A lovely Josiah Loring terrestrial globe produced in Boston in or around 1833. In beautiful condition, with none of the craquelure that often mars early American globes.
Josiah Loring (1775-ca. 1840) was the first commercial globe maker active in Boston and one of the first American makers to follow pioneer James Wilson (According to Bedini’s Thinkers and Tinkers William B. Annin received a patent for making “artificial globes” in 1826, but I find no evidence that he put his design into commercial production.) He began selling globes in 1832, the first being an imposing 18” Smith’s Terrestrial Globe imported from London and sold with a pasted-on Loring label. By the following year he was manufacturing his own 12” terrestrial and celestial globes. The gores were engraved by Annin & Smith, based on the work of English globe maker Charles Smith, though “with additions and improvements.”
Offered here is a very handsome example of a Loring twelve-inch terrestrial globe from 1833, his first year of production. The globe consists of 12 hand-colored paper gores pasted on a papier-mâché sphere and mounted in a brass meridian ring. It is housed in a maple stand with four turned wooden legs and turned stretchers, supporting a mahogany horizon ring bearing a printed zodiacal circle.
Loring’s globes were attractive, functional and durable and won acclaim for their craftsmanship, including a gold medal for a suite exhibited at the 1839 exhibition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association.
“A pair of Eighteen Inch Globes, beautifully finished and mounted on a single central pillar; a pair of Twelve Inch Globes of equally beautiful finish throughout, mounted on a tripod stand; a pair of Nine and a half Inch Globes, equally beautiful, on a high stand on four legs. The resolution with which the indefatigable maker of these globes has persevered, at very great expense, and with little expectation of ever being adequately remunerated, till he has overcome the many and serious difficulties in the way, in introducing a new branch of manufactures, and has brought every part of the work to a high degree of perfection, deserves unqualified praise. The lightness and great strength of the shell, its perfect sphericity, the exactness of its balance and suspension, the smoothness of the surface, the beauty and correctness of the copperplate, and the elegance of the mounting, unite to render these Globes the most excellent of their kind, that have ever been examined by the Committee. A Gold Medal.” (Second Exhibition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association. Boston: Isaac R. Butts, 1839, pp. 66-67)
Loring was succeeded by Gilman Joslin, a wood turner who joined his firm in 1837 and assumed control of the business in 1839. The firm of Joslin continued in operation into the first decade of the 20th century.
Rumsey #2899. Elly Dekker and Peter van der Krogt, Globes from the Western World. pp. 126, 139-140, 176-177. Warner, Deborah Jean. “The Geography of Heaven and Earth,” Rittenhouse Journal of the American Scientific Instrument Enterprise, Vol. 2, No. 3. 1987. pp. 110-111. Ena L. Yonge, A Catalogue of Early Globes, p. 39. Some background on Loring and Annin & Smith is provided by Silvio Bedini, Thinkers and Tinkers, pp. 382-3.