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Globe, American, Franklin, HB Nims, Terrestrial World, 12-Inch Table Globe, Iron Stand, Antique, Troy, NY, c. 1870s (Reserved)

This globe is currently on reserve among numerous extremely fine and rare American globes to be sold as a single collection. In the meanwhile, it has been placed here in our Globe Guide section as a service for researchers and collectors.

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H.B. Nims & Co.
12-Inch Terrestrial Table Globe
Troy, New York: c. 1870s
Cast iron stand
17.75 inches high, 17-inch diameter horizon band

The terrestrial globe is surmounted by a brass hour circle, within a calibrated full brass meridian and circular horizon band with engraved paper calendar and zodiac. It is raised on a hardwood stand with four turned legs ending in top-form feet, joined by a turned X-form stretcher. Oceans and countries cream colored, land masses in muted shades of green, blue, and yellow, some outlined in green.. Submarine Telegraph Cable” and “Submarine Telegraph (French)” are shown in Atlantic Ocean; the French laid its first submarine cable across the Atlantic in 1869. Tracks of explorers are indicated, including Columbus, Cook, Clerke, Gore, Vancouver, [de la] Perouse, and Wilkes. There is a figure-eight analemma, called a “Table of Equation,” in the Pacific. Some mountain ranges are shaded.

Product description continues below.


Oklahoma is shown in its entirety as Indian Territory indicating a date before 1890 when the Oklahoman organic act divided part of it as Oklahoma territory.“Dacota” shown as one territory, indicating a date before 1889 when they simultaneously became separate states. Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Wyoming shown in their post-1868 configurations but not with final boundaries. Alaska Territory is shown indicating a date after 1867. “Yellowstone” is indicated in Wyoming and Montana, but the words “National Park” found on another H.B. Nims globe in the Rumsey collection is not present. On the Rumsey globe this indicates that globe is not before 1872, when Yellowstone officially became a National Park, though perhaps slightly later if the globe was not immediately updated in 1872. On the offered globe its absence indicates that it is an earlier edition than the Rumsey globe and more likely from the early 1870s perhaps even before 1872. A partial outline of the Antarctic Continent is shown, especially south of Australia, and Weddell’s exploration below the Antarctic Circle is noted.

Historical notes are also indicated in the oceans, such as discovery dates of various islands and as follows: “The Pacific Ocean was discovered by Balboa in 1513. First navigated by Magellan in 1520. It extends from North to South 7,500 miles and from East to West 10,000 miles.” An extensive note on the South Pacific islands explains: “Formerly the whole of the Islands in the S.E. and E. of Asia were included among the Asiatic Islands. With the exception of [several listed] they are now considered as forming a fifth ground division of the Globe called OCEANICA or the MARITIME WORLD, which is divided into three principal groups, namely, Malaysia [details listed], Australasia [details listed], and Polynesia [details listed].”

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.

The offered Franklin globe has an H.B. Nims & Co. printed cartouche. That company name was used circa 1869 to 1885, and after producing globes as Nims & Knight, the company name H.B. Nims was reinstated circa 1890-1896. Based on the entirety of Oklahoma being shown on the globe as Indian Territory, among other indications, this globe was produced during the first period of the company as H.B. Nims & Co.

Circular Cartouche: THE FRANKLIN/ TERRESTRIAL/ GLOBE/ 12 INCHES IN DIAMETER CONTAINING ALL THE/ Geographical Divisions/ & POLITICAL BOUNDARIES/ to the present date/ Carefully Compiled from the best Authorities/ H.B. NIMS & CO./ TROY N.Y./ Rae Smith Engraver/ N.Y.

Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally restored, with the usual remaining expected light toning, wear and restorations to minor scattered cracks and abrasions. Overall retains a golden antique tone with bright colors. Stand generally very good with the usual wear.


Catalogue of School, Family and Library Globes, Dictionary, Holders, Library and Stationery Specialties. Troy, New York: H.B. Nims & Company, 1895-96, p. 3.

Dekker, Elly and van der Krogt, Peter. Globes from the Western World. London: Zwemmer, 1993. p. 135-36, 140.

Glover, Bill. “History of the Atlantic Cable & Submarine Telegraphy Cable Timeline: 1845-1900.” Atlantic Cable. 5 November 2005. (7 October 2019).

Warner, Deborah Jean. “The Geography of Heaven and Earth.” Rittenhouse Journal of the American Scientific Instrument Enterprise, 1987. Vol. 2, Nos. 2 & 3, pp. 63-64, 88-89.

Yonge, Ena L. A Catalogue of Early Globes, Library Series No. 6. American Geographical Society,1968. p. 53

Additional information

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Globe Type



Hardwood, Wood, Maple