Wilson 13-inch Celestial Globe

The signature reads “WILSON’S / NEW THIRTEEN INCH / CELESTIAL GLOBE / Containing the positions of nearly 7000 / Stars, Clusters, Nebulae & Carefully compil’d / & laid down from the latest & most approv’d / astronomical tables reduced to the present / time / By C. LANCASTER / 1835 / ALBANY ST N.Y.”
This globe has a 4-leg wooden base, a wooden horizon circle and a brass meridian.
James Wilson (1763-1855) was America’s first commercial globe maker. He was self-taught in geography and the techniques of engraving, but his globes were accurate, beautiful, and a commercial success. He made his first globes in Vermont around 1810 and established an “artificial globe manufactory” in Albany in 1818. Cyrus Lancaster joined the firm in 1826, took charge of the business after the death of Wilson’s sons in 1833, and introduced this version of the 13-inch celestial globe soon thereafter.
Ref: D. J. Warner, “The Geography of Heaven and Earth,” Rittenhouse 2 (1988): 135-137.
Currently not on view
Object Name
globe, celestial
date made
associated person
Wilson, James
Lancaster, Cyrus
overall: 18 1/2 in x 18 in; 46.99 cm x 45.72 cm
place made
United States: New York, Albany
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
Additional Media

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