Any old draftsmen here??
"What is this thing you call a "Draftsman"?"
, you say?
Back in the Stone Age, long before AutoCAD, before computers, there were Draftsmen. Technical drawings and "blue"prints were all done by hand then.
And this is probably where my love of writing instruments stems from. I was a draftsman.
Back then highly complex design documents were as much a technical document as they were a work of art. A highly qualified and experienced draftsman
could bring in a LOT of money. I know I sure did. In fact, in just two days in 1981, I earned enough money to pay for a brand new Jeep CJ-8...cash!
(I'll never forget that week). Yes, they were unusual circumstances, and the 'two days' were Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but it costs staggering
sums of money to shut down something like a major chemical plant. And when they shut down we worked around the clock 24x7 generating as-built
conditions for equipment you normally couldn't get near (because of heat or other hazards). Literally decades
of additions and changes
would have to be documented in just days.
Thousands of full sized drawings would be produced, each one done by hand, every single letter and character done by hand. There were drafting tools
to help people do neat lettering, but they were far too slow and those who needed them needed not apply. All of this work had to be done by hand.
Pencil drawings were prepared first, then "mylars" were done in ink from the pencil drawings...then "Sepia" drawings were made from the mylars. Then
blueprints were made from the sepias.
Even today people hear terms and don't know what they mean. Terms like "Blue"print and "Sepia" are lost on the younger generation. Some may remember
drawings being 'blue', but most don't know why they were blue. It wasn't because someone liked the color blue. They were produced by a process
involving ammonia using another document called a "Sepia" which turned the color of the paper blue. Many people today think the term "sepia" refers to
a color, and while it does that's not the real origin. A sepia was a drawing which was made from another document called an inked "mylar". The
chemicals involved in the production process turned the special paper brownish (aka "sepia"). The purpose of a sepia was to serve as a source document
from which multiple blueprints could be made. The ink on a mylar (the true original) was far too fragile to make thousands of reproductions from, so a
sepia was used for this.
So the process was; pencil to paper first, then the paper drawing was overlayed with a clear sheet of mylar. The mylar was then inked. The inked mylar
was reproduced into a sepia (in some cases several). And the sepias were used for mass production of blueprints for distribution.
This is just one example of drafting, and there are many others. All of them, all technical construction and building documents of the era were drawn
by draftsmen (and women)...a highly skilled trade of a bygone era.
I was a draftsman.
edit on 11/6/2015 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)