Birth of scope creep?
The fixation on better instead of good enough first appeared in the growth between the original specifications shown to bidders in August 1862 and the modified specifications sent to bidders in October. Among the changes, the deck armor was doubled in thickness from 1 to 2 inches, the pine armor backing became oak, auxiliary boilers were added and horizontal tubular boilers replaced the smaller Martin boilers originally specified. The contractors only became aware of these changes when they received the specifications and the first few drawings in late September or early October 1862. - Civil War Ironclads: The U.S. Navy and Industrial Mobilization by William H. Roberts
The table was set for the acceptance of Navy scope creep once Fremont had been deemed corrupt for buying "good enough" at premium prices in 1861, I think. An interesting problem for military contractors this, and their "get along" attitude with the government may have set back the war effort, if not national defense generally, Roberts suggests.
As someone who spent years working with engineering drawings, let me award two-inch ironclad kudos to Roberts for studying this form of record to bring us closer to the truth. Would your favorite pop historian have done the same for you?