Who invented the globe?
The globe is an educational device present in almost every home, school and studio. One of the simplest, but best reflecting nature, scientific models has a very interesting history. Nowadays, in addition to its scientific function, a globe can also have a prestigious or decorative role, and some globes are real works of art. It’s worth taking a look at the history and finding out who invented the globe, when it took place, what changes the model of our planet underwent and how it changed from a scientific tool to a prestigious decoration of offices, homes and offices, combining scientific and aesthetic values.
Who invented the globe – a short history of the planet Earth model
- The oldest globes
The first globe of the Earth, which was probably made by Crates of Mallos around 150 B.C., was a hypothetical representation of land locations, often based on the fantasies of sailors and the creator. However, the oldest existing globe is that of Martin Behaim from 1492. The surface maps were painted by George Glockenthon. This globe, known as Erdapfel, was made of a mixture of paper and plaster, with a diameter of 51 cm. So who invented the globe? It is difficult to answer this question unequivocally, as there are several examples of the “first globes”, but Martin Behaim is most often considered the creator of the Earth model.
- A globe made of an ostrich egg
In Poland there is one of the oldest globes from around 1510, called the Jagiellonian. The American continent was also marked on it for the first time. Referring to globes in the world, the oldest one with America on it dates back to 1504. It consists of two halves of an ostrich egg with continents and seas marked on them. This small globe appeared at an auction in London in 2012, surprising experts on the subject. He also posed anew the question for some time: who invented the globe.
Comparative studies with eggshells as well as X-ray and tomographic analyzes showed that the globe was created in the first years of the 16th century, probably in 1504, just after the discovery of the New World. It is six years older than the copper globe in the collection of the New York Public Library. These two works may be related, perhaps the ostrich egg is a sample for the copper globe. Similarities in outlines, identical typos in the description of the lands and the slogan “Hic Sunt Dracones” (“dragons live here”), visible only on the globe from 1510, point to this possibility.
- The largest globe in the world
One of the largest representations of a globe in the world is the Earth Monument in New York’s Flushing Meadows Park, called the Unisphere. The globe-shaped steel structure is over 36.5 m in diameter and was built as a symbol of peace for the 1964-65 World’s Fair. The monument weighs about 400 tons and has steel elements representing the continents. It is a unique building that is not only a symbol, but also a valuable part of the history of globes and human fascination with exploring the world.
Globes today and their role
There are various types of globes on the market that perform different functions and manufacturers adapt them to different needs and preferences. From simple and functional school globes to exclusive models set in prestigious frames, the world of globes offers many opportunities for enthusiasts of geography, education and aesthetics. However, such a unique product as… decorative globe.
Simple globes, made of durable materials and covered with a paper print depicting a world map, are commonly used in schools and educational institutions. These are practical tools that help students understand the arrangement of continents, countries and oceans. The one who invented the globe became a true mentor and pioneer for education and science.
However, when it comes to higher standard globes, there are more prestigious models, large and elegant, often set in solid frames. Such globes can be a beautiful interior decoration, both in private homes and in offices and institutions. Their impressive appearance and map accuracy attract attention and add a refined character. Some, set for example in bedroom, they allow you to fantasize about traveling.
For those who are interested in geography and travel, there are also globes equipped with geographical and cartographic instruments, such as a compass or compasses. These are tools that facilitate orientation on the map and understanding various aspects of geography.
In the era of modern technologies, modern globes on a stand have also been created, often equipped with LED lighting. Thanks to this, the globes not only serve as a source of geographical information, but also constitute an attractive decorative element that can illuminate the room with spectacular light. However, not only globes are an original and attractive way to illuminate the space lamps are the basis for the arrangement of many interiors.
For those looking for something truly unique, there are globes made of exclusive materials such as wood, metal or precious stones. These unique globes are often handmade and are not only a learning tool, but also a work of art that attracts attention with its precision and refined workmanship. These globes are real investment, just like expensive watches or precious metals.
The difference between the model – the globe – and the structure of the planet
A globe, as a three-dimensional representation of planet Earth, is a useful tool for representing a geographic layout, but there are some important differences between the globe model and the real structure of the Earth. These differences result from the need to make certain simplifications and from the specificity of transforming a three-dimensional surface into a two-dimensional map.
One of the main differences is the problem of mapping the surface of a three-dimensional sphere onto a flat map. What is actually the curved surface of the Earth becomes transformed on a flat map, leading to distortions. These are the so-called cartographic distortions that cause some areas on the map to be stretched or shrunk, and the shapes and proportions of the continents are changed.
Another difference results from the fact that it is difficult to show small geographical details on a globe, such as current country borders or topographic changes in the area. Globes must respect a certain overall scale, which means that some details may be omitted or simplified.
Additionally, it is difficult to map the unstable atmosphere, changing weather conditions and tectonic movements that influence changes in the Earth’s landscape on the globe.
By the way, even flat maps, which are widely used, have distortions. There are various cartographic projections that attempt to minimize these distortions depending on the purpose and area of mapping.
The most interesting globes in the world
Modern technology and creativity have led to the creation of many amazing globes that are both works of art and advanced educational tools. Here are some of the most interesting and famous contemporary globes:
- Bellerby & Co. Globes: Bellerby & Co. from London specializes in creating handmade globes that are both works of art and accurate maps. These globes are made to order and each one is unique. They are made precisely and intricately, from hand-painted paper glued to wooden or metal hoops. These types of globes are ideal a gift for special occasions, especially when we want to emphasize someone’s prestige or position or express our respect.
- MOVAGlobes: MOVA is a company known for its movable globes that rotate thanks to solar and magnetic energy. These unusual globes have a surface with a three-dimensional print, so they seem to realistically reflect the appearance of the Earth.
- Franklin Mint Heirloom Globes: Franklin Mint creates luxury globes that combine high quality with aesthetics. Many of them are made of gold, silver and other precious materials. These globes are often limited collector’s editions. Similar globes can be found in other places. Beautifully made, prestigious, decorative globes become the perfect desk decoration.
- Gemstone Globes: Some luxury globes are made of real stones, such as marble, onyx or malachite. These unique globes combine cartography with rare and beautiful materials.
Contemporary decorative globes combine advanced technology, handicraft workshops and artistic creativity. They are both educational items and decorations that attract attention with their aesthetics and unique workmanship.