A voice from the founding fathers

From Benjamin Franklin’s proposal for an academy in Philadelphia:

BenFranklinDrawing is a kind of universal language, understood by all nations.  A man may often express his ideas, even to his own countrymen, more clearly with a lead pencil, or a bit of chalk, than with his own tongue.  And many can understand a figure, that do not comprehend a description in words, though ever so properly chosen.  All boys have an early inclination to this improvement, and begin to make figures of animals, ships, machines, etc. as soon as they can use a pen, but for want of a little instruction at that time generally are discouraged, and quit the pursuit.

Drawing is no less useful to a mechanic than to a gentleman.  Several handicrafts seem to require it; as the carpenter, ship wright’s, engraver’s, painter’s, carver’s, cabinet-maker’s, gardener’s, and other business.  By a little skill of this kind, the workman may perfect his own idea of the thing to be done, before he begins his work; and show a draft for the encouragement and satisfaction of his employer.

 

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