Drawing Paper

From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

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

Jefferson wrote 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]


  1. Kimball, Jefferson, Architect, 105.
  2. Jefferson to David Rittenhouse 19 March 1791. PTJ, 19:584.