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.


Land For Sale – Find of the Week

This week we are featuring an advertisement for “Large Beautiful Lots” for sale in Corpus Christi. The ad, from 1927, features a map showing the lots that were for sale. The lots ranged in price from $119 to $399 and could be paid off with $1 weekly payments! We  found it very interesting to see how much land you could buy in 1927 for less than $400.


Crosstown Expressway – Find of the Week

This week we are featuring a series of  six maps that show the right-of-way for a portion of  State Highway 286, known as the Crosstown Expressway, in Corpus Christi, Texas.  State Highway 286 has been designated on it’s current path from downtown Corpus Christi to Chapman Ranch since 1939. The six right-of -way maps shown below have a range of dates from October 1961 to May 1963. The final photo shows each of the six maps georeferenced to the ground locations of each map. Click on a map to expand it for a more detailed view. We found it very interesting to see… Read more »


113 Years of Shoreline Change – Find of the Week

This week we are featuring a unique map that shows the shoreline of two barrier islands changing over the span of 113 years, from 1848 to 1961. The map extent covers a small portion of Padre Island and Mustang Island and uses different types of lines to indicate the shoreline location for a specific year. The years featured on this map are 1848, 1855, 1902, 1937, 1941, 1945, and 1961. Although only seven specific years are indicated on this map, the range of time is what makes this a very impressive and valuable find.    


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 »


“Also Wet” – Find of the Week

Take a moment to imagine yourself in various everyday scenarios like watching a movie, eating a cookie, going to work, or even mowing the lawn… Now re-imagine each scenario and add in the feeling of being cold and wet. Even the most wonderful scenarios you may have envisioned could be ruined by poor weather.

On December 12, 1946, a plainly miserable surveyor wrote

“Colder Then hell, Also wet”

at the top of his field book page. The normally neat handwriting looks rushed and really gives a sense of how uncomfortable the author must have been. According to the National Weather Service, the… Read more »


Field Book Sketches – Find of the Week

Although field books are typically filled with technical sketches of the property being surveyed, surveyors would occasionally draw other things in their field books. Sketches of the landscapes or buildings can often be found in the Blucher Collection field books. This particular page shows a few sketches between additional notes and calculations. The sketch on the left side of the page depicts pajamas air drying on top of surveying stakes. The sketch on the right side of the page is titled “Mud Flats Farm” and is dated October 25, 1918.   As was mentioned in our very Read more »


Mirrored Image – Find of the Week

Before computers and printers were widely available, the process of making multiple copies of one document was often much more time consuming than it is today. This mirror image map is just one step in a process that allowed for multiple copies of the original map to be made. This map, made in 1938, is from the Green Collection and shows a portion of a subdivision in Port Aransas, Texas. The artistic detail at the top of this map also a unique find.  


One map made of three sheets of paper – Find of the Week

Often when people hear the word “map” they imagine a large rectangular piece of paper with the United States of America drawn in bright colors. Or perhaps, a person might think of using an internet browser to look up directions from one place to another. In most cases, however, people usually think of maps of fitting within a square or rectangle. Our third “Find of the Week” demonstrates how a map does not always fit inside of a rectangular piece of paper. This map, titled “Map of Portland Texas in San Patricio County”, is from the Green Maps Collection and… Read more »