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Thread: Old (actual) blueprints

  1. #1
    Moderator Robin Deurloo's Avatar
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    Wink Old (actual) blueprints

    Yeah I know, we all work with Revit here and try to do BIM like we are supposed to in 2017, but what about the old days? I can't help loving to see real old drawings, on yellow paper smelling like, well, not sure actually

    Had to go look for some old drawings this week and came across these beauties (among many others) that are actual blueprints. One from 1919 and one from 1930. They also explain where the term blueprint comes from, for the kids out there.

    Old (actual) blueprints-blauwdruk.jpg Old (actual) blueprints-blauwdruk2.jpg

    Can't help thinking that it was all so much simpler back then. I mean the 2 drawing above were send to the local government back then to get a building permit. Think of all the stuff we have to put on our drawings these days for the government to actually look at the drawings, let alone approve the building permit.

    So, I'm interested to see what old drawing you have around.
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    Moderator cellophane's Avatar
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    god those blueline machines stunk.

    we have a set for an old school here in town. +/- 50,000 SF, the entire set (that I'm aware of) - architectural, structural & MEP is 33 pages.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Old (actual) blueprints-elevations-page-001.jpg   Old (actual) blueprints-elevation-section.jpg  
    Last edited by cellophane; October 6th, 2017 at 08:38 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Dave Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cellophane View Post
    god those blueline machines stunk.
    now this thread brings back some memories. I'm so old that I may have produced those plans that Robin posted :-P

    When I first started my business in 1990 our drawing output was to an HP pen plotter. One day I thought that I'd be really creative and plot a 35 or 40 sheet set of drawings with blue ink. When we ran them through the blueprint machine they came out blank LOL! If you've ever waited for a pen plotter to plot 40 sheets then you know how p****d off I was. Oh and in the early days of my business my wife was the blueprint machine operator. She almost divorced me over that job. She announced one day that she was on strike and wasn't going to put up with the ammonia stink any longer. Sigh, I became the blueprint operator...

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    Moderator Robin Deurloo's Avatar
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    Don't think the building on the second drawing is there anymore, but some great looking industrial buildings are in it's place at least.

    Old (actual) blueprints-gebouw.jpg

    Would definitely be a prime location to build very expansive apartments I think, with the water in front of it.

    https://www.google.nl/maps/@51.91219...2!8i6656?dcr=0
    Last edited by Robin Deurloo; October 6th, 2017 at 10:01 PM.

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    Moderator Robin Deurloo's Avatar
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    And I have not worked with pen plotters or blueprint machines myself, inkjet was my first experience, but I love the old hand drawn stuff.

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    Senior Member biff's Avatar
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    Im with you robin. As a 10 year i visited my fathers building office, and walked past rows of drafting tables. Never did i think i would enter this area of profession. I have some of his drawings he did in 1934 as an architect student. As a 19 year old. Unbelievable. You can still see the compass points from his creation of every letter of the alphabet sheet. Beautiful ink washes, shadowing, the column orders, building studies.... For my birthday my wife framed several... And i still have his technical drawing instruments set in their leather pouch. I used them in my course. I find old architectural plans and renderings so beautiful. The time, the skill, the pride.
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    Member FBlome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Jones View Post
    now this thread brings back some memories. I'm so old that I may have produced those plans that Robin posted :-P
    yeah this thread will bring out the older crowd.
    My first architectural job, pre degree, was running prints. Technically they were called diazo prints, and were blue line or black line on white paper. Two step process: expose the paper to ultraviolet light through your vellum, and then develop in ammonia. Most smaller machines used a gallon container of industrial strength ammonia from which it would siphon fumes off by bubbling the air flow through it. I made the mistake one day of dropping a bottle and popped the lid. We had to evacuate the whole office.

    There were big machines that were more automated, but here's the smaller type in use https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsGT0KEA4ts. You can see why Dave's wife quit on him.

    Although the worst part might have been a paper cut on a freshly run print.
    Last edited by FBlome; October 7th, 2017 at 08:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cellophane View Post
    god those blueline machines stunk.

    we have a set for an old school here in town. +/- 50,000 SF, the entire set (that I'm aware of) - architectural, structural & MEP is 33 pages.
    So I was working at this firm in the 80's, and the guy shows me this plan from a project in the 70's for a warehouse type building in silicon valley.

    He was quite proud that the site plan, floor plan, structural roof framing / foundation plan and the roof drain layout was all shown IN ONE COMBO PLAN. I've seen full sets for this sort of +/- 20,000sf 1-story building from the era that were 5 or 6 sheets. Arch, struct, MEP, site and landscaping.


    -->Downside: You're not going to get a lot of fee for that sort of thing...
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    Administrator Gordon Price's Avatar
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    When I was an intern with Arthur Dyson back 30 years ago or so, we got to look at 11X17 copies of Alden Dow's plans for his house and studio, from before and after he was at Taliesin, to see how the design changed. That was pretty amazing (he did some neat things with solid corners and adjacent glazing after some FLLW influence). And I think Dow built the house based on little more than those plans which is just nuts.
    That said, the buildings we made from those tight little sets where also total **** from an energy and materials standpoint, totally ignored things like site runoff polluting waterways, and allowed for site safety that basically got people maimed or killed quiet often. I think the added complexity of modern sets reflects the added complexity of our work, both the final product and the construction/assembly process. I have seen some **** sets with redundant or wrong information, zero meaningful coordination, and zero chance of being build right. I have also worked on a 500 sheet set for a half billion $ major university campus project, and I can say with confidence there was VERY little in that set that wasn't needed, and lots of effort went into making sure the set was easy to use by the folks in the field.

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    I love looking at old drawings like you all shared above! Back in those days, folks actually knew how to, and what to, draw. The kids coming out of school nowadays have no sense on what lineweights mean, or how to emphasize parts of a drawing to communicate an idea.

    Jon

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