Fitz 12-Inch Terrestrial Globe

The cartouche in the North Pacific reads “FITZ GLOBE / Manufactured / BY / GINN & HEATH / BOSTON. / 1879.” The base is marked “FITZ GLOBE. GINN & HEATH, MANFS BOSTON. Patented Jan. 19, 1875.” There are red and blue isothermal lines, and indications of ocean currents.
Ellen Eliza Fitz (b. 1836), an American governess working in St. John County, New Brunswick, invented a terrestrial globe mount that illustrated the path of the sun and the various durations of day, night, and twilight around the globe and throughout the year. She obtained a patent (#158,581) in 1875, published a Handbook, and showed an example at the Centennial Exhibition held at Philadelphia in 1876. In 1882, now living in Somerville, Mass., Fitz obtained another patent (#263,886) for mounting globes that indicated the positions of stars above any horizon at any time of the year.
Ginn & Heath, an educational publishing house in Boston, was in business from 1876 to 1886.
Ref: Ellen E. Fitz, Handbook of the Terrestrial Globe; or, Guide to Fitz’s New Method of Mounting and Operating Globes (Boston, 1876, and later).
D. J. Warner, “The Geography of Heaven and Earth,” Rittenhouse 2 (1988): 62.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1880
Fitz, Ellen Eliza
Ginn & Heath
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
paper (overall material)
iron (overall material)
average spatial: 31.4 cm; 12 3/8 in
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Boston
associated place
United States: New York, Hastings-on-Hudson
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Measuring & Mapping
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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