Asked • 05/29/19

Before computers, how did cartographers draw roads with perfectly parallel sides?

If you're drawing a road on a map, and that road happens to be straight, it's easy to draw its two sides parallel: you just move the ruler. But most roads twist and turn, and drawing their sides perfectly parallel cannot be done with a ruler. And yet even before computers came along, no matter how windy their roads, cartographers appear to have had no difficulty drawing both sides of their roads perfectly parallel (or I should probably say equidistant). I cannot begin to imagine a mechanical way to do this. Can anyone tell me?

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