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Globe, American, Various Makers, Terrestrial World, Mailable Tin Globe, Early 20th C. (Reserved)

2-Inch Mailable Souvenir Terrestrial Globe
E.J. Schwabe Novelty Company, New York: 1st Quarter 20th Century
Transfer-printed paint on tin with original paper tag and cord
2 inches diameter, globe

A souvenir tin miniature globe with the original bright yellow mailing tag attached by a string. It was intended to be sent in the mail in this form without a box, a three-dimensional variation of a post card. One side of the tag is printed in bold letters: “This world was made for you and me.” The other side of the tag has a place for the sender to fill in the recipient’s address and adhere a stamp. There is no apparent space on it for adding a message from the sender. That side is also rubber stamped at the top from the tourist destination “Saranac Lake, N.Y. ” The maker’s name, E.J. Schwabe of New York, is also printed on that side of the tag along with the company’s address. This example evidently was actually mailed because there are faint traces of ink in the address section (“Nova Scotia” is partially visible in the last line) and fragments of a postage stamp still attached.

The globe is made in two halves, each transfer-printed, and permanently joined at the equator. The twisted cord attaches the card to the globe through a hole in the globe in the Pacific Ocean. Schwabe possibly acquired the globe from a globe maker — perhaps a German manufacturer for the American market — and then produced and marketed the overall mailable product with the address tag.

Product description continues below.


The geography of the globe is highly simplified and stylized, with generalized shapes of the continents outlined in black, highlighted with a wider colored line, and filled in white, green, red, or yellow. Oceans are in light blue. Curving dark blue lines represent currents. A few geographic entities are labeled in hand-lettering: oceans, continents, some countries, and a few cities, including New York and Rio de Janeiro. There are dark blue longitude lines and four latitude lines per hemisphere.

Mailable souvenir globes were popular at the turn of the century as tourist souvenirs., including ones associated with a World’s Fair. Some were made so that the two halves that could be opened to reveal inside a folding accordion strip of photographic images of the site where it was being sold. Others had the two halves sealed at the equator. Novelty transfer-printed tin globes of this size were also made as pencil sharpeners or as little table globes on inexpensive stands. Others were incorporated into toys such as a wind-up tin cat with a globe. Based on numerous extant examples, many of the globes were manufactured in German, printed in English for export to the United States. These novelties were among the earliest globes manufactured by transfer painting on tin, which would become more popular in the 20th century in various sizes and styles, especially to produce inexpensive globes.

The E.J. Schwabe Novelty Company was operated by Edwin J. Schwabe and Martin L. Samter. The firm produced novelties, souvenirs, and some art items, including metal goods, felt pennants, fancy postcards, toys, dolls, and stuffed animals. An ad in a trade publication in 1913 lists the company at the same address as the card on this globe: 814 Broadway. By 1928, a trade directory listed the address as 229 W. 28th Street. This helps date this item to the first quarter of the 20th century.

Condition: Globe generally very good, bright colors, having the usual scattered expected minor abrasions and indentations. Card good with the usual overall toning, wear, handling, soft creases.


“Advertisement for Martin L. Samter, Agent.” The American Stationer. 29 March 1913. p. 29. Online at (22 April 2020).

Hoyle, Raymond Joseph. Wood-using Industries of New York. Issue 27, 1928. (22 April 2020).

Additional information

Maker Location

Globe Type





20th Century