After the Industrial Revolution
After the rapid industrialisation of the early nineteenth century, the lack of national standardisation caused huge inefficiencies. Proof of this lack of conformity is still apparent today, for example, in the number of different railway gauges that exist.
After the Industrial Revolution, occupational injury became a major issue for many workers. By the late 1870s, workplace explosions were causing more than 50,000 fatalities each year. In response to this, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), one of the first voluntary standardising bodies, was established in 1880.
Standards in contemporary society
By the end of the nineteenth century, the value of standardisation was recognised as a national priority. From then on, standardisation started to flourish and is now intrinsic to modern society. From its industrial roots it now includes consumer safety, occupational health, energy management and more – all with the purpose of improving the quality and comfort of everyday life.