Drafting Pens and Pencils
Pens

An image showing a variety of drafting pens and pencils from the Division of Medicine and Science.

Although simple drawing pens were the most popular tool for engineering drafting, catalogs from the makers of mathematical instruments that appeared around the turn of the 20th century indicate that pens for special purposes were also important in technical drawing. These included: extra-wide pens for making borders; angled pens for drawing curves; double pens and pencils for adding railroads to a drawing; pen handles with serrated wheels that created lines of dots; and tracers and prickers. Makers also modified the design of drawing pens, for instance providing a reservoir for ink or allowing the blades to be opened for easy cleaning.

This page of objects gives a sampling of pens used for engineering drawing. In addition, it illustrates some of the evolution in pen technology from drawing and dip pens to fountain pens to ballpoint pens.