Older Surveying Texts?

January 23, 2009
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Posted By Lawrence Paul Lopresti on 1/22/2009 at 3:35 PM

I am doing some office cleaning an reorganizing. As I was shifing some surveying texts on the shelves I successively handled the Breed And Hosmer "Elementary Surveying" text I used in college, Edition 10, 1970. Next to it I placed Searle's "Field Engineering" Sixteenth Edition, 1911 and "Trautwines Engineers Pocket Book" 1882.

What is common to all these books is that they are small with flexible binding. They are intended to be placed in the pocket and carried around all day in the field. Included are geometric and log tables such that complicated calculations can be completed in the field, with the tools of the day, pencil and paper. Pretty much everything that was neccessary to know is in these texts. If you were in the field and came across a problem you had never before faced it was possible to sit down with these texts and learn what to do. Given a rainy day it was possible to sit down, read and upgrade your skills.

I am not aware that any such texts exist today, but should they?

My Breed and Hosmer consists of 778 pages. Today one could remove the 100 pages of mathematical tables and replace it with basic GPS principles. Would todays field crew be inclined to carry such a text ot do they think they already know everything they need to know?

Paul in PA

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