Whoa, whoa!

We’re halfway there! Whoa, whoa! We’re living on a prayer! We are officially halfway through digitally preserving the Blucher Field Book Collection. Thanks to the extremely hard work of Maria Cherry, Ryan Mayer, & Julissa Peña. At the current rate this team is going, there is no doubt that they will complete the project before the Fall Equinox. Looking back at the collection we wanted to reshare two of our favorite field book finds; Tarasco Language & “Also Wet”.


Bird Eggs – Find of the Week

Today we are featuring an interesting list of bird eggs found in their nests. This list was found inside the back cover of a field book. Although the page doesn’t have a date on it, the entire field book was dated between April and June of 1908. Unfortunately, we found no explanation as to why the bird eggs were being counted. The list reads as follows: “Eggs of Small burrowing owl – seven in nest. Yellow headed woodpecker – five in nest. Bottlenest bird (oriole ?) – three in nest, perhaps not complete. Totache  – three in nest.” Totache is another name for… Read more »


More than Surveying – Find of the Week

This week we are featuring two field book pages that show schematic drawings rather than survey sketches. Although the Conrad Blucher Surveying Collection is primarily comprised of surveying and mapping related documents, we we have occasionally come across engineering related documents. This particular entry, from June 1938, was for Travelers Insurance Company and includes several detailed drawings of different parts of an oil line boom.


Blunders – Find of the Week

Even the best can make mistakes sometimes, but what is important is identifying and correcting any mistakes that have been made. In surveying, we have a special word for avoidable mistakes. A blunder is a mistake, big or small, that is often due to human error. However, with comprehensive procedures and diligent checks, blunders can be found and corrected. Examples of blunders include, but are not limited to: -Incorrectly reading an instrument -Copying down a number incorrectly -Tabulation errors -Instruments incorrectly calibrated

The field book page below is an interesting example of two blunders occurring at once. The first blunder occurred when a point… Read more »


Tarasco Language – Find of the Week

Today’s “Find of the Week” features a short list of words in the Tarasco Language. The Tarasco language (also known as Tarascan or Purépecha) is an American Indian language with origins in Mexico. This list was found at the front of the field book and contains three words. Each with a phonetic pronunciation and the meaning of the word. Although we looked through the whole of the field book, we were unable to find any further mention of the Tarasco language or why the surveyor made notes of these words. The field book is dated from late 1916 to early 1920 and… Read more »


Scorching Hot Temperatures – Find of the Week

This week we are featuring a couple of pages from our Field Book collection. These pages are from the summer of 1937 and report the shocking temperature of 120° in the city of Corpus Christi, Texas. The temperature for each day can be seen at the upper right corner of the page. Keeping track of the weather and temperature during a survey was very important because the length of the steel tape used for measurements could vary with temperature changes. The page dated June 11, 1937, even has two temperatures recorded for different times of the day.