Model of Cubic Cones with a Cuspidal Edge by Richard P. Baker, Baker #81 (a Ruled Surface)

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This string model was constructed by Richard P. Baker, possibly before 1905 when he joined the mathematics faculty at the University of Iowa. Baker believed that models were essential for the teaching of many parts of mathematics and physics, and over one hundred of his models are in the museum collections.
The typed part of a paper label on the top edge of the wooden frame of this model reads: No. 81 (/) CUBIC CONE: (/) CUSPIDAL EDGE.
Baker’s string models represent a special type of geometric surface called a ruled surface. A ruled surface, sometimes called a scroll, is one that is swept out by a moving line. This model shows the ruled surface swept out by the yellow threads connecting the sides, base, and top of the model.
A version of the model sold for $4.50, but it may have been considerably smaller.
R. P. Baker, A List of Mathematical Models, [1905], p. 14.
R. P. Baker, Mathematical Models, Iowa City, Iowa, 1931, p. 7.
R. P. Baker Papers, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1900-1935
Baker, Richard P.
Physical Description
thread (overall material)
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
black (overall color)
yellow (overall color)
screwed and threaded (overall production method/technique)
average spatial: 41.8 cm x 53.7 cm x 42.3 cm; 16 15/32 in x 21 5/32 in x 16 21/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Frances E. Baker
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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