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Globe, American, Fitz, Terrestrial World, 6-Inch Table Globe, Ellen Fitz Iron Stand, Antique, Boston, Late 19th C. (Reserved)

Ellen Fitz (inventor)
6-Inch Terrestrial Globe in Fitz Mount
Gilman Joslin, Boston (globe gores)
Ginn & Heath, Boston: c. 1875 to 1889
9 inches high, 6-inch diameter base

A 6-inch terrestrial globe on an innovative globe mount patented in 1875 by an American governess named Ellen Fitz.  This device serves as a terrestrial globe, and also shows the length of daylight, twilight and nighttime hours at any place on the earth, and the changes of seasons and other astronomical phenomena related to the “apparent” path of the sun. The globe is surmounted by an hour pointer, and is set within two parallel three-quarter-round flat brass bands approximately an inch apart that encircle the globe, serving as daylight/twilight bands. It is raised on the patented Fitz round cast-iron turntable base with four curved feet. The base is comprised of a the round rotating platter with engraved paper calendar, and having a red horizontal line painted on the platter and leaf and foliate decoration painted on the edge of the base. A vertical straight-rod pointer directed at the globe is set within the base.

Product description continues below.


The United States is shaded green and tan, Mexico is shaded pink, and various other geographic entities similarly shaded pink, green, tan, or a natural cream color. The oceans are cream-colored. Coastlines are lightly shaded with hatch marks. The globe has a figure-8 analemma in the Pacific Ocean. The North Pole has a printed hour circle, numbered 1 to 12 twice in Roman numerals. The Northern and Southern limits of grain, the vine, and bananas are indicated by lines. Place names written west of the Mississippi River include R. Des Moines, Osage R., St. Louis, Arkansas R., Little Rock, Red R., Missouri R., Kansas R., Cheyenne, R. Platte, Denver, Santa Fe, Texas, Houston, Missouri R., Yellowstone R., Rocky Mts., Columbia R., Clark’s R., Lewis’s R., Oregon City, Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, L. Salado, R. Colorado, R. Gila, California, Old California, Alaska, Nootka Str., Vancouver’s, I., Claaset Str., Colombia R. [shown again], Astoria, C. Orford, C. Mendocino, St. Francisco, Monterey, St. Diego, and St. Miguel. Canada is shown as British America and includes “Black Feet Ind[ian]s.” On earlier Joslin 6-inch globes “Oregon Ter.,” Portland, and Alaska as “Russian America” are shown;  they are not shown on this later undated globe.

Ellen Fitz (b. 1836), an American governess from St. John County, New Brunswick invented a cast-iron geographical and astronomical demonstration device incorporating a terrestrial globe, and secured a patent for her globe mount in 1875. In 1876, Fitz published Handbook of the Terrestrial Globe; or, Guide to Fitz’s New Method of Mounting and Operating Globes, and it was republished for several years thereafter. The Fitz globe device was produced from about the late 1870s to the late 1880s by Ginn & Heath of Boston, a prominent book publisher, in two sizes — with a 6 or 12-inch terrestrial globe. Apparently Ginn & Heath, in cooperation with Fitz, had the Fitz stand manufactured and contracted with globe makers (either Gilman Joslin, Boston, or W. & A.K. Johnston, of London)  to provide the globe or globe gores. The name Ginn Brothers also appears on some Fitz globes.

This particular example of the Fitz 6-inch globe device can be dated based on extant examples of Fitz 12 inch globes approximately to between 1875 when Fitz secured a patent for her globe mount and 1889 when the Dakotas became separate states. It has a standard Joslin cartouche. Other extant examples of the Fitz 6-inch globe are known with a circular printed cartouche for a Fitz Globe manufactured by Ginn & Heath.

Cartouche: JOSLIN’S/ Six Inch/ Terrestrial Globe,/ Containing the latest Discoveries./ BOSTON./ Gilman Joslin./ Drawn and Engraved by W.B. Annin.

Condition: Globe recently professionally cleaned, also restoring various small scattered abrasions and cracks, with the usual remaining toning, wear, handling.  Iron base very good, the stenciling a bit worn but still present. Later facsimile paper horizon and calendar band applied to outer ring of turntable as is typical since original labels on iron are susceptible to deterioration.


Dekker, Elly and van der Krogt, Peter. Globes from the Western World. London: Zwemmer, 1993. pp. 128-129.

Fitz, Ellen E. Handbook of the Terrestrial Globe or, Guide to Fitz’s New Method of Mounting and Operating Globes. Boston: Ginn and Heath, 1878.

“Fitz Globe.” American Treasures of the Library of Congress. 27 July 2010. (18 March 2016).

The Year-Book of Education for 1879. E. Steiger, New York: 1879, Ginn & Heath Advertisement, p. 350.

Warner, Deborah Jean. “The Geography of Heaven and Earth,” Rittenhouse Journal of the American Scientific Instrument Enterprise, Vol. 2, No. 2 (1987), page 62.



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Hardwood, Wood