Saturday, October 1, 2011

Theme Day: Mystery Object

I was all ready to post another library and I remembered: today is City Daily Photo theme day! It's a good thing I remembered because--well, I don't know what would happen if I forgot, probably nothing, but it's too late now.

I know at least one person who can tell us where today's mystery object is, but can anyone tell us what it is? What I'd especially like to know, once I find out what it is, is how old it is. Whatever it is, I like to think it's an antique.

City Daily Photo is a worldwide family of blogs like mine, where people express their home cities through photos and commentary. We're now 1424 blogs strong and growing all the time. It's a good trend. We're a friendly bunch, and we need as much global friendliness as we can get. Our newest member is Ginnels Gates and Ghosts in York, Great Britain and it looks like a fine blog.

If you'd like to see what other CDP bloggers are doing with the theme, click here to view thumbnail photos for today's participants.

33 comments:

Julie said...

This does not look as though it opens, so it is not a water manhole. it says LA Engineers, so my guess is that it is some sort of survey marker.

Dina said...

Cool. It looks pretty old. Must be some kind of bolt type raised bench mark. But strange there is not more info on it.
I'm just glad it's not a landmine.

Ted Thompson said...

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMCJ19_LA_CO_ENGR_Survey_Marker

Speedway said...

I'm going to go with Julie on this. I think it looks like some kind of survey marker.

dive said...

Yay! I know this one. Julie, Dina and Speedway are all spot on. It's what we call over here a "benchmark." In England we mark permanent survey levels with a line and an arrow incised in stone or brickwork on the side of buildings but over there you get these cute little survey markers concreted into the subsoil and poking up just enough to place a surveying staff on top.
Finally I've found something useful for all my years training as an architect.
As to where it is, and how old, I'll leave that to you locals to figure out.

Shell Sherree said...

Well, I'm glad I didn't need to guess this one, as I had no clue. The things I learn here, Petrea...

Speedway said...

Around here, the markers are made of concrete which has an X or a cross mark incised in the top to mark the center.

Rambling Round said...

Looks like a pipe, but with the engineer insignia, it probably is a survey marker.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

a government addition to nature with a purpose

Petrea Burchard said...

It does look like a pipe to me, because it's poking up out of the ground and it's only about an inch in radius. I suppose could be a survey marker, as I do believe Dive knows his stuff. But it's a bit outside of town on one of the hiking trails.
If it's a survey marker it's at least from before the 1970's, when this area was saved from the hands of developers. (That's a clue to the locals.)

Petrea Burchard said...

I just found Ted's comment, a link, which Blogger had though twas Spam. It's a link to a waymarking site which shows a photo of a survey marker that looks a lot like what I've got here. It's confusing, though, and it makes me think my photo might be confusing, because the link doesn't tell us how big the object is and it looks like it could be rather large.

Ted, do you have any idea how big it is?

John Sandel said...

Engineers don't grow on trees—they come from the earth. Push the button. STAND BACK.

lewi14 said...

I have not idea but it's nice to philosophize about this mystery object.

Jilly said...

Don't you just love it when something as practical as this is actually rather beautiful. Seems everyone knows what it is. I can tell you that my land is marked with an old bit of stick! Nothing like this. Nice choice for today.

Bellis said...

I think it's the end of a very long rod that stops the foothills slipping into Altadena. If it was a surveying waymark, there'd be a slot to fit the surveying instrument in, wouldn't there?

I've tried geocaching and it's great fun. There's a site showing all the benchmarks around Pasadena - you have to search for them and tick them off the list.

Petrea Burchard said...

I don't know, I think John is right. I've never pressed it but it might be a sort of Engineer Jack-In-The-Box.

But Bellis must be right. At least she's got the location, the Altadena foothills.

Laura said...

What is the diameter? If it is about an inch, it is likely a surveyor's mark. The mark does not hold equipment, Bellis, it just a button to mark where the property line is. They are embedded in the sidewalks in my mom's North Hollywood neighborhood.

Petrea Burchard said...

I said radius but I meant diameter. It's about an inch, maybe a little bit more.

Speedway said...

I checked Ted Thompson's link and found one of our local landmarks, the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, listed as a marker. I can't tell whether it's meant to be the monument itself or a "button" like the one in your picture, but will check next week.

I gather they're used for orienteering.

Trish said...

AMEN John! ;-)

If it is where I'm thinking, I'd not dismiss the survey marker concept. A lot of that land was surveyed eons ago---many of those pretty mountains you hike upon were considered for ski slopes at one time. Lowe, Baldy, Henninger, Chantry, Red Box, Gabrielino were all surveyed at one point.

The engineer in me is enjoying the 'engineer jack in the box' concept! Great idea, not sure many engineers would hang out on the side of a mountain for that long tho!

Petrea Burchard said...

This is not that far up. It's on the Sam Merrill Trail long before the two mile marker. Nobody's been skiing there in millennia.

Ms M said...

Since I don't know what it's for, I have to go with John's Engineer Catapult idea :-)

Bellis said...

I wonder if it marks the end of LA County and the start of the Angeles National Forest?

Petrea Burchard said...

Ha ha, Ms. M!

Good thinking, Bellis, it might just. I don't know, however, if it catapults the engineers into, or out of, the forest.

Susan Campisi said...

Engineer Jack-In-The-Box - ha! I'm going to find that thing today so I can press the button.

Petrea Burchard said...

Keep your eyes on the trail and don't trip on it!

Speedway said...

Organize a Flash launch. Go on-line, find all the buttons. Set a date and time. Send a person to each button and, voila! launch all engineers at once into the sky! Woo Hoo! (Or at least one for each button)

Petrea Burchard said...

The engineers would love it.

Trish said...

Petrea---I know no one would ski that far down the hill (well, ok, once in a while there's a dusting that low). But there were survey crews out eons ago for ski slopes and other inhabitant possibilities. Thankfully, the hills were saved from such atrocities! For a long time various folks suggested various plans for homes, resorts etc up in them thar hills. Must have been a real sucky job to "have" to go hiking in the hills for work!

Trish said...

and uhm, this engineer isn't too hot on being "launched", but I'd have a wonderful time watching something else be launched instead! I'd be a little concerned at how small that button is and what nooks and crannies it could launch INTO, without, you know, actually getting me off the ground!

I can see it now "uhm, ma'am, how did you get this metal object inserted so far in your, uhm, well, body?". "Well, see Doc, it's like this..."

Book Dragon said...

it's a benchamrk.....

for surveying...a permanent benchmark would have information engraved on it with a crosshairs...minimum benchmark number but sometimes the elevation too

Book Dragon said...

guess I should have read everyone's comments!

love the launch idea :D

Petrea Burchard said...

Good morning BD. Guess you did!