De Maupertuis The degree measurements by de Maupertuis in the Tornionlaakso Valley 1736-1737
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The measuring instruments
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base line


Luppiovaara and Poiki-Torni

Luppiovaara and Poikitorni were the end points of the base line measurements at the foot of the Luppiovara fell and on the banks of the Tornionjoki river in Aavasaksa. The distance was 14,5 km and the measurement was undertaken by two separate groups with eight spruce poles of 30 feet.

December 1736 - the measurement of the base line
As soon as we had arrived at the northern extremity of our base, between ten and eleven o'clock, we concerted together, to begin exactly at the centre of the signal, and to go on the ice from the shore some toises distant from the signal : we then divided into two parties, each consisting of four measurers. Each of us had a pencil ; some made use of paper, others hung a slip of board to their neck, on which to mark a stroke with their pencil every time they laid down their rod. We did not trust these rods to any of the country people, nor even to our servants; they only supported one end of them to help us in carrying them; one of us always holding the other, and taking care to unite exactly the nail which ended it, with that at the extremity of the one before. We had the precaution to mark our rods, that they might succeed in the same order; already we had measured 700 toises at half past two, when night coming on, we returned to the house of M. Brunius. That day it was exceeding cold; the thermometer was at 18° below the freezing point. While we were upon the base, M. le Monnier drinking some brandy out of silver cup, his tongue was glued it in such a manner as to tear off the skin. ( Outhier, Journal of a voyage to the north 1736-1737, p.311)



(drawing by Outhier)

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