It is interesting and fun to read Surveying textbooks having 1 st edition
dates 20 or 30 years apart. Early books , say 1890s to 1940s spend a
significant amount of time determining true north, compass correction,
etc. Knowing exact time was quite a chore. I’ll look, but at some point the
telegraph system was used for time. I’ve given away my oldest books so I
can’t check them. These books often have detailed explanations of dip,
Most early deeds, especially east of the Mississippi River using “metes
& bounds” had bearings for direction of a boundary line. For
example, .......starting at 24 inch Oak tree 40 paces from the NE corner of
Smith’s barn, go 100 paces north 70 degrees west to a pile of rocks adjacent to
the marsh, then go 140 paces S 60 E....... These bearings are turned from
north or south with a bearing not exceeding 90 degrees. Eventually they starting
using “chains” for distances.
There are many stories about boundary surveyors. Some are true. Many,
many years ago...say 50, I met a guy in his 80s or 90s, he had a drinking
problem...maybe just liked to drink.....anyway he swore he helped to layout the
boundary of North Dakota or some other late arrival U.S. state. He swore
they did a lot of surveying from their camp near town because the indians were
still fighting with the railroads....
Sent: Monday, May 02, 2016 4:13 PM
Subject: [NavList] Celestial position-finding on
Gary LaPook's reply to my question about his artillery sight remined me of an
article I had read in The Field Artillery Journal, Nov. 1942 about Celestial
Navigation for field artillery. It talks about finding the position of the unit
(battery) when in the North African desert by Cel-Nav. Almost a short course on
LOP's, HO 214, Almanac, etc.
I have used Cel-Nav when flying in the Air Force and I gather most here use
their sextant for boat navigation. My question: Has anyone used Cel-Nav for
anthing else? I would think surveyors might have in the past and explorers.
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