Leslie, broadening the issue, how do you think the Cattleya judging standards (and how points were awarded) have evolved from the 1930s until today? I have the sense that some Cattleyas that were an FCC in earlier decades might not be as highly awarded today? Yet, trianae 'The President' received an AOS FCC in 1949 and again in 2014 so there must be some absolutes that have come through?
A related question would be how variable judging standards have been between RHS, AOS, HOS, AOC, etc around the world? I suspect that some plants that might be rarely seen in one system might be judged either higher or lower than in a system in which the plants were commonplace?
Terry, interesting question.
The scoring system has not changed since then for AOS, believe it or not. The point scale for Cattleyas is still at 30 points for form, 30 points for color and 40 points for stem (10), size (10) and texture/substance (20). There is a new point scale under review but that might not happen for a year or two.
In terms of standards of the Cattleyas through time, the ideal is still the round, flat and proportionate flower, which the Bow Bells lines still maintain. Of course we expect the size to gradually increase (up to a limit) but there are Bow Bells (and its immediate progeny) that still garner high awards at this present time. An example is the recent Bow Bells 'White Sands' got an AM of 86 points in 2017 with a whopper size of 18.8 cm with 5 flowers and 3 buds on 2 inflorescences! To compare the average size of Bow Bells was 15.2 cm.
The progeny of Bow Bells called Bob Betts (x mossiae) had 'Ramona' HCC/AOS in 1972 with 19.1 cm flowers and 'Sissie' AM/AOS (80 points) with a 17.1 cm with 2 flowers.
There are flowers like the trianae 'The President' that can withstand the test of time because they were already perfectly shaped for the species, back then and even today. If one studies the awards and look at ones like 'Jungle Queen', 'The King' and 'AC Burrage', you can see that their shape and size still matches the modern line bred ones, if not better. These will maintain their AM awards if judged today, even 50 or more years later. Similarly, 'Cashen's' FCC/AOS with its great shape and size will unlikely to be downgraded from an FCC even if rescored 50 years from now. (Note: species are compared to natural form of the species and not to hybrids).
The judging standards from different judging systems around the world can vary tremendously. Some use qualitative pointing systems like AOS (US), AOC (Australia), JOGA (Japan) and TOGA (Taiwan). Others use a voting (appreciative) system like RHS and WOC (World Orchid Conference).
The qualitative system is similar in AOS and AOC for points but different in TOGA (which gives almost 28 points to aesthetics appeal, where the other 2 systems don't). Judges in this system are trained in a long apprenticeship program with education, manuals, show attendance and student evaluations, up to 10 years. JOGA is the exception where the judges are selected similarly to the appreciative system below.
In the appreciative system, the judges are picked based on their experiences and knowledge, esp. for the RHS Orchid Committee. There is no requirement for formal training for this system as each judge was selected for their contribution to the group, whether they might be a geneticist, hybridizer, seasoned grower, taxonomist or in any field related to orchids. In WOC, the judges are usually picked from all over the world with a requirement that they have experiences and knowledge in orchids (either from the known judging systems or individuals like taxonomists/experts/scientists recommended by peers).
I have attached some training manuals from some of the systems below to help elucidate this variety of judging concepts (you may need to convert to English translation and then search around for medal judging as the foreign characters in web address didn't come through here when I tried to attach it):
JOGA: ホーム | 日本洋蘭農業協同組合
RHS: https://www.aos.org/AOS/media/Content-Images/PDFs/Judges Forum/Rittershausen_Judging-Orchids-at-the-Royal-Horticultural-Society.pdf