To the average observer, the world of land surveying may not seem too glamorous. After all, how much intrigue could there be when it comes to walking the land and taking measurements and observations? In fact, the art of land surveying is more complicated than it might seem. It has also been practiced by some of history’s most fascinating people and relied on during some of history’s most crucial turning points.
Here are some of history’s most famous land surveyors, courtesy of our trusted team of land surveyors in Texas.
The first surveyors
The people credited with the invention of land surveying are arguably some of the industry’s best. The ancient Egyptians first put land surveying into place in 1400 BC. They used the technique as a means to measure plots of land for taxation by the crown.
Though not much of the specifics of these early land surveyors are known, there is one stunning display of their skill. The Great Pyramid of Giza is almost perfectly oriented to the four cardinal directions. This feat would have been impossible without a group of extremely talented land surveyors, and is all the more impressive given the limitations of the day.
Though the first President of the United States had his hopes set on a farm for his future, history would come calling. Before taking on the role of leader of the Continental Army, the 17-year-old Washington was appointed as the Surveyor General in Virginia. It became the teenaged Washington’s task to assess the state’s land and divide the area into thousand-acre plots for incoming families.
In taking the job, Washington took the record as America’s first Registered County Surveyor. He also learned the ins and outs of the territory in which he would one day fight a war.
Today, Washington, DC shines as the national capital. In 1788, it was barren swampland. But the southern states were demanding a capital closer to their land, so President George Washington commissioned Benjamin Banneker, a self-taught African-American surveyor, to inspect the land that would one day become the nation’s capital.
It was Banneker’s survey notes that allowed the first architects to begin planning the national capital. This single task makes Banneker one of the most famous land surveyors in American history.
Abraham Lincoln was yet another surveyor who would eventually become president. In the late 1820s and early 1830s, Lincoln’s impressive skill as a land surveyor had the 20-something in high demand.
In 1833, Lincoln, ever the public servant, was appointed deputy surveyor in Sangamon County, IL. There, he helped map much of the land subsequently settled by new citizens.
Your surveying team
If you’re looking for the most famous land surveyors in Texas, look no further than D.G. Smyth & Co., Inc. For more than 40 years, our highly-skilled staff has undertaken an enormous variety of land surveys for residential, commercial and oil and gas clients.
When you need efficient workmanship and unparalleled customer service, come to D.G. Smyth & Co., Inc. Contact us today to learn more.