U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. Condition of Field Work Alaska. June 30, 1926.
1926 (dated) 33.5 x 44 in (85.09 x 111.76 cm)
1 : 2500000
This is a 1926 U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey map of Alaska. The map depicts Alaska from the Bering Sea to the Yukon Territory and British Columbia in Canada and from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Alaska and the North Pacific Ocean. An inset map of the Aleutian Islands is situated along the bottom border.
Created for the Annual Report of the Director, United States Coast and Geodetic Survey of 1926, the 'condition' of field work accomplished by the agency is illustrated, using different forms of notation. 'Condition' means the total amount of field work accomplished to date. Hydrography surveys are depicted in light blue and have been completed in the Alexander Archipelago and in the bays near Cordova, Valdez, Seward, Anchorage, and Kodiak, as well as in places along the Alaska Peninsula. Other hydrographic surveys using the wire drag method and are illustrated in red, which have also been undertaken in the Alexander Archipelago. In wire drag surveys, a wire is attached to two ships or boats and set to a certain depth by a system of weights and buoys. The wire is then dragged between two points, and if it encounters an obstacle, the wire becomes taut and forms a 'V'. This reveals submerged rocks, wrecks, and other obstructions with more accuracy, along with an accurate reading of depth. Hydrographic surveys along the Alaskan coast have also only been partially completed, which are shaded in a peach color. An intriguing distinction is also made with respect to the hydrographic surveys conducted in Alaska. Per the map, some of the areas are changeable, which, accordingly, have been surveyed but will require future resurveys. These areas are depicted in yellow. Topographic surveys, which have only been conducted along certain coastal areas, are illustrated in green. Triangulation surveys are depicted by the red interconnected triangles and have been conducted along the border between Alaska and Canada and extensively in the Alexander Archipelago and the bays near Cordova, Valdez, Seward, and Anchorage. Triangulation surveys have also been conducted along the coastline between St. Michael and Nome. Reconnaissance work has also been completed extensively in the Bering Sea and also in the Arctic Ocean and around the Aleutian Islands.
A key explaining the different notations utilized on the map is located at the top right, and a table just below the key lists other forms of survey work completed in the region. The table states that extensive survey work has been completed in Alaska, particularly the nearly 850 magnetic stations that have been established.
This map was produced by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey for inclusion in the Annual Report of the Director of the Coast and Geodetic Survey. The director in 1926 was E. Lester Jones.
The Office of the Coast Survey (later the U.S. Geodetic Survey), founded in 1807 by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of Commerce Albert Gallatin, is the oldest scientific organization in the U.S. Federal Government. Jefferson created the "Survey of the Coast," as it was then called, in response to a need for accurate navigational charts of the new nation's coasts and harbors. The first superintendent of the Coast Survey was Swiss immigrant and West Point mathematics professor Ferdinand Hassler. Under the direction of Hassler, from 1816 to 1843, the ideological and scientific foundations for the Coast Survey were established. Hassler, and the Coast Survey under him developed a reputation for uncompromising dedication to the principles of accuracy and excellence. Hassler lead the Coast Survey until his death in 1843, at which time Alexander Dallas Bache, a great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, took the helm. Under the leadership A. D. Bache, the Coast Survey did most of its most important work. During his Superintendence, from 1843 to 1865, Bache was steadfast advocate of American science and navigation and in fact founded the American Academy of Sciences. Bache was succeeded by Benjamin Pierce who ran the Survey from 1867 to 1874. Pierce was in turn succeeded by Carlile Pollock Patterson who was Superintendent from 1874 to 1881. In 1878, under Patterson's superintendence, the U.S. Coast Survey was reorganized as the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (C & GS or USGS) to accommodate topographic as well as nautical surveys. Today the Coast Survey is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA.
Jones, E. Lester, Annual Report of the Director, United States Coast and Geodetic Survey to the Secretary of Commerce for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1926 (Washington: Government Printing Office) 1926.
Very good. Slight wear and toning along original fold lines. Blank on verso.