One surveyor, Mr. T. Westwood, wrote into the January, 1896 “Earth Review” magazine, “In leveling, I work from Ordinance marks, or canal levels, to get the height above sea level. The puzzle to me used to be, that over several miles each level was and is treated throughout its whole length as the same level from end to end; not the least allowance being made for curvature. One of the civil engineers in this district, after some amount of argument on each side as to the reason why no allowance for curvature was made, said he did not believe anybody would know the shape of the earth in this life.”
Another Surveyor and Engineer of thirty years wrote to the Birmingham Weekly Mercury, Feb. 15th, 1890, “I am thoroughly acquainted with the theory and practice of civil engineering. However bigoted some of our professors may be in the theory of surveying according to the prescribed rules, yet it is well known amongst us that such theoretical measurements are INCAPABLE OF ANY PRACTICAL ILLUSTRATION. All our locomotives are designed to run on what may be regarded as TRUE LEVELS or FLATS. There are, of course, partial inclines or gradients here and there, but they are always accurately defined and must be carefully traversed. But anything approaching to eight inches in the mile, increasing as the square of the distance, COULD NOT BE WORKED BY ANY ENGINE THAT WAS EVER YET CONSTRUCTED.
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