Model of a Cubic Cone Showing Only a Single Sheet by Richard P. Baker, Baker #82 (a Ruled Surface)

Model of a Cubic Cone Showing Only a Single Sheet by Richard P. Baker, Baker #82 (a Ruled Surface)

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This string model was constructed by Richard P. Baker, possibly before 1905 when he joined the mathematics faculty at the University of Iowa. Baker believed that models were essential for the teaching of many parts of mathematics and physics, and over one hundred of his models are in the museum collections.
The typed part of a paper label on the bottom of the wooden base of this model reads: No. 82 (/) cubic cone: SINGLE SHEET (/) only.
Baker’s string models represent a special type of geometric surface called a ruled surface. A ruled surface, sometimes called a scroll, is one that is swept out by a moving line. This model shows the ruled surface swept out by the yellow threads connecting the curved vertical wooden sides of the model and by the threads joining the curved horizontal piece of wood on the top of the model to the curved piece at the front. All the threads of this model pass through a point in the center of the model which intersects a wire rising from the base.
The model sold for $4.50.
R. P. Baker, A List of Mathematical Models, [1905], p. 14.
R. P. Baker, Mathematical Models, Iowa City, Iowa, 1931, p. 7.
R. P. Baker Papers, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Currently not on view
Object Name
geometric model
date made
ca 1900-1935
Baker, Richard P.
Physical Description
thread (overall material)
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
yellow (overall color)
black (overall color)
screwed and threaded (overall production method/technique)
average spatial: 20.4 cm x 18.8 cm x 18.4 cm; 8 1/32 in x 7 13/32 in x 7 1/4 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Frances E. Baker
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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