Geometric Model by A. Harry Wheeler, 1915, Smithsonian Institution image AHB2015q061380

A. Harry Wheeler, a schoolteacher in Worcester, Massachusetts, made this small paper model of a sector of a sphere on December 30, 1915. At that time, now a century ago, some 104 mathematicians and mathematics teachers were meeting at Ohio State University to form the Mathematical Association of America. Wheeler wasn’t among them. He’d join the MAA as a charter member the following spring.

Like many good teachers, Wheeler inspired his students. For example, the Smithsonian has a model of two intersecting spheres made in early January of 1916 by Wheeler’s pupil Emile Jandron. It is quite similar in style to this model and a few others Wheeler had made the previous month.

See more paper models by A. Harry Wheeler in Peggy Kidwell's article "Engaging minds: American mathematics 100 years ago." To find out more about mathematical objects associated with charter members of the Mathematical Association of America, see http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/object-groups/maa-charter.