Descriptive geometry in England: lost in translation

Lawrence, Snezana ORCID: (2019) Descriptive geometry in England: lost in translation. In: Descriptive geometry, the spread of a polytechnic art: The legacy of Gaspard Monge. Barbin, Évelyne, Menghini, Marta and Volkert, Klaus, eds. International Studies in the History of Mathematics and its Teaching (ISHMT) . Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 313-335. ISBN 9783030148072, e-ISBN 9783030148089. [Book Section] (doi:10.1007/978-3-030-14808-9_18)

[img] PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Restricted to Repository staff and depositor only until 2 July 2021.

Download (1MB)


This chapter looks at the history of descriptive geometry in England, and why here it had such a short, and not a very fulfilling life. Having arrived to England in the immediate aftermath of the wars between England and France, its translation and attempts to introduce it into the educational system happened only after the 1840s. The lack of direct, implicit knowledge of the original technique, and some aspects of mistranslation, meant that the technique was never properly understood. Descriptive geometry is still mainly regarded as a drawing, rather than a mathematical technique in England, and has not been practised since the end of the nineteenth century. Polytechnic schools in England were another short-lived phenomena, and only of any significance and showing similarity with the French model in the second half of the twentieth century.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Series ISSN: 2524-8022
Keywords (uncontrolled): Descriptive geometry, Gaspard Monge, William Farish, Peter Nicholson, Orthographic projection, Isometric perspective, Parallel oblique projection, Curvilinear perspective
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Design Engineering and Mathematics
Item ID: 29139
Notes on copyright: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an chapter published in Descriptive geometry, the spread of a polytechnic art: The legacy of Gaspard Monge. The final authenticated version is available online at:
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Snezana Lawrence
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2020 09:46
Last Modified: 21 May 2020 23:09

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Full text downloads (NB count will be zero if no full text documents are attached to the record)

Downloads per month over the past year