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Globe, American, Joslin, Copley, Terrestrial, 16-Inch Floor Globe, Tripod Wood Stand, Antique, Boston, c. 1870s


Gilman Joslin
16-Inch Terrestrial Tripod Floor Globe
Boston: c. 1870s
Turned wood stand
42 inches high, 20 inches diameter overall

The terrestrial globe within calibrated nickel-plated hour circles at north and south poles and within calibrated full nickel-plated meridian, the horizon band with engraved paper calendar and zodiac, supported by three circular iron quadrants with gilt line decoration, the quadrants rotating as a unit in circular gilt-decorated iron socket supported by three circular turned hard wood legs, each leg with brass cylindrical cap at the top screwing into the stand, and having various ring turnings, ending in turned round feet.

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 standard for this type of globe.

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, which means this globe dates to 1872 at the earliest. 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 and 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 on the paper horizon band. Here, the offered globe is named on the horizon “Improved Globe, Boston” and bears 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, often with updated titles and with the names of globe makers that issued them printed on the horizon band, namely Gilman Joslin in Boston, or the Franklin group of globe makers of Troy, New York. These makers issued 16-inch table and floor globes on a wide variety of stands. Indeed, the offered globe is by Gilman Joslin as indicated by the legend on the horizon of this globe: “MANUFACTURED  BY GILMAN JOSLIN. CORRECTED TO DATE.”  Read more about these firms in our Guide to Globe Makers: Copley and Joslin.

Gilman Joslin (1804-c. 1886), one of America’s most prolific globe makers, began making globes for Josiah Loring (1775-c. 1840) in 1837, and took over the business two years later. Loring had begun selling globes in 1832. He advertised that his globes were superior to British globes of the period. Yet, early Loring globes were either imported from C. Smith & Sons, one of the leading British globe makers of the late Georgian period, or re-engraved versions of Smith & Sons globes. Gilman Joslin began as a wood turner and maker of looking glass mirrors. After taking over Loring’s business, he began producing globes under the Loring name and under his own name. Joslin set up a globe manufacturing facility in Boston, and by 1850 had five workers. Gilman Joslin was joined by his son William B. Joslin in 1874 and the firm continued in operation as Gilman Joslin & Son until 1907.

Joslin & Son’s globe handbook states that their globes were useful for instructing students in geography and “[f]or library or office use [were] no less valuable, showing … at a glance, the true relative situations of Political and Geographical Divisions, Cities, etc., the world over.” The handbook also enumerated various “advantages” of Joslin globes: “They may be depended upon as accurate, the plates having lately been revised to correspond with all recent political changes. All the maps are printed directly from copper plates, and are not lithographed. The meridians are accurately graduated. The varnish is warranted not to crack or peel off, a common failing. The stands are thoroughly and firmly fitted together, and the general workmanship throughout is of the first order (Joslin’s Hand-Book, pp. 3-4).

Maker’s information on horizon band: IMPROVED GLOBE, BOSTON. MANUFACTURED BY GILMAN JOSLIN, / CORRECTED TO DATE. 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 — the colors bright and with nice overall sheen — recently professionally cleaned and restored, with light remaining, toning, wear, minor discoloration marks and patches. Professional restoration of crack and abrasions in Northern Pacific Ocean, mostly confined to blank ocean areas, unobtrusive. Turned stand very good with the usual overall light wear and handling.


“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

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Cast iron


Rococo Revival