What's the point?

In 1908 Cadillac won the Dewar Trophy.

This prestigious award was given “to the motorcar which should successfully complete the most meritorious performance or test furthering the interests and advancement of the [automobile] industry” (Wikipedia).

To win this coveted prize, Cadillac completely disassembled three of its Model K production cars.

When finished, a pile of 721 parts was left. 89 of these were considered to be machined to “extreme accuracy.” These 89 pieces were then removed, locked away, and replaced with 89 “off the shelf” replacement parts.
The three cars were then reassembled, and completed a mandatory 500-mile run. After successfully completing this 500 miles, one car was locked away for several months until the start of the 2000 mile “reliability test.”
This Cadillac Model K completed the 2000 miles and won the 1908 Dewar Trophy.
I absolutely love this story because it reminds me of how much has changed in 100 years. One hundred years ago, one of the most prestigious awards that could be held in any industry was given to the manufacturer who could best replicate a product.

In today’s world all we have is replication. Everything is the same.

You could perform the 1908 Dewar test on any item found in your home with any similar item found in a home anywhere in the country and pass with flying colors. A Big Mac in Amarillo, TX, is the same as a Big Mac in Boston, MA. A Wal-Mart in Seattle, WA, carries the exact same blue jeans as the Wal-Mart in Jackson, MS. The Ford Taurus sitting next to you at the red light is the exact same as yours.
Everything is mass produced. Stamped out by the millions. I’m not suggesting that this is a bad thing. It’s nice in so many ways—convenience, price and ease, to name a few. But what is lost is imagination. What is lost is that texture of the human touch.
Reading on an I-Pad is not flipping the pages of a book. Running your hand across a heart pine table is not the same as running it across a piece of Formica. One is not better than the other. But one is disappearing.
I just feel that everyone wants to have a little personality. Some way to stand out from everyone else. Something to help express ourselves, something unique. We try to find this in cookie cutter cars, cookie cutter clothes, cookie cutter food, cookie cutter music, cookie cutter . . . . But I’d like to think that not everything has to be purchased from the local box store. Everyone has ideas that never come to fruition, only to settle for something at the local Lowe’s or Wal-Mart. I’d like to think that helping someone create/achieve an idea is a worthwhile goal.