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Bilby Towers


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The USC&GS published a Manual on the Bilby Towers in 1929 and updated it in 1940. Both are on-line and the link to the 1940 version is: http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/cgs_specpu...35no1581940.pdf


The Manual includes instructions and photos showing how to erect a Bilby and also drawings of the parts (see page 7).


There are also many photos of Bilby Towers on the NOAA Photo Library's www site at: http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/


As far as existing Bilbys, there is one in LA as mentioned (one of our field crews found it about a year ago), and there are several? at Cape Canaveral. Theses are the only standing Bilbys that I know of.


I know a possible source for one and will let them know that the Surveyor's Historical Society is interested.


As for someone obtaining parts and building one, CAUTION, it is difficult and dangerous, I would not recommend it.


In our mini NGS museum area here in Silver Spring MD, we have a 1/3 scale model of a Bilby. I believe it was made to use in training.




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Since yesterday I have found:

- A Bill of Materials for a 103 foot Bilby Tower from Braden-Aermotor Corp, dated Nov 9, 1971;

- An Aermotor price list for Bilby Towers, dated March 1, 1970 (a 103’ foot tower cost $2985.00 and weighed 7000 pounds;

- A large Aermotor drawing of a 103’ Bilby Tower, dated 1959). The drawing is 18” by 45”.

Bilby Towers could be built at various heights (hts of the inner tower, in feet): 37, 50, 64, 77, 90, 103, and 116, (129’ was available only in the early years). The outer tower was 10 feet taller. For more information see my two on-line articles: http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/survey_towers/bilby.html and http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/magazi...by/welcome.html


I also have drawings of wooden towers for the following heights (feet): 4, 10, 15, 24, 32, 40, and 56).




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Update: The Surveyors Historical Society has removed the Bilby tower from Louisiana and is in the process of moving it to Jasper Bilby's home town in Indiana where it will be erected.


(Cross reference to another GC thread on Bilby towers)


Well shoot, that is going to make it a lot longer drive for me to go see it now. I think that someone ought to pay for my trip, since they didn't ask my permission to remove it from here in LA. :lol:


Seriously, I am glad they made the effort to preserve this piece of surveying history.

Edited by LSUFan
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