Model of a Hyperbolic Paraboloid

In the late nineteenth century, a few Americans began to make geometric models like those previously imported from Europe. This string model, made by the firm of Eberbach in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is very similar to one made in Germany at about the same time. The model is adjustable. When the metal triangles lie flat, the surface formed by the strings is a rhombus. If the tips of the triangles are raised, the threads form a surface called a hyperbolic paraboloid. The model came to the Smithsonian from the Department of Mathematics at the University of Michigan.
Currently not on view
Object Name
geometric model
Physical Description
metal (frame material)
string (surface material)
overall: 35.8 cm x 30.7 cm x 21.8 cm; 14 1/8 in x 12 1/16 in x 8 9/16 in
Place Made
United States: Michigan, Ann Arbor
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Worlds Fair
Science & Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of the Department of Mathematics, The University of Michigan

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