Trivia Answer Page

Happy Engineer's Week!

 

National Engineer's Week was started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers in conjunction with President George Washington's birthday (February 22). President Washington is considered as the nation's first engineer, notably for his survey work.

 

Prior to the start of National Engineers Week, the University of Missouri College of Engineering began celebrating the world's first Engineers' Week in 1903, 48 years before the National Society of Professional Engineers, with St. Patrick as the patron Saint of engineers.

Question

Today’s president held many jobs including lawyer, tavern keeper, rail splitter, storekeeper, postmaster and surveyor.

 

Upon accepting an appointment as an assistant, this young American’s first task was to learn about surveying. He borrowed two text books - A System Of Geometry and Trigonometry With a Treatise on Surveying by Abel Flint and The Theory and Practice of Surveying by Robert Gibson. Then, this future leader proceeded with his studies assisted by Mentor Graham, a schoolmaster. 

 

As he concluded his studies, this future president purchased some second-hand equipment to start his practice. The career as a surveyor lasted only a few years, but his projects included government surveys, road surveys, town lots, and private surveys.

Answer

Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln's career as a surveyor lasted only a few years.  His projects included government surveys, road surveys, town lots, and private surveys.  Financially, there were difficulties and at one point his equipment was sold at auction to satisfy a debt.  A farmer named John Short bought the items for $120 and returned them to Lincoln.

 

The instruments passed through several owners and are now on display at "Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site".  Permission was recently granted to photograph the instruments and they are featured here.’

Financially, there were difficulties and at one point his equipment was sold at auction to satisfy a debt. A farmer named John Short bought the items for $120 and returned them to this future US president. The instruments passed through several owners and are now on display at a historic site. Permission was recently granted to photograph the instruments and they are featured here.

Abraham Lincoln studied as an apprentice surveyor and used this equipment to work on a variety of projects for government and private interests. The equipment was sold due to financial difficulties but was eventually donated to the Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site museum.

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