in the days before CAD

article about pre CAD days in the aircraft industry

Toronto. Computer Aided Design (CAD) made huge changes in how products were manufactured.  Before CAD, photography stepped in to speed up aircraft production. This article from the February 1941 edition of Popular Mechanic explained how a giant camera and projector could create specialized aircraft parts life size (the article sorta mixes cameras and projectors).

This article sparked the imagination in the time before we had computers per se (in Bletchley Park, England, Alan Turing used what were really computers to interpret data from the WW2 German Enigma machines, which were heavily encrypted). The computers used (called “Bombe”) were secretly destroyed after the war letting America tout itself as the inventor of computing, only learning of the Bombe and Alan Turing many years later.

George Dunbar, that intrepid photography historian spotted this article and very generously shared it with us. George retired from IBM which took on the American computing mantle and soon  became a world wide power-house in the computer industry.

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