Friday, September 03, 2004

Reflections on standards

Yesterday, I was replacing my plastic shower curtain with a new one (and none too soon, I might add). As usual, I bought a real cheap one at the $2-store, since fungus grows as easily on an expensive one as a cheap one.

As I was inserting the hooks on the shower rod into the holes, it came to me: every shower curtain I'd ever bought had the same number of holes, the same width and length. Who decided that?

It turns out that there is a patent schedule for "movable closures which include means to drain, deflect, or repel shower spray water" filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Then the chicken or egg thing came to me: was there a patent on the size of bathtubs first, then one for shower curtains next, or vice-versa?

Worth pondering.

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