Dating keuffel drafting tools
Old photographs of surveyors and their instruments are fun to look at, but the cost can be outrageous for early tintypes and certain other antique photographs.
Gunter chains are a common surveying collectable still available from time to time.
A nice old label with the maker's name inside the box cover is always an added bonus with any instrument.
Old surveying transits are fun to look at and can be educational to learn how to use (or use again).
Collecting antique surveying instruments, books and memorabilia can be a lot of fun if you follow a few simple guidelines.
Start out slow with smaller, less expensive items that don't cost an arm and a leg.
There are a couple of books on the subject, but they are either somewhat outdated (price-wise) or incomplete.
Some of the online auction sites are good sources for this type of information, but it takes a lot of researching to get a good feel for it.
It helps to know a little about surveying chains before buying the first one you find.
Older or more rare makers may sell for more money depending upon condition and other factors.
An instrument with the original box and tripod should be valued at a range of 0-0 more than one without these items.
Again, start slow and consider picking up a smaller, less expensive surveying accessory such as an old turnip-shaped plumb bob or hand level.
But be warned: some old plumb bobs sell for over 0 if they are really rare.
You might be surprised at how some things have not changed that much in every day land surveying work for many years.