Surveyor's Compass, Circa 1880

Measuring the Texas landscape by degrees

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What post-Civil War Texas lacked in funds, it made up for in land. To build a capitol building large enough to house all government departments, delegates at the Constitutional Convention of 1875 set aside three million acres of Texas land to be sold to fund the project. That land eventually became the legendary King Ranch.

Surveyors probably used an instrument like this one to map all those acres. This compass, circa 1880, used a magnetized needle to measure in degrees the direction of a line or the angles in a survey.

See this and other artifacts on the Interactive Texas Map

Surveyor's Compass, Circa 1880 Artifact from Austin, Texas
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