Aviation and travel themes frequently appear on globes manufactured in the mid 20th century, reflecting the popular interest in the dramatic progress of air travel. Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) became an American hero when he flew from New York to Paris in 1927. Other landmark flights by such figures as Amelia Earhart also generated huge publicity and acclaim. During World War II, faster and more versatile aircraft developed, and afterwards air travel across and between continents expanded rapidly. In the late 1950s, the space race also fueled an interest in aviation, especially among young people to whom many of these globes were marketed. With the current interest in Modernist decor, these vintage globes are enjoying renewed popularity.
Weber Costello began producing black ocean globes with airplane-form bases prior to World War II. The globe, issued from the 1930s to the early 1940s, had geographic entities in muted yellow and cream tones, and the airplane base was geometric with Art Deco stylization. On this globe Istanbul was shown indicating a date no earlier than 1930, and Manchukuo, indicating a date from 1932 to 1945. Another model of black ocean airplane-form base globe, issued by Weber Costello variously from about 1946 to the mid 1960. The globe on this model had more brightly colored geographic entities, and the airplane base was more rounded, with broader wings. The first examples of this model date from about 1946 to 1948 showing Manchuria rather than Manchukuo (c. 1946 and later) and Palestine as a British Mandate rather than Israel (c. 1948 and earlier). Examples after 1948 show Israel rather than Palestine. Some show French “Indo-China,” indicating a date before 1955. On later examples, Leopoldville in the Belgian Congo is still shown, indicating a date up to 1966.
For more information on Weber Costello, please see our Guide to Globe Makers.
Circular Cartouche: “12/PEERLESS/ WEBER/ COSTELLO/ CO./ CHICAGO HEIGHTS ILLINOIS”