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What a Difference a Century Makes

While going through some things, ran across this:

973-Old-StyleThe drawing is interesting to technology history buffs, but look at the note in the upper right hand corner:

Superseded by new tracing 8/18/15

Just last year?  No, just last century…

Note: referring to drawings as “tracings” is very old school, but I can remember that terminology being used in the 1970’s.  Drawings like this were usually done on linen with India ink; some of them are real works of art.


2 Replies to “What a Difference a Century Makes”

  1. I worked as a junior draughtsman (UK spelling) for a major Telecoms manufacturer in the 1960’s and we did draw onto linen in Indian ink sometimes. I still have some of the special pens!! But more often it was in pencil onto a plastic film. We had a large office, with 20 – 30 girls employed purely as tracers producing copies of original drawings.
    All that skill in producing drawings in 3rd angle projection, all hand lettered – gone – replaced by CAD packages. A bit sad really.


    1. UK spellings are welcome here; in fact, they appear on many of Vulcan’s (the old family business) drawings, literature, etc., until after World War I.

      Just before we left Chicago in 1960, we went first to vellum drawn on by pencil, then mylar. We had, as you noted, to retrace drawings from time to time since they wore out in the reproduction process. And we went to template lettering from hand lettering. The visual quality of the drawings went down with this, and they didn’t microfilm as well either.

      Vulcan didn’t go to CAD until the late 1980’s. In some ways it’s an improvement over the mylar/pencil era, but as you say it isn’t up to the old ink stuff.

      You can find more information about the business here.


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