My personal history includes forty years working as a machinist, Engineering Laboratory Technician, Inertial Navigation Instrument Engineer, and Engineering Laboratory Manager. These experiences left me with a broad knowledge of then modern engineering drawing practice. However, nothing within this history prepared me for what I discovered about old railroad drawings subsequent to joining the UPHS drawing scanning group. As my scanning time increased, I began to realize the drawings were very diverse in layout, lettering style, title blocks, presentation of notes and other necessary information, dates, revisions, etc., etc. I also began to realize this diversity had a certain kind of internal structure that seemed to be related to the various railroads that produced the drawings. It dawned on me the greater diversity was between groupings by railroad and less so within each group. Different railroads had different styles even though these railroads were tied closely to the Union Pacific R.R.. I have included a gallery of drawing “title blocks” which will serve to illustrate one part of the diversity of these drawings.
The gallery can be opened by clicking on any of the small images below. The year the drawing was issued can be found at the lower left corner of each gallery image. The drawings range from 1882 through 1952. Notice the vast difference between the 1882 and 1952 drawings. Take your time and look carefully at each drawing’s title block and you may get hooked on history – as I am.