40th Anniversary Article: Drawing on Experience

Bill Rushing, Berntsen International Inc.
"Drawing on Experience"

(The following is a portion of an article written by Patty Winter for The American Surveyor – "Mapping the World" - How 47 Square Miles of Florida Swamp Became a World-famous Vacation Destination):

In the late 1970s, the U.S. government contacted Berntsen Cast Products and asked whether the company could create some survey disks for a project in Saudi Arabia.  The catch was that the disks needed to include Arabic text and the country’s coat of arms, a palm tree and crossed swords.  In those days, the lettering on survey disks was primarily done with zinc letters glued to a wooden pattern.  No Arabic zinc letters were available, and there was no way to include artwork on a disk without going through an expensive and time-consuming engraving process.

 

Drawing upon his experience in magazine publishing, Berntsen general manager Bill Rushing got the idea of adapting paste-up and letterpress printing processes to metalwork.  He thought it might be possible to use rubdown alphabets and line art to create the artwork for the sand molds into which molten metal was poured.  “We tried it, and it worked.  It allowed us to break away from the standard practice of gluing these little letters on, and do something that was more like art.”

Saudia Arabia survey marker

 

 

The success of the Saudi Arabia disks led Berntsen managers to think about which other customers – or potential customers – might want their logos on survey markers. 

And the rest is history….

Link to complete article in The American Surveyor
"Mapping the World - How 47 Square Miles of Florida Swamp Became a World-famous Vacation Destination"
 

Previous Article: "Meeting the Governor"

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