Saturday 28 January 2017

Maybe Famous

Whenever I come across artifacts like this, I wonder how many pieces of architecture in history have been designed using this little kit.  Maybe it helped design buildings we now regard as historical masterpieces. Oh if only it could talk!

This little drafting kit is missing most of its components but still has two of its sharp pointers and a ruler.  It was likely made in England in the late 18th / early 19th century.

The case is made of shagreen, which is a type of rawhide.  It's very tough, very hard, and not pliant at all.  It's about 7" long with individual compartments inside to store the different components.

The two pointers are still sharp!  They are made of brass and steel.  From the side view, you can see where the screw can be tightened or loosened.

The ruler is about 6" long and looks like it is made of ivory; this would have been common for these types of instruments during this time period. You can see different architect's scales on both sides.

One edge is straight, but the other edge is a bit fancy with curved edges.
Imagine the beautiful architecture that was designed using instruments like these!


  1. It is interesting to look at something like that and think about where it's been. What buildings it might have helped draw or maybe it was used in war.

  2. I believe the "pointers" are actually inking pens, and they were in use well into the twentieth century. I recall using them in a drafting course at UNB in the 1950's. The adjusting screw was used to adjust the line width produced by the pen. The ink was held by capillary action between the two metal pieces.