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Problems from Another Time

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

The cavity of our chimney is an upright parallelepiped, the diagonal of whose base is 60"; and the height of the lower side of the lintel above the plane of the floor is 40".
Given a number, take 1/3 of the number away from itself and add 2. If this result is multiplied by itself, it equals the number plus 24. What is the number?
Discussion of 15th century French manuscript, with translation of its problems, including one with negative solutions
An official asks a woman why she has so many bowls to wash. The woman explains that she had dinner guests who ate meat, rice, and soup. Judging by the number of bowls, how many guests were there?
If an equilateral triangle whose area is equal to 10,000 square feet be surrounded by a walk of uniform width, and equal to the area of the inscribed circle, what is the width of the walk?
Imagine an urn with two balls, each of which may be either white or black. One of these balls is drawn and is put back before a new one is drawn.
Two bicyclists travel in opposite directions around a quarter-mile track and meet every 22 seconds. When they travel in the same direction on this track, the faster passes the slower once every 3 minutes and 40 seconds. Find the rate of each rider
Suppose a lighthouse is built on the top of a rock; the distance between a place of observation and that part of the rock level with the eye is 620 yds.
Having been given the perimeter and perpendicular of a right angled triangle, it is required to find the triangle.
In a forest, a number of apes equal in number to the square of 1/8 of the total number of apes are noisy. The remaining 12 apes are on a nearby hill irritated. What is the total number of apes in the pack?

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