
God geometry textbooks
Posted:
Jul 11, 2001 4:28 PM


I agree w/ you as to WelchonsKrickenberger. Their geometry books (plane and solid) first came out in the 1930's, and were revised through the 1930's and 40's (although w/out much real change). In the early 50's, they were released under the titles "New Plane Geometry" and "New Solid Geometry," with some of the theorems proved a little differently from the prior editions. In the midtolate 50's, all the Welchons/Krickenberger books (the 1st and 2nd yr algebras, plane geometry, solid geometry) were revised by Helen Pearson, who was a colleague of W & K from Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis. (They also had a book called Trigonometry w/ Tables, circa 1953, which Pearson revised in 1962 as "Modern Trigonometry".)
Incredibly, the geometry book was reissued as late as 1976 by Ginn under the title "Plane Geometry w/ Space Concepts." It was virtually identical to the circa 1959 edition. SOmetime in the 1980's, there was a much more modern release published called "Geometry" by Helen Pearson and James LIghtner, which had just a little bit of the "flavor" of the old Welchons/Krickenberger books left.
I can tell you that since high school, I have had a copy of the 1943 W/K "Solid Geometry" with a beautiful hardbound "Teachers' Key," and I refer to this book all the time. (And we're talking about a time period of almost 35 years here.)
When the Dolciani algebras came out circa 1962 or so, the Welchons/Krickenberger/Pearson algebras, which had previously dominated the market, all but went out of use. People used to laugh at them for their "bag of tricks" approach to algebra, and their poor teminology, much of which was vastly improved by Dolciani. Maybe some of that criticism was deserved. But the geometries (both plane and solid) were really wonderful textbooks with marvelous collections of problems. When Weeks/Adkins came out, we saw a book with enormously more challenging and satisfying problems, which would stimulate even the best students. But millions of students learned from Welchons/K and really knew their geometry.

