Geometric Model, M. Schilling No. 178. Ser. 3, No. 2, Ellipsoid

Geometric Model, M. Schilling No. 178. Ser. 3, No. 2, Ellipsoid

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In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, students studying technical subjects often learned about the representation of surfaces by equations in courses in solid analytic geometry. Schools in Europe, the United States, and Japan sometimes purchased models to illustrate such surfaces. These objects are part of series of models of quadric surfaces (surfaces of degree two) designed in 1878 by Rudolf Diesel, then a student at the technical high school in Munich. It was published by the firm of Ludwig Brill in Darmstadt and then by Brill’s successor, Martin Schilling of Leipzig.
The plaster model shows an ellipsoid, a surface that can be represented by the equation x2/a2 + y2/ b2 + z2/c2 = 1. Sections parallel to any of the axes are ellipses. A grid of perpendicular lines of curvature is shown on the model. A paper tag on it reads: Ellipsoid (/) Verlag v. Martin Schilling, Leipzig. A pencil mark on this tag reads: Lines of Curv [...].
Compare 1985.0112.068. Object MA.304722.23.08 might be a stand for this model.
Ludwig Brill, Catalog mathematischer Modelle..., Darmstadt: L. Brill, 1892, p. 7, 75-76, 91.
Henry Burchard Fine and Henry Dallas Thompson, Coordinate Geometry, New York: Macmillan Company, 1931, pp. 237-239.
Gerard Fischer, Mathematical Models, Braunschweig / Wiesbaden: Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, 1986, vol. I, p. 60, vol. II, pp.25-28.
M. Schilling, Catalog, 1911, p. 137.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Geometric Model
date made
Schilling, Martin
place made
Germany: Saxony, Leipzig
Physical Description
plaster (overall material)
paper (overall material)
overall: 5.5 cm x 10 cm x 8 cm; 2 5/32 in x 3 15/16 in x 3 5/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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