I work at Jauquet Lumber Co. in Greenbay, Wis. Around 1900, they were a logging company: Cleerman & Jauquet Logging in Newald, Wis.
We are unsure but think the gadget in the photos was used to measure logs for sawing. The total length is 66 feet; 64 feet 9 inches minus the handles and the first (short) link. The links are 6 inches long in the center, 7-3/8 inches from the center of the connecting links. Nine charms in five different designs hang off this gadget. They are 79 inches apart. The center link (or charm) is round and made of brass, and has "Chesterman, Sheffield, England" stamped on it and "J.C." in the center. The first link attached to the handles is only 2-1/2 inches long, 7-1/2 inches including the handle. The characters "4P" are stamped on the end of the handle. Can anyone tell us what this is and how it works?
- John Lemke
N. 4953 Hintz Road
Krakow, WI 54137
Editor's note:An item currently on display at the Kansas Museum of History and Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, Kan., may answer this question. The item is part of the exhibit "Beyond Lewis and Clark: The Army Explores the West," which ends Aug. 14, 2005. Within the collection is a Gunter's Surveyor's chain set, an item quite similar to John Lemke's photos. The exhibit's tag states: Gunter's surveyor's chain set with pins and flags, circa 1800. Used to measure land, the chain could be stretched up to 66 feet, held in place by the pins, and marked with the flags.