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Globe, Astronomy, Tellurian, Solar Telluric, Rococo Iron Stand, Antique, Joslin, Boston, c. 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 revolution around the sun, such as night and day, world time, changes of seasons, and eclipses. The 6-inch Joslin terrestrial globe rotates around a small central brass sun sphere above a rococo cast iron platter with a gearwork mechanism.

The terrestrial globe is surmounted by a moveable brass hour pointer, raised on an iron inclination arm, and revolves in a calibrated full bronze meridian. The meridian is attached to a large iron arrow pointer (decorated with gilt stenciled foliate design and outline), the arrow with a central iron rod surmounted by a brass ball representing the sun, and having large gears beneath the arrow to drive the mechanism. All are supported on a molded cast iron round platter, the center portion with openwork foliate rococo design, the outer rim with engraved paper horizon band with months of the year and zodiac, the molded edge with gilt line decoration.

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.

Condition: Generally very good, overall bright, with the usual light toning, wear, soiling. Few small abrasions professionally restored. Mechanism intact and working.


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, Full meridian


Rococo Revival