Pause in Blog

Whether permanent or not, this blog is now combined with my other one Alchemy of Clay. http://blackmtnbarb.blogspot.com/
go there, and then follow me over there. The personal and genealogical archives, and Black Mountain NC scenery and my potting life are combined. It's a good thing.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

No aprons here

My submission for Sepia Saturday this week:



Maybe no aprons, but here are people who worked hard together...
I was a draftswoman in the architecture department in about 1973.  This was at Watson & Co, Architects and Engineers, Tampa FL.  We drew on drafting tables with pencils on paper to draft lots of floor plans, details etc.  I loved having an electric eraser.  Then when the paper was finished, it would be copied into blue-prints in the print room, which were actually a dark blue background with white lines...and bound in huge roles to be used in construction of schools, post offices, banks, and other commercial buildings.
The engineering departments handled HVAC (Heating & plumbing, etc) Electrical, Topographical and Structural,  I was asked to do lots of the "irregular" things that would come up.

I became the interior finishes expert when a bank and a post office asked for one.  That got me business cards, a title "Architectural Interior Designer," but not a raise.  If only I'd been more assertive.

I'd recently divorced, and was learning my way in the world...mainly by apprenticing myself into learning how to draft.  I had had a lot of art training, and it wasn't really hard.

I also was asked to do landscape design for a school.  That was fun, because I had no training in plants.  But I got a book on Florida plants, and drew right on the site plan with little designs for each kind of plant, and a key over on the side defining each design.
 

  I'm sorry now that I put so many yucca plants on the high school site.  Poor kids.  But actually I now know that lot of times the local landscape guy that gets the job from the lowest bid, will just put in whatever he has, instead of what's drawn on the plan.  Nobody will notice because there is at least something planted in each place that had a symbol on the plan.


I also designed a sign for the school...out of concrete.  I wonder if it was ever built, and if the kids figured out a way to destroy it (which high school kids are often challenged to do by their peers.)


Then I got to do landscape design for a couple of post offices too.  And I began to notice the huge berms and entrance-ways which were designed by real landscape designers.  Oh my, I was so embarrassed.  No wonder I quit and took my kids in a camper across the US for a whole summer.  But that's another story.

So we didn't wear aprons, but we did work with real paper and pencils.  And we had a big brush to sweep aside the eraser leavings from the papers.

Now it's all done on computers.  I dare say nobody sits at a drafting table on a stool in a short skirt any more.  Silly people!


12 comments:

Little Nell said...

Interior Finshes Expert - that’s a job title to be proudof Barb! So much nicer to design with pencils and pens.

ScotSue said...

I have never heard of an electric eraser before - to me that is quite an innovation!

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

Yep, a little hand held motor that spun a tube of eraser material, which as it was used up could then be pushed out further. I dare say they are in antique stores by now.

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

Great photo of the group. Sounds like it was an interesting job.

Bob Scotney said...

I've worked with several architects in the days when they had jobs like you describe. Layer in engineering drawing offices it always seemed like cheating to use computers that produced the drawings.

Postcardy said...

I think simple landscape designs are more appropriate for most places than huge showy ones.

Deb Gould said...

I love the old architectural drawing boards, supplies...all those curved rules, etc. But you're right -- it's all on computer now.

Hazel Ceej said...

I haven't seen yuca plants in ages! What an interesting job you had.

Hazel

Mike Brubaker said...

A good story to tell. But one would need to wear a leather apron (and gloves too) when planting a Yucca. My former home in Savannah had a vicious Yucca with needle sharp leaves. Despite efforts to cut it back, it just grew and grew. I think they were planted in earlier times as a kind of barbed wire fence.

Wendy said...

You were brave AND SMART to jump in a do a job you were not particularly trained to do.

Kristin said...

You all look so young!

Alan Burnett said...

What a fascinating story. And when, at the end, you say " but that's another story" I just want to read the next chapter of your autobiography.