[Picture of Henry Chasey]

Henry Chasey's Polyhedra Model Collection

By George W. Hart

I have recently been contacted by David Chasey about a large collection of polyhedra models constructed over the past 15 years by his father, Henry Chasey. They are currently seeking a university, museum, or other institution interested in receiving these hundreds of plexiglass models and putting them on display for public access. If you are interested in this collection, or know of someone who might be, please contact David Chasey directly, at the email address below.

The following figures illustrate parts of the collection:

[Colour photo of some polyhedra (1).]
[Colour photo of some polyhedra (2).]
[Colour photo of some polyhedra (3).]
[Picture of some polyhedra (4).]
[Colour photo of some polyhedra (5).]
[Colour photo of some polyhedra (6).]

About the Models

By David Chasey

Before his retirement 18 years ago, Henry Chasey worked for Koppers Company, making models out of acrylic for that company's Engineering Division. His interest in polyhedra had its beginning in the popular series of Carl Sagan's, Cosmos, which first aired in the 1980. In one of that show's segments, Dr. Sagan discusses Pythagoras, and introduces the dodecahedron and the other Platonic Solids.

Henry Chasey's collection of acrylic polyhedra includes the entire array of polyhedra: the Platonic Solids, the Archimedean Solids, the Kepler and Poinsot Polyhedra, the Compound Solids, and the Stellated and Truncated Polyhedra. Included in his collection is a variation of these historical forms that he himself developed, which he refers to as "explosions." The sizes of the individual pieces vary, from larger than a soccer ball to smaller than a golf ball. The hues used include clear, translucent, black and white and colored. The acrylic sheets have been, most commonly, 1/8 inch thick. The individual sections are fused together, not glued.

My father has developed an understanding of these shapes that may be unusual, if not unique. He has been a builder all of his life. And his understanding of these shapes reflects the shaping and forming with the hands--as well of the discovery of the intricate geometric variations inherent in polyhedra. His descriptions convey a practical insight that contrasts markedly with the complex mathematical formulations often encountered in books on the subject.

If a permanent display site is found, a written articulation of this understanding (posted at various locations at the site) would represent an invaluable addition. I could help my father transmit his understanding, descriptions and explanations into writing. And I could produce the formatting necessary for displaying these comments throughout the site.

Ultimately, what is important for my father is that he donate his shapes to an institution that shows knowledge and interest in the subject.

If you have suggestions about a home for this collection, send them directly to David Chasey at dhchasey@usaor.net.