An American Globe first Published in 1891 by Rand McNally with Isothermic Bars.

Rand McNally's 1891 Globe With Isothermic

1891 on traditional base.

 

American cartographers Rand McNally first published this globe in 1891. We are very pleased to anounce that Rand McNally have kindly given us full consent to republish this interesting globe which bears their Trade Mark. This globe is an interesting example of the diversity that can be found on a terrestrial globe as it depicts Isothermic Bars, because of this we decided to republish it. It is 12" diameter and is supported by a wire axis which tilts the globe at the elliptic angle of 23.5 degrees. A brass finial and bush hold the globe to the axis. The base is hand turned and made using reclaimed timber or a black spun metal base.

 

On our spun metal base.

 

Rand McNally's 1891 Globe With Isothermic

Original makers label

 

The ebonised base is available in any colour as long as it is black!

 

Rand McNally's Globe on traditional wooden base. Ref:GT 1891 £140 + delivery.

Rand McNally's Globe on on Funky Spun Metal Base. Ref: GT 1891 Metal £76 + delivery.

 

Packing and delivery prices vary depending where on this globe you presently live. If you are interested in any of our globes on our web site, please email us the reference number(s) and state which country you live in and if you require a shipping quote.

* This price is for globes purchased within the European Community.

 

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The World of 1891

 

1891 saw the powers of Europe already beginning to divide into the two conflicting camps which were to lead ultimately to the 1st World War of 1914-18. On May 6th the Triple Alliance that had been formed in 1882 between Germany, Austria and Italy was formally renewed for a further 12 years. The renewal of this alliance spurred France and Russia to increased co-operation and in July 1891 a french naval squadron visited Kronstadt in Russia and negotiations began towards a formal understanding between the two powers, which was finally completed on August 27th when France and Russia signed an "entente" by which each power agreed to consult the other if threatened by outside aggression. In 1891 Britain maintained "a splendid isolation" from the continental powers, preferring to stay independent of any formal wide ranging alliances. She was content to let the formation of two conflicting power blocs balance the power in mainland Europe, whilst being extremely wary of any French, Russian, German or Italian overseas interests that might effect her Empire. The Empire which was at its height came first, and any negotiations Britain involved herself in were to be in the interest of her global empire. Thus in 1891 whilst Britain made agreements and local treaties with Italy over the borders of Ethiopia, with Holland over Borneo and with Portugal over South East Africa, there was little enthusiasm for Kaiser Wilhelm II's visit to London in July of that year. The Kaiser who had "dropped the pilot" - Bismarck the previous year and taken charge of german foreign policy hoped to use his blood ties to the british monarchy (he was Queen Victoria's grandson) to draw Britain into an understanding with the Triple Alliance. The Kaiser thought that french ambitions in Africa and South East Asia and Russia's interest in Central Asia and in particular India would be reason enough to prefer the Triple Alliance to the "entente". Whilst Germany had no colonies to speak of save for a settlement in East Africa (Tanganyka - see globe), she was already Britain's main economic and industrial rival and Britain could see no advantage in aiding the Kaiser's quest for more significant territories in "the race for Africa". His visit to London only brought more urgency to France to pursue an "entente" with Russia and the failure of his diplomatic overtures to Britain led him to embark on the aggrandizement of the Germany navy to challenge Britain's dominance of the sea, which rivalry of course led Germany into a direct conflict with Britain and was one of the underlying causes of the 1st World War.

 

Rand McNally its Isothermic Globe of 1891

Rand McNally was founded in 1856 in Chicago and produced globes from 1887 until 1987. In 1872 Rand McNally pioneered the technique of wax engraving which was quicker, cheaper and easier than the more traditional engraving and this allowed maps and gores to be revised easily. The wax engraving was so successful that Rand McNally was producing map gores for many other American companies by the end of the 19th century. The first globe produced by Rand McNally was a terrestrial one in 1887. A relief globe was produced in 1900, being the only American globe to show relief on both continents and ocean floors. The relief was made of plaster then painted various colours to indicate elevations. The globe was 18 inches in diameter. In 1928 the firm produced its first physical globe, 16 inches in diameter. Elevation levels were indicated by green, yellow and brown (lower to higher). Ocean currents were shown in brown for cold and red for warm. Isotherms appeared in red and blue. Production of this globe ended in 1940 and it was replaced by physical-political globes without ocean currents or isotherms. The 1891 globe was the first isothermic globe showing the different temperatures in both summer and winter in different parts of the globe linked by the same temperature by isothermic lines. The Rand McNally isothermic globe owes much to the work of Van Humboldt (1769-1859), one of the most distinguished names in the history of geography. In 1817 he published a paper on the subject of isotherms using his definition of "curves drawn through points of the globe which receive an equal quantity of heat". The same year he published a map that included no topographical features, not even coastlines, but concentrated on the relationships between isotherms and geographical latitudes. His aim was to demonstrate visually his scientific findings that temperatures on the western sides of continents were notably milder than those on the east. This challenged the old classical notion of climatic zones based on latitudes. He used 13 locations in America, Europe and Asia to plot the average temperatures. Despite the improvement in recording temperature readings and the profusion of weather stations, and the increase in global warming, the accuracy of the Rand McNally 1891 globe is still today excellent.

 

Transport 1891

Railways Soon after the entente was signed between France and Russia in August 1891, construction began at Uladivostok of a trans Siberian railway that was financed in part by french financiers and also by London's Baring brothers. The construction force used was drawn from convicted criminals, and political prisoners from the Tsarist prison camps of Siberia. Very similar to the subsequent builders and repair gangs used by the communist authorities of 20th century Russia. Railway building was at its zenith with new lines being built across all continents. In London the first electric underground railway had opened the previous year. Meanwhile in America in 1891 the New York Central's "Empire State Express" travelled the 436 miles from New York to East Buffalo in a record breaking 7 hours and 6 minutes. Motorcars The motor car was still in its infancy but in 1891 the french designers Rene Panhard and Emile Levassor established the modern design of the car with the first four wheeled petrol driven vehicle with the engine situated in the front. In America the Duryea brothers also designed a petrol driven engine capable of driving a four wheeled vehicle. In America this was to start a boom in motor manufacturers driven by public demand that within 4 years led to there being over 300 manufacturers of cars. However the decline to the present day had begun by 1900 when they were already down to just over 100 in number. Air Although the first proper air flight was over 12 years away, in 1891 a flying machine 'the Eole' designed by Clement Ader of France, powered by a steam driven propeller made the first powered take off, rising 4 feet and travelling 60 yards. His claims of success were subsequently strongly disputed.

 

Empires

The carve up of Africa continues 1891 Feb 9th - The Emperor of Ethiopia, Menelek denounces Italian claims to a protectorate. March 24th - A British-Italian agreement over Ethiopia, defining the frontiers of their Red Sea colonies. April 15th - African copper mining pioneered by Robert Williams - an aide to Cecil Rhodes - who sends an expedition north to study outcroppings observed by Dr Livingstone. The copper is found to be outside the border of British territories in Katanga, country owned by the king of the Belgians, Leopold II. An agreement is negotiated with Leopold under which the Katanga company is organised. June 11th - Britain and Portugal hold a convention on territories north and south of the Zambezi river whereby Portugal gives Barotseland to the British who later proclaimed Nyasaland a British protectorate (present day Malawi). July 31st - Britain declares territories north of the Zambezi up to the Congo basin to be within its sphere of influence. December 20th - Belgian Congo forces kill the king of the Garenganze, Msiri; the copper mines of Katanga lie within his kingdom.

 

Births and deaths 1891

March 19th - Earl Warren - Chief Justice for the American Supreme Court 1953-69. Responsible for a number of liberal legal rulings, notably in civil rights - died 1974. April 7th - David Low - New Zealand born cartoonist. Radical creator of newspaper cartoon characters including Colonel Blimp and the T.U.C. carthorse - died 1963. Aug 2nd - Arthur Bliss - British composer born in London. Became Master of Queen's Music in 1953. Works include "A Colour Symphony" 1922, music for ballets, "Checkmate" 1937, "Miracle in the Gorbals" 1944, and "Adam Zero" 1946, an opera "The Olympians" 1949 and many film scores including "Things to Come" 1935. Died 1975. Nov 15th - Averell Harriman, american administrator of lend-lease in World War II, negotiated nuclear test ban treaty with Russia in 1963, Governor of New York 1955-58 - died 1986. ? - Chico Marx - Piano playing, girl chasing (hence name from chasing "chicks") member of the fabulous Marx brothers - died 1961. 2 Died March 29th - George Seurat, french artist born Paris 1859. Aug 2nd - James Russell Lowell, born 1819, american poet, also U.S. ambassador to britain 1880-85. Sept 28th - Herman Melville - American author of Moby Dick. Oct 26th - Helmuth Count von Moltke, prussian general responsible for prussian victories over Denmark 1863-64, Austria 1866 and France 1870-77, without which there would have been no German unification. Nov 10th - Arthur Rimbaud - French poet who influenced the symbolist movement. Lived with another symbolist poet, Paul Verlaine. Died aged 37 after amputation of his leg. Sept 30th - Georges Boulanger - French general who served in Indo-China and North Africa. Became Minister of War in 1886 nearly provoking war with Germany in 1887. In 1889 he was suspected of organising a coup d'etat and fled to London. He was tried for treason in his absence. he committed suicide on the grave of his mistress. Oct 6th - Charles Parnell - Irish politician who campaigned fiercely for irish home rule. Earned himself the nickname of "uncrowned king of Ireland". Had a major influence in british domestic politics. Jan 20th - King Kalakaua of Hawaii - who was succeeded by his sister Liliuokalani, a fierce nationalist who believed in "Hawaii for the Hawaiians".

 

Sport 1891

Although the first modern Olympiad was only 5 years away in 1896, international sport between countries was unheard of save for the Americas Cup for sailing and football matches between the home nations of Britain and cricket matches between England and Australia. Boxing a) John L. Sullivan, American Heavyweight World Champion and Bare Knuckle Champion. b) Bob Fitzimmons, British World Middleweight Champion from Helston in Cornwall. c) May 21st (negro) Peter Jackson fights James Corbett to 61 round draw. Football The 20th annual football match between England and Scotland was played at Blackburn with England winning 2-1. England went on to win the home internationals championship with a 4-1 win over Wales at Sunderland and a 6-1 win over Ireland at Wolverhampton. So much like the year 2001 England were playing their "internationals" around the grounds of the country. Everton were the english league champions and Dumbarton the scottish. The F.A. Cup was played at the Kennington Oval where Blackburn Rovers beat Notts County 3-1. In Scotland, Hearts beat Dumbarton 1-0. Basketball Invented in 1891 by a P.E. teacher James Naismith at Springfield Massachusetts with the aim of keeping his students occupied between the football and baseball seasons. Naismith set up fruit baskets suspended from the balcony of the gym for nets and formulated the rules that have never substantially changed. American Football The first american football rule book was written in 1891 by Walter Camp, who invented the scrimmage line, the 11 man team, signals and the quarterback position. Cycling On October 18th a six day cycling race was completed at Madison Square Garden. Cyclists from all over the world competed for "cash and glory on their high wheelers". Spectators betted on their favourites during the many sprints within the big race. However there was also much criticism by people who considered the whole spectacle to be inhumane.

 

Arts and Literature 1891

1891 saw three major works for fiction published in Britain: Thomas Hardy's 'Tess of the D'Urbevilles', Oscar Wilde's only novel 'The Picture of Dorian Gray', and Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes', which were serialised in The Strand magazine in that year. 'Tess of the D'Urbevilles' was initially serialised in 'The Graphic' magazine from July to December 1891 with the first book edition published on 29th November 1891. 'Tess' deals with a particular human tragedy rooted in the extreme harshness and desperation of life of the rural labouring classes. Its sub title 'A Pure Woman' proved to be an offensive euphemism to many in the staid and hypocritical Victorian middle class, particularly in its representations of sex, religion, marriage and parenthood. However it was received well by the reading public and proved to be an immediate best seller. 'A Picture of Dorian Gray', Wilde's only novel was greeted with almost universal disdain by english critics. Its story concerned a young man whose portrait aged while he himself remained forever youthful. At the time this supernatural classic was attacked as being "decadent" and "unmanly". W.H. Smith refused to stock "this filthy book". Oscar Wilde, sensing the possible furore to come, states in his preface: "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written of badly written, that is all". Although 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' was not the first outing of the great detective ('A Study in Scarlet' first appeared in 1887), it was the first to gain immediate success with an enthusiastic public and launched Conan Doyle from a part time writer with a foundering medical practice into the legend he subsequently became. 1891 also saw the publication of 'The English Flag' by Rudyard Kipling - "and what should they know of England who only England know". 'Peter Ibbetson' a semi autobiographical novel by George du Maurier. 'The Little Minister' by Peter Pan author James M. Barrie. 'News from Nowhere' - a book of stories by the socialist visionary William Morris. In Germany the norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen completes 'Hedda Gabler'.

Art

a) Paul Gauguin's 'La Orana Maria' and 'Vase of Tulips' - Gauguin settles in Tahiti. b) Giovanni Segantini's 'Ploughing of the Engadine'. c) Henri Toulouse Lautrec produces his first Montmatre music hall posters. Music a) Carnegie Hall open on May 5th in West 57th Street, New York with a concert conducted in part by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky who travelled from Russia. b) Stage musical 'Cinder Ellen Up Too Late' opens in London with songs that include "Ta-ra-ra-boom-der-ray, did you see my wife today? No I saw her yesterday. Ta-ra-ra-boom-der-ray".

 

Architecture 1891

The year 1891 saw the advance of the 'skyscraper' in America. First developed in New York in 1868 as a result of the high land prices it was soon spreading to other cities. In 1891 Louis Sullivan, an architect from Boston created a radical new building in St Louis by using a new method of construction made possible by the use of special steel girders. The new Wainwright Building was supported by a frame of beams moulded in the shape of a capital 'I'. Sullivan made the steel skeleton visible and refused to overelaborate the decoration believing that "form follows function". It enabled him to provide large uninterrupted floor space and admit more light into the interior. With the availability of mechanical lifts it meant that there was no limit to the height of future buildings. The Wainwright Building was 10 stories high.

 

Royalty 1891

Just as in the present day with a long reigned queen on the throne, there were plenty of instances of scandal amongst the junior royals and in particular the heir to the throne, the Prince of Wales. However Victorian society was more adroit at making sure that most scandals were covered up. Edward the oldest son of Queen Victoria, leader of the rich and sophisticated Marlborough House set, already had a dubious reputation as a philanderer and playboy and had been virtually excluded by his mother from royal political responsibilities, when he caused a fresh scandal in 1891 by appearing as a prosecution witness in the Tranby Croft case, about gambling irregularities. On June 10th the leading article in The Times made a devastating attack on Edward, condemning him for mixing in doubtful society and indulging in "questionable pleasures", thereby putting at risk the "monarchial principle". The Times attack followed a nine day trial of a slander case at which the Prince had given evidence. The trial arose out of an incident at the St Leger meeting at Doncaster races. The Prince was staying at the house of Arthur Wilson, a wealthy shipowner. He had brought his own Baccarat counters and was acting as the banker for the game. Baccarat was illegal at this time. During the game Wilson's son accused the good friend of the Prince, Sir William Gordon Cummings, of cheating by increasing his stake on winning hands. Five other people supported the cheating charge and Sir William was forced to sign a paper confessing his guilt. He promised never to play cards again and thought that was the last of the matter. However it became part of high London society gossip and so he sued for slander. He lost the case, and as a result was expelled from the army and blackballed in all his clubs.

 

Social History

Immigration and America: In the space of 10 years, 3 million migrants moved mostly from Europe to America, the majority arriving in New York. In 1891 the U.S. population had reached 62.9 million with two thirds of it rural, down from 90% rural in 1840. The population of cities was growing rapidly ever year. Los Angeles (a small town) reached 50,000 in 1891, up from 11,000 in 1880. The huge numbers of migrants forced Congress to establish a U.S. office of Superintendent of Immigration on March 3rd 1891 and on 1st January 1892 an Office of Immigration opened on Ellis Island, New York. The population of New York was by now 40% foreign born with italians dominating the lower east side, the irish the west side, and the jews from Russia and Central Europe the centre. High growth cities like Boston and Chicago had immigrant populations that equalled their total population on ten years ago. In the 1850s northern Europe (Britain, Germany and Scandanavia) provided 95% of the migrants but by 1891 that figure had dropped to 60%. Italians who had taken over the New York fruit trade were arriving at the rate of 30,000 a year. The pogroms in Russia of that year forced the Jews to flee in even greater numbers; as one writer quotes "the only hope for jews in Russia is to become jews out of Russia". The richer Northern Europeans were moving out to farm and trade across the nation, but the newcomers short of money were eager to settle nearer their compatriots in the run down sections of New York, Boston and Chicago, thereby becoming scapegoats for the rapidly rising crime rates. There was the usual backlash against the migrants accused of bringing with them socialism, anarchy and violence from their homelands. However Andrew Carnegie calculated that each migrant was worth $1,500 (as much as a slave before the Civil War) and therefore each year the U.S.A. was growing $1 billion richer. The migrants used as surplus labour helped keep wages low much to the anger of the unions who struck throughout the year for higher wages and lower hours. The italians were particularly disliked for their willingness to be "scab" labour and their mafia connections. In March of that year the italian government recalled its ambassador in protest at the murder of 11 italian migrants in New Orleans. A lynch mob had broken into the prison there and executed 11 suspected mafia members who were implicated in the murder of the city's police chief who had been investigating mafia links with crime. The mob hunted down 11 of the 19 prisoners; nine were shot and two were hung. Of the 19 men indicted nine were eventually tried but were found not guilty.

Britain - results of 1891 census According to the 1891 census more people than ever before were now living in cities and towns. Nearly one third of the population now lived in towns of more than 100,000 inhabitants compared with one in eight in France. The urbanisation of Britain was particularly affecting women. Of the 4 million women workers over 1.25 million were now "in service" and a third of all females between the ages of 15 and 20 were domestic servants. The next biggest group of women workers were in dressmaking and textile manufacturing, numbering 1.1 million. Many working class parents were ready to send their children into service as they believed it to be preferable to factory work. But domestic life was not without its hazards as Tess in "Tess of the D'Urbevilles" found out.

Canada - In 1891 Canada received her first Ukranian influx. Ukranians will now comprise Canada's fourth largest population group after the French, Irish and English.

 

Domestic politics.

The new Elementary Education Bill made free education available for all families in England and Wales, however poor. A grant of 10 shillings a year for all children between 3 and 15 was now available. This was slightly more than most school fees. Lord Salisbury, the Prime Minister was not a supporter of free education but feared that the Liberals under Gladstone would make board schools free, thereby hitting fee paying church schools. Salisbury had stated that "the duty of sending your children to school is not a natural duty like that of feeding them - it is an artificial duty invented in the last 60 years".

The Liberal party at its conference in Newcastle adopts a bold new set of policies - "The Newcastle Programme". To ensure the support of irish nationalist M.P.s it advocated home rule for Ireland despite the fact that the home rule question had almost split the party over the last 10 years. (Indeed one of the brightest talents of the party, Joseph Chamberlain, had broken away in 1886 and formed his own party of Liberal unionists and had sided with the Conservatives over the irish question. He would subsequently become a Conservative minister.) See Punch cartoon. The policies - disestablishment of the welsh church, reform of the House of Lords, triennial parliaments, abolition of plural franchise, land law reform, an employers liability bill, shorter working hours and a local veto on the sales of alcohol - were all aimed at pulling in new voters and to encourage traditional ones.

 

Agriculture/Environment 1891

Dec 2nd - Rainmaker Frank Melbourne, a controversial irishman, is negotiating the sale of rights to his secret rainmaking process after the success of his technique in August in inducing half an inch of rain around drought stricken Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Russian crops fail and millions are reduced to starvation, forcing the rural peasantry to raid towns and cities in search of food. President Harrison responds by ordering U.S. flour to be shipped to Russia.

Kansas farmers, bankrupted by tight money controls are forced to cross the Mississippi and head back east in numbers varying between 18-30,000.

British butchers convicted of selling meat unfit for human consumption will on their second offence be forced to display signs stating their record.

The 'Del Monte' label on canned fruit and vegetables appears for the first time.

The New York Botanical Gardens opens in the Bronx.

September 22nd - President Harrison opens an additional 900,000 acres of Oklahoma Indian land to white settlers.

March 3rd - The Forest Reserves Act passed by Congress authorises the withdrawal of public lands for a National Forest Reserve to ensure that any state or territory will have public lands that are wholly or partially covered with timber or undergrowth.

A new Colorado gold rush begins at Cripple Creek. By the end of the decade Cripple Creek will have a population of 60,000 and become the fifth largest producer of gold in world history.

 

Science/Inventions 1891

March 16th - The submarine cable across the Channel enabled those with a telephone in London to speak to friends in Paris for the first time.

U.S.A. - W.L. Judson invents a new slide fastener known as a 'zipper' - but the first practical design isn't made until 1913.

U.S.A. - William Burroughs is granted a patent for an "adding machine".

France - Jean Rey and Jules Carpenter invent the periscope, making submarine navigation possible.

Britain - Beginnings of wireless telegraphy based on the work of Clerk Maxwell and Hertz.

U.S.A. - Tesla further develops the high tension induction coil (up to 1,000,000 volts).

U.S.A. - A. Strowger, an undertaker from Missouri invents the dial telephone.

U.S.A. - German migrant John Boepple starts first freshwater pearl button factory with mussels in his basement in Muscatine, Iowa.

U.S.A. - First picture of sun taken by George Hale with Spectroheliograph.

U.S.A. - Peanut butter invented by a St Louis doctor as a health food.

France - Tuffier of Paris performs early lung operation for tuberculosis.

U.S.A. - The first electric oven for commercial sale is produced by the Carpenter Electric Heating Company.

 

Labour Rights 1891

The Pope, Leox III, in his papal encyclical 'Rerum Novarum' states that employers have important moral duties as members of the ruling class and one of the most important is to improve the conditions of the workers. (May 15th.)

German factory workers win the right to form committees to negotiate with employers on conditions of employment. Factory inspection is made more efficient.

Germany introduces the world's first old age pension plan which compels all workers over 16 years old who are fully employed and earning over 2,000 marks a year to contribute. Employers must contribute equal amounts and the pension is paid to persons who have paid premiums for a minimum of 30 years at the age of 70.

Black cotton pickers demanding $1 a day wages stage and lose strikes in Arkansas and Georgia.

James Keir Hardie becomes the first elected independent Labour party member of parliament.

The german Social Democratic party adopts Karl Marx's doctrine of class warfare and the transformation of society by the socialisation of the means of production and exchange. August Bebel the founder of the party says that they would fight for socialism inside and outside parliament.

Chicago's Provident Hospital becomes the first interracial hospital in the U.S.A. Founded by the black surgeon Daniel Hale Williams it incorporates the first nursing training school for black women.

Factory Act in Britain states that no child under 11 is to work in factories.

Formation of the Young Turk movement of exiles from the Ottoman Empire to press for Liberal reforms.

Motherwell - January 5th. Striking coal miners riot in protest at attempts by pit owners to evict them from their home.

London - April 21st. The Grenadier Guards mutiny at their Chelsea barracks.

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Greaves & Thomas, fine Globemakers, a potted history.

Award winning Globemakers Greaves & Thomas are a small company based in the United Kingdom, today they make Historical Globes, Celestial Globes, Lunar Globes, Planetary Globes, Facsimile Globes, Replica Globes, Themed Globes, Paper Folding Globes, and Modern Day Globes. Arts Corespondent Jemmy Button looks into their history.

In 1991 James Bissell-Thomas after several years of research, published his first globe (Merzbach & Falk's 1881 globe). The globe was well received, especially because of the ageing techniques developed to lend the globes a patina producing a convincing replica. James Bissell-Thomas believes that this was achieved because of his Art School background, his printing knowledge gained running his own publishing house in the 1980's (Long Tail Prints) combined with his knowledge as an antiques dealer. In 1991 the first globe joined an already existing eclectic range of furnishing ideas which included Giant Tennis Rackets, Rivercraft furniture, Hat Boxes etc. (most are still being made: www.gtstore.co.uk) . It was because of James Bissell-Thomas' interest in globes, that the decision was then made to form a collection of globes, spanning cartographic history from 1492 to the present day.

At the time James' knowledge in globes was poor, however a good friend at the Royal Geographical Society pointed out that the following year (1992) would be not only be the 500 year anniversary of the European discovery of the New World, but it would also be the anniversary of the earliest surviving terrestrial globe ~ Martin Behaim's 'Erdapfel'. This globe today resides in the Germanishes Museum in Germany, rightly described by Bissell-Thomas as the 'Holy Grail' of all globes, not just because of its age, but also because of the profusion of data inscribed on the globe, the globe is best described as a medieval geographical census describing the world beyond Europe, listing the origin of spices, metals, traditions, peoples, animals, islands and religions etc. not only this but the globe covered in beautiful illustrations by Glockendon.

Despite the globe being on an elaborate stand, with extremely detailed artwork, Greaves & Thomas still decided it would be wise to republish this fine relic. Appointments were then made with the Germanisches Museum and flights were booked. On arrival at the museum in September 1991, it transpired that the Germanisch Museum had its own globe publishing interest and was not interested in helping G&T achieve their goal. Consequently, they were given a very limited time to study the original globe and reference images they also commissioned from the Museum were later blocked and never arrived. While many would have given up, Greaves & Thomas decided that it would persevere, knowing that what ever they produced would ultimately be compared to a rival globe that would have the Museum's seal of approval. All possible data concerning the globe was sourced and the finished result once again was well received, and is today is considered one of the most important globes in their collection.

In August 1992 when the Martin Behaim Globe was completed, Bissell-Thomas proudly informed the Germanish Museum that despite their reluctance to help, he had succeeded in making their facsimile. Soon after this 3 overseas business men arranged to come and see their Behaim Globe, at the time Greaves & Thomas was trading from 2 small garages in a small muddy yard, then even the two garages were not room enough, and a small 12' white square marquee had been hurriedly erected in the yard as a temporary measure. When the visitors arrived, they spent considerable time inspecting the globe, and then had an impromptu board meeting by themselves in the rain in the muddy yard, they re-entered, and announced that 2 of them were presidents of two globe companies, Rath Globes from Germany and Cram Globes from the USA. They informed Greaves & Thomas that they had been working with the Gemanishes Museum to produce their facsimile version, however upon inspection of the globe, they stated that they were keen to cease production of their own efforts and to market the G &T globe. This they did, with considerable success including selling one example to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Not only this, but the Gemanishes Museum also ordered a globe for themselves.

Greaves & Thomas have, on more than one occasion, offered to make the Germanische Museum's version, which would be one step closer to the original, but to date they have declined. The Greaves & Thomas version can now be found in numerous museums around the world.

From this point onwards, Greaves and Thomas would only concentrate on globes, initially historical globes but soon branching into themed globes: Holbein's Terrestrial Globe; Shakespeare's Globe; Alice's Celestial Globe and lastly the ludicrous Elvis Presley Mars Globe is another example of the diversity that can be achieved in globemaking, if one cares to explore the possibility of producing something other than the norm.

 

Today alongside their Themed Globes, Historical Replica Globes and their Modern Day Globes, Greaves & Thomas have also added the spectacular 'Hermetic Globe' to their Collection and this will soon be followed by a production version of their amazing Invisible Globe.

 

Greaves & Thomas now also have now formed an interesting collection of globes made in the last 300 years by other globemakers, this 500 strong collection will soon be prominently displayed in the Museum that they are presently preparing on the Isle of Wight. This should be a Mecca for designers as it will show numerous different versions of the same object. Not only this, but they will be using the Sistine Chapel's ceiling as inspiration to make a stunning celestial ceiling, and at the same time show one of the finest optical illusions in the world.

 

A surprising aspect of Greaves & Thomas is that they produce all their Globes in the UK. While numerous companies in the UK now relocate their production to the far east, in order to survive in today's cut throat market, G&T continue to produce a quality product which is well received. Their workforce never more than 5 craftpersons, and the globes they offer are limited by craft instead of number, this is verified in the small numbers of certain globes produced each year ( for example 2-6 Coronelli Globes per year and 5-12 Behaim Iron Stand Versions per year) , consequently there is always a waiting list for the larger more intricate globes that Greaves & Thomas produce. The globes are made using recycled papers and the wooden components for the elaborate stands are also made using reclaimed / recycled timber. Consequently Greaves & Thomas globes will never cost the Earth.

 

Jemmy Button, Arts Corespondent

 

 

 

TO VIEW THE G&T GLOBE COLLECTION CLICK HERE!