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16" O.C. Spacing

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Does anyone know where the 16" on center spacing has come from? How long ago
it started? Who came up with it first?

Obviously, it is not because of the size of plywood sheathing since they
where using 16" spacing before they know what plywood was.

An architect asked that questions and I did not have an answer!

Thank you,

F S Rahbar, SE

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