Altgeld Model Collection
The Mathematical Model Collection scattered across display cases throughout Altgeld is perhaps the second greatest of its kind in the world, second only to the Smithsonian's. The history of the collection can be traced back to Edgar Townsend, who was hired as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Illinois during the 1893 Chicago World Columbian Exposition. Felix Klein was at the exhibition showcasing the German models which were being produced at the time. Six years later, Townsend went to Göttingen, Germany, to study under Hilbert. Göttingen at the time was the epicenter of the model production efforts, and upon completing his dissertation, Townsend returned to the University of Illinois and ordered a full set of the available models. Not satisfied with the existing collection, he hired Arnold Emch in 1911 and commissioned him to construct a number of custom pieces never manufactured anywhere else.
At least 380 of the models are still on display today and the collection as a whole illustrates:
Geometric forms and their topological properties as they occur in the various branches of algebraic geometry, differential geometry, algebra, and some special fields of analysis; also mechanisms and linkages for the description of conics and trochoids, and the illustration of problems in the geometry of movements.
|Selected Images of the Altgeld Model Collection|
Below is a selection of images of the Altgeld Model Collection. These images may be viewed for personal use only and may NOT be republished in any form. To use one of these images in a U of I presentation or Web or print publication, please click on the "download" link beneath each image to download the image free of charge.|