Talk:Mass production

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Lead image?[edit]

Mass production of Consolidated B-32 Dominator airplanes at Consolidated Aircraft Plant No. 4, near Fort Worth, Texas, during World War II.

Why is the lead image of aircraft production for the Consolidated B-32 Dominator? Although aircraft production during WWII would be a good choice in general, this is an obscure aircraft and only just over a hundred were built. This isn't "mass production" by the standards of other US bombers and their ten or twenty thousand production runs. Andy Dingley (talk) 00:04, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

I think we'd be better off with something like this bottling plant; as well as the larger numbers, it even has some common mass-production features such as conveyor belts and batching. Mass production of aircraft is not really representative. bobrayner (talk) 13:28, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Herstellung Köstritzer Brauerei.JPG
A photo of Ford's assembly line would probably be most appropriate because it is the example used by Hounshell. The aircraft photo may have replaced an auto assembly line photo. Speaking of that, someone has inserted aircraft photos into the lede of Assembly line also.Phmoreno (talk) 14:02, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Assembly line obviously requires images of an assembly line. However Mass production doesn't, merely mass production. There are plenty of mass production industries that use either one static reactor (a pottery kiln), static workpieces (WWII heavy bombers) or simply boxes and baskets of part-work travelling between workstations (Adam Smith's pin factory and division of labour). We should be careful to not imply that mass production always implies a production line.
As to this image, then I'm happy with the idea of B-17s, B-24s or B-29s (there's a nice P-38 image on Commons), just not the obscure B-32. Andy Dingley (talk) 14:12, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Airplanes were never "mass produced" as in consumption for the masses. However, you have a good point with assembly line not being representative. Mass production of the parts was more significant than assembly.Phmoreno (talk) 14:33, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
WWII aircraft were produced in ten thousand runs of single models. That's "mass production", no matter who it's for. Also aircrews are drawn from "the masses", same as VW Beetle buyers. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:42, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Regardless of what image is in the lede, an image of a bottling line or some other process would be a useful addition.Phmoreno (talk) 15:46, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Agreed. I'm lukewarm towards Ford - the Model T is certainly a staple of MBA handbooks but it wasn't exactly the first mass production in the car industry and we're constrained by availability of good images. Images of mass-produced-WW2-warplanes may be more striking but there are various ways in which this is atypical of mass production. bobrayner (talk) 20:07, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
The Owens automatic glass bottle machine is a recommended candidate. It revolutionized the production of glass bottles, making them available for everyday grocery store items like Coca Cola. There were earlier machines that started displacing glassblowers, but the Owens machine was the first to be widely used. [Owens glass bottle machine]Phmoreno (talk) 20:44, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
It's all very well discussing the best things in principle, but we are constrained by what's available on Commons. We'd also prefer a high-quality, well-composed image. Found any good ones on Commons? bobrayner (talk) 20:48, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Historical photos are available for downloading from the Smithsonian Institute Archives. I know someone who went there in person and was helped by archivest in obtaining a photo. Next time I am in DC I will be going to the archives, but that is months away. It may be possible to request retrieval of images online or by phone.Phmoreno (talk) 21:12, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Further reading shows that there is a charge for photos. I don't know if they would grant a waiver for Commons.Phmoreno (talk) 21:35, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

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Pre-industrial Mass Production?[edit]

I initially had a hard time thinking of examples of pre-industrial mass production dating back "centuries". Then I thought of making coins or bricks. But then I realized those are both just shaped homogeneous materials -- they have no moving or separable parts. Worse, Random House says chickens are mass-produced -- nixing the criteria that the products must be indistinguishable/interchangeable. I concluded that "examples" and "beginnings" can't be reasonably declared without a clearer definition of "mass production". LoneStarNot (talk) 04:29, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

You are correct in questioning ancient production methods as mass production. I made corrections.