Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A scale used for setting off the lengths of lines in surveying. It consists of two graduated scales, made of ivory, silver, brass, or boxwood. One of these scales is pierced along nearly its whole length by a dovetail-shaped groove, for the reception of a sliding-piece. The second scale is attached to this sliding-piece, and moves along with it, the edge of the second scale being always at right angles to the edge of the first. By this means the rectangular coordinates of a point are measured at once on the scales, or the position of the point is laid down on the plan.
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