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Globe, American, Joslin, 6-Inch Solar Telluric, Astronomical, Iron Stand, Antique, Boston, 1854

Gilman Joslin
6-Inch Terrestrial “Solar Telluric Globe”
Boston: c. 1854
Geared cast iron base
9 inches high; 9.5 inches diameter, base

An innovative American globe and demonstration device for studying principles of astronomy related to the earth’s annual revolution around the sun and its daily rotation, including changes of seasons, night and day, world time, and eclipses.

A six-inch diameter Joslin terrestrial globe is surmounted by a small brass hour pointer, freely rotating on an axis fitted in an iron inclination arm canted at 23 degrees, and revolving in a calibrated full brass meridian. The inclination arm and meridian are attached on a large revolving iron arrow pointer (decorated with gilt stenciled foliate design and outline), the arrow with a central iron rod surmounted by a gilt ball representing the sun, and having a geared mechanism below the arrow. All are supported on a molded cast iron round platter, the center portion with openwork foliate rococo design having gilt highlights, the outer rim portion with applied engraved paper horizon band with months of the year and zodiac. To operate the device the arrow is revolved by hand in the direction of the months on the zodiac band. This causes the gears under the arrow to engage and turn the inclination arm for one full revolution in a year (in a similar way that a globe on a tellurian revolves), most notably demonstrating the reasons for the seasons worldwide. The globe can also be rotated on a daily basis by turning it by hand.

Product description continues below.


This particular example incorporates a Joslin 6-inch globe dated 1854. The globe is surmounted by a printed northern hour circle polar calotte numbered I to XII twice. Oceans are cream colored. Geographical entities are cream or shades of faint green, and with thick green or thin red outlining. There is a figure-eight analemma in the Pacific Ocean.

Place names west of the Mississippi include several rivers: the Des Moines, Missouri, Kansas, Osage, Arkansas, Little Rock, Red, Yellowstone, and Platte Rivers. Texas is labeled with two cities: Santa Fe and Houston. Place names west of the Rocky Mountains, include Oregon Territory, New Albion, New California, and the territories of the Snake Indians and the “Black Feet” Indians. The Baja California is called “Old California,” and Mexico stretches as far north as San Francisco. Alaska is shown as Russian America, and Canada as British America. Central Africa is labeled “Unexplored.”

Joslin issued a 30-page guide for the globe titled Manual for Joslin’s New Solar Telluric Globe, Designed for the Use of Families, Schools and Academies.  The Solar Telluric Globe is also illustrated in the general Joslin’s Handbook (p. 44) with the following description: “This style was specially designed to furnish a simple means of illustrating the causes of the Changes of the Seasons and of the numerous other phenomena which are related to them. Their success in accomplishing this much desired end is fully attested by the high commendations of teachers from all sections of the country.”

Cartouche: JOSLIN’S/ Six Inch/ Terrestrial Globe,/ Containing the latest Discoveries./ BOSTON/ Gilman Joslin/ 1854/ Drawn and Engraved by W.B. Annin.

This globe was made by Gilman Joslin, successor to Josiah Loring’s Boston globe making business. Read more about Joslin in our Guide to Globe Makers.


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

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.

Manual for Joslin’s New Solar Telluric Globe, Designed for the Use of Families, Schools and Academies. Boston: G. Joslin, 1866 [copyright 1852].

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

Tellurian, Terrestrial


Cast iron


Rococo Revival