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Problems from Another Time

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

Suppose a ladder 60 feet long is placed in a street so as to reach a window 37 feet above the ground on one side of the street...
Two merchants, A and B, loaded a ship with 500 hhds (hogshead) of rum; A loaded 350 hhds, and B the rest; in a storm the seamen were obliged to throw overboard 100 hhds; how much must each sustain of the loss?
The king of France entered into a battle and was defeated. How many soldiers did he have before he was defeated?
Twenty-three weary travelers entered a delightful forest. There they found 63 numerically equal piles of plantain fruit.
A certain bishop ordered that 12 loaves be divided among his clergy.
What is the perpendicular height of a cloud when its angles of elevation were 35 degrees and 64 degrees as taken by two observers at the same time...
When knowing the sum of their ages along with another equation, determine how old a father and son are.
How a translation of Peano's counterexample to the 'theorem' that a zero Wronskian implies linear dependence can help your differential equations students
Now there are three sisters who leave home together.
A California miner has a spherical ball of gold, 2 inches in diamter, which he wants to exchange for spherical balls 1 inch in diameter. How many of the smaller spheres should he receive?

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