Mass production

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Assembly line Mercedes-Benz.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
Wine bottling line.
Mass production of paper.

Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardized products, including and especially on assembly lines. With job production and batch production it is one of the three main production methods

CONTENT : A - F , G - L , M - R , S - Z , See also , External links

Quotes[edit]

Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author

A - F[edit]

  • The industrial way of life leads to the industrial way of death. From Shiloh to Dachau, from Antietam to Stalingrad, from Hiroshima to Vietnam and Afghanistan, the great specialty of industry and technology has been the mass production of human corpses.
    • Edward Abbey A Voice Crying in the Wilderness (Vox Clamantis in Deserto) (1990). Ch. 11 : Money Et Cetera, p. 100
  • This is an age of mass production. In the mass production of materials a broad technique has been developed and applied to their distribution. In this age, too, there must be a technique for the mass distribution of ideas.
    • Edward Bernays, "Manipulating Public Opinion", American Journal of Sociology 33 (May, 1928), p. 958–971
  • Two centuries ago Leibnitz invented a calculating machine which embodied most of the essential features of recent keyboard devices, but it could not then come into use. The economics of the situation were against it: the labor involved in constructing it, before the days of mass production, exceeded the labor to be saved by its use, since all it could accomplish could be duplicated by sufficient use of pencil and paper. Moreover, it would have been subject to frequent breakdown, so that it could not have been depended upon; for at that time and long after, complexity and unreliability were synonymous.
  • To make more products for people who wanted to express themselves would mean creating variety. But the systems of mass production that had been developed in America were only profitable if they made large numbers of the same objects. This had fitted perfectly with the limited range of desires of a conformist society. The expressive self threatened this whole system of manufacturing.
  • Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.
    • Henry Ford Remark about the Model T in 1909, published in his autobiography My Life and Work (1922) Chapter IV, p. 71; this has often been paraphrased, e.g.: "You can have any colour as long as it's black."
  • Just as modern mass production requires the standardization of commodities, so the social process requires standardization of man, and this standardization is called equality.

G - L[edit]

  • * It's curious," he went on after a little pause, "to read what people in the time of Our Ford used to write about scientific progress. They seemed to have imagined that it could be allowed to go on indefinitely, regardless of everything else. Knowledge was the highest good, truth the supreme value; all the rest was secondary and subordinate. True, ideas were beginning to change even then. Our Ford himself did a great deal to shift the emphasis from truth and beauty to comfort and happiness. Mass production demanded the shift. Universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning; truth and beauty can't...
  • A whole day's journey—didn't mean to do it. We just became so involved in things that we forgot about God. And that is the danger confronting us, my friends: that in a nation as ours where we stress mass production, and that's mighty important, where we have so many conveniences and luxuries and all of that, there is the danger that we will unconsciously forget about God.

M - R[edit]

  • Mass production and mass distribution claim the entire individual, and industrial psychology has long since ceased to be confined to the factory.
  • The invention of typography confirmed and extended the new visual stress of applied knowledge, providing the first uniformly repeatable “commodity,” the first assembly-line, and the first mass-production.
  • Consider, for example, the mechanical precision with which many of our institutions are expected to operate. Organizational life is often routinized with the precision demanded of clockwork. People are frequently expected to arrive at work at a given time, perform a predetermined set of activities, rest at appointed hours, and then resume their tasks until work is over. In many organizations, one shift of workers replaces another in methodical fashion so that work can continue uninterrupted twenty-four hours a day every day of the year. Often, the work is very mechanical and repetitive. Anyone who has observed work in the mass-production factory or in any of the large “office factories” processing paper forms such as insurance claims, tax returns, or bank checks will have noticed the machine-like way in which such organizations operate. They are designed like machines, and their employees are in essence expected to behave as if they were parts of machines.
  • But what would become of mass production and its system of financial expansion if technical perfection, durability, social efficiency, and human satisfaction were the guiding aims. The very conditions for current financial success — constantly expanding production and replacement — works against these ends. To ensure the rapid absorption of its immense productivity, megatechnics resorts to a score of different devices: consumer credit, installment buying, multiple packaging, non-functional designs, meretricious novelties, shoddy materials, defective workmanship, built-in fragility, or forced obsolescence through frequent arbitrary changes of fashion. Without constant enticement and inveiglement by advertising, production would slow down and level off to normal replacement demand. Otherwise many products could reach a plateau of efficient design which would call for only minimal changes from year to year.
    • Lewis Mumford The Pentagon of Power (1970) Megatechnic Costs and Benefits
  • Growing up it all seems so one-sided
    Opinions all provided
    The future pre-decided
    Detached and subdivided
    In the mass production zone
    Nowhere is the dreamer or the misfit so alone
  • Wealth in the modern world does not come merely from individual effort; it results from a combination of individual effort and of the manifold uses to which the community puts that effort. The individual does not create the product of his industry with his own hands; he utilizes the many processes and forces of mass production to meet the demands of a national and international market.
  • Furthermore, the drain of a depression upon the reserves of business puts a disproportionate strain upon the modestly capitalized small enterprise. Without such small enterprises our competitive economic society would cease. Size begets monopoly. Moreover, in the aggregate these little businesses furnish the indispensable local basis for those nationwide markets which alone can ensure the success of our mass production industries. Today our smaller corporations are fighting not only for their own local well-being but for that fairly distributed national prosperity which makes large-scale enterprise possible. It seems only equitable, therefore, to adjust our tax system in accordance with economic capacity, advantage and fact. The smaller corporations should not carry burdens beyond their powers; the vast concentrations of capital should be ready to carry burdens commensurate with their powers and their advantages.

S - Z[edit]

  • One of the hardest-to-down myths about the evolution of mass production at Ford is one which credits much of the accomplishment to 'scientific management.' No one at Ford—not Mr. Ford, Couzens, Flanders, Wills, Pete Martin, nor I—was acquainted with the theories of the 'father of scientific management,' Frederick W. Taylor. Years later I ran across a quotation from a two-volume book about Taylor by Frank Barkley Copley, who reports a visit Taylor made to Detroit late in 1914, nearly a year after the moving assembly line had been installed at our Highland Park plant. Taylor expressed surprise to find that Detroit industrialists 'had undertaken to install the principles of scientific management without the aid of experts.' To my mind this unconscious admission by an expert is expert testimony on the futility of too great reliance on experts and should forever dispose of the legend that Taylor's ideas had any influence at Ford.
  • When our food and clothing and housing all are born in the complication of mass production, mass method is bound to get into our thinking and to eliminate all other thinking. In our time mass or collective production has entered our economics, our politics, and even our religion, so that some nations have substituted the idea collective for the idea God.
  • Both pure and applied science have gradually pushed further and further the requirements for accuracy and precision. However, applied science, particularly in the mass production of interchangeable parts, is even more exacting than pure science in certain matters of accuracy and precision.
    • Shewhart, Walter A.; Deming, William E. (1939). Statistical Method from the Viewpoint of Quality Control. The Graduate School, The Department of Agriculture. p. 120. 
  • There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.
  • Market capitalism is the best thing that ever happened to the common man. The rich have always had access to entertainment, often in the comfort of their palaces and mansions. The rich have never had to experience the drudgery of having to beat out carpets, iron their clothing or slave over a hot stove all day in order to have a decent dinner. They could afford to hire people. Capitalism's mass production and marketing have made radios and televisions, vacuum cleaners, wash-and-wear clothing and microwave ovens available and well within the means of the common man; thus, sparing him of the boredom and drudgery of the past. Today, the common man has the power to enjoy much (and more) of what only the rich could afford yesteryear.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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