Summer Surveys: Scholastic Amusements in Civil Engineering

The C.E. Summer Survey is an easy job; almost like a vacation, in fact. You get up about 6:30 in the morning, plan work for the day, get out in the field by 7:30. During the day your don't have to work much – just tram up hill and down dale with a transit or level on your back, wade through creeks and bogs, over fences, etc. So about noon you come back to headquarters and eat a whale of a dinner – that is, the first week you do; after that you generally have to take lunch along so as not to waste time. The afternoon follows the same course as the morning, and when it gets too dark to see the gradations on the instruments you wander home. After supper the Section walks down to the village to get the mail and chew the fat, or occasionally to sing a little; but about half past seven the Captain gets anxious and drags his gang back to work polygons. This is a nice little easy job – just a matter of looking up logs for an hour, finding the blooming thing doesn't close, and looking the logs up over again. When all the polygons are computed all you have to do is to figure up the day's levels and copy notes from the section book into your own, and then about one o'clock you are all done – nothing to do until tomorrow. Yes, it's easy – good as a vacation. [1919 Transit]

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Hydrographical survey of the Hudson River, c. 1895.

Students hard at work in Warrensburg, 1919.

L. B. Combs, professor of Civil Engineering, with a student surveyor on a 1955 summer survey.

Warrensburg survey, 1919

Triangulation station work, 1918

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