A surveyor's chain drum made up of a thin metal band or tape wound on a metal holder. There is a winding handle on one side and a leather strap on the opposite side, the two sides of the holder being held together using a screw and wing nut. There is a plastic label stuck on both sides which reads " DANGER / BEWARE OF / POWER LINES. "
A chain man (surveyor's assistant) would hold onto this chain drum while the surveyor held the end of the steel band which he placed in a “link stick” for measuring against the side of the theodolite or underneath it by means of plumb bob string. The band could be thrown across creeks to the surveyor on the other side for measuring the distance from bank to bank, for example. The number stamped on the side of the drum was recorded with the Lands and Survey department as it needed to be checked periodically for accuracy - bands could stretch and break, particularly as they became brittle with age.
See full details