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INDIA.. The Indian Field Astronomer; or, Surveyor's Assistant; Being a Collection of Problems and Tables to Facilitate the Methods of Ascertaining the Latitude and Longitude of Places on Land between the Parallels of 10 & 35 Degrees of North Latitude for the use of the Officers of the Survey Department.1824

Calcutta: Printed at the Government Gazette Press, First edition, small 4to (225 x 160 mm), v, [1], [1]-46, 1-207, [1]pp., printed on thick paper Balston & Co. watermarked paper, inoffensive blind-stamp to lower blank margin of first 3 leaves, neat 'transferred duplicate' ink stamp to final leaf, new endpapers, recent half calf, marbled paper boards, leather label lettered in gilt to spine, a very good copy. As the title page states, this work has a very specific use, it was prepared by the Survey of India, a governmental department founded in 1767 to map territories for the British East India Company. The Survey is best remembered for its masterwork, the "Great Trigonometric Survey," that began in 1802 and continued for decades, mapping British territories in India and measuring the height of the world's tallest mountains in the Himalayas. Georg Everest, for whom Mount Everest is named, was Surveyor-General of India at the time this book was issued, no doubt to assist the surveyors working on this monumental project. Our copy was owned at onetime by the Topographical and Statistical Depot of the British Department of War, which was established in 1855 in order to produce maps of overseas countries, the need for which became clear during the war in Crimea. What began as a mapping project of possible hostile territories evolved into military intelligence work, a function that was split off from the topographical department in the 1880s. This appears to be extremely rare, Copac and OCLC locates a single location at the British Library.

Stock #37213

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