Slated Globe

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Erasable surfaces like slates and blackboards have been used in the United States since the late 18th century and became popular in the first half of the 19th century. A few teachers also acquired globes painted with “liquid slating” that could be marked with a slate pencil or chalk. These were used in teaching geography, astronomy, navigation, and spherical trigonometry. Commercial slated globes sold from the 1850s onward. This example, which comes with its own stand, is undated and unmarked. A small hour circle is near the North Pole. The meridian circle of the stand is graduated to degrees on both sides.
The object was received at the museum from the National Bureau of Standards in the 1960s and transferred to the collections some years later.
Accession file.
P. A. Kidwell, A. Ackerberg-Hastings, and D. L. Roberts, Tools of American Mathematics Teaching 1800-2000, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008, esp. pp. 29-30.
D. J. Warner, “Geography of Heaven and Earth, Part 4,” Rittenhouse, 2, 1988, esp. 110-112, 120, 127-129.
Currently not on view
associated place
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
Physical Description
metal, iron (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 39.7 cm x 27 cm x 21 cm; 15 5/8 in x 10 5/8 in x 8 9/32 in
overall: 15 3/4 in x 10 1/2 in; 40.005 cm x 26.67 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Transfer from U.S. Department of Commerce, National Bureau of Standards
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Spherical Trigonometry
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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