This work is most kindly and respectfully dedicated to
THE COMING MAN
who at the present time is undoubtedly devoting
a goodly share of his spare time
to the study of drawing.

echanical Drawing (or Drafting) was once taught in most high schools, with the purpose of readying the student (usually male) for a trade career as a mechanical artist for a graphic design firm—be it commercial or governmental—creating artwork for schematics, furniture-product-automotive design, or architectural plans. The advent of the computer and accompanying drawing applications, such as Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw (not to mention cad programs), have rendered skill with pen and pencil almost obsolete. This feature is a paen to that centuries-old craft which knew neither mouse not monitor, scanner nor ink jet printer.

From the Self-Help Mechanical Drawing
AN EDUCATIONAL TREATISE
by
N. Hawkins, M. E.
Author of Handbook of Calculations, etc.
New York: Theo. Audel & Co., Publishers
1903

“One workman is superior to another—other circumstances being the same—directly in proportion to his knowledge in drawing, and those who are ignorant of it must in many respects be subservient to others who have obtained that knowledge.”

From the Introduction:

Drawing is one of the arts; art relates to something to be done, and art in the industrial and mechanical sense aims chiefly at utility, and is governed by exact rules; hence mechanical drawing—so-called—tends first to be useful and helpful, and second to accuracy in execution, including most minute details; it aspires to the perfection of nature in adaptability of the means to the end.

Drawing constitutes a universal language, to acquire which is a matter of importance, for by its use one is able to illustrate the form and dimensions of an object, device, or utility, in very much less time, and far more clearly, than by a verbal description.

To a person who may not be able perfectly to understand the language of a country, to be able to draw is an aid and a safeguard; to use the words of sir Joshua Reynolds, “the pencil speaks the language of every land.”

In extensive iron works and metal-working establishments the designer and draughtsman is always in demand. His services are indispensable and his position is a highly responsible one. It becomes his special province to design improvements, to furnish sketches and to make finished drawings; to calculate strains, strength, power, motion, weight, friction, and durability. All this and much more is the professional draughtsman’s work.

In “directory” classification, he who accomplishes such comprehensive results as above described is termed a “Draughtsman,” but the word has as wide a meaning as “Engineer,” which takes in civil, mechanical, naval, sanitary, steam, and other engineering specialists. So, in drafting, it includes the office boy employed in making blue prints, it embraces the copyists, tracers, and assistants, as well as the head draughtsman and chief engineer.

Sketching is often in demand because there is no time for finished or careful drawings, and the one who can draw a few lines in a moment to let a sudden necessity be known is the man of the hour. All candidates for First Class Engineer’s Certificates in marine service in the Navy have to undergo an examination in rough drawing; this is intended not so much as a proof of the applicant possessing the capability of a draughtsman, but in the event of any injury to the engines in his charge, so that he may be able to send to his Superintendent a rough drawing of the particular part, properly dimensioned, so that it could be worked from, and time saved on the arrival of the ship at the port where the repairs are to be done.

As you can see, the Table of Contents yields quite a comprehensive course:

INTRODUCTION SECTION LINING AND COLORS
CHALK WORK REPRODUCTION DRAWINGS
PRELIMINARY TERMS & DEFINITIONS DRAWING OFFICE RULES
FREEHAND DRAWING GEARING
GEOMETRICAL DRAWING DESIGNING GEARS
DRAWING MATERIALS & INSTRUMENTS WORKING DRAWINGS
MECHANICAL DRAWING READING WORKING DRAWINGS
PENCILING PATENT OFFICE RULES FOR DRAWINGS
PROJECTION USEFUL HITS AND "POINTS"
INKING IN DRAWINGS LINEAR PERSPECTIVE
LETTERING DRAWINGS PERSONAL, BY THE EDITOR
DIMENSIONAL DRAWINGS USEFUL TABLES
SHADING DRAWINGS REFERENCE INDEX

To the illustrations

TOP

Back to