Williamson 7-Inch Concentric Globe, Terrestrial and Celestial

In this curious instrument, a terrestrial globe sits inside a glass sphere on which the stars and constellations have been painted. This, in turn, is mounted on a decorative cast-zinc base. The cartouche on the terrestrial globe reads: “IMPROVEMENT IN / CELESTIAL & TERRESTRIAL / GLOBES / PATENTED BY H. WILLIAMSON / NEW YORK. DEC. 3, 1867 / Sold by HARPER & BROTHERS / Franklin Square, N.Y.” The words “PATENTED / DEC. 3, 1867 / No 85” and “G.C. WESSMANN / NEW YORK / MAKER” appear on a brass band that circles the terrestrial globe.
Hugh Williamson of New York City obtained a patent (#71,830) for a concentric globe in 1867, and a second prize at the American Institute fair of 1869.
Ref: Hugh Williamson, A Manual of Problems of the Globes, Designed as an Accompaniment to Williamson’s Patent Concentric Celestial and Terrestrial Globes (New York, 1868).
D. J. Warner, “The Geography of Heaven and Earth,” Rittenhouse 2 (1988): 134-135.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1870
G. C. Wessmann
Williamson, Hugh
Physical Description
gold leaf (overall material)
brass (overall material)
glass (overall material)
iron (overall material)
average spatial: 30.5 cm; 12 in
place made
United States: New York, New York
associated place
United States: Massachusetts, Brookline
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
Additional Media

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