This collection of memories developed spontaneously over a period in a CAD newsgroup early in 1997 under the subject of “Old CAD Drafters”. As technology continues to accelerate with no rest in sight, it seemed like a good idea to rescue this collection from being lost forever.

When we migrated content to the new website in 2009, “Old CAD Drafters” got a low priority, but we monitored the 404 Page Not Found Logs to make sure that popular pages were not neglected only to find that “Old CAD Drafters” was right up there as a highly popular page. So we promptly got it back online and have some upgrade plans underway to enhance it further.

As well as some obvious references to skill hard won and now redundant, many of the lines are what can only be called “Dad” jokes. Only other dads and old farts think they are amusing. Others, without the shared experience of manual drafting in the 50s, 60s and 70s and the transition to CAD in the 80s, don’t get the joke, or that warm flood of recall when these phases trigger fond memories of days long gone. That’s why we keep ’em here. It reminds a lot of people of the good old days.

If you have any other drafting-related reminders of the passage of time, feel free to send them to us. We’ll be glad to add them to the list. Thank you to the people past, present and future who contribute to this list.

Header image courtesy of NASA/GRC

 

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Old CAD Drafters

CAD took a grip on the design community when it became possible to create and modify drawings digitally. The automation of pre- and post- drawing stage of technical design came later and continues to morph as technological innovations add to the story. We started this collection of memories back in 1997. A glimpse back in time for those who have never used a drawing board.
You know you're getting old when...

1

Electric Eraser

Sep 02, 2015
Electric Eraser

You consider the electric eraser to be a new-fangled gadget invented by the Devil himself.

Nick Bogut

2

Pencil Lineweight

Sep 02, 2015

You remember how to control lineweights by rolling the pencil as you draw

John Cabrall

3

Drafting Spline

Sep 02, 2015
Drafting Spline

You remember that a spline is something you rest weights (ducks) on, to draw a curve.

(A flexible pen/pencil guide, bent through control points on the drawing and held in place by the weights until the line is drawn.)

Bob Doncom

image courtesy of Bob Perry

4

Leroy Lettering Set

Sep 02, 2015
Leroy Lettering Set

You are asked if a Leroy Lettering Set is a package of fonts for AutoCAD (and where they can be downloaded)

_ S. Yoder_

image courtesy of Todd Klein

5

Dress A Ruling Pen

Sep 02, 2015
Dress A Ruling Pen

You know how to dress a ruling pen

Dennis Shinn

image courtesy of Tiffany

6

Sandpaper Stick

Sep 02, 2015
Sandpaper Stick

You are asked why there is sandpaper on a stick in your drawer

_ S.Yoder_

image courtesy of Mrs. Laverne E. Denyer

Sep 02, 2015 - cadstore.net - 4
Drawing Template

You think you should own stock in the plastic's industry because of all the templates you own.

S. Yoder

8

Drafting Linen

Sep 02, 2015

You rue the day they quit making drafting linen

Dennis Shinn

9

Compass

Sep 02, 2015
Compass

A compass was for drawing arcs and circles and not finding the North pole

Dennis Shinn

10

Pencil Sharpener

Sep 02, 2015
Pencil Sharpener

You know that some pencil sharpeners only remove the wood and don't sharpen the lead.

Carl Taylor

Sep 02, 2015 - cadstore.net - 5
Erasing Shield

You know that the little piece of thin metal with all of the holes is called an erasing shield.

Carl Taylor

12

Drafting Powder

Sep 02, 2015

Your drafting table still has drafting powder in the seams

Anon.

Sep 02, 2015 - cadstore.net - 6

You still have a drafting table!

Anon

14

Electric Eraser

Sep 02, 2015

You keep your electric eraser out and visible just because it's been such a good friend

Anon.

15

Reverse Drawing

Sep 02, 2015

You can start out with a completely blacked out sheet of negative paper and scratch out a drawing with a razor blade or scalpel.

Anon.

16

Ralph Smoley

Sep 02, 2015

When you were lucky enough to get Ralph Smoley (remember Smoley's) to be your teacher for a ICS course in engineering

Anon

17

Railroad Curves

Sep 02, 2015
Railroad Curves

You have a set of railroad curves.

Michael Pekarik

Image courtesy of Smith Drafting Products, Inc.

18

Beam Compass

Sep 02, 2015
Beam Compass

You have a beam compass.

Michael Pekarik

19

Drawing Scales

Sep 02, 2015

When someone says scale, you ask architectural or engineering?

Michael Pekarik

20

Ruling Pen

Sep 02, 2015

You remember filling your inking pen with an eyedropper, after first adjusting the line width by turning a knurled wheel on the side of the pen and "measuring" the width of the pen points

Dennis Staley

21

Slide Rule Icon

Sep 02, 2015

You look for the slide rule icon

Chris

22

Leroy Lettering

Sep 02, 2015

Your back has formed the perfect curve for the Leroy lettering position

Chris

Sep 02, 2015 - cadstore.net - 4
Blueprints

You remember when blueprints were blue and sepias were erased with a chemical.

Janet Hould

Image by Joy Oil Co Ltd via Wikimedia Commons

24

Nib Cleaner

Sep 02, 2015

when you remember that before the plastic foam, everyone had a dark, speckle topped, rubber-band wrapped, roll of frazzled toilet paper on the drafting table

_Doug Rohn_
25

Drafting Tape

Sep 02, 2015

You went to happy hour on Friday nights with drafting tape stuck to the elbows of your sleeves!

Dale Brooks