Indiana Library and Historical Board Approves Jasper Bilby Historical Marker

Here’s the official letter from the State of Indiana:

October 9, 2015
Surveyors Historical Society
6465 Reflections Dr., Suite 100
Dublin, OH 43017

Melinda and members of the Surveyors Historical Society,

Congratulations! The topic you submitted for the 2015 Indiana State Historical Marker Program, Jasper Sherman Bilby, Inventor of the Bilby Steel Triangulation Tower, has been approved by the Indiana Library and Historical Board.

This marker topic exhibits local, statewide, national, and international significance by recognizing the importance of the geodetic survey and the work of men and women like Jasper Sherman Bilby in helping to map and chart the world. Today, many rely on maps or GPS navigation to get them from place to place. Routes are easily plotted and traveled, without regard to those who made this possible. This topic provides us the opportunity to educate the public on the science behind surveying, and its impact on transportation, land use, technology, and the economy. It also allows us to recognize Bilby, and describe how his steel triangulation tower revolutionized the accuracy and efficiency of geodetic mapping.

The Indiana State Historical Marker Collection includes very few markers commemorating scientific and technological advancements in the state and nation. This topic provides an opportunity to fill that void.

As this is the Bicentennial year, we approved an exceptional number of marker applications. This topic will be part of our second wave of markers that IHB staff work on this year. As such, this marker will likely not be ready until later in the summer of 2016. We will continue researching this topic, and will gather additional sources and contextual information beginning in late winter. We may request additional primary sources from you at that time.

IHB staff will contact you once we begin work on this marker in the next few months, and will keep you updated on our progress. Please note that our staff writes detailed footnotes and annotations to support every point on the marker text. These footnotes and annotations will be made available on our website for the public after the marker is manufactured and installed.

Thank you again for your interest in the Indiana State Historical Marker Program! We look forward to working with you on this topic. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Casey Pfeiffer
Historical Marker Program Manager
Indiana Historical Bureau