Dissected Sphere

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In the years following the Civil War, a handful of American educators designed and sold wooden solids or flat shapes hinged or doweled so that they could be transposed into other shapes with areas known to students. One such person was Albert H. Kennedy (1848-1940), superintendent of schools in Rockport, Indiana. He sold this business to the Rockport School Desk Company. Modified forms of the solids would be sold by the Western School Supply House of Des Moines, Iowa, A. Cowles and Company of Chicago, Illinois, and the American School Furniture Company of Chicago.
This model is of a sphere dissected into eight wedges, each wedge being subdivided into four segments that are roughly square pyramids. It has a red leather base and eight bands of coated cloth tape nailed to hold the segments together. A string at the top goes around nails protruding from each of the wedges to hold them together.
The object has no maker's marks.
Compare 2005.0054.01, 2005.0054.02, 2005.0054.03 and 2005.0054.04.
Arithmetic of Practical Measurements for Teachers' Instruction and Class Work in Mensuration. Published by Western School Supply House, Des Moines: Iowa Printing Co., 1893. This reportedly was ”To accompany Kennedy’s improved dissecting mathematical blocks. 20th ed.” A copy of the sixteenth edition, which has the same date, is 2005.3099.01.
“Paintings Presented to Local Schools,” Rockport Journal May 15, 1964.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1900
Kennedy, Albert H.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
leather (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 14.5 cm x 14.5 cm x 14.5 cm; 5 23/32 in x 5 23/32 in x 5 23/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Jeremiah P. Farrell
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Arithmetic Teaching
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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