The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening Tools, Equipment and Buildings
Chapter: Chapter 3: Surveying Tools

Seton botanic tally

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1794. Seton's botanic tally (figs. 432. and 433.) is a highly improved method of numbering, devised by Alexander and George, sons of the late Dr. Anderson. It proceeds upon the same general principles as that above, but with different marks, the ten ciphers (fig. 432.) being denoted by as many single distinct cuts, of easy and expeditious execution; and any number, however high, requiring no more marks than it would require figures written with a pen. 'The only way in which the memory is apt to misgive, in this scheme, is by confounding /&\, &&&, &&&, with each other (as a child would confound the figures 6 and 9); but this slight inconvenience will be remedied by the following key, which may be easily borne in the mind. Let us recollect that, in writing, we naturally draw a stroke from the right, at top, to the left, at bottom, thus /, and not in the opposite direction, thus \: now, in all the above numbers, which differ from each other in the direction of the diagonal line, that which is in the direction usual in writing precedes the other, thus / \ & & & &; the other two, & & &, will not be confounded, on recollecting that V is the usual numeral notation of five.' As an example of application, suppose we take species 341, variety 8; the tally will be cut as in fig. 433. The long cut (�) between the number of the species and the number of the variety, is used merely as the sign of separation; by the use of which several numbers may be cut on one stick. It is a fixed rule, that the number should always read from the root or sharpened end of the tally, because it is convenient for the operator to hold that end in his hand in cutting the marks.