Model of the Intersection of Cones by Richard P. Baker, Baker #504 (a Ruled Surface)

Model of the Intersection of Cones by Richard P. Baker, Baker #504 (a Ruled Surface)

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This geometric model was constructed by Richard P. Baker in the early twentieth century when he was Associate Professor of Mathematics 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 wooden base reads: No. 504 (/) GENERAL; ROOTS 1, 1, 1. The model has a wooden frame painted black, held together with metal screws and a metal crosspiece. The threads go crosswise. They represent two double cones, one (in yellow) with equal ellipses at both ends and the other (in red) with circles at both ends. The major axis of the elliptic cone is the same length as the radius of the circle. The cones have a common vertex at the center.
This was the simplest of five models Wheeler designed of “cones with a common vertex.” Four of these are in the Smithsonian collections. They are Wheeler’s numbers 504 (MA.211257.098), 505 (MA.211257.099), 507 (MA.211257.100), and 508 MA.211257.101).
Richard P. Baker, “Mathematical Models,” Iowa City, Iowa, January, 1931, p. 10.
Currently not on view
Object Name
geometric model
date made
ca 1906-1935
Baker, Richard P.
Physical Description
thread (overall material)
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
red (overall color)
black (overall color)
yellow (overall color)
screwed, bolted and threaded. (overall production method/technique)
average spatial: 22.4 cm x 19.6 cm x 19.8 cm; 8 13/16 in x 7 23/32 in x 7 25/32 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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