Geometric Model, L. Brill No. 96. Ser. 3, No. 4, Ellipsoid

Geometric Model, L. Brill No. 96. Ser. 3, No. 4, Ellipsoid

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
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. This model is 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. They were published by the firm of Ludwig Brill in Darmstadt.
The ellipsoid shown 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. A partial tag on the model reads: Ellipsoid.[/] Verlag v. L. Brill 3. Ser., Nr. [...]. A mark scratched on the top of the model reads: KILROY (/) SAW (/) This.
Stand MA.304722.23.07 is marked on the bottom III.4, and is probably for this model.
Compare 1985.0112.069, two further examples of this model. The model is larger than the ellipsoid with catalog number 1985.0112.068, but the same lines of curvature are shown.
Stand MA.304722.23.07 may be 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.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Geometric Model
Other Terms
Geometric Model; Ellipsoid
date made
Brill, L.
place made
Germany: Hesse, Darmstadt
Physical Description
plaster (overall material)
paper (tag material)
overall: 10.2 cm x 20 cm x 15 cm; 4 1/32 in x 7 7/8 in x 5 29/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

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.


Add a comment about this object