Surveyor's Chain

Surveyor's Chain

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In 1620 an English mathematician named Edmund Gunter described a surveyor's chain with 100 links, measuring 66 feet (22 yards or 4 poles) overall. By this design, one square chain equals 484 square yards, ten square chains equal an acre, and eighty chains equal a mile. Building on this work, an English mathematician named Vincent Wing (1619-1668) introduced a 2 pole chain with 40 links. This example is of that sort. It is, moreover, associated with the vernier compass marked "F. Heiseley Fredk: town" in the Museum collection.
Currently not on view
Object Name
surveyor's chain
Wing, Vincent
Heisely, Frederick
overall length: 33 in; 83.82 cm
overall, bundled: 2 1/2 in x 13 in x 7 in; 6.35 cm x 33.02 cm x 17.78 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Surveying and Geodesy
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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