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NOAA's Historic Coast & Geodetic Survey (C&GS) Collection
Catalog of Images

6700 thumbnail picture
U. S. Lake Survey facilities at Detroit, Michigan.
6701 thumbnail picture
Water level recording instrument used by the U.S. Lake Survey.
6702 thumbnail picture
U.S. Lake Survey Steamer No. 1, used for harbor surveys.
6703 thumbnail picture
U.S. Lake Survey Steamer No. 2, used for magnetic surveys on Great Lakes.
6704 thumbnail picture
U.S. Lake Survey Launch Inspector used for surveys of New York state canals.
6705 thumbnail picture
Floating plant of U.S. Lake Survey in winter quarters at Detroit, Michigan.
6706 thumbnail picture
Details of some of the hardware of wire sweep apparatus used by the Lake Survey. Francis C. Shenehon(1861-1939) invented a version of the wire sweep in approximately 1901while employed by the U.S. Lake Survey.
6707 thumbnail picture
Lake Survey Steamer COL J. L. LUSK, used for surveys on the Great Lakes.
6708 thumbnail picture
Range markers. So long as the vessel stays somewhere inside of the lines projected from the in-line markers, the vessel will stay in the safe channel until reaching a bend in the channel.
Maine?
6709 thumbnail picture
Early color-enhanced sidescan sonar imagery showing rock outcrops on offshore bank.
6710 thumbnail picture
Graham Brothers observing truck called a "dog-catcher" truck. In New Jersey on the survey line that started at Highlands in Sandy Hook area. Line ended at Absecon Inlet area.
New Jersey, Sandy Hook area 1930 April
6711 thumbnail picture
Carson P. Buck recording on left, observer Lt. (j.g.) Wilbur Porter on left, Zimmich umbrella holder and "gun-toter" between setups. Zimmich's father was chief of the instrument division. On the Highlands to Absecon level line.
New Jersey, Sandy Hook area 1930 April
6712 thumbnail picture
Lt. (j.g.) Wilbur Porter observing next to ditch. Note foot support on cable road barrier. Zimmich, the "gun-toter" is helping support the observer in this precarious position.
New Jersey, Sandy Hook area 1930 April
6713 thumbnail picture
Tourist cabins used as living quarters for level crew in western Appalachia. Crew had to commute by train to get to the level line between Jackson and Hazard along the Louisville and Nashville RR. There were seven tunnels along this stretch of line. Surveying was being done for base maps for the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Kentucky, Jackson 1930 October
6714 thumbnail picture
Benton Hickok on left, Ethyl Porter (wife of party chief Wilbur Porter) in left center. Local natives boiling sorghum to make molasses.
Kentucky, Hazard 1930 October
6715 thumbnail picture
Typical company coal-mining town near head of Kentucky River in vicinity of Jenkins, Kentucky. Level party quit following the railroad in this area and crossed over Cumberland Mountain north of Cumberland Gap.
Kentucky, Jenkins area 1930 October
6716 thumbnail picture
Tourist cabins used as living quarters for level crew in western Appalachia. These cabins were close to a mine entrance and the miners would pass by going work and going home.
Kentucky, Jackson 1930 October
6717 thumbnail picture
Set-up in Breathitt County, Kentucky. Working along the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. Lt. (j.g.) Wilbur Porter observing, Andy ___ was the umbrella holder (umbrella kept sun off level bubbles and kept instrument level) and instrument carrier (gun-toter.) Andy was killed in a local feud a few years later.
Kentucky, Jenkins area 1930 October
6718 thumbnail picture
Level setup along the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. Ethyl Porter, wife of party chief on left; rodman Ray Fassett from Ferndale Washington; and Ben Hickok umbrella holder and gun-toter.
Virginia, Wise Courthouse area 1930 December
6719 thumbnail picture
Level crew in Wise County. From l to r - Ray Fassett rodman; Ben Hickok umbrell a, and gun-toter from Wytheville, Virginia; Wilbur Porter observer from Potsdam, N.Y.; Vincent Benfell recorder, Salt Lake City, Utah; Gerald Wing rodman from Potsdam, N.Y.; Orin Eadie from Washington, D.C., benchmark setter; Pete States, rodman from Pickway, Ohio.
Virginia, Wise Courthouse area 1931 January
6720 thumbnail picture
Graham Brothers Trucks. C&GS No. 54 used as observer's truck. Rods carried in tubes on side of truck. These trucks had glass (non-shatter-proof windows), only rear brakes, no heat, and 4-cylinders. Crew road in back no matter what weather.
Virginia, Wise County 1931 January
6721 thumbnail picture
Lunch on a cold day along the Norton Branch of the Southern Railroad near Bristol. One ham sandwich, one peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and an apple fueled 10 miles of level work per day.
Virginia, Bristol 1931 January
6722 thumbnail picture
Observing along the Norton Branch of the Southern Railroad. Wilbur Porter observing, Vincent Benfell recording and Ben Hickok holding umbrella and gun-toting. Crew would ride the Lonesome Pine Special from Bristol to Norton to get to working area.
Virginia, Bristol 1931 January
6723 thumbnail picture
Observing along the Norton Branch of the Southern Railroad. Wilbur Porter observing, Vincent Benfell recording and Pete States holding umbrella and gun-toting. Crew would ride the Lonesome Pine Special from Bristol to Norton to get to working area.
Virginia, Bristol 1931 January
6724 thumbnail picture
Observing along the Norton Branch of the Southern Railroad. Train pulling upgrade as smoke almost vertical indicating slow speed. Train headed upgrade could be heard miles off; train coming downgrade wouldn't be heard until nearby sometimes causing dangerous situations on trestles.
Virginia, Bristol area 1931 January
6725 thumbnail picture
Observing along the Norton Branch of the Southern Railroad. Train pulling upgrade as smoke almost vertical indicating slow speed. Train headed upgrade could be heard miles off; train coming downgrade wouldn't be heard until nearby sometimes causing dangerous situations on trestles.
Virginia, Bristol area 1931 January
6726 thumbnail picture
Observing along the Norton Branch of the Southern Railroad. Carrying the level line across a trestle. Observer was Wilbur Porter; Vincent Benfell recorder; gun-toter in background was Ray Fassett.
Virginia, Bristol area 1931 January
6727 thumbnail picture
Observing along the Norton Branch of the Southern Railroad. Carrying the level line across a trestle near the southern portal of the Natural Tunnel, southwest Virginia.
Virginia, near Clinch River 1931 January
6728 thumbnail picture
Phyliss Benfell looking down an old well at an abandoned house in Chilhowie. Level line was running along the main line of the Norfolk and Western Railroad through this area.
Virginia, Chilhowie, near Abingdon 1931 January
6729 thumbnail picture
The benchmark crew - Orin Eadie, from Washington, D.C. holding a stray dog; Ben Hickok from Wytheville, Virginia; Ambrose Clay from Washington, D.C.; Vincent Benfell from Salt Lake City, Utah; and Gerald Wing from Potsdam, New York.
Virginia, Chilhowie 1931 January
6730 thumbnail picture
On a Bilby tower looking up to the lightkeeper stand. This tower was on the North Carolina State University campus at Raleigh. Chester Seawald on the left, from Mt. Airy, North Carolina. Unidentified on the right.
North Carolina, Raleigh 1932 January
6731 thumbnail picture
A completed Bilby tower on the North Carolina State University campus at Raleigh . The observing truck is a Graham Brothers truck which was called either a dog- catcher truck or post office truck. This truck company was bought by Dodge.
North Carolina, Raleigh 1932 January
6732 thumbnail picture
Ben Hickok on the light-keeper's perch on a Bilby tower at North Carolina State University.
North Carolina, Raleigh 1932 January
6733 thumbnail picture
Ben Hickok standing about 90-feet above the ground. Safety lines weren't required in those days. Ben was wearing his ROTC uniform.
North Carolina, Raleigh 1932 January
6734 thumbnail picture
Ben Hickok showing his best hole digging form for placing marks. Marks were set in pre-cast concrete monuments that were 4-feet in length in order to get below the frost line and not be subject to heaving in cold weather. Monuments were tapered and set with large end in the ground. Each monument weighed 200 pounds.
Michigan, Bad Axe 1934 May
6735 thumbnail picture
Preparing to set a pre-cast concrete monument. Eddie Lyons on the left and Francis Dillon on the right. Both were from Massachusetts.
Michigan, Bad Axe 1934 May
6736 thumbnail picture
Francis Dillon Preparing to set a pre-cast concrete monument near Alma.
Michigan, Alma 1934 June
6737 thumbnail picture
Ben Hickok painting arrows in center of tracks pointing to bench marks set off railroad, but still on the railroad right-of-way.
Michigan, Alma 1934 June
6738 thumbnail picture
Ben Hickok tamping in a monument. Note the top of the concrete monument protruding about 4 inches above the surface. Ford pickup truck to right has additional monuments laying in bed. Note round disks in top of concrete monuments. These are C&GS bronze level marks.
Virginia,West Point 1934 February
6739 thumbnail picture
Tommy Garey from Washington, D.C., sitting on the bumper of a brand new Dodge Brothers truck. Taken on a Sunday. Dressed up to go to church.
Michigan, Alma 1934 June
6740 thumbnail picture
Eddie Lyons digging a hole to set a mark. In this area the soil was sand and gravel so a hole could be dug in about 15 minutes. The hole had to be made larger than the monument because the sand would keep caving in.
Michigan, Bad Axe 1934 June
6741 thumbnail picture
Mark setter's truck, No. 242, nicknamed "Black Maria" as it was similar to a police paddy-wagon which were given that name in the 1930's. Bench mark crew members would ride on benches in back during moves. Headaches were common for the crew after a long move as exhaust fumes would fill the back end. Back end couldn't be closed because of level rod box.
Ohio, Bluffton 1934 August
6742 thumbnail picture
Ben Hickok in the new Dodge Brothers truck.
Michigan, Alma 1934 June
6743 thumbnail picture
Bill Chisom, rodman; George Hastings, the observer and party chief; and Bill Unger rodman. This was a posed Sunday photo as suits weren't worn to work.
Alabama, Guntersville 1934 November
6744 thumbnail picture
Guntersville downtown near the Guntersville Dam near the Tennessee border on the Tennessee River. Note the mode of transportation. Saturday afternoon. The poor cow was rope-sprung, a term for a broken down swaybacked animal.
Alabama, Guntersville 1934 November
6745 thumbnail picture
George Hastings observing in an Alabama cornfield.
Alabama, Guntersville 1934 November
6746 thumbnail picture
George Hastings observing levels; "Smitty" Smith holding umbrella; and Bill Unger (?) gun-toter. The umbrella was used to keep the sun off the level bubble on the leveling instrument as that would draw the instrument out of level and make erroneous readings.
Alabama, Guntersville 1934 November
6747 thumbnail picture
Level crew tempting fate along a railroad northeast of Decatur.
Alabama, Decatur 1934 November
6748 thumbnail picture
Leveling operations in heavy brush.
Alabama, Decatur 1934 November
6749 thumbnail picture
Pilothouse of a Tennessee River ferry boat. The boat would accommodate 4 4 to 6 vehicles depending on size. This boat had a 1-cylinder gasoline engine.
Alabama, above Decatur 1934 November

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Last Updated:
November 10, 2017