Mapping Marlborough
Chain, Surveyor's

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Record 9/60
Copyright Marlborough Museum - Marlborough Historical Society Inc
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Collection MHS (unaccessioned) General
Description Chain measure - Gunter's - used by Alfred Dobson to make first survey of Beaver (Blenheim) in June 1857.

Dobson was employed by Alfred Fell of Nelson, one of the earliest landowners in Beaver, to lay out Fell's sections prior to putting them on the market for sale [source: Archives Hale Notebooks (newspaper) index, notebook 34 page 22.]

This chain has been on exhibit for years, with the following [unsourced] information, and is being taken down to make room for the Wine Exhibition in 2009.

"Chains - for surveying purposes in England we have two kinds of chains, viz. the 100-feet and Gunter's. These chains, made of stout iron or steel wire, are composed each of 100 links; in the former case each link being equal to one foot in length and in the latter 7.92 inches, or 1-100th part of 66 feet, being the length of the link.

"It will be manifest that the 100-feet chain has many great advantages, the chief being that it is so easily understood; and it is further argued that its increased length over Gunter is more conducive to accuracy in its use in the field.

Gunter's or 66-feet chain - this instrument, if I may so call it, was invented in the early part of the seventeenth century by the Reverend Edmund Gunter, an eminent professor of astronomy at Gresham College. It is also called a four-pole chain. It is 66 feet long (or four poles of 16 and one half feet*), composed of 100 links of strong iron or steel wire, each link being 7.92 inches or 1-100th part of 66 feet. At every 10 links is fastened a brass tablet of different shapes to denote its value in tens, whilst at each end is a conveniently constructed brass handle."

[Then follows the divisions of Gunter's Chain.]

"*Poles, sometimes called perches or rods, in different parts of the kingdom, were formerly (by custom) of various lengths; as, of 15 feet or 5 yards, 7 yards, 8 yards, etc. All these are now obsolete, and the statute acre (35th year of the reign of Edward 1.), consisting of 160 square perches (of 272 and one quarter square feet each), is general throughout England."

Object ID 0000.800.0165
Object Name Chain, Surveyor's
People Gunter, Edmund
Fell, Alfred
Dobson, Alfred
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Last modified on: November 16, 2015