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Surveyor's Wing Chain

Surveyor's Wing Chain

Usage conditions apply
In 1620 an English mathematician and astronomer 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.
This example is a half-Gunter made of iron wire, with handles at either end and brass tallies every 10 links. It is associated with the vernier compass marked "F. Heiseley Fredk: town" in the Museum collection.
Ref: Francois D. Bud Uzes, "David Rittenhouse. Colonial Surveyor and Instrument Maker," Rittenhouse 5 (1990): 1-16.
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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