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/
Dekker, Elly and Peter van der Krogt. Globes from the Western World. Zwemmer, London: 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. 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.