A distinctively European drawing board

Not to be found in America

Probably no gadget fixes big problems. But here is a thought on the topic of kids learning coordinate systems, descriptive geometry, drafting, accuracy, etc.:

In North America in 2012 I couldn’t find the kind of drawing board I had grown up with. An Amazon Germany search for Zeichenplatte A3 shows multiple brand suppliers.

Amazon wasn’t going to ship to the US, and when making arrangements with a relative across the pond, instead of a brand new one we got a decades old heirloom.

drawing board

Heirloom Drawing Board from Germany

Having one is merely one prerequisite for using it. Knowing what to do is the other main ingredient. I used to have fun with those boards. More recently I enjoy seeing kids pick up skills.

I could analyze why this kind of board is better for kids:

  • You can switch the straightedge from horizontal to vertical. That is a biggie, e.g. when drawing front, top, and side views.
  • The built-in paper clamp obviates sticky tape.
  • Plenty of scales.
  • A3 size is perfect. Big enough for detail, small enough for kids, students. Comparable to tabloid size.
  • Ability to lock against sliding.
  • Much drawing can be done without anything sticking out in an inconvenient direction.
  • more

A better analysis might make a good thesis.

Thinking of kids: Could this be the most creativity fostering plastic toy yet? That is, if you allow categorizing it as a toy.

On this topic, the Wikipedia entry for Zeichenbrett is longer than its linked counterpart for Drawing board, at least for now.

And, admittedly once I did find at least one model advertised in the US. Lack of clarity by the seller, however, was discouraging. Would you order a metric board with an inch drawing head? They didn’t know how to answer our questions. We preferred metric anyway, for easier coordinate system math. You might find one with an Amazon search for drafting board if you keep scrolling down past the boards that are not it.

As usual, one cannot be sure what you will find at those links in the future.

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