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Mind boggling numbers

old man emu

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Do Australians lack the concept of the numbers that mass production involves? Does our small population in a non-industrial nation prevent us from understanding the volumes of product that industrialised nations produce?


Recently a TV show I watch went to a cotton mill museum in Manchester. The guide said that at the height of the industry there, 9000 looms were in action 14 hours per day, six days per week. Then I moved on to several documentaries about WWll aircraft, and the numbers of aircraft built by all combatants in the 1940 - 1945 period were incredible.  I learned that firearms of all types were produced in the hundreds of thousands. One company even produced 70,000 motorcycles and spares for 30,000 in the same time frame.


While the numbers of completed items are beyond fathoming, consider the number of individual components that had to be made to go together in one item. How many rivets would there be in a 4-engined bomber? How many buttons for a combatant's uniform. How many cartridge cases for use in firearms?


Even today, these industrialised countries are producing items in staggering numbers. Is it little wonder that manufacturing in Australia, despite our ability to produce high quality goods, has dwindled to almost the cottage industry level?

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I've always liked those photos of wartime aircraft production factories with the lines of partially completed planes and multitudes of workers. It's very hard to get your head around the sheer numbers involved, like the Ilushin Sturmovik, second only I think to the Cessna 172 in production. I have trouble visualizing 1,000 aircraft lined up, let alone 40,000 of the one type.

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On 02/07/2020 at 11:53 AM, Old Koreelah said:

...and at the end of the war, acres of brand new and unused  P-51s, B-24s, etc. we're bulldozed into heaps for scrap.

Don't, OK... the very thought brings a tear to my eye.

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My elder brother always said that in the future everything will be mass-produced.

I,ve always said, if the fat, rich industrialist. wanted something they would pay huge amounts of money for Hand Produced  goods !.

An English Artist travels the world finding Old Smelly rope to make "pictures" from, they are Visual, Oral, and touch defined, and cost $ Millions.


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