Model by Philip Malmberg, a Student of A.H. Wheeler, Cylinder Transformable into a Hyperboloid of One Sheet

Joining points along the radius of two circles generates a family of straight lines. If the circles are at their maximum separation, the lines form a cylinder. When rotated, the circles approach and the surface becomes a hyperboloid of one sheet. Further rotation (not possible on this model) yields a double cone.
String models with elegant brass frames sold for engineering and mathematics education sold from the nineteenth century (see 1985.0112.009). Philip Malmberg, a high school student of A. Harry Wheeler, made this inexpensive version of the surface. He used disks cut from a cardboard box, leftover spools from thread, a wooden dowel, a bit of wire, and thread. Census records indicate that Malmberg went on to work as a draftsman.
For a photograph of Malmberg, see 1979.0102.308.
Currently not on view
date made
associated dates
teacher of maker
Wheeler, Albert Harry
Malmberg, Philip
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Worcester
Physical Description
paper (discs material)
wood (spools, dowel material)
thread (surface material)
wire (spring material)
white (overall color)
brown (overall color)
cut and glued (overall production method/technique)
average spatial: 11 cm x 7.8 cm x 7.8 cm; 4 11/32 in x 3 1/16 in x 3 1/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Helen M. Wheeler
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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