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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 gentleman has bought a rectangular piece of land whose perimeter is to be 100 rods; and he is to pay 1 dollar for each rod in the length of the land and 3 dollars for each rod in the breath of the land.
How long does it take a single man to do work when...
Prove geometrically that the hypocycloid is a straight line when the radius of the rolling circle is one-half the radius of the fixed circle.
The third part of a necklace of pearls, broken in a lover's quarrel, fell to the ground...
Given the dimensions of an isosceles trapezoid find the length of the transversal drawn parallel to the bases that divides the trapezoid into 2 equal areas.
The number 50 is divided by a certain number. If the divisor is increased by 3, the quotient decreases by 3.75. What is the number?
Given the fraction ax/ (a-x ), convert it into an infinite series.
A two door gate of unknown width is opened so that a 2 inch gap exists between the two doors.
I was employed to survey a field, which I was told was an exact geometrical square, but by reason of a river running through it, I can only obtain partial measurements.
A ladder has 100 steps. On the first step sits 1 pigeon; on the second, 2; on the third, 3; and so on up to the hundredth. How many pigeons in all?

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