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Globe, American, Franklin, HB Nims, Terrestrial World, 6-Inch Table, Nickel Stand, Half Meridian, Antique, Troy, New York, 1880s


Franklin Globes
6-Inch Terrestrial Table Globe
H.B. Nims & Co., Troy, New York: c. 1880s
Nickel-plated brass stand
12 inches high; 6 inches diameter, base

The terrestrial globe is canted on its axis at 23.5 degrees rotating in a calibrated half meridian, raised on a spun nickel-plated brass pedestal stand with central tubular standard and round domed base. The terrestrial globe has cream-colored oceans with land entities either cream or shaded green. Mountain ranges are indicated with hatch marks, deserts shaded with dots, and coastlines shaded with fine rows of parallel lines.

Product description continues below.


North and South Dakota are shown prior to statehood in 1889 as the single region “Dacota,” and Oklahoma in its entirely as Indian Territory, as it was called before 1890. Other states and territories shown west of the Mississippi River include Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, [New} Mexico, Texas, Idaho, Utah, Arizona,  Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California. The tracks of the American explorer Charles Wilkes and the British explorer Captain James Cook are indicated in the oceans, as is the location where Cook was killed in 1779 in the “Sandwich Islands” (present day Hawaii). A “References” key in the North Pacific shows the symbols for “Largest Cities and Capitals” and 2nd, 3rd and 4th size classes. An analemma in a modified oval shape and surrounded by a decorative design is in the Pacific Ocean.

Generally, the cartography reflects Western geographic knowledge of the era, with areas unexplored by Europeans with few geographical names and divisions. Accordingly, for the most part only the coastal areas of Africa are labeled with political boundaries, while the interior is broadly labeled “Sahara,” “Soudan,” and “Ethiopia.” “Great Wall” is labeled on the northern border of China with Mongolia.­ Antarctica is mostly left blank, showing only the small sections of its northern coastline that had been mapped at that time; the rest is labeled Southern Ocean and Victoria Land.

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 globe more likely would have been made in the earlier phase of H.B. Nims (1869-1885) rather than the later phase (1890-96) insofar as  Oklahoma is shown in its entirety as Indian Territory (1890 or earlier) and Dakota as a single territory (prior to 1889 statehood). The date of manufacture can be further narrowed down to after 1879 insofar as the transatlantic cable between the U.S. and France is indicated.


Condition: Globe generally very good, recently professionally restored and revarnished, including restoration of minor abrasions and cracks — particularly to North Pole circle with some lettering loss supplied in manuscript — now with some light remaining toning, and wear. Stand very good with usual wear and aging; some brass showing through wear to nickel plating.


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.

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.

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

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

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19th Century