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Biographical entry McDowall, Archibald (1841 - 1918)

2 December 1841
Moonee Ponds, Victoria, Australia
13 May 1918
Middleton, Tasmania, Australia


Archibald McDowall was Surveyor-General for Queensland from 1891 until he retired on 30 June 1902. Born in Victoria and educated in Tasmania, McDowall joined the Surveyor-General's office in 1862 as a commissioner of crown lands. During his forty years service with the office, he made some important contributions to the mapping of Queensland and surveying in general. In 1962 he carried out the first town-survey of Roma, established the foundations of the triangulation survey of south Queensland, modernized surveying techniques by introducing the use of astronomical observations and telegraphic time-signals among other things, and was Chairman of the Queensland surveyors' board.



Life event - Moved to Queensland
13 May 1862 - 7 December 1863
Career position - Commissioner for Crown Lands at West Maranoa with the Surveyor-General's Department
1863 - 1867
Career position - Commissioner for Maranoa
1867 - 1868
Career position - Commissioner for Warrego
1875 - 1885
Career position - District Surveyor for Maryborough
Career position - Introduced the use of the standard steel tape to replace the chain for ground measurements
Career position - Supervised field work which established the Jondaryan base line - the foundation of the triangulation survey of south Queensland
1885 - 1891
Career position - District Surveyor for Toowoomba
23 February 1891 - 30 June 1902
Career position - Surveyor-General
1892 - c. 1902
Career position - Chairman of the Queensland Surveyors' Board
Career position - President of the Queensland Institute of Surveyors
Career position - Member of the Royal Commission into railway extensions in Queensland
1 July 1902
Life event - Retired

Published resources

Book Sections


McCarthy, G.J.