Measuring Bars ???????

Posted in Colvin points on July 7th, 2009 by Camp Superintendent James Vianna
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I first came across these pictures while visiting the Adirondack Research Center of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks about two years ago. Having never seen anything like this in the surveying world previously, to say it caught my interest is an understatement. Well, after keeping my ears open, I finally obtained the last Colvin report published for the years 1898-1899 which was edited by fellow crew member Norman J. VanValkenburg and published in 1989. Much to my surprise, therein was found a detailed report on the use of these measuring bars as written by Professor E. A. Fuertes, Director and Dean of the College of Civil Engineering of Cornell University. This report details the Professor’s work at Lake Placid in August of 1897.
                 While I admit that the following report is an exception rather than the norm for the expected accuracy of Colvin’s work, I find it extremely interesting and worthy of an easy future recovery.

  These two pictures show the crew measuring down the slope of land towards the shore of Lake Placid

 (Note: the use of two instruments in this process)

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Here is the actual report as told in Prof. Fuertes own words and as extracted from “REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE STATE LAND SURVEY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK FOR THE YEAR 1898” edited by Norman J. Van Valkenburgh , The Adirondack Research Center of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, 1989, first edition.

(Click on the individual page to open it in a larger window for ease of viewing)

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 Items worthy of note are: The Professor being upset with the monument being 1 mm out of position, 20 days to go 1,144 feet and a difference in the two runs of 0.002± of a foot.


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