I first encountered this amazing infographic hanging on a professor’s office wall when I was visiting law schools back in 1999. I’ve been trying, off and on, to run down my own copy ever since. It’s been one of those back-burner projects that I’ll poke at when it comes to mind, every now and again, but until quite recently all my leads had come up dry. All I really knew about the poster was that it had been created in the 80s by analysts at Rockwell International and that it was called the “Integrated Space Plan.”
Rockwell International was a major American manufacturing conglomerate in the latter half of the 20th century, involved in aircraft, the space industry, both defense-oriented and commercial electronics, automotive and truck components, printing presses, valves and meters, and industrial automation. It was the ultimate incarnation of a series of companies founded by Willard Rockwell. At its apex in the 1990s, Rockwell International was No. 27 on the Fortune 500 list, with assets of over $8 billion and sales of $27 billion.
At the end of the 1980s, the company sold its valve and meter division, formerly Rockwell Manufacturing, to British Tyre & Rubber. It also sold its printing press division to an internal management team. Following the “peace dividend” after the fall of the Soviet bloc, the company sold its defense and aerospace business, including what was once North American Aviation and Rocketdyne, to Boeing Integrated Defense Systems in December 1996.
About a month ago, all the little threads I’d been pulling on suddenly unraveled, and I was able to connect with a generous donor willing to entrust an original copy of the poster to me long enough to have it scanned at high resolution. It’s a large document, at 28 x 45″, but fortunately it’s monochrome, and reproduces well using 1-bit color at 600dpi, so even uncompressed bitmaps come in at under 5MB.
Update: Please note your browser may not be able to display the PNG image, above. It is not large in terms of data, but in terms of pixels, it is huge: 16800 x 27000. At typical monitor resolutions, that’s about 12 screens wide by 30 screens high. If your browser won’t display it, try right-clicking on the link, selecting “Save as…”, and then opening it in a dedicated image-viewing and/or -editing program. Thanks!