J. Young invented the transit instrument in 1831, a long stride in the
improvement of engineering appliances; and that it retains today
its almost identical first form, proves the value of its
introduction and the good judgment of the inventor. The
English Theodolite, capable of performing the same work, was not in
favor with the earlier American engineers, its workings being slow and
inconvenient, and its use attended with many discomforts."
the year 1831, the first Transit was made by William J. Young. It
was graduated to read by vernier to 3 minutes, it being in early days a
favorite idea of inventor that graduations of 3 minutes could be easily
read to one minute, and was less perplexing to use. The instrument
had an outkeeper for tallying the outs of the chain, and a universal or
round level. The needle was about 5 inches; the telescope 9
inches, of low power. The standards were of almost identical
pattern now used by some makers."