Algebra With Spirit

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Alcohol-Themed Algebra Problems from the 18th and 19th Centuries.

There are forty of them, 10 each in the categories Drinking, Mixing, Storing and Pouring, and Buying and Selling.

As a bit of an amateur math historian I find it interesting how the problems given to students reflect the culture. The political, moral, and economic considerations surrounding alcohol use have done a lot of changing since the middle of the 18th century. This period contains the Whiskey Rebellion, the rise of the Temperance movement, and the enactment and repeal of Prohibition, just to name a few major examples.

Because authors used to treat the cultural acceptance of alcohol (as well as other issues) more matter-of-factly, old math books are full of interesting word problems that illuminate the spirit of the times from a slightly different angle than we are used to seeing.

Plus, I like the old-timey language.
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18
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Algebra With Spirit