Re: [CR]Re: Pantograph link and yammer

Example: Humor:John Pergolizzi

Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2008 15:57:08 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Re: Pantograph link and yammer
To: Calvert Guthrie <>,
In-Reply-To: <>

Actually, I'm familiar with the original meaning of pantograph as a mechanical linkage for reproducing a drawing or diagram, or by extension, a reproduction produced by such a device. However the original meaning is nonsense when applied to bicycle parts. I think the extension to bicycle parts would be to apply the term to a machine tool of some type which which reproduced an engraved pattern in the part from a physical pattern via a mechanical linkage, i.e. the macine at the neighborhood hardware store for making copies for you door or car key would be a "pantographer" by this corruption of the original meaning.

I may be wrong, but I would doubt that many "pantographed" parts are today produced by machine tools which use a physical pattern and a mechanical linkage. Rather I suspect the machines engraving these parts are electronically controlled to reproduce an electronically stored pattern. So at this point, the actual process has become so far removed from the original meaning as to render the word, as so applied, meaningless. Such a process is no more "pantographing" than screen printing on a water bottle of an electronically stored image using an electronically controlled device. Neither process is "pantographing" in anything remotely like the original meaning of the term.

I suppose some might say modern automated machine engraving is "pantographing" because such engravings were once produced by a process which used to be commonly called "pantographing" even though this was then already a massive corruption of the original meaning of the word. That would make about the same amount of sense as saying that a modern photocopier is a "pantograph" because it reproduces documents on paper like those once produced by by a pantograph device. Actually the photocopier is probably more properly called a pantograph than the modern engraving machine, as the original pantograph in fact reproduced documents on paper, not engravings in metal.

So I suspect that, aside from some really antique machine tools still in use in some tiny shops in Italy, or maybe some KOF framebuilders whose love of traditional methods extends to antique machine tools, there is no such thing as a "pantographed" bike part being produced today, and so if one insists on being accurate, the term is now completely meaningless as applied to bicycles. And once a word has lost its correct meaning, I suppose it can be used to mean whatever the user wants it to mean. And so Lewis Carrol was right all along.


Jerry "Start at the beginning and go on until you come to the end, then stop" Moos Big Spring, Texas, USA

Calvert Guthrie <> wrote: Tom, &al.....

For any who aren't already familiar with this applet demo.

It gives you a quick visual of why pantographs work so well.

On the biz end you may afix a pencil or a plasma torch.

A rotary graver was the norm for jewelry and bicycle

components. These days "pantographing" more likely

gets done digitally with a CNC plotter.

The inexpensive wooden drafting pantos are still handy

for any scale-up jobs larger than your printer or scanner.

Some of our classic rides & components may have begun

as an idea sketched out on a scrap of paper in a pub. Back

at the pattern drafting office it could be scaled up using

the shop's workhorse wooden panto. These were usually

bolted at one end to a large flat table and suspended from

the ceiling, just above the paper, w/string & a gum band.

The Dies used to make stamped metal head badges came

from a plaster or wood model scaled down using a panto-

graph. Sometimes the pantograph used is one of the

lathe variety. It's mighty elegant in the way it works but it

would take another screen demo applet to explain it.

BTW: Anyone got a few tapered collets for an H.P. Preiss 2d Panto?

Calvert Guthrie
Kansas City