We know that Charles B. Howdill taught building-related subjects for many years at Huddersfield Technical College, as well as at Leeds School of Art, and the Leeds, Batley and Dewsbury Technical Schools. A recently discovered textbook entitled Building Construction Class-Book: With an Introduction to Graphic Statics as Applied to Roof Trusses (pdf available here) offers us new insights into what Howdill taught, as well as stunning examples of his skills as a draughtsman:
Howdill’s textbook was one of a series of technical guides published around this time by Jackson Brothers of Bankfield Mills, Armley. The book itself bears no publication date, but all Howdill’s 28 meticulous diagrams are dated 1902.
Each of the diagrams – featuring arches, brickwork, masonry, girders, carpentry, partitions, roof trusses, windows, plumbing, chimneys and slating – is a work of art in its own right. Among my favourites are number 3, which shows some magnificent brick arching, and number 28, depicting different sizes of slates:
The central section of the book contains blank squared pages, for students to add their own drawings and notes. My copy features a small example:
The book concludes with seven additional diagrams of roof trusses signed ‘J&B’, apparently supplied by Thos. Jackson and Percy Bentley. From the end-matter, we learn that the Howdill diagrams used to illustrate the book could be bought separately, mounted on linen sheets in a 60′ x 40′ format for ‘collective class teaching’, priced at £4 17s 6d nett. It would be wonderful to find these larger examples of Howdill draughtsmanship lying around somewhere.