Surveying in Early America
The Point of Beginning, An Illustrated History
92 color plates
- Published: February 2021
In Surveying in Early America: The Point of Beginning, An Illustrated History, award-winning photographer Dan Patterson and American historian Clinton Terry vividly examine the profession of surveying in the eighteenth century. Retracing the steps Washington and other surveyors took to map the Ohio River Valley, readers are immersed in historically accurate details of early surveying techniques and practices. Terry's narrative describes the practice of land and survey measurement—methods that did not substantially change until the invention of GPS technology 200 years later. Over 100 full color photographs exclusively shot for the book depict authentic and historically accurate reproductions of tools along with early American reenactors to provide an interpretive look at surveying as a primary means to building the American nation. Working with the Department of the Geographer, Patterson restages actual expeditions, brilliantly displaying the techniques and instruments Washington would have employed 260 years ago. Through the lens of Patterson's camera and Terry's accompanying narrative, readers see what Washington saw as he learned his trade, explored the vast American wilderness, and occasionally laid personal claim to great expanses of land along the way.
This highly readable and beautifully illustrated book highlights the central role that surveying played in the founding and definition of the United States, while also bringing to life a formative period in the growth of one of the greatest Founders, George Washington.~Edward G. Lengel, author of First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His and the Nation's Prosperity and former scholar in residence at Colonial Williamsburg
"Packs in plenty of rich detail about surveying history, practices for the different types and purposes of surveying, and the tools of the trade. But what also makes the book stand out dramatically are its 100-plus images, many of which are full-color, historically accurate, extensively captioned photos depicting surveying activities from the time period... [A] uniquely fascinating addition to the histories of the country and an aspect of the engineering profession."~Civil Engineering