his products that he will get in more actual money than before, despite the margin he had sacrificed.[115]

Although small-to-medium-sized businesses feared ruin from price-cutting, that fate did not await the oligopolisers driving the process. Rather, the “big customer, such as a chain store organisation” would benefit from the supplier’s price-cutting to them.

Monopolisation was scuttling individualism as entrepreneurship. FN?

A paradox arose for individualism the small trader being threatened by his fellows acting individually and all of them menaced by the larger firms. To keep the individual in business, individuals had to surrender their right to compete by cutting prices.

Yet could not afford to advertise etc

Therefore oppose coupons etc


Late in the 1920s, the new breed of advertising agencies, which offered a full service of research and artwork, squeezed the old space-selling agents who hit back by rebating a slice of their commissions.[116]

For example, in the printing trade

Conspiracy as perceived by Adam Smith

Danger of selling it on and thus allowing craftsmen to enter at lower costs

Manufacturers sought to overcome this obstacle by designing innovations so that improvements could fit onto existing plant. For instance, Intertype equipment let printers stay up-to-date through add-ons rather than devalorisation of their investment.[117]

The Canberra Times switched from “A” to “C” models in 51 minutes to be in time for the opening of the Parliament in 1927.[118]  The Intertype also allowed for greater flexibility in the paper’s daily operation.

Photo engravers assembled in Sydney in 1908 to fix “a minimum price”.[119] The Australian printing industry then adopted the U.S. system of a price-fixing known as Typothetae. The Master Printers colluded with the paper merchants, ink-makers, engravers and ???? not to supply any firm quoting below an agreed schedule of fees.[120] Nonetheless, allegations cheating and disloyalty never went away. A leading PLACE printer, William Brookes, MLC, protested in 1928 against “the insane competition and price cutting that pervades throughout the industry”,[121] a madness which became a pandemic during the 1930s depression.[122]

Price-fixing required a standardising of procedures and materials. To specify a price for each operation, procedures had to be made comparable. The Master Engravers found it hard to define a Routed Tint, being unsure of where it started or finished. Their uncertainty led to variations in quoted rates, which nourished “suspicion and friction throughout the trade”, making it more difficult to enforce the Minimum Price Schedule. No agreement had been reached by 1936, despite long debates and yet another sub-committee report.[123]


All firms were torn between cutting their prices to wrest market share, and colluding to fix their prices for a 25% profit. In 1903, a grocery trade journal gave more space to the virtues of agreed prices than it carried advertisements.[125] Grocers were neither so egotistical, nor as devoted to servicing their customers, as to compete on price. The Southern Grocer declared in 1911: “price-protection is, and must always, remain the very first and foremost plank in any fighting platform worthy of the name, and hang the public!”[126] Twenty-five later, the Radio Times broadcast the same tune when it called on dealers to “boycott any manufacturer or distributor who supplies price-cutters” only then will see to it that “huge sums of money” no longer be “surrendered to the general public”.[127]

Price fixing in materials and piece rates.

For example, of Builders with 1908 virtue of Arbitration setting wages

The making of bricks had been standardised from the late nineteenth century. Brick-making machines. 1880s onwards

Early in 1934, several Sydney brick-makers agreed to stabilise their trade by fixing prices. They aimed to get their profit rates back up to those obtaining before the depression. Later that year, the same gentlemen formed a company to buy out the state-owned brick works, which the Chief Judge in Equity would call “a formidable competitor”. The brick-makers’ agreement lasted until the State government fixed prices as a war measure in 1939. The courts found in 1941 that the brick-makers’ activities had been protected under Section 7 of the New South Wales Monopolies Act of 1923:

Any combination of producers of any commodity which is reasonably necessary for the maintenance of the industry of such producers shall not be deemed to be to the detriment of the public.[128]

With this escape clause, trade associations could get away with almost anything collusion in the name of industrial preservation.[129]

Price-fixing could not prevent customers from chasing lower prices. Trade associations tried to ban supplies to the firms that persisted with price cutting. To meet that pressure, firms screwed down harder on their own workers. A favoured method was piece rates.

Trade union action and the Awards of the Conciliation and Arbitration tribunals had gone a long way towards standardising hours and wages before 1914.

The uniformity of products facilitated the disciplining of the workforce. In the late nineteenth-century, uniform-size bricks had made their laying one job where masters could compute a daily tally for piece rates.[130] Laying floor or painting by the square yard were too others. The building unions made the elimination of piece-rates one key of their demands. 

Time-and-motion studies did more than make operatives go faster. Gilbreth’s also helped to made their labour-times comparable, first inside their workplace, and then to match or better the rate for an entire industry.[131] The calibration of labour-time and hence the value of the output of each worker could be assessed only to the extent that he or she was producing uniform units.[132]

The standardising of job specifications made effective “the general introduction of piece-work by means of which wages may be assessed in terms of production is desirable”.[133] To this end, standardisers created “a modern cost-finding system” out of “scientifically certified hour-costs and carefully recorded operational times.”[134]

The individual nature of services makes it hard to measure productivity in that sector.

See Baumol Indeed, standardisation was synonymous with the labour process.


Cost accounting
The Perth Chamber of Commerce in 1920 called on businesses to adopt uniform paper tints for all office stationery in order to “save endless hours in searching and sorting”.[135] That reform was but one of several improvements to the standardising of office procedures that were either ignored or delayed. In 1923, the Australian Electrical Times commissioned a series of articles from Norman B. Rydge to encourage “uniformity in business methods” when calculating overheads or in tendering. Effective accounting was the “only cure for present evils that exist in the trade”, that is, price-cutting.[136] The difference between cost accounting and the calculation of costs was that the former interpreted “the figures recorded by the latter”. The difference between the two approaches to financial management was revealed in a study of printers. Adding up of costs underestimated the rate for hand composition by twenty-five percent.[137]

Standardisers aimed at more than increasing the surplus value that firms could extract from employees. Through cost accounting, the managers sought methods to protect each firm against the predations of rival capitalists. With advanced accounting procedures, firms were less likely to under-price their bids, thereby disrupting the price-cartels essential to taking a profit of 25%, plus 5% for exigencies.[138]

In 1927, the Secretary of the South Australian Master Printers concluded that most of the bids that looked like price-cutting were slipshod estimates.[139] No improvement could be achieved without the accurate book-keeping of all elements of cost. Australian businesses still had to overcome the backwardness, indeed the chaos or non-existence of their accounting procedures.

The waste in production from the want of uniformity was huge. Those losses were not the result of technical misfits alone. The move towards standardisation was generating over-production. Reducing the technical disparities would accelerate that excess, even when regulated by oligopolisation.

Brand labels
Although the efficiency experts removed many “unnecessary differences”[140] and “frivolous variations”,[141] from production and marketing, “unnecessary” and “frivolous” retained social-economic dimensions which could never be reduced to an accountant’s formula. Indeed, the marketing engineers inscribed new necessary differences through brand labeling and packaging. Here, they perpetrated a great paradox. Constraints on price competition had led businesses to promote their product by its packaging. A commodity had to be sharply differentiated from rivals but instantly recognisable. Branded commodities refashioned quality individualism into a matter of style. Glamour came into its own as the designer’s answer to packaging the beautiful.[142]


Branded lines won support from retailers as another way to prevent price-cutting. Tea became Liptons, cocoa was Bourneville, starch Harpers, and breakfast oats were Uncle Toby’s. By 1911, manufacturers and wholesalers had agreed not to supply any storekeeper who sold branded items below the catalogued price. The journal of Victorian grocers recognised that it was

an easy matter to protect a proprietary article. Put a pound of sugar in a packet and place upon the packet a definite label with name of article and name and addresses of the owners, and the task was easy. Endeavour to protect that same pound of sugar in bulk and the task became Augean.[143]

The corner grocer found that branded commodities advantaged a new and potent rival in chain stores, such as Moran & Cato or G. J. Coles, which could cut retail prices by bulk purchasing.[144]

Department stores had their house brands, often for the goods made in their own workshops. The Retail Traders Association complained about department stores which, by 1931, were imposing larger discounts, shorter delivery dates and longer payment periods on small manufacturers.[145] In turn, the head of Grace Brothers department stores  alleged that the brand system “attempts to break away from that keen price competition which usually accompanies the sale of simple, known materials, and to build up a monopoly based on unknown quantities, governed by ghostly and magical laws”.[146]

Branded packaging did not assure quality or value for money to the shopper. Writing in 1940 for the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Secretary of the American Standards Association, P. G. Agnew, recognized that a consumer movement had emerged during the 1930s calling for products to be advertised and labeled with standards in simple language: “With the bewildering variety and quality of highly fabricated and packaged goods, the individual buyer feels helpless”.[147]

The disciplining of spending and labour time in the domestic economy was crucial to standardisation of labour costs in the paid workforce.

To extend standardization beyond science and industry, housework came to the fore. Behind that prominence was the “servant problem”. In 1911, the conservative Melbourne Argus criticized “The Conservatism of Women” for their reluctance to simplify their clothes, houses and food.[148]

The American Academy of Social and Political Science published an issue of its Annals in 1914 devoted to “Family Standards”. Its contributors - ??? - . Their determination to eliminate waste in the reproduction of labour power is apparent in the topics for the three other issues that year: “Wage Standards”, “Concrete Measures for Reducing Cost of Living” and “Public Services and Control”, which examined the efficiency of the supply of foodstuffs.[149]

Until the 1950s, many Australians would have felt few changes to their lives from standardisation in industry, workplace operatives being the most directly affected. Yet all consumers had benefited from the imposition of quality standards on foods and drugs standards were perhaps the first 1910 Conference from five States.[150] The States attempted to impose quality standards to end adulteration of flour and milk[151] Early in the 1920s, governments set standards for the fat content of butter and milk, while the milk had to be pasteurised and the herds tested for tuberculosis.[152] These controls to promote the health of mothers and infants were part of an unformed programme of positive eugenics which included the eradication of contagious diseases from venereal infections to tuberculosis, slum clearance and ???????? the provision of Oslo lunches, maternity benefits, child endowment and

Positive eugenics aimed at producing a physically fitter population through improvements to the living conditions. Negative eugenicists were sceptical about social reform, putting their faith in selective breeding and the sterilisation of the unfit. The director of the Commonwealth Institute of Science and Industry, G. H. Knibbs, in November 1922, addressed Commonwealth Engineering Standards Association.[153] Knibbs was a neo-Malthusian, who, in 1921, had been Vice-President of the International Eugenics Conference, New York. In his 1928 book on world population. The Shadow of the World’s Future, he argued the quality and national efficiency fitted the waste of materials and labour in production with the unfit of the [154]

Three categories Racial class and the sick

The academic authors of the 1931 textbook on economics for high schools for more than twenty years informed their teenage readers:

Some biologists have suggested that we should try to breed people just as carefully as we breed race-horses or prize cattle, Now if these could be done, the productive quality of the people might be improved …

They recognized that public opinion had yet to be convinced of “such a radical proposal”. Nevertheless, they favoured preventing “propagation by the mentally deficient … If the worst stocks multiply more rapidly than the others, then the quality of the population will be impaired”. Despite being rewritten to keep up with the transformation of economic life and policies, the two paragraphs on “Eugenic control” remained unaltered. They were followed by sections on the “Willingness to work” and “Joy in Work”.[155]

Colour standards
The rate of standardisation in Australia between the wars can be viewed from the experiences of printers and decorators in pursuing uniformity in the colour of inks and paints. That goal was not easy to achieve because colour matching still depended on an expert eye.

Competitive price-cutting caused as many delays to standardisation as did the technical problems of manufacturing uniform colours. Despite the adoption of the U.S. method of a price-fixing known as Typothetae by 1910,[156] The Masters remained envious that their “Men” maintained solidarity while they were torn between enforcing their cartel and scabbing.[157] The depression exacerbated the disputes.[158] Some indication of the complexities appeared from this 1936 resolution:

That all items on the Schedule relating to tint plates be deleted with the exception of that relating to rectangles, ovals, and circles, and that all the colours in colour line work be charged at full-line rates.[159]

The task before the National Conference was “to arrive at agreement as to a standard in three colour inks, and to ensure uniform production to that Standard by ink-Makers in the various States”.[160]

Price-cutting among printers delayed standardisation of inks as much as did the technical demands in their manufacture. In addition, implementing uniformity upset relations between block-makers, ink-makers and printers. Printers wanted to be sure that the inks they were using would reproduce the colours on the proof sheet sent from the engravers. The ink-makers objected to the engravers’ identifying the brand of ink that they had applied to the proofs because that gave an advantage to its manufacturer.

The compromise was for all parties to agree on the tints for three- and four-colour work. That agreement was not easy to achieve because colours depended on the expert eye. Moreover, the chemists could not guarantee that inks would not fade.

To cope with these problems, a decorator needed to be familiar with the theory of light and the spectrum. Dabbling on the job gave an apprentice “power over the materials”.  Such training could never ensure a perfect match,

REPEAT The U.S. artist and teacher, Henry Munsell, had developed a System of Colour Notation.[161] The Decorator and Painter praised the Munsell system in 1929, foretelling its adoption by the United States, which did not happen until 1942.[162]

By 1923, Australian printers had recognised the need for uniform colours. They could not agree on a standard in three colour inks. They then had to convince ink-makers to produce that yellow, red and blue.[163] Five years on, the Graphic Arts Services Association appointed a sub-committee to select colours for approval.[164] Its discussions continued into 1930 when the principals decided to “supersede the present set of three colour inks with a set of four inks consisting of a yellow, a red and two blues.”[165]

In 1933, engravers and printers complained once again that the inks being supplied were not true to proof. Their President “hoped members would refuse to accept supplies which did not conform to the standard of colours on the charts”.[166] After a further five years, Newspaper News was still looking forward to the adoption of the Munsell system.[167]

By 1927, two Australian committees had issued standards for paints and varnishes.[168] The determination of standards for colours retained a degree of personal judgement: “The color of the material when mixed with Refined Linseed Oil shall match that of a sample agreed upon between purchaser and vendor. The comparison shall be made in the manner described under Standard Methods of Testing”.[169] This limited appreciation of scientific methods allowed many in the trade to stick with rough-and-ready procedures. One writer alleged that, for such die-hards,

there is only one paint – that is, one made from English white lead, linseed oil and patent driers. They must dig the lead from the cask, knock it up with a stick and strain it through a piece of Hessian or stocking.

Not only did this rough-and-ready approach fail to match colours, it wasted materials and labour-time.[170]

Decorators needed to make themselves familiar with the analysis of light and the spectrum. At ₤225, Trichromatic Colorimeter at £225 was beyond the budget of smaller operations.[171] Without such equipment, training could never ensure a perfect colour match. Most relied on “intuition” and experience to recognise and correct errors. Decorators, much more than painters, still needed to be able to mix colours on site. The precedence given to “Decorator” over “Painter” in the title of the trade journal indicated the survival of specialist skills. (The Operatives’ Union put the terms around the other way.)

In 1929, a veteran coach and motor decorator set out the conflicts that came between achieving true colours and maintaining trade skills. The existence of dozens of shades of the same colour threatened chaos. Paint manufacturers, therefore, had sought to reduce that confusion and increase their sales by “persistent advertising” with colour charts and sample decks. These guides helped the decorator to know “the actual constituents of the colour which he desires to obtain”. In practice, however, he was likely to use products from more than one firm, which, when blended, threw “the colour off shade”. Only from rectifying such slippages could the decorator find “a shred of individuality … to maintain some measure of dignity” since “modernity has not quite succeeded in changing him into an automaton”.[172]

To make matters worse, the ready-mixed paints[173] encouraged amateurs to do smaller jobs for themselves while allowing untrained operatives to take on routine work.[174]

Recipient of the 1982 faux Nobel Prize for self-styled Economic Science, George J. Stigler, recognised the paradox in the notion of consumer sovereignty. The knowledge of bid conditions approaches perfection as choice approaches zero:

A perfect market is one in which the traders have full knowledge of all offer and bid prices … in realistic case a perfect market may be more likely to exist under monopoly, since complete knowledge is easier to achieve under monopoly.[175]

In the Australian Ugliness, Robin Boyd supposed that there could be no escape from Featurism through “the impossible task of standardising people’s preferences”.[176] Yet, since the 1920s, governments have been working with oligopolies to see how far “Simplified Practices” could go in that direction.

[1] James R. Beniger, The Control Revolution, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1986; Geoffrey Bowker and Susan Leigh Star, Sorting Things Out, Classification and Its Consequences, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1999; Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1981; Karen Rader, Making Mice, Standardising Animals for American Bio-Medical Research, 1900-1955, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J., 2004; Anson Rabinbach, The Human Motor, Energy, Fatigue, and the Origins of Modernity, California University Press, Berkeley, 1990; “Standards in Industry”, Special Issue, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 137, May 1928; Commercial Standards (Washington), from 1918.
Standardisation depended on calculating, another talent our species had recently taught itself, Lancelot Hogben, Mathematics for the Millions, George Allen & Unwin, London, 1937, chapter I, III & IV.
Frank J. Swetz, Capitalism and Arithmetic, The New Math of the 15th Century, Open Court, La Salle,Ill., 1987; Dirk J. Striuk, A Concise History of mathematics, Bell, London, 1954, and his A source book of mathematics, 1200-1800, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass, 1969.
[2] Architectural and Building Journal of Queensland (A&BJQ), April 1929, p. 43.
[3] Terry Smith, Making the modern: industry, art and design in America, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 199???, p. 365 mentions standardisation only in relation to the automobile, and then   .
[4] Karl Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1970, p. 87.
[5] Pierre Vilar, History of Money and Gold, 1450-1920, NLB, London, 1976; Karl Marx, Capital, I, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1976, pp. 186-87n.
The intimacy between the state and the market was illustrated in 1834 after fire in the Houses of Parliament destroyed the standard weights and lengths. Fresh bars were minted and a new governing Act passed in 1855, with amendments in 1877, to set the measuring temperature at 62 degrees Fahrenheit. Von Hayek argued that the state should confine its activities to the maintenance of social order and the protection of the currency.
[6] Kosmas Tsokhas, “The Australian role in Britain’s return to the gold standard”, Economic History Review, 47 (1), 1994, pp. 129-46.
[7] quoted David Kynaston, The City of London, volume III, Illusions of Gold, 1914-1945, Chatto & Windus, London, 1999, p. 114.
[8] B&C, 16 November 1928, pp. 3-4.
[9] Quoted David Noble, America by Design, ???????, 197 , p. 75.

[10] D. P. Copland, “Currency Inflation and Price Movements in Australia”, Economic Journal, December 1920, pp. 484-509; D. P. Copland, Credit and Currency Control, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1932 edition, Chapter 6.
 In 1931????? Grenfell Price etc reading the text of his pamphlet over and over to his cook until she understood his case
Keynes aimed his general theory at this rigidity, proposing that monetary policy could be counter-cyclical without debauching the currency.
[11] Peter Cochrane, “Gold: the Durability of a Barbarous Relic”, Science and Society, 44 (4), Winter 1980-81, pp. 385-400.
[12] Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Chapter Two; Capital, Volume I, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1976, pp. 162-244; Suzanne de Brunhoff, Marx on Money, Urizen, New York, 1976.
[13] Ian R. Bartky, “The Adoption of Standard Time”, Technology and Society, 30 (1), January 1989, pp. ????; David Landes, Revolution in Time, Clocks and the Making of the Modern World, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1983; Michael O’Malley, Keeping Watch, Smithsonian, Washington, 1990; E. P. Thompson, “Time, Work-Discipline, and the Industrial Capitalism”, Past and Present, 38, December 1967, pp. 56-97. MARX ON TIME IN CAPITAL????
[14] Graeme Davison, The Unforgiving Minute, How Australia Learned to Tell the Time, OUP, Melbourne, 1993.
[15] Australasian Engineering and Machinery, 2 (6), May 1912, p. 67; Scientific Australian, November 1923, pp. 421-22.
[16] Editorial, Australasian Engineering and Machinery, 3 (4), April 1913.
[17] Marx, Capital, I, pp.
The assumption that Marx was a technological determinist is challenged by Donald MacKenzie, “Marx and the Machine”, Technology and Culture, 25 (3), July 1984, pp. 473-502.
[18] Noble, pp. 82-83
[19] Noble, pp. 231-32.

[20] Andro Linklater, Measuring America, Harper Collins, London, 2003, pp. 5 and 12.
For details of land measures in Poland and Hungary see Technology and Culture, 18 (3), July 1977, pp. 500-1.
[21] The juridical form for the ready transfer of titles followed in 1857 with a system often named after the South Australian politician, Robert Torrens, who introduced the enabling legislation into the South Australia parliament. Hitherto, the vendor had to trace the deeds back in an unbroken line back to a Crown grant, if not antiquity.
[22] Australasian Footwear, October 1918, p. 337.
[23] Barrie Dyster,  Servant & Master, Building and Running the Grand Houses of Sydney 1788-1850, UNSW Press, Kensington, 1989, p. 127.
[24] Harry Braveman, Labor and Monopoly Capital, Monthly Review Press, New York, 1999 edition.
Hopes that machines could be made into tools by some Germans pre-war, see Pevsner
The time needed for operators to adjust their hand-eye coordination and their social relationships to new machines continues to impede standardisation.
[25] William McNeill, Keeping Together in Time: Dance and Drill in Human History, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1995, and critical review by John Keegan, Times Literary Supplement, 12 July 1996, pp. 3-4.
[26] K. R. Gilbert, “Machine-Tools”, Charles Singer et al., (eds), History of technology, volume 4, Industrial Revolution 1750-1850, OUP at the Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1958, pp. 437-8.
[27] Dirk J. Struik, Yankee Science in the Making, Collier Books, New York, 1962, pp. 182-89; for an obituary of this Dutch-U.S. American Marxist, see Isis, 93 (3), September 2002, pp. 456-59.
[28] Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, Illuminations, Fontana, London, 1973, pp. 219-53.
[29] David S. Landes, The Unbound Prometheus, Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1969, pp. 307-17. Landes provided a sweep and data which remain invaluable, but he published before Harry Braveman’s Labor and Monopoly Capital (1974) unleashed a torrent of empirical studies and conceptual debates.

[30] Gilbert, p. 439.
[31] Galloway, p. 639.
[32] ?????, p. 646-7.
[33] Robert A, Howard, “Interchangeable Parts Reexamined: The Private Sector of the American Arms Industry on the Eve of the Civil War’, Technology and Culture, 19 (4), October 1978, pp. 633-649.
[34] Forbes, 5 October 1998, pp. 156-58.
[35] Quoted Galloway, p. 819.
[36]Nathan Rosenberg, “Technological Change in the Machine Tool Industry, 1840-1910”, Journal of Economic History, 23 (4), December 1963, pp. 414-43.
[37] Gilbert, pp. 424-26; Witold Rybczynski, One Good Turn, Touchstone, New York, 2001, pp. 97-110.
[38] Gilbert, IV, pp. 431-33
[39] Gilbert, IV, pp. 431-33, and D. F. Galloway, “Machine-Tools”, Singer, volume V, The Late Nineteenth Century, p. 639.

[40] Frank J. Swetz, Capitalism & Arithmetic, The New Math of the 15th Century, Open Court, La Salle, Ill., 1987; Dirk J. Struik (ed.), Source book in mathematics, 1200-1800, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1969, pp. 1-11.
[41] Woodbury, p. 1052.
[42]  ????????
[43] See my “What happened in globalisation”, Journal of Australian Political Economy, 2004, pp. 
Bruce Sinclair, “At the Turn of  the Screw”, Technology and Society, XI, 1969, p. 26.
[45] Gilbert, pp. 439-40.
[46] A&BJQ, April 1929, p. 38.
[47] Mellor, p. 13.
[48] Woodbury, p. 1043
[49] Koenigsberger, 7, p. 1049.

[50] see Karel Williams, et al., “The Myth of the Line: Ford’s Production of the Model-T at Highland Park, 1909-16”, Business History, 35 (3), July 1993, pp. 66-87.
[51] Koenigsberger, 7, p. 1053.
[52] Koeningsberger, 7, p. 1051.
[53] Westralian Manufacturer, February 1923, p. 2.
[54] Westralian Manufacturer, February 1923, p. 2.
[55] Westralian Manufacturer, February 1923, p. 3; National Archives of Australia (NAA) B300.
[56] Western Trader, July 1925, p. 25; the editor continued to promote standardization, December 1925, pp. 30-35, August 1926, pp. 8-9; A&BJQ, August 1925, pp. 72ff.
[57] Building and Construction, 5 January 1928, p. 10.
[58] Gary Dean Best, Politics of American individualism: Herbert Hoover in transition, 1918-1921, Greenwood, Westport, 1975, pp. 46-50.
[59] Kendrick A. Clements, Hoover, conservation, and consumerism: engineering the good life, University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, 2000, pp. 61-65.

[60] Lebowitz,
[61] William R. Tanner, “Secretary of Commerce Hoover’s War on Waste”,  Carl E. Krog and William R. Tanner (eds), Herbert Hoover and the Republican Era: a reconsideration, University Press of America, Lanham, 1984, pp. 1-35.
[62]  “Standards in Industry”, Special Issue, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 137, May 1928; Commercial Standards (Washington), from 1918.
[64] Building and Construction, 5 January 1928, p. 10.
[65] Around the world, all currencies are now metric, with the United Kingdom switching in 198??? The recent phase of globalisation has not brought the United States any closer to other metric measures. For the switch in Australia see Jan Todd, For good measure, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2004, pp.  -  .
[66] Richard Breckon,  re upu colours 
[67] Hutton on artillery etc????
[68] Ian McLean, “Anglo-U.S. Engineering Competition, 1870-1914: Some Third-Market Evidence:, Economic History Review, 29, August 1976, pp. 452-64.
[69] Tony Griffith, Enfield inch and the Lithgow .303: the tale of metrology from Australian firearm folklore, Toptech Engineering, Terry Hills, 2003.

[70] Mellor, pp. 3-5.
[71] Mellor, p. 10.
[72] Australasian Electrical Times, 27 December 1922, p. 745.
[73] Cowan’s, 41, January 1926, pp. 10-13; 42, April 1926, pp. 33-34.
[74] Australasian Electrical Times, 30 March 1935, p. 15.
[75] A. F. Davies, Australian Democracy,
[76] Mechanical and Welding Engineer, March 1931, p. 136.
[77] Australasian Ironmonger, July 1886, pp. 57-58; July 1886, p. 83; August 1886, p. 107; October 1886, p. 149; December 1886, pp. 197-98; March 1887, pp. 47-48
[78] Australasian Ironmonger, August 1886, p. 83.
[79] A&BJQ, 7 November 1923: 13.

[80] A&BJQ, March 1925, p. 13.
[81] Report for 1907 and 1908.
[82] 1910 Report
[83] Master Builders Association of New South Wales, Report for 1903, unpaginated.
[84] Australasian Furniture and Furnishing, January 1922, p. 6.
For the U.S. experience, see Clements, Hoover, Conservation, and Consumerism, pp. 63ff.
[85] Australian Home Builder (AHB), October 1924, pp. 22-23. From the Eighteenth century, pre-fabrication had foreshadowed many of the processes that would not become the norm until the industrialisation of building well after 1945. 
[86] Mechanical and Welding Engineer, December 1928, p. ??????
[87] Christopher Leach, “Quantity Surveying and the Public Works Department of Victoria before 1890”, Building Economist, September 1992, pp. 18-20.
[88] H. Wexler, “Past, Present and Future of Quantity Surveying”, Building Economist, March 1992, pp. 15-17.

[90] Australian Engineer, 29 February, 1916, pp. 2-3.
[91] NAA, A8510.
[92] Australasian Footwear, September 1918, p. 300, November 1918, p. 413.
[93] Australasian Footwear, October 1918, p. 337.
[94] Australasian Footwear, January 1917, p. 354.
[95] Australasian Footwear, April 1917, p. 66.
[96] Australasian Footwear, October 1918, p. 337.
[97] Australasian Footwear, November 1918, p. 428.
[98] Westralian Manufacturer, 28 February 1923, pp. 1-3. ADB, 7, p. 614.
 list of his publications in Institution of Engin Aust J 14 1942
[99] A&BJQ, July 1924, pp. 73-74.

[100] A&BJQ, March 1925, pp. 12-13.
[101] A&BJQ, September 1924, pp. 49 and 51; March 1925, pp. 12-14; May 1925, pp. 53-56; June 1925, pp. 16-26; July 1925, pp. 42-44; June 1930, pp. 46-48.  The General Secretary of the Australian Civil Engineering Standards Association, W. Rayner Hebblewhite, visited Brisbane in December 1928, A&BJQ, April 1929, pp. 38-50.
By June 1930, promoters of standardization and simplification argued that they were more necessary than ever because of the depression.
[102] Civil Engineering, July 1924, p. 25; NAA A458 and A6006.
[103] Australian Engineering Record, April 1926, p. 349.
[104] Commercial Standards ( Sydney), 1931, unpaginated; SMH, 13 August 1929, p. 12; 11 September 1929, p. 19; 6 November 1929, p. 10; 17 April 1930, p. 18; 20 November 1930, p. 11; W. I. Stewart, National standards and their impact on Australia, 1922-1980, Standards Association of Australia, Sydney, 1980; Jan Todd, For good measure: the making of Australia’s measurement system, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2004; Winton Higgins, Engine of change: Standards Australia since 1922, Brandl & Schlesinger, Blackheath, 2005, pp. 1-61.
[105] See my The Essence of Capitalism, Septre, Sydney, 2001, chapters 1-3.
[106] SAA Bulletin, 1 (4), April 1939, p. 1.
[107] SAA Bulletin, October 1939, p. 2; July 1940, p. 2.
[108] SAA Buletin, October 1942, p. 2.
[109] D. P. Mellor, The Role of Science and Industry, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1958, chapter 7.

[110] Gallop, Bush Engineer, p. 27.
[111] Australian Standards Quarterly, April 1948, pp. 2-3.
[112] S.A.A. Bulletin, April 1947, pp. 5-7.
[113] Commonwealth Jeweller & Watchmaker (CJW), 2 July 1923, p. 19.
[114] CJW, 10 February 1955, p. 34.
[115] “Editorial”, Australian Cordial Maker, October 1949.
[116] Newspaper News, May 1928, pp. 10-11; June 1928, p. 11; July 1928, p. 11; October 1928, p. 12; cement manufacturers fixed prices behind the tariff wall, Colin Forster, Industrial Development in Australia, ANU Press, Canberra, 1964, pp. 70-71.
[117] Cowans, 38, April 1925, pp. 3 & 41-42.
[118] Cowans, 46, April 1927, p. 39.
[119] Quoted Max Farley, Graphic Arts Services Association of Australia, Sydney, 1993, pp. 7 & 25.

[120] Report of the Inter-State Commission, Australian Parliamentary Papers, 1914, volume 2, pp. 249-57
Victorian Parliamentary Debates, Legislative Council, Session 1913-14, volume 135, pp. 3345-53, 3877-87; H. L. Wilkinson, The Trust Movement in Australia, Critchley Parker, Melbourne, 1914, pp. 110-13.
[121] Wimble’s Reminder, July 1928, p. 57; October 1928, p. 13.
[122] Graphic Arts Services Association (GASA) Minutes, 6 August 1929, p. 85; 19 January 1931, p. 115; 5 December 1932, p. 164; 16 January 1933, pp. 167-68, Melbourne University Archives (MUA) 94/119/1; NN, 1 May 1935, p. 9
[123] GASA Minutes, 21 September 1936, p. 262; 19 October 1936, pp. 264; 266 and 268, MUA 91/119/1.
[124] Master Process Engravers Association (MPEA), Minutes, MUA 101/55/13, p. 164.
[125] Australasian Grocer, 24 January 1903, pp. 4 & 24; 24 March 1903, p. 62.
[126] Southern Grocer, 20 April 1912, p. 623.
[127] Australasian Electrical and Radio Times, 20 May 1936, p. 4.
[128] Clay Products Journal, March 1941, p. 11.
[129] Andrew Hopkins, “Anti-Trust and the Bourgeoisie: 1906 and 1965”, E. L. Wheelwright & Ken Buckley (eds), Essays in the Political Economy of Australian Capitalism, volume two, ANZ Books, Sydney, 1978, pp. 87-109; “Marxist Theory and Australian Monopoly Law’, volume five, pp. 265-89.

[130] Jeffrey Rich, Victorian Building Workers and their Unions, 1860 to 1890, Ph.D. Thesis, History Department, Australian National University, 1993, p. 50.
[131] See my “Making Capitals Tick”, Overland, 170, March 2003, pp. 92-101.
[132] Building and Construction (Perth), 24 May 1928, p. 3.
[133] B&C, (Perth), 24 May 1928, p. 3.
[134] Cowans, July 1928, pp. 10-13.
[135] Perth Chamber of Commerce Journal, November 1920, p. 2.
[136] Australian Electrical Times, 27 July 1923, pp. 465-66; a similar series appeared in the Commonwealth Jeweller and Watchmaker, ending in March 1928 with advice on petty cash.
Incompetence and ignorance persisted into the 1950s, Chartered Accountant in Australia, November 1954, pp. 260-62; January 1959, pp. 326-30; Australasian Grocer, August 1955, pp. 393-95; June 1958, p. 101.
[137] Proof, March 1926, p. 3; December 1927, pp. 10-11.
[138] Australian Master Printers’ Second Interstate Conference, 20-22 September 1911, MUA 101/55/3, p. 11.
[139] Cowan’s, October 1924, p. 32.

[140] Western Trader, July 1925, p. 25; December 1925, pp. 3-35; August 1926, pp. 8-9.
[141] Australian Standards Quarterly, July 1948, p.  9.
[142] Re gt&b           
[143] Southern Grocer, 20 May 1911, p. 5. The journal noted that price fixing had been achieved with sugar and kerosene, but did not add that their supply was dominated by CSR and Vacuum Oil respectively.
[144] This prospect was explored in a U.S. article reprinted in the South Australian Storekeepers and Grocers Journal, July 1920, pp. 527-35.
[145] NN, May 1931, p. 19; July 1931, p. 14.
[146] NN, December 1928, p. 11.
[147] S.A.A. Bulletin, October 1940, p. 3.
[148] Argus, 25 January 1911: 15a; cf. Marcus R. Barlow, “The Servantless House”, Home and Garden Beautiful, May 1914, pp. 492-93.
Charles A, Thrall, “The Conservative Use of Modern Household Technology”, Technology and Culture, 23 (2), April 1982,pp. 175-194.
Mrs Gilbreth
see Bev Kingston?????
[149] “Standardization of Family Life”, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 48, 1914, : 81_ ???;

[150] Chemist and Druggist of Australasia, July 1910, pp. 187-94.
[151] M. A. O’Callaghan, “Milk Standards”, Report of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, xii, 1909, pp. 160- ????
[152] South Australian Storekeeper and Grocers Journal (SASGJ), July 1923, p. 685; Scientific Australian, February 1924, p. 481.
[153] Australasian Electrical Times, 27 December 1922, p. 745.
For Knibbs see Susan Bambrick, Royal Society of New South Wales, Journal, 102, 1969, pp.
1988 Commonwealth Year Book
[154] Deborah Barrett and Charles Kurzman, “Globalizing social movement theory: The case of eugenics”, Theory and Society, 33 (5), October 2004, pp. 487-527. The authors made no mention of standardisation as one of the elements of “global culture” in the interwar period when eugenics was at its peak and standardisation establishing itself.
[155] E. R. Walker and R. B. Madwick, An Outline of Australian Economics, Witcombe & Tombs, Sydney, 1931, p. 68-69, and fifth edition in 1953, .
[156] Report of the Inter-State Commission, Australian Parliamentary Papers, 1914, volume 2, p. 249-57
Victorian Parliamentary Debates, Legislative Council, Session 1913-14, volume 135, pp. 3345-53, 3877-87; H. L. Wilkinson, The Trust Movement in Australia, Critchley Parker, Melbourne, 1914, pp. 110-13.
[158] GASA Minutes, 6 August 1929, p. 85; 19 January 1931, p. 115; 5 December 1932, p. 164; 16 January 1933, pp. 167-68, MUA 94/119/1; Newspaper News, 1 May 1935, p. 9
[159] GASA Minutes, 21 September 1936, p. 262; 19 October 1936, pp. 264; 266 and 268, MUA 91/119/1.

[160] MPEA Minutes, MUA 101/55/13, p. 164.
[161] F. W. Billmeyer, “Survey of Color Order Systems”, Color Research and Application, 12, 1987, pp. 173-86.
[162] D&P, February 1929, p. 146; cf. praise for William Ostwald’s approach, D&P, March 1924, pp. 165-6.
[163] MPEA Minutes, 4 December 1923, MUA 101/55/13, p. 164. ?????
GASA Minutes, 2 August 1926, MUA 94/119/1. Wimbles Reminder, July 1927, p. 37.
[164] GASA Minutes, 7 August 1928, MUA 94/119/1, p. 59.
[165] GASA Minutes, 19 May 1930, MUA 94/119/1, p.100.
[166] GASA Minutes, 25 September 1933, p. 189; 16 October 1933, MUA, 94/119/1, p. 192.
[167] NN, August 1938, p. 25.
[168] D&P, April 1925, p. 199.
D&P, February 1929, p. 146;
[169] Newcastle Construction, 13 October 1927, p. 15.

[170] D&P, September 1929, p. 355.
[171] D&P, May 1927, pp. 220-21.
[172] D&P, August 1929, pp. 311-13; this account  points to the multiple ways by which work could be de-graded, cf. Harry Braveman, Labor and Monopoly Capital, Monthly Review Press, New York, 1974.
Robert Tressell left us a different account of the pre-war trade in England, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Lawrence & Wishart, London, 1955.
[173] Scientific Australian, June 1924, pp. 307-13.
[174] Decorator & Painter, December 1927, p. 65; May 1929, p. 218; June 1929, p. 258; July 1929, p. 277; August 1929, pp. 309-10.
[175] “Perfect Competition, Historically Contemplated”, Journal of Political Economy, 65 (1), February 1957, pp. 14-15.
[176] Boyd, Australian Ugliness, p. 146.