Most of the illustrations in the patent are hand drawn even...
FYI - they are because it's required under law, and the USPO has very strict rules and legal requirements for those illustrations. As a result, there's a well-established ("vintage") style and look for them that you don't deviate from if you want your patent to be considered. It's a specialty art form and there are service bureaus that do that and nothing else. Google "patent illustration" if you're interested.
I fail to understand the point behind that. It's simple enough to create fake "hand drawn" illustrations. Oh well... Who am I to question the logic of the US Patent Office...
Thanks for the FYI though. I didn't know that.
It's not the hand-drawn so much. It's just the rules and conventions for how they're supposed to present information that really does make them more an issue of 'art' than graphic design. So I guess its just easier to let somebody draw it. Also harder to say it was directly lifted from something else if you forget about things like scanners and tracing paper. (Or artists like my older sister who can do a hand copy of anything and make it look just like the original. The forgery guild lost a great prospect when she went into legitimate graphic design and communications.)
Plus it's what's expected - so I'm sure a comfortable inertia has a lot to do with why it's still done this way. The only reason the USPO dropped the requirement for submitting a physical scale model
of the invention with its patent application was because they ran out of storage space for them - not because they didn't think it was a good idea to require them.