There is no cartouche on this globe, but the texts on the horizon circle read: “IMPROVED GLOBE BOSTON” and “REFERENCES / Flamstead 46. Hevelius 24. Piazzi 180. LaCaille 1661. Nebulae. W. Herschell, J. Herschell, & J. Dunlop.” and “MANUFACTURED FOR H. B. NIMS & CO. / TROY N.Y.” and “THE EQUATION OF TIME” and “Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852 by Charles Copley, in / the Clerks office, of the District Court, of the Southern District, of New York” and “MAGNITUDES / First Magnitude. . . Ninth Nebulae” and “EXPLANATION. / Ancient Constellations . . . Modern . . .”
This globe has a short 4-leg wooden base, a wooden horizon circle and a brass meridian. The astronomical information on the horizon circle suggests that this element could be used for celestial as well as terrestrial globes.
Charles Copley (b. 1800) was a cartographer and engraver from England who became an American citizen in 1844 and lived in Brooklyn. He is best known for the pair of 16-inch globes that he introduced in 1852. Despite being extremely detailed, even to the point of obscurity, these globes won a gold medal at the 1852 fair of the American Institute in New York, and a first premium at the 1853 fair of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Copley’s globes would be revised from time to time, and marketed by other firms.
This example of Copley’s terrestrial globe contains revisions that would have been of particular interest to Americans: Alaska (1867) is shown, but Lake Victoria (1858) and Mt. Kilimanjaro (1848) are not. Other additions include isothermal lines, the Atlantic Cable, and various deep sea soundings which, as advertised, “are not laid down on any other globe.”
H. B. Nims & Co., the firm that marketed this example, was in business in Troy, N.Y., from 1869 to 1885 and again from 1890 to 1896, publishing and selling books and other school supplies. The globe was probably made by Gilman Joslin in Boston.
Ref: D. J. Warner, “The Geography of Heaven and Earth,” Rittenhouse 2 (1999): 54-55, 63-64, and 88-89.
maker: Copley, Charles
maker: Joslin, Gilman
maker: H. B. Nims & Co.
ID Number: PH.327974
accession number: 270024
catalog number: 327974
date made: ca 1870
Physical Description: brass (overall material)
Physical Description: maple (overall material)
Physical Description: mahogany (overall material)
Measurements: average spatial: 40.6 cm; 15 31/32 in
Measurements: overall: 23 1/4 in x 21 1/2 in; 59.055 cm x 54.61 cm
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Credit Line: Mrs. Seward H. Rathbun
place made: United States: Massachusetts, Boston
associated place: United States: District of Columbia, Washington