One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An instrument for copying a plan or drawing on a different scale by a system of hinged and jointed rods.
- ‘The pantograph was a movable parallelogram that could be mounted on a drawing board or stationed atop a table, as in the frontispiece to Scheiner's Pantographice.’
- ‘Shortly before dusk, he arrived at the Maryland State House clutching two homemade drawing instruments, a simplified camera obscura and a modified pantograph.’
- ‘Wallace also invented the pantograph, an instrument for duplicating a geometric shape at a reduced or enlarged scale.’
- ‘During this same period, the invention of the pantograph made it possible to create large and sometimes elaborate display letters.’
2A jointed framework conveying a current to a train, tram, or other electric vehicle from overhead wires.
- ‘I was fairly late to work as the train fell apart this morning - the pantographs on the top fell down.’
- ‘Currently in the open air, and unprotected from the tropical atmosphere, are four abandoned diesel electric locomotives, an oil tanker wagon, a steam crane and a General Electric pantograph power unit from 1924.’
- ‘It will have a roof-mounted pantograph for use between Gare Centrale and wherever the terminus in Samoa will be.’
- ‘The electric part is that it uses a pantograph or roof mounted current collector to pick up electricity from the overhead catenary or wires.’
- ‘The pantograph feeds the electricity from the overhead supply to the train.’
Early 18th century: from panto- ‘all, universal’ + Greek -graphos ‘writing’.
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