Morrison-Maierle land surveyors show solar eclipse
Morrison-Maierle’s land surveyors treated their fellow employees to an old-fashioned, land-surveyor style show of the solar eclipse. Gunnar Getchell and his crew pulled an old survey instrument (theodolite) off the shelves that they used before GPS and more modern instruments were available.
Surveyors used to attach a filter to the eyepiece and take “sun shots” or “solar observations” to get accurate direction (or bearing), which were highly accurate.
“If we didn’t have a filter we’d use the field book or a white piece of paper as a backdrop and record the exact time that the left, (trailing) edge of the sun touched the vertical crosshair,” said Gunnar.
John Morrison, Sr., one of the founders of Morrison-Maierle in 1945, was a land surveyor and engineer. This method that Gunnar and his team showed today was the basis of bearings for many of Morrison-Maierle’s surveys, and the same technique used by surveyors 150 years ago to determine accurate bearings.