Square Prism, Ross Solid

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This is one of a series of models illustrating the volume of solids designed by William Wallace Ross, a school superintendent and mathematics teacher in Fremont, Ohio. It is a wooden square prism with a base of 1 inch by 1 inch and a height of 3 inches. The object has no maker’s label.
Ross took the fundamental unit of measure of rectangles to be one square inch, and the fundamental unit of measure for solids to be one cubic inch. He argued from there that a 1 inch x 6 inch rectangle had an area of 6 square inches (see 1985.0112.191). Similarly, this solid model consisted of 3 cubic inches. He would go on to consider several square prisms lined up end to end, and may have intended for this to be one of them. See 1985.0112.206 for two closely related models. These are also shown in the photograph.
Compare models 1985.0112.205 through 2012.0112.217.
For further information about Ross models, including references, see 1985.0112.191.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1895
Ross, W. W.
place made
United States: Ohio, Fremont
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 2.5 cm x 7.5 cm x 2.5 cm; 31/32 in x 2 15/16 in x 31/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Wesleyan University
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Arithmetic Teaching
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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