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Sets of Drawing Instruments -- Resources


A Eugene Dietzgen Company set of drawing instruments.

A few other cases and sets of drawing instruments are found in the Armed Forces History, Physical Sciences, Political Life, and Work and Industry collections at the National Museum of American History. Sets of drafting instruments used by General George B. McClellan (owned by NMAH) and Charles A. Lindbergh (owned by the National Air & Space Museum) may be viewed at Catalogs from manufacturers and distributors are part of the trade literature collections of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.

Additionally, these museum databases include sets of drawing instruments among their collections:

Further Reading 

Adler Planetarium. Webster Signature Database. Provides brief information on the makers of instruments owned by a variety of museums.

Barrow, John. A Description of Pocket and Magazine Cases of Mathematical Drawing Instruments. London, [1792]. Early modern instruction manual for the individual drawing instruments typically sold as parts of sets.

Bion, Nicolas. Traité de la construction et des principaux usages des instruments de mathematique. Paris, 1709. Prominent maker's classic treatise on the construction of mathematical drawing and calculating instruments.

Dawes, Howard. Instruments of the Imagination: A history of drawing instruments in Britain, 16001850. The Dawes Trust Ltd., 2009. Collector's discussion of historical drawing instruments, particularly those used in architecture.

Dickinson, H. W. "A Brief History of Draughtsmen's Instruments." Transactions of the Newcomen Society 27 (1949–1951): 73–84. Overview of the major types of instruments used in surveying and engineering drawing.

Hambly, Maya. Drawing Instruments, 15801980. London: Sotheby's Publications, 1988. Thorough and richly illustrated treatment of a full range of instruments.

———. Drawing Instruments: Their History, Purpose and Use for Architectural Drawings. Applied Research of Cambridge Limited, 1982. Catalogue for an exhibition mounted by the British Architectural Library that was inspired by W. F. Stanley's treatise.

Heather, J.F. Mathematical Instruments: Their Construction, Adjustment, Testing, and Use. Rev. ed. 3 vol. London: Crosby Lockwood and Co., 1870. Describes the manufacture and use of various calculating and drawing instruments.

Johnston, Stephen. "Drawing Instruments." In Instruments of Science: An Historical Encyclopedia, edited by Robert Bud and Deborah Jean Warner, 191–193. New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1998. Introduction to the historical context for sets of drawing instruments.

Scott-Scott, Michael. Drawing Instruments. Shire Publications Ltd., 1986. Slender but informative historical discussion of a variety of drawing instruments.

Simms, Frederick Walter. A Treatise on the Principal Mathematical and Drawing Instruments Employed by the Engineer, Architect, and Surveyor. 3rd ed. London: John Weale, 1847. Nineteenth-century account of drawing instruments and how they were used.

Smithsonian Institution Libraries. Doodles, Drafts, and Designs: Industrial Drawings from the Smithsonian. Online exhibition showing the variety of creations prepared with scale rules and drawing instruments.

Stanley, Philip E., ed. A Source Book for Rule Collectors. Mendham, N.J.: Astragal Press, 2003. Compilation of articles on various types of rulers, reprints of primary sources, and other historical accounts.

Stanley, William Ford. Mathematical Drawing and Measuring Instruments. 6th ed. London: E. & F. N. Spon, 1888. Classic 19th-century treatise on the manufacture and operation of various instruments.