17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Thursday, January 16, 1913: We had an examination in Geometry this morning. I think I will make a better mark than what I did the other time.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
What was the Geometry test about—proofs? . . . angles? . . . shapes? . . . capacities?
The directions for doing capacity problems in a hundred-year-old textbook (I think it was called volume by the time I was in school. Is capacity the same thing as volume?) seem very different from what I remember doing when I was a student:
The method of finding the contents of any regular vessel in gallons, bushels, barrels, etc. is called gauging.
The capacity of tanks, cisterns, etc. is usually expressed in gallons or barrels. In every liquid gallon there are 231 cu. in.
To find the exact number of gallons in any vessel, divide the number of cubic inches in the vessel by 231.
To find the number of gallons in a cylindrical vessel, multiply the square of the diameter by the height, and this product by 5 7/8.
To find the approximate number of gallons in a cistern, multiply the number of cubic feet by 7 1/2 and from the product, subtract 1/400 of the product.
The capacity of bins, etc. is usually expressed in bushels. The standard bushel in the United States is a measure 8 inches deep, 18 1/2 inches in diameter, and contains 2150.42 cubic inches. Hence, to find the number of bushels in any bin, divide the number of cubic inches in the bin by 2140.42.
Kimball’s Commercial Arithmetic (1911)
Got that? Want to try some problems?
Find the contents in gallons of a tank 4 ft. square and 5 ft. deep.
The water in a cistern 8 ft. square is 2 ft. deep, how many gallons does it contain?
A bin 8 ft. by 4 ft. by (?) contains 90 bushels of grain. Find the missing dimension.
How many tons of water will fill a tank 11 ft. 8 in. by 3 ft. 6 in. by 2 ft. 3 in., if the weight of a cubic foot of water is 1,000 ounces?