I came into the field during a time of transition. In school, they were just starting to introduce computers, but still required classes in map making using mylar sheets, exacto-knives, and Rapidograph pens. Actually, I think being versed in old school drafting/mapping with its' emphasis on design elements and manual skills has made me a better map-maker.
Edit: I also recall using a dot planimeter to calculate areas during an internship
I went to a school that emphasized policy (SPEA), not mapping/geography. Bottom line, I never had to do any mapping. At my first job, we had a draftsman. I remember his office in the back. We also had the mylar copy machines.
Me too. We had GIS available for an elective (it wasn't required for any of the concentrations) and the guy that taught it was much more of a data guy than a mapping guy. IIRC, @Maister and I went to the same grad school, but a couple of decades apart. I wonder how much the curriculum changed over that time...
At my office, we still have a lot of folks who like to remind us they learned how to make maps using mylar and exacto-knives and light tables and blah blah blah...
When planners retire we usually give them one of the old platometers/planimeters that are entirely analog, weigh a few pounds and nobody uses anymore. The supervisor on the planning side builds a nice little velvet-lined box for it and puts a plaque on it. Everytime we give one out, some of us like to yell out, "What is that!?!" and respond with things like "A mimeograph??" "An abacus?"
I learned on all the "old school" drafting tools. I co-oped during 2 of my summers in college (82 & 83) with a cartographic firm and we still used amberlith, zip-tape & zip-a-tone along with some advanced tools, but no computers.
I have a planimeter at home in a nice box, 2 Leroy letting kits, 2 sets of rapidiogrpahs, triangle, flex curves, et cetera ... in a nice storage box under the bed.
I still have all of my old drafting tools. The City that I started out with required us to buy our own drafting equipment, tools etc. A salesman came through on a fairly regular basis to sell us equipment, including ink and lead for our pencils ( yes we had to buy our own pens, ink, pencils, lead for the pencils, erasers etc.) but they were generous in providing drafting tables, stools, mylar, paper, and lighting. Naturally when I left I took them with me.
On my first day of my first job, they handed me a an electric eraser and stack of Mylar maps that had building footprints and property lines and told me to update the maps. Thinking they were joking I said "Sure... where is the computer with ArcView?"
I still have my grandfathers drafting board and t-square that he bought in the 50's.
My neighbor is in his 90s and was an architect for decades. I was helping him move some stuff in his basement and he had a couple stacks of old boxes with "Keuffel and Esser" labels probably from the 1950s and 1960s. They were all different sizes so I imagine they are all different things - notebooks, slide rules, drafting kits, french curves, etc. Now I'm interested to know what's in there. Next time I'm over there I'll have to ask him about all his old stuff.