Click main image below to view enlargements and captions.

Globe, American, Joslin, Terrestrial World, 12-Inch Table Globe, Tripod Iron Stand, Antique, Boston, 1890s (Reserved)

Gilman Joslin
12-Inch Terrestrial Table Globe
Boston: c. 1890s
Tripod iron stand
19 inches high 16.5 inches diameter overall

• This globe is currently on reserve among numerous extremely fine and rare American globes to be sold as a single collection. Meanwhile it has been placed here in our American Globe Guide as a service for researchers and collectors.
• Visit our Globes and Planetaria section to see globes offered for individual purchase.

A globe published under the name of James Wilson — Americas first globe maker — with the latest (last) known publication date for any Wilson globe.

The terrestrial globe is mounted within a calibrated brass full meridian, the horizon band with printed calendar and zodiac supported and freely rotating on 3 upraised quadrant supports, on a tripod iron stand having three cabriole legs with raised acanthus decoration ending in scrolled feet. This type of stand is illustrated in the Joslin Handbook as Style 8, “Joslin’s Low Tripod Stand.” The catalog offers the model with either 10-inch, 12-inch, or 16 inch diameter globes, terrestrial or celestial, for $25.  The stand is described in the handbook as follows:

This style, with black walnut horizon, graduated full brass meridian, hour dial, etc., is mounted upon a light bronzed stand of neat and appropriate design. The arms which support the horizon are pivoted to the base, thus allowing any portion of the globe to be turned to the student without changing the position of the base itself, a very desirable arrangement.

It is also pictured in Joslin catalog from around the 1870s (see photos).

Product description continues below.


Geographical entities are shaded in pink, green, blue, and yellow. Mountain ranges are indicated by shading. Waters and some geographical entities are a cream color. The ecliptic and equator are graduated. There are also a figure-eight analemma and printed polar hour circles. North and South Dakota are shown as separate states. Eastern Oklahoma was then known as “Indian Territory” and is shaded blue and labeled here with the names of the tribes Creeks and Choctaws; the Oklahoma panhandle is shaded pink. Small portions of the Antarctic coastline are mapped, with the rest labeled “Antarctic Ocean,” reflecting geographic knowledge at the time. Tracks of the explorers Cook, Wilkes, Vancouver, De La Perouse are shown on the oceans. Hawaii is labeled “Sandwich Islands” and the location where Captain Cook was killed in 1779 is noted.

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

Circular Cartouche: Joslin’s/ TERRESTRIAL GLOBE/ containing all/ THE LATE DISCOVERIES/ AND/ Geographical Improvements,/ also the Tracks of/ the most celebrated Circumnavigators./ Compiled from Smith’s New English Globe, with/ additions and improvements by Annin & Smith./ Revised by G.W. Boynton./ Manufactured by Gilman Joslin, Boston

Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally restored and revarnished, 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.


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

Descriptive Catalogue of Joslin’s Terrestrial & Celestial Globes, Gilman Joslin, Manufacturer and Dealer. Boston: Gilman Joslin, c. 1870s.

How to Use a Globe, Joslin’s Terrestrial and Celestial Globes/ Joslin’s Hand-book to the Terrestrial and Celestial Globes. Boston, Massachusetts: Gilman Joslin & Son, [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. 100-03.

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





19th Century