The terrestrial globe has a printed northern hour circle polar calotte numbered I to XII twice and an oval “Improved Analemma” in the Pacific Ocean. The equator and the ecliptic are denoted with heavy dashed lines, and the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn with thinner dashed lines highlighted in tan. Major land masses are outlined with horizontal hatch marks, and mountain ranges are indicated with hatched lines. The globe is mostly cream-colored, with the edges of some geographic boundaries shaded in blue or green. The United States west of the Mississippi River is shown as Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Indian Reserve, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oregon, Utah, New Mexico, and California. The Baja Peninsula of Mexico is also labeled California. Alaska is shown as “Russian America” indicating a date prior to 1867. Canada is labeled “Canada East” and “Canada West” with only the East Coast provinces named. As is typical of the era, most of the African place names provided are along the coasts, since the interior was largely unknown to Westerners; much of Southern Africa is simply labeled “Unexplored Regions.” Australia and the surrounding ocean are labeled “Australasia.” The tracks of the American explorer Charles Wilkes and the British explorer Captain James Cook are indicated in the oceans. Antarctica is largely unmapped, except for a few short portions of coastline including “Supposed Antarctic Continent Seen By Wilks [sic] and Others in 1840,” “Grahams Land,” and “Enderbys L.,” with the rest labeled “Antarctic Sea.”
On the celestial globe, the constellations, including zodiac signs, are well delineated and elegantly depicted as figures from Greek mythology, animals, and scientific instruments. The stars are shown to six orders of magnitude, along with variable stars and planetary nebulae, according to a key within a small rectangle beneath the cartouche. Many individual stars are labeled with Greek letters, and in the case of brighter ones like Capella, with their names. Some of the constellations are hand-colored in shades of brown, green, blue, red, and gray. The lines marking the Arctic and Antarctic Circles are shaded red. The ecliptics and equatorial line are rendered as dashed lines.
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 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 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.
Condition: Each globe and horizon generally very good, recently professionally restored, including the restoration of minor scattered cracks, abrasions, and losses, now with light remaining toning, wear, and, handling while retaining a handsome color tone. Iron stands very good with light wear and oxidation.
Circular Cartouche, Terrestrial Globe: AN IMPROVED AMERICAN/ TERRESTRIAL GLOBE/ Containing all the/ POLITICAL BOUNDARIES/ AND/ Geographical Divisions/ to the present date/ carefully compiled from the best authorities/ MERRIAM & MOORE/ TROY, N.Y.
Oval Cartouche, Celestial Globe: THE FRANKLIN IMPROVED/ CELESTIAL/ GLOBE/ with the/ NEW CONSTELLATIONS/ MERRIAM & MOORE/ TROY, N.Y.
Dekker, Elly and van der Krogt, Peter. <em>Globes from the Western World</em>. London: Zwemmer, 1993. pp. 135-36, 140.
“Franklin Globes.” Troy, New York: Merriam, Moore & Co., c. 1853. Flier.
Warner, Deborah Jean. “The Geography of Heaven and Earth.” <em>Rittenhouse Journal of the American Scientific Instrument Enterprise.</em> Vol. 2, Nos. 2 & 3, 1987. pp. 63-64, 88-89.
Yonge, Ena L. <em>A Catalogue of Early Globes, Library Series No. 6.</em> American Geographical Society, 1968. p. 53.