Original Harland & Wolff Engineering Drawing of a small component of a Ship, ink on waxed linen paper.
Signed and dated in Indian Ink by the Engineer and the Supervisor.
Engineering Drawings from Harland & Wolff.
The earliest technical drawings are on cartridge paper in ink and pencil. These were often were tinted with delicate colour washes. In order to reproduce the Drawings for work around the Yard, a transparent medium was necessary. Tracing Paper was used initially.
Linen Wax Paper replaced Tracing Paper for general office us. This Drafting Fabric was treated with a waxy substance to stiffen it. This made the surface fit for drawing in either ink or pencil. Even to this day, these Engineering Drawings have a very distinctive smell and feel. The waxed fabric was found to be more durable and was able to withstand frequent alterations. Therefore it lasted better through the printing machines. However, it was still susceptible to tearing.
Finally, Tracers, mainly ladies completed the draughtsmen’s pencilled Engineering Drawings, Plans and Rigging Plans in Indian Ink. They were ready for printing. From here they were distributed around the Yard for construction. Once they wore out another tracing might be made.