Tag Archives: mathematical instruments

WMI or Undivided Lack Of Usefulness ?

I cannot recall clearly  when box of mathematical instruments (aka ‘WMI’) first showed up in our school yearly to-buy “book list”.  Among the items in that box was a strange two-legged creature with sharp points.   We later learned that it was called “Dividers”

But how many of us really found an occasion or even a faint excuse to ever use it ? As for me, it was next to none, even though I was at the forefront of technical drawing in my later years.

 I have seen pictures and even movies where some folks seem to be manipulating this instrument over maps.  Perhaps I am really lacking in knowledge of this instrument, or perhaps it was and is really useless.  Am sure opinion is divided on this matter.

WMI – Weapons Of Maths Instruction

I think it was part of the School Books’ List for Form One students (can’t remember so clearly now). They came in a metallic box, with a pair of compass, a pair of dividers, a pair of set squares, a protractor and a 6-inch rule.

With those instruments, we were set on our course of learning a particular discipline of mathematics, called Geometry.   We drew circles, parallel lines, orthogonal lines and, measured angles, etc.   I think the least used was the divider.

Undoubtedly, the brand that was almost universally used was “Oxford”.  I think there was another brand called “Cambridge”, but am not so sure.