George Washington's first career as a surveyor from 1747-1752 was brief but successful, endowing him with an intimate knowledge of the backcountry and its inhabitants, a small fortune in land, and a reputation for courage and integrity. After establishing himself as a gentleman farmer at Mount Vernon, he continued to employ his skills as a surveyor to lay out fields and verify disputed boundary lines. One of the most important tools of the trade was a surveyor's compass. When mounted on a staff, the compass enabled the user to establish a line from a known reference point to the point of interest and determine its bearing. More

Date

1750-1800


Geography


Material/Technique

A: Brass, glass, silvering, steel, organic resin B: Wood, brass, iron, leather, paper, organic wadding


Dimensions

Overall (A): 6 1/2 in. x 16 5/16 in. x 6 in. (16.51 cm x 41.43 cm x 15.24 cm)
Overall (B): 52 7/8 in. x 1 5/8 in. x 1 5/8 in. (134.32 cm x 4.14 cm x 4.14 cm)


Credit

Gift of Judge Charles Burgess Ball, 1876


Object Number

W-579/A-B


Colors


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
Buy Tickets What to See Calendar Shop Restaurant Donate Membership
Estate Hours

Open today from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save