A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 27, 2015
“One test is worth a thousand expert opinions”

"One test is worth a thousand expert opinions” is a popular adage in aerospace that has also been used by other fields. Nothing shows that a product works (or doesn’t work) like a good product test. The saying has been cited in print since at least 1940-41, when it was used in an advertisement for the Riehle Testing Machine Company.

The saying is often credited to Alvin M. “Tex” Johnston (1914-1998), an American jet-age test pilot for Bell Aircraft and the Boeing Company. Johnston put the saying on a wall plaque while he was employed at Boeing (beginning 1948). However, the saying had already been cited in print even before Johnston joined Bell Aircraft in December 1942.


Die Familie Riehle
Dear Sir, or Madam,

I’ve often wanted to print and frame this quotation and hang it in every mechanical test lab I’ve ever been associated with.  However, I’ve never seen it in print, let alone with credit to the author, and maybe a date.

“One test is worth a thousand expert opinions.”
(...)
Michael Nutt
Director, Materials Research & Quality Assurance
Spinal Innovations, Inc.
Bartlett, TN
If you have more information on this quote or the Riehle Brothers Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia, please contact us !

Wikipedia: Alvin M. Johnston
Alvin M. “Tex” Johnston (August 18, 1914 – October 29, 1998) was an American jet-age test pilot for Bell Aircraft and the Boeing Company.
(...)
Test pilot
In December 1942, Johnston moved to Bell Aircraft as a flight test engineer. He flew the P-39 Airacobra and the XP-63 during the prototype phases. He also flew the first US jet, the XP-59 Airacomet. Johnston earned his nickname “Tex” because of his penchant for wearing cowboy boots and a Stetson hat on the flightline.
(...)
He became a test pilot for Boeing in July 1948. He flew the B-47 Stratojet and piloted the first flight of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress prototype.

Google Books
ASTM Bulletin
Volume 1960
1940
Pg. 70:
Handsome wall plaque, reading: “One Test is worth a Thousand Expert Opinions.”

Google Books
ASTM Bulletin
Issues 108-119
1941
Pg. 3:
“ONE TEST IS WORTH A THOUSAND EXPERT OPINIONS.”
(Ad for Riehle testing machines.—ed.)

11 June 1942, Dallas (TX) Morning News, ‘Letters from Readers,” sec. 2, pg. 4, col. 7:
But “one test is worth a thousand expert opinions.”
(...)
WALTER H. DRANE.
Sherman, Texas.

Google Books
Production Handbook
By John A. White
New York, NY: Wiley
1987
Pg. 87:
There is an axiom, “One test is worth 1000 expert opinions.”

Google Books
Product Design and Factory Development
Edited by Richard Crowson
Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press
2006
Pg. 147:
Someone once said wisely, “One test is worth a thousand expert opinions.” This applies to children’s toys as surely as to aerospace products.

Google Books
Jet Age:
The Comet, the 707, and the Race to Shrink the World

By Sam Howe Verhovek
New York, NY: Avery (Penguin Group)
2010
Pg. ?:
“One test is worth a thousand expert opinions,” the sign read.
(A sign at Boeing headquarters, placed on the wall by Alvin M. “Tex” Johnston.—ed.)

Practical Machinist
rbent
11-07-2011, 05:09 PM
Reminds me of a sign that is on our vintage Riehle testing machine.

“One test is worth a thousand expert opinions”

Twitter
Michael Okuda
‏@MikeOkuda
“One test is worth a thousand expert opinions.” Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot via Bill Nye @TheScienceGuy
7:28 PM - 3 Jan 2014

Twitter
Christian Maioli M.
‏@christianmaioli
There’s an old saying in aerospace, “One test is worth a thousand expert opinions.”
7:36 AM - 26 Jan 2015

EarthSky
RELEASE DATE: JAN 27, 2015
Planetary Society to test its LightSail solar sail in May
(...)
Bill Nye (The Science Guy), CEO at The Planetary Society, said:

There’s an old saying in aerospace, ‘One test is worth a thousand expert opinions.’ After six years of development, we’re ready at last to see how LightSail flies.

(Trademark)
Word Mark ONE TEST IS WORTH A THOUSAND EXPERT OPINIONS
Goods and Services (CANCELLED) IC 009. US 026. G & S: Testing Machines for Determining Mechanical Properties of Construction Materials. FIRST USE: 19420722. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19420722
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 72058388
Filing Date September 5, 1958
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 0728507
Registration Date March 13, 1962
Owner (REGISTRANT) American Machine and Metals, Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE East Moline ILLINOIS
(LAST LISTED OWNER) Page-Wilson Corporation CORPORATION DELAWARE Bridgeport CONNECTICUT
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 19820313
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Cancellation Date December 14, 2002

(Trademark)
Word Mark RIEHLE
Goods and Services (EXPIRED) IC 009. US 026. G & S: TESTING MACHINES FOR CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS. FIRST USE: 18970000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 18970000
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 71685234
Filing Date April 11, 1955
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 0627784
Registration Date May 29, 1956
Owner (REGISTRANT) AMERICAN MACHINE AND METALS, INC. CORPORATION DELAWARE 100 W. 10TH ST. WILMINGTON DELAWARE
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL-2(F)
Affidavit Text SECT 15.
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 19760529
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Tuesday, January 27, 2015 • Permalink