Geometric Model of a Regular Icosahedron by A. Harry Wheeler or One of His Students

Description
Greek mathematicians knew in ancient times that there are only five polyhedra that have identical faces with equal sides and angles. These five regular surfaces, called the Platonic solids, are the regular tetrahedron (four equilateral triangles as sides), the cube (six square sides), the regular octahedron (eight equilateral triangles as sides), the regular dodecahedron (twelve regular pentagons as sides) and the regular icosahedron (twenty equilateral triangles as sides). This is an early 20th-century model of a regular icosahedron. The sides are covered with sateen and brocade fabrics of various designs and colors, in the style of late 19th-century piece work. Catch stitches are along the edges.
The model is unsigned, but associated with the Worcester, Massachusetts, schoolteacher A. Harry Wheeler. Wheeler taught undergraduates at Wellesley College, a Massachusetts women’s school, from 1926 until 1928. It is possible that one of his students there made the model.
Reference:
Judy Green and Jeanne LaDuke, Pioneering Women in American Mathematics: The Pre-1940 PhD’s, Providence: American Mathematical Society, 2009, p. 21.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
geometric model
date made
ca 1926
Physical Description
cloth (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 4.8 cm x 6.3 cm x 6 cm; 1 7/8 in x 2 15/32 in x 2 3/8 in
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Worcester
ID Number
1979.0102.188
accession number
1979.0102
catalog number
1979.0102.188
subject
Science & Mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematical Association of America Objects
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Mathematical Association of America Objects
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Louise D. Campbell
Additional Media

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