The watershed year for your reaction to these souvenirs is about 1965. If you were born before then, they stir up nostalgia or whatever is the negative version of nostalgia. If you were born after 1965, then we are talking curiosity about historical artifacts.
For those who need help (born after 1965) with identification, moving clockwise from upper left, we have:
- Electric eraser - 1 (indicates the quantity needed)
- Lead pointer - 1
- Yellow trash - 2 widths minimum
- Plastic eraser - 1
- Electric eraser refills (one of six flavors unearthed) *
- Circle template (located underneath) **
- Lettering template (for when hand lettering wasn't good enough) - often shared
- Flat scale with 8 drawing scales - 3 minimum
- 45 degree triangle (located underneath) ***
- Lead holders - 3 minimum
- Tubes of lead and boxes of lead (located in the center) ****
Missing are the Rapidograph India Ink pens and pen points, couldn’t find them, but they have to be around. They were too expensive to let go of. I think points, which you needed at least four of for different line weights, cost about $40 each in the late 80s / early 90s. Nowadays that is a week’s coffee allowance. A full set of pens with special humidifier still costs about $150. (See link below if you want to time travel.)
You needed this stuff handy so some were permanent residents of your drafting surface, others resided on hooks screwed into the table edges and the rest were in your tackle box on the floor.
The well-equipped drafter also had an erasing shield, lettering guide, a couple of French curves, parallel edge, Spiroll, Luxo Lamp, Leroy lettering equipment, pin bar for systems drafting, drafting tape (or dots), Prismacolor colored pencils, and a handful, or more, of markers.
You could master all the tools you needed to use in a couple of weeks. Technique improved every year. It’s a little different now; and sadly the new tools take much more time to master and to stay current. “Sadly” because the tools never have made the architecture. Just sayin.
* there were different types for the various combinations of writing media (graphite, plastic lead, ink) and drawing media (linen, vellum, Mylar, bond paper)
** this is the ’big’ circle template; also needed were small circle, symbols, and plumbing templates
*** usually a small, medium and large size were needed for 45 and 30/60 degree triangles
**** leads came in various hardness/softness to suite the drafting - 7H to H, F, HB, B to 6B; a lot got done with H, 2H, and F (4H and harder are basically nails, 4B and softer are sticks of black butter)
See http://www.dickblick.com for many items mentioned here.