A drawing board or drafting board is a smooth wooden surface on which paper is attached for drawing. Early drawing boards were sturdy pieces of furniture made of oak wood and fitted with brass parts. As the industry evolved, drawing boards became more utilitarian. Old drawing boards had strong heavy frames with adjustable parts so that the angle of the table could be adjusted. The old fashioned drawing boards often needed three or four people to move them.
Revolutionizing the Drawing Board:
The advent of the industrial revolution made draftsmanship a specialized trade. New styles of drawing boards evolved. The new utilitarian drawing boards were built of lightweight steel or plastic with a system of clutches and mechanisms that allow the board to be adjusted by using a foot pedal. The new styles of drawing boards were very versatile and could be used sitting down or standing up. They were also more portable than the heavy wooden versions. However the mechanized drawing boards had a distinct disadvantage. The linkages and clutches had to be controlled so that the board did not fly up. Modern drawing boards are controlled by buttons that adjust the table angle and height.
Drawing boards are mostly used by engineers or draftsmen for making or altering drawings on paper. Various instruments used for drawing are used on the drawing boards for making geometrical shapes. Drawing boards were also used at times to hold writing tools. A drawing board can also be adjusted to be used as a normal desk. The only difference would be a rim on the side of the surface. The rim is provided to prevent objects from sliding off. In contemporary times, computer drafting has become easier and more convenient. The drawing board is gradually becoming obsolete. However a few architects and artists still prefer the drawing board to computers. For them drawing boards offer more security since hand worked drawings are harder to alter or recreate. Using a drawing board offers them a small sense of security. So, for the time being all is not lost yet for the drawing board.