A drawing board (also drawing table, drafting table or architect's table) is, in its antique form, a kind of multipurpose desk which can be used for any kind of drawing, writing or impromptu sketching on a large sheet of paper or for reading a large format book or other oversized document or for drafting precise technical illustrations (such as engineering drawings or architectural drawings). The drawing table used to be a frequent companion to a pedestal desk in a study or private library, during the pre-industrial and early industrial era. During the Industrial Revolution, draftsmanship gradually became a specialized trade and drawing tables slowly moved out of the libraries and offices of most gentlemen. They became more utilitarian and were built of steel and plastic instead of fine woods and brass. More recently, engineers and draftsmen use the drawing board for making and modifying drawings on paper with ink or pencil. Different drawing instruments (set square, protractor, etc.) are used on it to draw parallel, perpendicular or oblique lines. There are instruments for drawing circles, arcs, other curves and symbols too (compass, French curve, stencil, etc.). However, with the gradual introduction of computer aided drafting and design (CADD or CAD) in the last decades of the 20th century and the first of the 21st century, the drawing board is becoming less common.
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