And it was in the firearms industry… This is pretty neat- http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2008/04/dayintech_0416, Gun maker Simeon North suggested that government manufacturing contracts require interchangeable parts. The Army agreed, and he got the first-ever contract with that spec. North is generally acknowledged as the inventor of the earliest primitive milling machine. The mechanism replaced hand-filing in the shaping of metal parts and made interchangeability a practical goal. Before long, he was turning out 10,000 pistols a year.