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Globe, American, Franklin, HB Nims, Joslin Terrestrial, 16-Inch Floor Globe, Metal Stand, Antique, Boston, c. 1870s

Gilman Joslin, Boston (manufactured by)
16-Inch Terrestrial Tripod Floor Globe
H.B. Nims & Co., Troy, New York, Boston: c. 1870s
Nickel-plated brass stand
46 inches high; 23-inches diameter overall
Price on request

The terrestrial globe within calibrated nickel-plated hour circles at north and south poles and within a calibrated full nickel-plated meridian, having a horizon band with engraved paper calendar and zodiac, supported by three circular iron quadrants raised on an Aesthetic Movement tubular stand surmounted by a bulging ring cap decorated with three stylized wildcat heads, and with a central ring-shaped element. The bottom of the tubular stand has a bulging ring decorated with three stylized florets, raised on a domed round ring-decorated base, ending in hidden casters.

Product description continues below.


Geographical entities are in tones of in tones of green, pink, blue and tan. Oceans are tan. Mountain ranges are shaded. The transatlantic cable is shown by a continuous black line between Ireland and Newfoundland. The Meridian of Greenwich is shown in addition to the Equator, the Ecliptic and a figure-eight analemma, and these are all highlighted with green or pink color. Various keys, information, and the maker’s name are printed on the horizon band rather than directly on the globe as is standard for globes from this manufacturer.

The offered globe can be dated to the 1870s based on the cartography in the Midwestern and Western United States and Canada, noting however that boundary changes were not necessarily immediately reflected on a globe produced that same year. Alaska is shown as such, rather than Russian America, indicating a date after 1867. Nevada and Arizona are shown with the boundaries they had after 1866. Dakota Territory (shown here as “Dacota”) and Wyoming Territory are shown with the boundaries they had beginning in July 1868, but the boundary between Idaho and Montana, which were also affected by the formation of Wyoming Territory, is oversimplified, suggesting that this was an aspect that had yet to be fully updated. However, the portion of Wyoming established in March 1872 as Yellowstone National Park is labeled “National Park” and colored in a contrasting color to the rest of Wyoming. This indicates that the globe dates to 1872 at the earliest, when Yellowstone officially became a national park. Also, Manitoba, established as a Canadian province in 1870, is not shown. Present day Oklahoma is divided into Indian Territory and a neutral strip in the panhandle. The regions of just a few Native American tribes are labeled including Apaches in southern Arizona and New Mexico and Choctaws and Chickasaws in Indian Territory, a major change from earlier Joslin 16-inch globes which had far more. The Baja peninsula is called “Lower California.” The African interior and most of the Antarctic coastline are mostly left blank, reflecting geographic knowledge at the time. Nonetheless, in Africa, Lake Victoria, discovered 1858, and Lake Albert, discovered 1864, are shown, as are portions of present day Zaire.

This globe was likely provided by Gilman Joslin, a prolific globemaker in Boston to H.B. Nims to be sold under the H.B. Nims name. Related 16-inch Joslin globes are based on a globe originally copyrighted in 1852 by Charles Copley, a Brooklyn, New York, engraver and map maker, and do not have a maker’s name cartouche on the globe as otherwise is typical for 19th century American, English, and European globes. Instead, the information typically found on a cartouche is printed in various legends on the paper horizon band. Joslin globes are identified on the horizon, as “Manufactured by Gilman Joslin” and “Improved Globe, Boston” though bearing the original the Copley 1852 copyright. As the originator of this form of 16-inch globe in the United States, Copley received a gold medal for both the terrestrial globe and a companion celestial globe at the 1852 Fair of the American Institute in New York. Extant examples of the original 1852 issue of the Copley globe state on the horizon that it was “constructed by Charles Copley, Hydrographer, New York,” and “engraved by C.J. and F. Copley, N. York.” These original examples were sold as “Copley’s Improved Globe, New York,” by E. & G.W. Blunt, New York, a maritime instrument and map maker. They are characterized by highly detailed cartography with numerous place names, and up-to-date delineations of states and territories in the United States.

Copley 16-inch terrestrial and celestial globes were revised and reissued numerous times throughout the second half of the 19th century by Gilman Joslin in Boston as identified on the horizon band. The offered H.B. Nims globe of the Franklin group of globe makers of Troy, New York bears the legend “Manufactured For H.B. Nims & Co. Troy, N.Y. but revealingly maintains the legend “Improved Globe Boston.” Extant examples of Joslin 16-inch globes with the same type of stand decorated with wild cat heads and florets are known and also are  identified on the horizon as “Improved Globe Boston” but instead bearing the legend “Manufactured by Gilman Joslin, Corrected to Date.” In the offered H.B. Nims globe inasmuch as the legend on the horizon states that it was made “for” rather than by H.B. Nims & Co.,  Troy, New York, and that it retains the legend “Improved Globe Boston” found on Joslin examples of this globe, it can be concluded that the globe was made by Joslin for Nims. Read more about these firms in our Guide to Globe Makers: Copley and Joslin.

Franklin globes were produced throughout the second half of the 19th century in Troy, New York — with Franklin Field of Troy, New York as globe maker — by a succession of companies under their own names: Merriam & Moore (1851-1852), Merriam Moore & Co. (1852-1858), Moore & Nims (1858-1868), H.B. Nims & Co. (1869-1885), Nims & Knight (1886-1889/92), and again H.B. Nims & Co. (1890/92-1896). The globes were variously available in the six, ten, twelve, sixteen, and thirty-inch diameters, with a variety of bases, generally in cast iron or wood and often reflecting the prevailing Victorian decorative arts style of the period. Models were made for both school and home parlor or library use. Collectively Franklin with its successors was one of the leading American globe makers of the 19th century in terms of quality, number and diversity of globes, and longevity of production.

Maker’s information on horizon band:


Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1852 by Charles Copley, in the Clerks office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.

Condition: Globe and horizon bank generally very good  recently professionally cleaned and restored, with light remaining, toning, wear, minor discoloration marks and patches. Stand very good with the usual overall wear and oxidation; some nickel plating rubbing off to show brass underneath.


“Blunt (New York).” Smithsonian National Museum of American History. (1 August 2014).

Dekker, Elly and van der Krogt, Peter. Globes from the Western World. London: Zwemmer, 1993. pp. 126, 140, 176.

“E. & G.W. Blunt Octant.” Smithsonian National Museum of American History. (25 June 2009).

Guthorn, Peter J. United States Coastal Charts: 1738-1861. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Books, 1984. p. 65.

How to Use a Globe, Joslin’s Terrestrial and Celestial Globes/ Joslin’s Hand-book to the Terrestrial and Celestial Globes. Gilman Joslin & Son, Manufacturers and Dealers, 5 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts: [n.d., but c. 1890], pp. 3-4.

Warner, Deborah Jean. “The Geography of Heaven and Earth,” Rittenhouse Journal of the American Scientific Instrument Enterprise, Vol. 2, No. 3. 1987. pp. 100-103.

Yonge, Ena L. A Catalogue of Early Globes, Library Series No. 6. American Geographical Society: 1968. pp. 37-38.

Additional information

Maker Location


Globe Type



Cast iron


Rococo Revival