Articles on teaching models in the Whipple's collections

This section contains articles about teaching models made out of a variety of materials. Some of them show large phenomena on a smaller scale while some others show small phenomena in a larger format so that they can help us understand scientific ideas on a human scale. Use the links below or in the menu to the left to select an article.

Auzoux's anatomical model
Image 1 Papier-mâché and plaster model of a human by Dr. Auzoux; 1848. Image © the Whipple Museum (Wh.5893).

A Japanese earthquake model. This model, made with copper wire, was built by Professor Sekiya to demonstrate the motion of a hypothetical particle of earth during the Japanese earthquake of 1887.

A set of geological models. This article introduces Thomas Sopwith, maker of geological models, and shows the importance of the relationship between books and teaching models.

Wooden geometric models. In the 18th century, the standard textbook for teaching geometry was Euclid's Elements of Geometry. Sets of 3-dimensional teaching models were designed to help students visualise geometrical ideas more easily than is possible with 2-dimensional images in books.

Knitted interpenetrating surfaces. These strange and colourful objects were literally knitted by the chemist Alexander Crum Brown. They were probably used in his research into the behaviour of perforated surfaces.

Different ways of modelling in chemistry. Models allow chemists to visualise structures and solve problems that involve the shape of the molecule. Different model types have been designed to emphasise particular features, and these articles introduce several varieties.

Glass models of fungi. Made to help their maker's insomnia, these models are made of glass and are extremely fragile, yet beautiful, objects. Some are models of disease-causing fungi as they appear under the microscope.

Dr. Auzoux's papier-mâché models. This series of articles explores the Whipple Museum's papier-mâché models of animals, plants and humans made by French physician Dr. Auzoux. You can also try to put Auzoux's model of the human body (Image 1) back together yourself.

Wave theory explained with models. The wave-like nature of light is a complicated concept to grasp. These four articles show how moving models have helped to explain the wave theory of light.

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