GHH Acquires Clarence Blair Associates 🎊

Clarence Blair Associates, Inc. (CBA) Acquired by Godfrey Hoffman Hodge, LLC. (GHH)

Learn about the historic acquisition of Clarence Blair Associates, one of Connecticut’s oldest surveying & engineering companies.

Godfrey Hoffman Hodge, LLC. (GHH) Is pleased to announce our acquisition of Clarence Blair Associates, Inc. (CBA), as of March 2021. The firm’s extensive historical records will greatly bolster GHH’s own archives relating to New Haven County and beyond.

Clarence Blair Associates History 

Clarence Blair Associates was founded in 1892, earning and diligently maintaining an excellent reputation of high-quality survey and engineering service throughout their long history.  GHH’s current owner, Adam Hoffman, has had a long professional relationship with CBA, dating back early in his survey career, working as an instrument man and survey party chief at CBA in the early 1980s.

Clarence Blair Associates circa early 1900s
CBA Team

Godfrey Hoffman Hodge History

GHH is a third-generation, multi-disciplinary firm established in New Haven County in 1924 under the name Stein and Giordano. In 1968, ownership passed to Bernard E. Godfrey (Also a CBA employee back in the early 1960’s). Godfrey took current owner Adam Hoffman on as business partner and co-owner in 1988, changing our name to Godfrey-Hoffman Associates to reflect the partnership.  In 2010, we acquired the Farmington Valley-based survey firm Hodge Surveying Associates, whose own lengthy history dates back to 1925. In 2020, we adopted our current name to reflect this change. Over the years, GHH has grown to provide a full range of land surveying, civil engineering, planning, design, and permitting services throughout the entire state of Connecticut, operating out of our main office at 26 Broadway, North Haven.

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February 23rd is Terminalia! 🎉

Terminalia: Ancient Rome’s February Festival 🏗

Land Surveying Celebrated at the end of the Roman Year (February 23rd)

What is Terminalia?

February 23rd boasts this festival. It is named after the Ancient Roman God of land boundaries, Terminus. Terminus was portrayed as a stone with no arms or legs, symbolizing the boundary marker between plots of land. This portrayal of Terminus was especially important in emphasizing how the boundaries were binding. The name is derived from the Latin word for such a boundary.

Romans believed that a sacrificial festival must occur at the end of each calendar year, February 23rd, in order to remain on good terms with the god. These sacrifices included adorning the physical terminus (boundary marker) with floral garland and offerings of sweets and other meals. It also included physical sacrifices of lambs or pigs.

The terminus was believed to be the peacekeeper between neighbors. It ensured that there would be no arguing over property lines. Neighbors would meet at their local terminus for this celebration annually.  A large feast would then occur! 🍾

Why Celebrate Terminalia?

February 23rd Celebration of Land Surveying
Modern Land Surveying

You may be wondering why a group of land surveyors and civil engineers in the 21st century would want to celebrate an Ancient Roman festival…🤔

The use of terminuses in ancient Rome are the some of the earliest forms of the modern practice of boundary marking with the use of specific objects, markers, or locations. Without the ancient Romans creating a practice of respect between neighbors and foreigners, by placing terminuses between their properties, the art of land surveying may not be where it is today.

Join Us!

While we may not be adorning stone boundary markers or offering sacrifices to a deity, we are celebrating the great history of our profession and the advancements we have made through the centuries. Check out these great resources on Terminalia:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Terminus

https://pantheon.org/articles/t/terminus.html

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/word-history-of-terminate-terminator

https://www.berntseninternational.com/home/blog-builder/happy-terminalia?utm_source=constant%20contact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2021Terminalia

Types of Surveying Equipment

We’ve all seen workers on the side of the road with tripods and strange looking tools near sites that will soon be excavated and built on. What these workers are doing is land surveying, which is simply defined as means to pinpoint the terrestrial and three-dimension elements of a particular area of land. So how do these surveyors complete their work quickly and efficiently? With the precise help of new surveying technology, the tools available to surveyors make the task of sharply defining points much faster and accurate.

In the past, the instruments used to survey land were simpler in design, but harder to use in practice. These included chains, solar compasses and compasses. For instance, chains with a specified size linkage would be used to measure distances from point to point, while compasses would determine the distance of that line.

As time progressed, newer technologies were developed to remove some of the manual calculations needed to progress with surveying. One such tool is called a planimeter – planimeters measure asymmetrical land eliminating the need for charts and manual calculations.

One of the main tools used by land surveyors today is a gadget that is also quite prominent in the lives (and cars) of millions of people – the GPS system. A GPS (or global positioning system) works with satellites that scan the earth from space and very accurately graph the view and transmit it into data to view on the small GPS or computer screen for surveyors to look at. The only downside to GPS systems is the difficulty they have reading land coordinates in dense forest area and the surroundings of concrete structures.

Of course, there are hundreds of other tools that land surveyors use on a regular basis, but these few examples should give you a good idea into how these people do their jobs.