19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Monday, July 13, 1914: I remember now what I did today, which wasn’t anything unusual.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Grandma—You remembered. . . so please tell us. . . WHAT did you do?
Did you work in the fields? . . . weed the garden? . . . can green beans? . . . stack fire wood for next winter? (Oh, never mind. . . Maybe this is the wrong time of year for stacking wood.)
Several days ago a reader commented that he’d enjoy a post about stacking firewood. Well, here goes-
I haven’t seen any old articles about how to stack firewood, but I have seen cordwood problems in a hundred-year-old arithmetic book:
Cordwood is 4 ft. long.
A cord of wood is a pile 8 ft. long and 4 ft. high.
A cord of stove wood is a pile of wood 8 ft. long, 4 ft. high, and of any length that will fit a stove.
Rule: To find the number of cords of wood in a pile, multiply the length of the pile by the height in feet and divide by 32.
1. How many cords of wood are there in a pile 18 ft. long and 4 ft. high?
2. At $6 per cord, what is the value of a pile of oak cordwood 40 ft. long and 6 ft. high?
3. Which is cheaper for a man living in town: to buy stove wood 16 in. long at $3 per cord, or to pay $6 per cord for cordwood and give a man $2 to saw and split it into stove wood?
4. How many cords of wood 16 in. long can be placed cross-wise in a wagon bed 10 ft. long, 3 ft. wide, and 14 in. deep?
5. Make an estimate of the number of cords of wood in the fallen trees that are wasting on your father’s farm. What is the value of this wood at $2 per cord?
Rural Arithmetic (1913) by John E. Calfee
You may also enjoy these previous posts with other hundred-year-old math problems: