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NGS Surveyor

Early USC&GS Bench Marks

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All, Several of us are trying to learn more about the USC&GS bench marks (vertical control) from c1903 to

c1920. Many of these disks are flat, quite thick and have Bench Mark abbreviated as “B.M.”. Later disks have it spelled out as “BENCH MARK”. At least some of the “B.M.” variety have only two rows of factory stamping. The “BENCH MARK” variety seem to have three rows of factory stamping, adding “FOR INFORMATION WRITE TO THE SUPERINTENDENT, WASHINGTON D.C.”. Most have a single “slash” as the center symbol, although a circle appeared in the center about 1907. A circle with a slash inside the circle appeared about 1916 and convex disks appeared c1916. In publications from 1909 and 1914, a square center symbol was mentioned, but I have never seen a photo or drawing of one of these.

 

If you have recovered a USC&GS bench mark from this era, please post a link on this thread, ideally with a photo.

 

Thanks,

GeorgeL

NGS

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Most of the disks I've found of that era are USGS. I tried doing some searching on the Geocaching Database and came up with some hits, but apparently my search didn't find them all because it didn't catch any of AndyPhoto's finds. Oh well its a good start...

 

These aren't my finds - credit to all of the original finders out there...

 

M 6 - 1906

32506_100.jpg

 

R - 1906

025d057a-11d0-43f4-879e-9f7729a663d2.jpg

 

J 3 - 1907

84a10f49-758b-42c7-b2bb-57f93928c99d.jpg

 

N 4 - 1907

ece73e69-3bf4-41f7-a5ef-f3d138bd0cbb.jpg

 

P 4 - 1907

8a43a171-2915-418c-bf54-7ef87758758e.jpg

 

841 3320 TIDAL 6 - 1911

5d6d1104-135c-4e1c-a16a-0d87a5814afb.jpg

 

W 2 - 1911

d8d274f6-1d09-411b-b7c5-45149fca18c5.jpg

 

C 10 - 1911

06dce166-0c6a-4475-b237-a822814b4198.jpg

 

LINTON - 1913

83d22b7a-2cdf-4472-8fbf-bc9cc00a546e.jpg

 

877 1450 TIDAL 32 - 1913

6d2d6d2f-0577-42f9-820c-c01eb37228ac.jpg

Edited by RazorbackFan

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I've recovered several of the later ones that I can think of, all from 1917.

 

QL0164

6f9ef269-04e4-45a9-90c0-f59b846e2d66.jpg

 

QL0163

29b7f10f-b288-4a76-8036-cfea5386fdc9.jpg

 

and RK0171, which I recovered about a foot underground with the metal detector, in two pieces:

dc6cabc6-a6e7-4b61-83bc-59dcb3ed971a.jpg

 

The last one is now marked in the database as destroyed, and I have the disk in my possession. I can post a better picture later with less dirt, though the face is kind of scarred. The face appears basically flat, though on careful inspection it is just slightly convex.

Edited by andylphoto

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Here's a flat "B.M." one from 1924 (DX2221). I guess the surveyors kept them in the bag for a while after they were "officially" no longer in use (1920?). Yes, I know that the description is "J1 Reset", but the location is right, and the stamping called out on the datasheet matches. There used to be a J1 1906 (DX2220), but the whole building was moved (!), and the surveyor (a Mr. Floyd Hough) kept the same designation at the new building location, but with a new date. A bit unusual, I suppose. One wonders if Floyd (or his descendents) have the "J1 1906" disc. Perhaps DX2220 should be declared destroyed.

165076ed-dbb7-4f49-b6d3-cf995d1eb779.jpg

 

I guess I knew it was unusual to be flat, so I took this pic also. It really is flat.

d5fb7eb3-aa36-4bf0-b39b-e5689d9f152b.jpg

 

I'll also look for more in my database.

Edited by Klemmer & TeddyBearMama

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Just to add a few data points:

 

All of the USC&GS markers from that time frame that I've found have the word Benchmark spelled out and appear to be convex (not flat.) They are:

 

BC0167

82dff5b3-0bcd-450a-a7b2-4c5e5b11187f.jpg

 

BD0845

87187807-a557-49f3-ad06-e1ff16c951af.jpg

 

BD0323

a430a16c-9b58-406f-851b-de6327e36f32.jpg

 

BR0031

84f7b473-e977-40f4-9bbe-71a4c5324af1.jpg

 

EC0708

7aa5644a-3834-4f80-ab3b-fa0856e347c7.jpg

 

EC0707

24f3e266-fa76-4ee2-a974-5438f40b076d.jpg

 

EC0706

5661571f-1b6e-461a-9efe-eda90c80d306.jpg

 

BE0066

3ffb1567-3286-47a1-9d6b-2f5b1fc45575.jpg

 

BG1731

f539a7d7-f911-42bd-8a4f-57e3e855b1e4.jpg

 

BH0240

2cae0faf-7215-47fa-9ef6-69e94e37e706.jpg

 

(See next post for the last few pictures.)

 

The only markers I've found from that time frame that have the initials BM are US Geological Survey markers.

 

NJE

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Here are two I recovered this summer, two lines of factory text and a slash only in the center, with "B.M." at the bottom.

 

FS0570 A 1:

f09ed3cc-0a5f-4a1b-856a-da87e97c2190.jpg

 

ES0020 I 4:

adbb74dc-b2c0-4cdd-9593-06230beb0f13.jpg

 

While the datasheets for both these marks indicate unknown monumentation dates, the C&GS Annual Report progress maps indicate that FS0570 was likely set in 1908-1909, and ES0020 in 1909-1910.

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All,

 

Did I actually link one? !!

 

Has any one seen another of these old ones that show a cross - horizontal slash with a slightly shorter vertical bar - anyplace other than several number strings set in 1913 in Montana from Butte through Helena and on into Cascade County?

 

kayakbird

http://img.geocaching.com/benchmark/lg/963...2f9a7ffef3f.jpg

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=rx0324

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George,

 

I'm sure yer already aware of this popular piece of brass at the Flagstaff RR station. I''m replying more to learn how to post to a Forum than anything else. Unless KayakBird held a gun to my head and made me post something once that I've since forgotten (did I mention short-term memory problems?), this is my first post.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=fq0230

 

http://picasaweb.google.com/josandersatmt....455649467605314

 

I'm not sure this is working, but in case it is, here's what looks to be another flat one in Sayer, OK.

 

http://picasaweb.google.com/josandersatmt....456201667127218

 

Found these two on last Route 66 trip.

 

Happy New Year,

John

 

ps: MMMMMMMMMMM, tried two different ways to insert actual image instead of just link. Neither worked. Am I just too dumb to do it or do you have to be a premium member to actually insert images?

 

Cheers

Edited by Okie'sKid

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George,

 

I'm sure yer already aware of this popular piece of brass at the Flagstaff RR station. I''m replying more to learn how to post to a Forum than anything else. Unless KayakBird held a gun to my head and made me post something once that I've since forgotten (did I mention short-term memory problems?), this is my first post.

...

 

ps: MMMMMMMMMMM, tried two different ways to insert actual image instead of just link. Neither worked. Am I just too dumb to do it or do you have to be a premium member to actually insert images?

 

Cheers

 

Hi here's how to insert an image:

 

1) go to your GC log for the station (your first link).

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=fq0230

 

2) click on the link for the picture in your log

This: FQ0230

 

3) Copy the picture url from the location bar of you browser.

 

4) click on th little tree above this window (it says "Insert Image" when you put your mouse on it)

 

5) paste the url you saved in the place requested. (make sure you don't duplicate the "http://")

 

Voilla!

 

3f09fcc2-90c5-48d7-b40d-c0a81af60a1e.jpg

 

BTW: Nice find, very nice picture!

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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My turn to try a direct photo link. It takes a right click to open up the drop down for the 'Paste' function.

d52a951d-e3d6-4535-8595-e1ef89ad42c9.jpg

Another B.M. with a vertical bar - cast or chiseled - factory or field? MEL

Edited by kayakbird

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George,

 

I'm sure yer already aware of this popular piece of brass at the Flagstaff RR station. I''m replying more to learn how to post to a Forum than anything else. Unless KayakBird held a gun to my head and made me post something once that I've since forgotten (did I mention short-term memory problems?), this is my first post.

...

 

ps: MMMMMMMMMMM, tried two different ways to insert actual image instead of just link. Neither worked. Am I just too dumb to do it or do you have to be a premium member to actually insert images?

 

Cheers

 

Hi here's how to insert an image:

 

1) go to your GC log for the station (your first link).

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=fq0230

 

2) click on the link for the picture in your log

This: FQ0230

 

3) Copy the picture url from the location bar of you browser.

 

4) click on th little tree above this window (it says "Insert Image" when you put your mouse on it)

 

5) paste the url you saved in the place requested. (make sure you don't duplicate the "http://")

 

Voilla!

 

3f09fcc2-90c5-48d7-b40d-c0a81af60a1e.jpg

 

BTW: Nice find, very nice picture!

 

Papa-Bear,

 

Thanx for the help. Do you ever get out west?

 

Cheers,

Okie'sKid

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Wow...you learn something new every day. I've been posting on this board for almost 4 years, and I never paid attention to the icons up there. I've just always typed in the UBB code manually when playing with quotes or adding images or links. He he. Guess I've just been polishing my typing skills instead.

 

Thanks for the explanation Papa Bear! :)

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Wow...you learn something new every day. I've been posting on this board for almost 4 years, and I never paid attention to the icons up there. I've just always typed in the UBB code manually when playing with quotes or adding images or links. He he. Guess I've just been polishing my typing skills instead.

 

Thanks for the explanation Papa Bear! :)

To be honest, I don't use the icons either. But it's a good way to get started and I didn't want to get into the intricacies of the tags. But it's nice when you do use the icons that you can see what codes it puts into your message. Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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Wow...you learn something new every day. I've been posting on this board for almost 4 years, and I never paid attention to the icons up there. I've just always typed in the UBB code manually when playing with quotes or adding images or links. He he. Guess I've just been polishing my typing skills instead.

 

Thanks for the explanation Papa Bear! :)

To be honest, I don't use the icons either. But it's a good way to get started and I didn't want to get into the intricacies of the tags. But it's nice when you do use the icons that you can see what codes it puts into your message.

 

Anyone,

 

One more trick, please - how DO you put in those nice little underlined PIDS that links to the Geocache log?

 

MEL

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Posting a link is very similar to posting a picture. Go to the benchmarks page on geocaching and copy the url. Then when you make your post type in the text that you want to be the link (e.g. AA9114). Then highlight the text that you typed and click the "Insert Link" icon (looks like the planet earth with a chain link in front of it) in the same tool bar that you use for inserting pictures. That will pop up a box where you can paste the url of the benchmark.

 

Hope that helps.

 

RazorbackFan

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Wow...you learn something new every day. I've been posting on this board for almost 4 years, and I never paid attention to the icons up there. I've just always typed in the UBB code manually when playing with quotes or adding images or links. He he. Guess I've just been polishing my typing skills instead.

 

Thanks for the explanation Papa Bear! :)

To be honest, I don't use the icons either. But it's a good way to get started and I didn't want to get into the intricacies of the tags. But it's nice when you do use the icons that you can see what codes it puts into your message.

 

Anyone,

 

One more trick, please - how DO you put in those nice little underlined PIDS that links to the Geocache log?

 

MEL

OK, here's what you do

 

This time I'll give the information without using the icons

 

1) go to the log you're interested in.

 

Let's say it's "Buttermilk" a historic mark in Westchester county. I forget the PID so I look it up on the Geopcaching Benchmark page. I find it's LX4113. So I go there, highlight the url in the browser location bar and hit control-C

 

2) Paste it into your message (hit Control-V). You now have the raw URL in your note, like this (I put it in quotes so the system won't try to interpret it).

 

"http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=LX4113"

 

3) Now put the tags around it. The start-url tag is "", then the name, then the end-url tag ""

 

I put "Buttermilk" as the name, but you could as well put "LX4113" or anything. So you get this

 

[url=http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=LX4113]Buttermilk[/url]

 

I put it in a "code" box so you can see it all. If you just put it directly into the message, you get the finished result:

 

Buttermilk

 

Edit: Sorry - I misspelled "Buttermilk". Duh.

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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Thanks Papa-Bear-NYC,

 

I'll give it a try with another of the early flat disks that have a cross in the center. On this one the vertical bar sure looks to be a field modification with a cold chisel. Others in this year string may be cast. Maybe Okie'sKid will volunteer to take his snow shovel and go check a couple. I'm snow-bound in Moab, Utah but hope to be in tall cactus in a couple of weeks. kayakbird

 

aeefec00-d939-4e78-9820-52ef8bb1ece7.jpg

SS0903

That is amazing!!

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Thanks Papa-Bear-NYC,

 

I'll give it a try with another of the early flat disks that have a cross in the center. On this one the vertical bar sure looks to be a field modification with a cold chisel. Others in this year string may be cast. Maybe Okie'sKid will volunteer to take his snow shovel and go check a couple. I'm snow-bound in Moab, Utah but hope to be in tall cactus in a couple of weeks. kayakbird

 

aeefec00-d939-4e78-9820-52ef8bb1ece7.jpg

SS0903

That is amazing!!

 

 

Volunteer for WHAT!!??!! It's raining outside right now!!

Edited by Okie'sKid

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I think that this is what we are looking for! Found description for L2 on P. 179 (185/334 in Google) of Special Publication #18.

Photo from Sidetrippers' 9/8/2007 log.

54edf006-d23e-4dd5-96be-1ea1364d0382.jpg

QB0898

The first one listed in Sp Pub #18 was H6 in Weiser, ID which was reset in 1938 as AE9968. K2 was also set in Baker City, OR but does not have a PID.

 

kayakbird

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This one is in Minnesota. Flat, set horizontally in a sandstone building sill. In a 1904 run from St Cloud MN to Watertown SD.

Current DATASHEET has the correct date: QP0586 HISTORY - 1904 MONUMENTED CGS

 

Very nice photo by JLHowie 2 Mar 2003

22372_100.jpg

QP0586

 

Should be some more there in the Heartland.

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All, I am finally in the process of updating my on-line paper on USC&GS and NGS survey marks. I have included all the info. from this link, but if you have any other rare finds or any that are not mentioned in my paper, (or found any errors or omissions in my paper), please comment now!

 

Thanks,

GeorgeL

NGS

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Is there a link to your paper?

 

bullygoat29 & all,

 

NGS Surveyor does have a post somewhere with the parameters that he is interested in - a search on his threads truncates a year ago. I'm sure that he will bring it back up.

 

In the meantime this 1914 (now destroyed) mark in Missoula County, Montana is the earliest one that I know about in the GC logs that spells out 'BENCH MARK.

 

25127_100.jpg

 

RY0027

 

And this one in Powell County, Montana may be one of the last set, as part of a sting, that is stamped 'B. M.'.

 

8053b366-aca6-430c-9e20-7bc4e036a5f6.jpg

 

RX0392

 

If anyone has run across the Special Publication for the Precise Level Net that may have started west from Butte, Montana in 1914 I would really appreciate a link.

 

Note: Apparently some previously set USGS points were leveled to and became part of the Alpha 14 string in Missoula County..

 

4f960a6d-0cc1-48e5-8c5c-26cdaac3df7a.jpg

 

RY0001

 

All above GC logged & photos by CallawayMT

 

Thanks, kayakbird

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If anyone has run across the Special Publication for the Precise Level Net that may have started west from Butte, Montana in 1914 I would really appreciate a link.

 

Note: Apparently some previously set USGS points were leveled to and became part of the Alpha 14 string in Missoula County..

 

 

I don't know, but maybe this can help.

 

http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/cgs_specpubs/data_rescue_cgs_specpubs.html

 

and this may be the one you are specifically wanting

 

http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/cgs_specpubs/QB275U35no181914.pdf

Edited by LSUFan

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If anyone has run across the Special Publication for the Precise Level Net that may have started west from Butte, Montana in 1914 I would really appreciate a link.

 

Note: Apparently some previously set USGS points were leveled to and became part of the Alpha 14 string in Missoula County..

 

 

I don't know, but maybe this can help.

 

http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/cgs_specpubs/data_rescue_cgs_specpubs.html

 

and this may be the one you are specifically wanting

 

http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/cgs_specpubs/QB275U35no181914.pdf

 

Thanks LSUFan,

 

On a quick scroll through the index I didn't see anything other than SP Pub #18 that pertains to Montana. Snooping around in SP #18 (1903 to 1911 level runs), I did come up with another candidate for the earliest flat disk stamped 'BENCH MARK'

 

0e5b80ee-abfc-4c06-8b19-c4a5e1017db9.jpg

 

EY0758

 

Since it is PFF's photo, maybe he can figure out the year set.

 

Yup, I got distracted and won't get back to my primary task until tomorrow. kayakbird

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All, I'm updating "Bottle, Pots, and Pans..." and any help would be appreciated. I hope to finish the first draft of the updated version today, so please send any comments ASAP.

 

Thanks,

GeorgeL

NGS

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GU2149 This disk appeared almost 4 inches in diameter, quite a difference from most I've found.

 

4a75e589-e00b-4212-92d9-dea5a0e837cd.jpg

 

Dragonswest,

 

The factory lettering on your 1908 USGS disk is quite similar to that seen on some of the submissions to a former thread here

 

Gold-colored USGS disks

 

f1509d19-6ccf-47e5-b004-4ade8477cb05.jpg

 

southpawaz photo

 

I believe that they were that larger diameter also. Seems like USGS changed metallurgy and lettering as much as CGS/NGS did.

 

kayakbird

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While this thread was started to discuss USC&GS disks rather than USGS disks, I'll venture off topic a bit since kayakbird brought my name up. :)

 

The USGS was using 4 inch disks in that time frame. AZcachemeister and I last month recovered ET0856 NEW RIVER, a USGS station monumented with a 4 inch disk circa 1900. It is a bit different than yours, however, as it is aluminum and flat rather than domed. My recollection is that the "golden" disk in the photo that kayakbird cited was 3 inches, not four.

 

On a sad side note, the Lookout Tower that sat above ESCUDILLA was recently lost in the Wallow Fire.

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Ah, sorry. Here's a USC&GS I found on a RR bridge abutment in mid-May. :)

 

217df905-968f-4b20-951f-2ad8b59503fa.jpg

 

This is south of Castroville, CA, on abandoned Southern Pacific RR bridge built in 1914.

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Doing a bit of scouting for an upcoming road trip and came up with this photo

 

4bc588fd-9fb0-40d1-8cb1-a74cc895b9c5.jpg

 

TL0269

 

logged by CallawayMT of an early 'BENCH MARK' spelled out disk. Listed as an UNK date but with a 1914 GOOD history:

 

TL0269 HISTORY - 1914 GOOD NGS

 

Hope that it is still there on Thursday. kayakbird

Edited by kayakbird

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So clean and well preserved! Is this one in a museum display?

 

A little later (I think) on Kurt's early morning trip across US 2.

 

227d54c9-60e5-4d10-b4c0-74bfe554ee00.jpg

 

TL0270

 

Maybe scoured clean by cold, drifting snow. kayakbird

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Another UNK, but early Montana string.

 

e25bfd5b-bb3a-4db2-a7d7-53d89934b1ef.jpg

 

RX0627

 

The last PID (maybe because it in Granite County, not Missoula Co) of the '13' string, all of which have UNK dates;

but it is bracketed by 1914's in both the '12' and '14' strings.

 

kayakbird

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This one isn't all that old (barely OTM) but I like it because it is my first flared stem station

(as shown in Fig. 32, P 14 in the below link):

 

http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/web/about_ngs/history/Survey_Mark_Art.pdf

 

959915f4-75a5-4705-855d-5178f7bc5e8f.jpg

 

BROWN

 

and it has a great view to the west

 

d684ffed-210d-43bb-b633-8a8083d72c62.jpg

 

towards which I will be hiking tomorrow on one of the twice monthly guided hikes organized by the Buenos Aires NWR.

 

kayakbird

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This one isn't all that old (barely OTM) but I like it because it is my first flared stem station

 

Nice job KB. A really cool, and rare, flared stem and you have the first recorded recovery since monumentation!

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