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Problems from Another Time

Individual problems from throughout mathematics history, as well as articles that include problem sets for students.

A ladder is placed perpendicular to the plane of the horizon, and in coincidence with the plane of an upright wall.
The square root of half the number of bees in a swarm has flown out upon a jessamine bush; 8/9 of the swarm has remained behind.
Two wine merchants enter Paris, one of them with 64 casks of wine, the other with 20.
A man hired a horse in London at 3 pence a mile. He rode 94 miles due West to Bristol then due north to Chester, whence he returned toward London for 66 miles, which put him in Coventry.
The three sides of a triangular piece of land, taken in order, measure 15, 10, and 13 chains respectively.
A tree is 20 feet tall and has a circumference of 3 feet. There is a vine that winds seven equally spaced times around the tree and reaches the top. What is the length of the vine?
The authors recount the 'great tale' of Napier's and Burgi's parallel development of logarithms and urge you to use it in class.
A speculator bought stock at 25% below par and sold it at 20% above par. He gained $1560. How much did he invest?
After a terrible battle it is found that 70% of the soldiers have lost an eye.
Given: a circle with an inscribed equilateral triangle. The triangle has an area of 12 square units. What is the area of the circle?

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