Wilson 9-Inch Terrestrial Globe

The signature in the Pacific reads “THE / AMERICAN NINE INCH / TERRESTRIAL GLOBE, / EXHIBITING / with the greatest possible Accuracy / POSITIONS of THE PRINCIPAL / PLACES OF THE EARTH / with New Discoveries & Political Alterations / down to the present / PERIOD; / 1819. / BY J. WILSON & Co. / Albany.” This globe shows no political boundaries within the United States, but does identify Maine and Florida. Longitude is shown from London and from Washington.
The globe has a four-leg mahogany stand, a wooden horizon circle, and a brass meridian.
James Wilson (1763-1855) was America’s first commercial globe maker. He was self-taught in geography and the techniques of engraving, but his globes were accurate, beautiful, and a commercial success. Wilson made his first globes in Vermont around 1810. Working with his sons he established an “artificial globe manufactory” in Albany in 1818.
Ref: D. J. Warner, “The Geography of Heaven and Earth,” Rittenhouse 2 (1988): 135-137.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Wilson, James
Physical Description
mahogany (overall material)
brass (overall material)
average spatial: 23 cm; 9 1/16 in
place made
United States: New York, Albany
associated place
United States: Vermont, Perkinsville
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Measuring & Mapping
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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