“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”
Even as someone who is in an industry that uses dowel pins, and understands their importance, the above proverb by Benjamin Franklin, is a good reminder of why these elements, while physically small, still play such a major role in the overall safe operation and functionality of many of our core systems and solutions.
The main point that’s being made? Never overlook the small details; they all play an important role! What started out in this proverb as a seemingly small ‘thing’ (a nail missing from a horseshoe) continued to have an impact on other elements down the line that eventually led to losing a battle and an entire kingdom!
Many have also compared this theory to the “butterfly effect,” a idea that even the most insignificant thing (such as a butterfly flapping its wings) can have a large, non-linear impact on a much more complex system (such as causing a typhoon).
Yet another interpretation used alongside this proverb is the idea that “We’re only as strong as our weakest link.” During the Civil War Battle of Sharpsburg, the Union was victorious thanks to a letter dropped by a careless courier, which gave up the exact location of the enemy.
In another example, a 1992 El Al Flight 1862, headed from JFK airport to Ben Gurion airport in Israel, made a stopover in Amsterdam and crashed shortly after taking flight to its final destination. The Boeing 747 cargo plane ended up losing its two right engines while in the air, plummeted, and crashed. The catastrophic events were investigated, and it was uncovered that excessive loads on the plane engines caused the fuse pins to crack, fatigue, and eventually cause the inboard engine and pylon to break free.
Consider the parallels between the fuse pins and the engines in the previous example, and the horseshoe nail and the rider in Franklin’s proverb. Maybe we aren’t fighting for kingdoms here with dowel pins, but we’re surely working to keep the aerospace industry fully compliant, firearms and vehicles safe, and medical equipment functioning at their optimal levels.
At Horberg Industries, your dowel pins are always, More Than “Just a Dowel Pin.”
Horberg Industries…Dowel Pins Made Right!