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Home arrow History   The American Surveyor     

Lewis and Clark's Tower Butte
Have you ever felt like you are standing on "hallowed ground," knowing that some very important surveyors had previously occupied that same location? This was the situation when Gene Thomsen and I, both Nebraska surveyors, stood at the base of the very hill where...
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Fabric of Surveying: Ohio Lands and Survey Systems
Anyone who loves challenging surveys should come to "Ohio, The Heart of It All." If you are tired of surveying squares and overworked re-running Colonial surveys, come to Ohio. We have it all. Any discussion of Ohio Lands must start with a brief history, so here we go. In the 1600s, the ...
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Benjamin Rittenhouse - His Apprentices and Partners
Early American clockmakers and makers of mathematical instruments often employed apprentices whom they trained in their crafts. Few of them are identified, however. An exception occurs in the shop of Benjamin Rittenhouse, four of whose apprentices are known and two of ...
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Monuments of Sand
"It is a mighty poor line at least as far as the dimensions of the pits and the size of the mounds were concerned. Some of the mounds consisted of a spadeful of sod taken from each pit and no more."
As the deputy surveyors of the public lands progressed westward across ...
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Book Marks: Epic Wanderer--David Thompson & the Mapping of the Canadian West by D'Arcy Jenish
Surveyors who want to learn more about our profession's proud history frequently ask me to recommend books. Generally, people seem to want to know about surveyors from their own part of the country, that is, Southerners don't usually request books about ...
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Nothing is as Practicable as a Sound Theory! Really?
Many drills in surveying practice are based on the common awareness that any instrument is capable of producing systematic errors in the acquired observations. Since instrument-caused errors cannot be completely prevented or excluded, a strategy is needed to detect such errors in ...
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Fabric of Surveying: Surveying in California
The State of California has a rich and diversified history of surveying. The variety of tasks performed includes cadastral surveying, property surveying, municipal, geographic, mining, hydrographic, road and railroad surveying to name some. Some early California surveyors were notable figures, some were ...
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Along Came a Spider--Spinning Silk For Cross-Hairs - Part 1
Spider silk has been used for centuries by various civilizations and for a variety of purposes because of its strength and other remarkable characteristics. In more recent times new uses for it have been found in the support of science. Spiders use their silk for various purposes. Some male ...
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Along Came a Spider--Spinning Silk For Cross-Hairs - Part 2
Ancient Greeks used spider web to close wounds, Australian aborigines used spider silk to fashion fishing lines, and natives of New Guinea used it to weave fishing nets and bags. In modern times it has proven its value for making cross-hairs for scientific instruments.
In his published study of American spiders, Willis J. Gertsch of ...
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Death of a Deputy Surveyor
Many young men from the Eastern states began venturing to the newly-created Nebraska Territory in the mid 1800s hoping to prove themselves worthy of working on a government survey crew. The work was physical and demanding, and the conditions were often hostile, with many ...
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Romancing the Stone at Willamette Meridian
In 1851 Oregon's first Surveyor General, John B. Preston, established the point from which land surveying in the Pacific Northwest began. The original cedar stake that marked this principal meridian and baseline (one of 38 initial points in the United States) was replaced by an obelisk marker in ...
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