Wilson 13-inch Celestial Globe

The cartouche reads “A NEW / AMERICAN / CELESTIAL GLOBE / Containing the Positions of nearly / 5000 / Stars, Clusters, Nebulae, Planetary / Nebulae &C. Carefully computed & laid down / from the latest observations and dis- / coveries by Dr Maskelyne, Dr Herschel / The Revd Mr Wollaston &c. &c. / by James Wilson 1821.”
This globe is supported on a 4-leg wooden base, and has 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
date made
Wilson, James
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
paper (overall material)
maple (overall material)
average spatial: 33 cm; 13 in
place made
United States: New York, Albany
associated place
United States: Maryland, Garrett Park
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Robert Oakes

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