Page 1/3  >  >>
Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Memoirs of a paperboy
Rob Spiegel   3/19/2012 11:45:27 AM
Nice article, Professor Petroski. I, too, was a paperboy. It was the early 1960s. I remember delivering the paper announcing Kennedy has been shot. I'd get to my pile of papers at about 4:30 a.m. and fold each one before filling my canvas sack. If you folded them tight enough, they stayed together when they landed on the front porches or sidewalks. I'll never forget the fold. It didn't work for the Sunday papers, though.

Jennifer Campbell
User Rank
Old School
Jennifer Campbell   3/19/2012 12:08:13 PM
Reading this article, I have a clear picture in my mind of what these envelopes must look like. It makes me long for the days when I would go to the store and buy a new box of pretty, crisp stationary. I'm sure "pen pals" still exist, but not by snail mail. "sigh."

Charles Murray
User Rank
Art and science
Charles Murray   3/19/2012 1:21:48 PM
Drafting talents like Chuck's are hard to come by today. When I started out as an engineer, the company I worked for had a very talented, non-degreed engineer/draftsman named Franz who drew beautiful oblique views of bridges of all types. The drawings were so good that I've kept some for more than 30 years. His work was actually inspiring because he took what was a science (to the rest of us, at least) and turned it into an art.  

User Rank
Waxing sentimental
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   3/19/2012 5:30:15 PM

This waxing sentimental brings back so many memories – Architectural Rendering in High School; 3-point perspective drawing; My first job as a Detailer in a Tool&Die shop in 1978;  remembering to always slowly twist the pencil between your thumb & finger to avoid generating a flat (caused inconsistent line widths!) Descriptive Geometry & Spatial Relationships.  Each of these things was a specific blend of talents in Art & Technology.  Thanks for the memories; so much of this is a lost art that so few ever heard of, let alone could ever appreciate!

User Rank
Drafting as an art
Tim   3/19/2012 7:50:05 PM
At present, I am not sure if board drafting is still being taught in schools which is actually kind of sad.  However, I have shown my kids the finer points of drafting.  I pulled an old drawing board from a dumpster of a closing company and set up my own drafting station in my work shop.  I do full engineering style drawings of any wood project that I work on.  I also do my best to introduce my kids to the 1/8" dashes seperated by 1/16" space to mark a hidden line.  They look at me like I am crazy, but I still enjoy it.

User Rank
Petroski on Engineering: Envelopes of Experience
vimalkumarp   3/19/2012 11:20:22 PM
Like everyone else, i have always admired Petroski for his design genius but his language skills in explaining the engineering thoughts are also commendable. As Wittgenstein said that the limits of one's language the limits of the world, it is important to have language skills to express and explain the engineering view. Every time i read Petroski i am motivated by his language skills. I know this comment may not be related to the topic , but still i felt like paying tributes to his writing skills.

User Rank
Re: Petroski on Engineering: Envelopes of Experience
MYRONB   3/20/2012 3:29:34 AM

In high school we had basic and advanced mechanical drawing, and even architectural drawing and rendering.  In those days, one worked very hard just to qualify to enter the Illinois Institute of Technology drafting competition.  To win any kind of an award would be an honor, indeed!

With the emphasis on using CAD to produce drawings, we are losing the hand-eye-brain interconnection; a way to get the "feel" of an object, and to have one's mind sense the object's shape, construction, and texture.  In the same way, learning cursive writing refined that very same hand-eye-brain interconnection, aiding not only clear writing, but clear thinking.

 I am not a Luddite who might say down with CAD, texting, or word processing.  I understand the utility of, and use these systems, but I do see this as a further erosion of the "humanness" of communication.

I believe that learning to sketch and to write clearly, prepares one's mind to understand the observer's world before trying to improve it.  I further believe that learning these skills should remain in the engineering curriculum.

Regards, Myron Boyajian

Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Re: Petroski on Engineering: Envelopes of Experience
Alexander Wolfe   3/20/2012 9:20:53 AM
I was never very good at drafting. I remember taking a class in high school and I always smudged my drawings. I actually don't remember if we had a mechanical drawing class in college. Don't think so since I was a EE major. On my first job, we had a whole area of about 20 draftsman. Like one of the commenters said below, these were all non-degreed guys who probably migrated to the field after WWII or Korea via trade schools. I admire the skill and I enjoyed Henry's column. I usually lament the passing of older technologies -- I'm still a big vacuum tube fan -- but in the case of drawing I don't see that much has been lost by the shift from pencil to CAD.

User Rank
Why not...
sullivbt   3/20/2012 10:10:31 AM
get his permission to reprint some of these drawings? I, for one, would be very interested in seeing them.

User Rank
Lost arts
BillFZ1   3/20/2012 12:08:24 PM
I started as a designer and then an engineer on the drafting board. I wasn't a good draftsman, so I embraced CAD with a passion. Even with a template I could rarely letter well. For me the thing I miss is the art, and it truly is an art, of a sophistacated cutaway drawing. Road & Track magazine had at least two illustrators of superb skill. I loved the details. I have always been a 3D guy, thinking and visuallizing my projects well. However I was always jealous of the skill of being able to draw those cutaways! Our CAD machines and programs will produce a perfect sectional drawing but it is not the same. The summit of the old school cutaways I have seen is the cutaway of the Rolls Royce Crecy piston engine. I don't believe the draftsman even signed it, but he should have it was a thing of beauty. It is appropriate that it was the best cutaway I know of as the Crecy was pretty much the pinnacle of piston engine design circa 1945. The jet engines replace those big aircraft piston engines, but are not as technically interesting, to me at least. The CAD era produces more technically correct drawings, but they will never be as interesting as the hand inked cutaways. Bill J

Page 1/3  >  >>

Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Eric Chesak created a sensor that can detect clouds, and it can also measure different sources of radiation.
Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
Practicing engineers have not heeded Yoda's words.
Design News and Digi-Key presents: Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX, a crash course that will look at defining a project, selecting a target processor, blocking code, defining tasks, completing code, and debugging.
Rockwell Automation recently unveiled a new safety relay that can be configured and integrated through existing software to program safety logic in devices.
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service