I have known for a long time, since we started scanning the UPRR drawings, there was what appeared to be a small scribble in one of the lower corners of about half the drawings dated prior to 1930. I came to the conclusion these “scribbles” are the initials of the draftsmen who produced the drawing. The use of the plural results from my realization that it required a team of draftsmen to produce each drawing. Often two sets of initials are present and less often, three or more. Even less often, the group of initials also includes designation of each draftsman’s task. Using my work experience and the facts gleaned from the drawings, I have concluded the drafting process was:
(1) Preparation of sketches.
(2) A “pencil and paper” drawing drawn, revised, and approved.
(3) The approved drawing copied by tracing using “tracing cloth” and ink. This is known as “the tracing”.
(4) The “tracing” checked for accuracy.
The compiling of a database, to facilitate the efficient use of the drawing images, has sensitized me to the expressions of, what I take, individuality and pride in their work. I have extracted a sampling of initials, shown below, to illustrate the basis of my belief these men were individuals that took pride in their work and wanted someone to notice. Gentlemen, I noticed!