Drawing Paper

From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

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Example of Jefferson's use of drawing paper. Courtesy of MHi
Example of Jefferson's use of drawing paper. Courtesy of MHi

Thomas Jefferson began to use drawing paper or coordinate paper in France. Jefferson did not have strong drawing or sketching skills and as Fiske Kimball states, "...his own adoption of coordinate paper, which enabled him to employ a freer medium in spite of his deficiencies of technique."[1]

Jefferson writes about this kind of paper in a letter in 1791: "I send for your acceptance some sheets of drawing-paper, which being laid off in squares representing feet, or what you please, saves the necessity of using the rule and dividers in all rectangular draughts and those whose angles have their sines and co-sines in the proportion of any integral numbers."[2]

Footnotes

  1. Kimball, Fiske. Thomas Jefferson Architect (New York: Da Capo Press, 1968), 105.
  2. Jefferson to David Rittenhouse 19 March 1791. PTJ, 19:584.