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Gradienter
1854

Used to survey the course of the Washington Aqueduct
German-born instrument-maker William Würdemann arrived in Washington, DC, in 1834 and became the first full-time instrument maker of the U.S. Coast Survey. Over the course of his long career, Würdemann had an important influence on his new country, introducing "extreme German methods and models among us, where extreme English methods had previously prevailed." He made instruments for other government agencies as well. This Würdemann gradienter--which combines the features of a theodolite and a precise level--was used by Captain Montgomery Meigs of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to survey the course of the Washington Aqueduct in 1854.

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