Volume of a Square Prism, Ross Solid #4

Description:

This is the fourth in a series of models illustrating the volume of solids designed by William Wallace Ross, a school superintendent and mathematics teacher in Fremont, Ohio. It consists of two unpainted wooden square prisms. A paper label on one of them reads: Four Oblong or Square Prisms. As both this label and Ross’s manual for his models suggest, two of the pieces of this model have not survived.

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” x 6” rectangle had an area of 6 square inches (see 1985.0112.191). Similarly, he found that both of these solid models consisted of 6 cubic inches. Two in a row would had twice the volume, or 12 cubic inches. From this, he generalized that the volume of a rectangular solid was equal to the area of the base times the altitude.

Object 1985.0112.207 is also shown in the image.

Compare models 1985.0112.205 through 2012.0112.217. For further information about Ross models, including references, see 1985.0112.190.

Date Made: ca 1895

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Ohio, Fremont

Subject: Mathematics

Subject:

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Mathematics, Science & Mathematics

Exhibition:

Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Wesleyan University

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1985.0112.206Catalog Number: 1985.0112.206Accession Number: 1985.0112

Object Name: Geometric Models

Physical Description: wood (overall material)Measurements: overall: 2.5 cm x 15.2 cm x 2.5 cm; 31/32 in x 5 31/32 in x 31/32 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a5-1c54-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_694083

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.