Guest Video: John Wesley Powell


When I studied surveying, in 1980, the field was transitioning from painstakingly perfect hand-drawn artwork and lettering to instrumentation. Now, it’s all automated, but some of my teachers remembered the old days, when everything was done by hand. They all revered the preciseness of John Wesley Powell’s surveys.

I didn’t realize at the time that this man had lost an arm in the Civil War battle of Shiloh before he went into surveying!

Of course, today Powell is best known for his journey through the Grand Canyon. Here he is, to tell you a little bit more about himself and his work.



Featured image: TradingCardsNPS, CC BY 2.0.

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