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Thoreau the Land Surveyor$
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Patrick Chura

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034935

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034935.001.0001

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The Skillful Engineer

The Skillful Engineer

(p.71) 4 The Skillful Engineer
Thoreau the Land Surveyor

Patrick Chura

University Press of Florida

Thoreau made several surveys purely for the pleasure of experimentation. In addition to the surveys of Walden in 1846 and White Pond in 1851, Thoreau apparently made a recreational plan of the Old Marlborough Road sometime in the 1840s. During his paid surveying jobs in and around Concord, Thoreau often carried out “unnecessary” science, recording data that were of value only to himself as writer-naturalist. He often carried portable surveying instruments on his almost daily woodland excursions.

Keywords:   scientific experiment, data recording, surveying instruments, pocket compass, recreational plan, land surveying

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