In this presentation, Dr. Richard Elgin, Ph.D., PLS, PE, traces the evolution of early American surveying equipment, from the plain compass of the late 1700s to the vernier compass, the telescopic compass, the “Railroad” compass and the compass’ ultimate development, the solar compass. Also discussed are the standard American Transit and its solar and mining attachments. Dick also reviews the prominent American makers, including the exquisite work of Goldsmith Chandlee, the prolific firm of W. & L.E. Gurley, and others. Also reviewed are alidades, levels, and calculating devices. The equipment shown is all taken from Dick’s extensive collection of early American surveying equipment. Dick offers tips and suggestions on collecting such equipment during the talk and provides thoughts on values and value trends.

Below are links to a couple of great articles written by Erin Holmes for the American Philosophical Society