P.D. Windrem 15-Inch Celestial Sphere
c. 1940s-1960s
American Navigational Celestial Sphere
detail: label
detail:top
detail: interior
P.D. Windrem
15-Inch Celestial Sphere

Kelseyville, California: c. 1940s-1960s
19 inches high; 19 inches diameter overall
$1,200

The clear plastic celestial sphere with central small terrestrial globe on polar rod set within a half meridian, with applied aluminum calibration strip to the outer edge of the meridian, on a plywood stand, the round horizon fitted on the interior with aluminum calibration strip, on four rectangular flat legs, curved in the interior to accommodate the globe, and with a channel for the meridian to turn freely 360 degrees.

The celestial sphere having constellations mapped in white by individual stars and with printed names, and with months shown in a tropical band in blue, the central earth globe with white painted continents on blue ground (no place names). The calibrated aluminum strip on the meridian is stamped 0 to 90 degrees twice, and the calibrated aluminum strip on the interior of the horizon is stamped 0 to 360 degrees.

The stars and constellations are painted as seen from earth looking to the sky. Accordingly, they are backwards mirror images when viewed on the outside the sphere, but can be seen as viewed from earth by looking through the sphere to the far interior side. The constellations are shown by lines connecting the stars, not by full traditional pictorial images. The stars are shown in various forms to indicate relative magnitude. A clear band, with the names of the months in blue, is set in the position of a tropical circle, readable forwards by looking at the outside the globe.

The globe and stand are very utilitarian in design, probably for military, maritime, or aviation educational purposes. It is appealing for its "machine age" design as a practical object.

Rectangular Metal Label Applied to Horizon: Interior Celestial Globe/ and/ Navigation Trainer/ PATENT PENDING/ P.D. WINDREM/ KELSEYVILE CALIFORNIA

Condition: Generally very good with the usual expected light wear, soiling, soft scratches to plastic (not obtrusive). Plywood stand a bit worn. Two screw holes in horizon suggest that an accessory piece might be lacking.