This is an out-take from an article written 100 years ago about Mechanical Drawing. Does anyone talk or write this way any more?
Mechanical Drawing is an art form and craft the importance of which in the present day, it would be difficult to overestimate. It would be scarcely a great deal to claim that, without it, civilized life as it now exists would very shortly arrived at a standstill. In this mechanical age it is now indispensable included in a productive system, and has an absolute commercial value. It’s this location, besides its reference to Theoretical Mechanics, as a necessary feature in economic production. Indirect methods are no longer commercially admissible; every piece of work of any importance whatever begins in some recoverable format, and on the accuracy and sufficiency of what the paper shows the efficiency of the mechanism depicted there depends.
Good mechanical drawing is in itself a powerful assistance in design. In addition to its primary object as an exact representation of the ideas of the designer, it presents a functional trial of the feasibility of the collective action of the parts represented. The higher element of ordinary machine design, where rigidity and practicability are the main desire, is made by the showing of the drawing only, the drawing exhibiting to the judgment of the draftsman those elements to which mathematical considerations aren’t practically applicable. No complex mechanism can be designed and produced on modern lines, with complete conformity, without aid from high grade mechanical drawing.
Scale drawing, while primarily intended for producing representations of structures in convenient sizes for drawing, handling and storing, is equally essential to the proportionate design of objects, which in their natural size are too big or too small to come within the field of view of a person’s eye at the product range of clear collective vision. That is especially the case where you will find little if any data for mathematical calculation.
The complete of the modern necessities of mechanical production demand accurate linear drawing, displayed and explained by conventional methods, which are typical knowledge to all or any concerned. Collectively, these constitute an essential and indispensable craft, besides any reference to abstract science, a craft that has to be acquired by labor, care and diligence. That is most readily accomplished by making it another study in the early stages of Engineering training; and that period is most suitable, also, because this type of skill is really a powerful help the progress of each and every other branch of work or study which can be involved in this training.
It should also be noted that, while special aptitude is needless to say always an invaluable asset, it’s no general replacement for the necessity of studying and practicing of conventional methods and expressions, and that it is therefore essential to go through an organized training in these.
Here is the systematic cultivation of high class mechanical line making, and its application as a necessary adjunct to mechanical work production by those methods and expressions which are employed and understood in the drawing offices and works of Engineering firms. To the end the early part of the work is specialized in a rigid progressive disciplinary course, which by experience has been proved to be a direct methods to the finish of producing accurate drawing. Later, exercises in ordinary objects are introduced, and, finally, sets of drawings for complete machines provide training in drawing office practice.
The student is specially advised to spare no pains in attaining the highest possible skill in accuracy and finish at this stage, for the main reason, that the most skillful junior is given the best work in an office, and he has in consequence the best opportunities available for making progress and position in his profession.
An important feature of the machine here adopted is that manipulative skill is acquired in a manner which admits of the concentration of the complete mental energy of the student on the acquirement of the skill, and entails no effort in understanding the figures themselves until after the time when he is well able to execute line drawing.