Sunday, July 30, 2017

the whole world

I ran across this older XKCD somewhere and once again thought of my Columbus Rolling Globe.

This is something I inherited from George Means by way of my father - George was a graduate of the department my dad was chair of (many years before my dad was there!) and he passed a few things he had had from his career (I think he was a geographer rather than a geologist) on to my dad. A few years ago George died....and then my dad broke up his emeritus-office and took things home, and let me (and others) pick a few things we wanted. (I also took his big copy of De Re Metallica, which I admit I still haven't read, but I took it mainly because of the memories tied to it - that it sat for years in my dad's "office at home" in Hudson, and my surprise at learning that the "Hoover" that translated it was, in fact, the President (and the First Lady - Lou Henry Hoover - also did some on it).

I took the globe just because it was cool. It's not *terribly* useful because it's outdated right now (many, many countries have changed) and also the place-names are in German. But I took it because I thought it was neat.

I always wondered how old it was. I guess I looked at it one point to figure it out, figured it had to be post-1948 (Israel is on there) but didn't try too hard other than to figure it had to be the 50s or 60s some time.

Well, I tried with the XKCD comic, but it's *mostly* a joke and I couldn't get farther than "the 1950s" so I decided to try a bit more - finally thought to look the company up in case they had archival photos or something. They didn't have those, but they had this list of "retired" placenames you can use to pinpoint when your globe (or map) was made.

And I was able to do it! On the basis of Israel being there, but Laos and Cambodia not, I think it has to be 1949. (Germany is too small, and is on a seam, so I can't see if it's partitioned - but the manufacturer's address has "DRF" in it, so I am taking that as a yes - so also 1949.).

It HAS to be before 1952, because Eritrea is still a separate country. (Only recently did it and Ethiopia re-separate).

And yes, I wasted a lot of time doing this that I could have spent on something else (I need to go water the field plots, and mow my lawn....) but for some reason there's something in my brain that wants to KNOW stuff like this.

You can see it's a tiny little thing.

It's like 6" in diameter.

It's also kind of faded, which I guess happens to these things.

Here it is with its base, which apparently allows you to figure out distances by the "great circle" method:

1 comment:

purlewe said...

OK that globe is pretty cool. I think it is AWESOME to figure out when it was made.