Where have I heard that before?", I used several excerpts from a 1920 edition of the American Architect magazine. The comments showed a general concern about the importance of specifications, and about the absence of specifications in architectural education, stating "the preparation of specifications receives less study and attention in proportion to its importance than any other phase of architectural or engineering practice."
While investigating the history of specifications, I was surprised to find references like this, as I had learned next to nothing about specifications in school (I think the word was spoken the first day of Professional Practice class, never to be mentioned again). It wasn't until I became a specifier that I understood what specifications are, thanks to my local CSI chapter. However, as good as the education and certification classes were, my understanding was that CSI pretty much invented specifications.