Geometric Model by Robert Chaffe, a Student of A. Harry Wheeler, Hyperbolic Paraboloid

Description
Suppose two opposite sides of a rectangle are joined by straight lines parallel to the other two sides. Lifting two opposite corners of the rectangle—and keeping the lines taut—one obtains a saddle-shaped figure known as a hyperbolic paraboloid.
This model of a hyperbolic paraboloid was made from balsa wood by Robert Chaffe, a high school student of A. Harry Wheeler in the class of 1937. It is likely that this person is Robert C. Chaffe (1918–1991) who was born in Connecticut, attended high school in Worcester, Massachusetts, graduated from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1942, and seems to have spent his career as a salesman and sales engineer in Worcester and nearby Auburn.
References:
Gerd Fischer, Mathematical Models, vol. 2, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden: Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, 1986, pp. 3–4.
U.S. Census records.
Massachusetts city directories.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
geometric model
date made
1937
teacher of maker
Wheeler, Albert Harry
maker
Chaffe, Robert
Physical Description
wood, balsa (overall material)
tan (overall color)
cut and glued (overall production method/technique)
Measurements
average spatial: 12.5 cm x 21.6 cm x 15.5 cm; 4 29/32 in x 8 1/2 in x 6 3/32 in
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Worcester
ID Number
MA*304723.180
accession number
304723
catalog number
304723.180
subject
Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Mathematical Association of America Objects
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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