Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Vintage Globe (Air and Space Museum)

View of the North Atlantic in an antique globe, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, September 2010. This artifact is part of the "America by Air" exhibition. Juan Trippe, president of Pan Am Airlines, was accustomed to using this globe to calculate flight distances (using string!) and often posed with it in publicity photos (see here for more).

It's interesting to see how much borders and place-names have changed over time. Here, the Hawaiian Islands are called the "Sandwich Islands" (Cook named the islands in honor of the John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich -- who, contrary to popular belief, did not actually invent sandwiches).

Take a look at North America! Canada is called "British North America." And Alaska is "Russian America." And much of what's now the Western part of the US lacks any borders or writing.

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