Trippensee Planetarium Company: c. 1960
Trippensee Tellurian
Trippensee Tellurian globe detail Trippensee Tellurian globe detail
Trippensee Tellurian arm detail
Trippensee Tellurian base detail
Trippensee Planetarium Company
Saginaw, Michigan: c. 1960
Dense colored plastic, metal, wood
13.5 inches high; 29 inches long full extended; 7.5 inch diameter base
The one shown here is sold, however, periodically we have others in stock, please inquire as to availability.

View earlier models of Trippensee tellurians in stock.

A geared tellurian by Trippensee, with a terrestrial globe rotating at the end of a maroon colored dense plastic arm, and with a black-and-white painted wood representation of the moon on a metal rod arm revolving the earth, both revolving around a central yellow dense plastic sphere representing the sun, and with a black-and-white painted wood representation of Venus on a metal rod arm also revolving the sun. The entire assembly is mounted on a turned ebonized wooden central standard, set on a round, stepped, maroon colored dense plastic base, with a circular zodiac dial affixed to the top, printed in black on gold. An iron weight on the underside of the base is stamped "1960."   There is a small, round compass inset on the top of the arm beside a raised oval label with the company name. When turned by hand by a post beneath the arm, the earth rotates, and the earth, moon and Venus revolve. The three-inch terrestrial globe, manufactured for Trippensee by the George F. Cram Company, has simple cartography: oceans are colored blue, a few major cities are shown, continents are green, yellow, blue and cream, with the U.S. and Alaska differentiated by a dot pattern from the rest of North America. Leopoldville is shown in Africa, indicating a date before 1966.

The Trippensee Planetarium is a demonstration model of the movement of the earth, moon and Venus relative to each other and to the sun.  It shows such phenomena as the succession of seasons, and solar and lunar eclipses. In addition to its educational objective, the tellurian is also decorative and entertaining. The original models, patented in 1908, have maple arms and central standards. Those produced around the second quarter of the 20th century have ebonized arms and central standards. Models made after World War II models are of Bakelite or plastic.

Raised oval legend on arm: TRIPPENSEE/ PLANETARIUM CO./ SAGINAW, MICH.


Round Cartouche on Globe: Trippensee/ Planetarium Co./ Saginaw, W.S./ Mich.

Legend under Cartouche: © The George F. Cram Co., Inc./ Indianapolis 7, Ind.

Condition: Globe, moon, Venus ball, sun, planetarium overall all generally very good or better with the usual light wear, handling, toning. Plastic parts  -- possibly Bakelite or a related dense hard plastic -- intact.  Mechanism in working order.  


Hovey, Edward Hovey. Elements of Mathematical Geography - A Hand Book for School and Home Use in Connection with the Trippensee Planetarium (Detroit: 1911).