RU 800 S, A Massive Machine That Renews Railroad Tracks With a Mobile Assembly Line

if he got a “C” in a course, nobody cared, but if he went to school three minutes late he was sent to the principal’s office -and that generalized. He realized that what it meant is, what’s valued here is the ability to work on an assembly line… The important thing is to be able to obey orders, and to do what you’re told, and to be where you’re supposed to be.

Sears Roebuck Catalogue Assembly Line by Paul Malon
Via Flickr:

En 1900, la reina Victoria y Jules Verne estaban vivos, y el siglo XX, que ya corría en los calendarios, no había empezado aún. El siglo XX, ya se sabe, empezó en 1914, con las matanzas industriales de hombres en los barrizales sangrientos de la Primera Guerra Mundial y con la introducción de los cascos de acero y del color caqui en los uniformes militares, que hasta entonces tendían a los rojos y azules de los casacones de opereta. El siglo XX empezó con la aplicación de los principios de la cadena de montaje a la fabricación de coches, de películas y de cadáveres humanos. Hasta entonces, las películas eran distracciones rudas de barraca de feria, los automóviles seguían pareciendo catafalcos o coches de caballos y los muertos, incluso los muertos de la guerra, eran muertos artesanales, de uno en uno, con nombres y apellidos, casi parroquianos de la muerte, como los parroquianos de las tiendas de ultramarinos. 

Antonio Muñoz Molina, Ardor Guerrero; p.226. Ed. Alfaguara, 1996.

This is quite an old drawing that I have redone from start to finish, just because. I’m in the process of updating my portfolio and, while browsing my files, I found the old version of the drawing. Now, every now and then I would stumble upon an old drawing and think “Oh, this was a good idea, I only wish I would had drawn it better”. Usually it takes just a couple of seconds to avoid the temptation, but this time I thought it was worth the effort. Whatever.

Curiously enough, the drawing comes again from something I read in a book (if you remember, my loyal worthy reader, the same happened with a couple of recent drawings). You can see the quote above; I wouldn’t dare trying to provide a full translation, but basically it says that 1914 was the year the 20th century actually started, “with the application of the assembly line principles for the production of cars, films and human corpses”. I was somewhat moved by that notion and this drawing was my take on it.

By the way… I guess that back when I did the original drawing I didn’t know how to draw something in isometric perspective. The angle between every pair of axis should be 120º, right? That’s obviously not the case in this drawing. I’ve learned that the kind of proyection used here is called trimetric (a sort of axonometric perspective), which may sound like a cumbersome term. But back then I just did what I felt was right for the drawing without thinking too much. And I still think that this technical, unnatural perspective fits perfectly the subject of the drawing; so I let it stay the same.

Also, this was the perfect chance to test my new roller ruler, which no doubt is the most awesome thing on my desk right now.