Wilson 13-inch Celestial Globe

The signature reads: “A NEW / AMERICAN / CELESTIAL GLOBE / Containing the positions of nearly 5000 / Stars, Clusters, Nebulae & Carefully compil’d / & laid down from the latest & most approv’d / astronomical tables reduced to the present / time / By J. WILSON & SONS, / 1826. / ALBANY ST N.Y.”
This globe is supported on a 4-leg wooden base, and provided with a wooden horizon circle and a brass meridian.
James Wilson (1763-1855) was America’s first commercial globe maker. Although he was self-taught in geography and the techniques of engraving, 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
globe, celestial, J. Wilson & Sons
date made
Wilson, J & Sons
Physical Description
cherry (overall material)
brass (overall material)
average spatial: 32.5 cm; 12 25/32 in
place made
United States: New York, Albany
associated place
United States: Pennsylvania, Haverford
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
Credit Line
Haverford College

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