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Geometric Model, L. Brill No. 119. Ser. 10.2 No. 30g, Surface of Revolution

Geometric Model, L. Brill No. 119. Ser. 10.2 No. 30g, Surface of Revolution

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In 1881, Gottlieb Herting, then a student in the technical high school in Munich where he worked under the direction of Alexander Brill, designed a set of eleven plaster models of surfaces of revolution. Herting would spend the rest of his career teaching mathematics and physics at an advanced high school (gymnasium) in Augsburg. The models would be published by Ludwig Brill of Darmstadt in 1885 as his Series 10, 30 (lettered a through l and given Brill numbers 113 to 123). A twelfth model in the series was designed by another Brill student, Sievert. This is letter “g” in that series. This example was exhibited at the German Educational Exhibit at the Columbian Exposition held in Chicago, where it was purchased by Wesleyan University.
The plaster model shows the surface of revolution of the curve
z2 = a2 (x-a) about the z-axis. Curves drawn on the surface are asymptotic curves, that is to say curves where the curvature is zero. A paper tag on the model reads: 119. However, the appearance is closer to that of model 120. A mark in pencil on the surface of the model below the tag reads: PARABOLA (/) ROTATED.
The model is presently in two pieces.
Ludwig Brill, Catalog mathematischer Modelle..., Darmstadt: L. Brill, 1892, p. 22,76.
J. C. Poggendorff, J.C. Poggendorffs biographisch-literarisches Handwörterbuch zur Geschichte der exacten Wissenschaften..., vol. 4, Barth, 1904, p. 626.
“Asymptotic Curves,” website of the Mathematical Institute, Oxford University, accessed September 5, 2017.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Geometric Model
geometric model
date made
L. Brill
place made
Germany: Hesse, Darmstadt
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
plaster (overall material)
overall: 17.5 cm x 15 cm x 15 cm; 6 7/8 in x 5 29/32 in x 5 29/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Wesleyan University
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Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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