That sure doesn't sound like it could have happened at the factory. I have heard of a TIG welded BB being installed backwards but they are a simple tube that could be accidently put into fixturing backwards.
Further, it would be very hard to install the cups in the wrong sides because of the handedness of the threading. It will be interesting to know if the cups come out hard or with normal force.
I don't remember if it was a steel frame but a bicycle came into my shop for repair and it had the BB installed backwards. I think it was a cartridge style. It went in OK and the threads held. Maybe you'll have the same luck.
Vista, California USA
>I noticed for the first-time today that the BB cups (both marked 1.370 x 24
> TPI) of my '71 P15 are reversed; fixed on left, adj on right. Was this a
> factory goof, any precedent?
> Jack Romans
> Sacramento, California