|James Wilson and Cyrus Lancaster — WIlsonís New Thirteen-inch Celestial Globe... and Wilsonís new American Thirteen-inch Terrestrial Globe...|
|WIlsonís New Thirteen-inch Celestial Globe... and Wilsonís new American Thirteen-inch Terrestrial Globe...
James Wilson & Cyrus Lancaster
Published: Albany, NY 1835
Dimensions: Height (in stand) 31 in.; diameter 173/4 in.
Americaís First Globe Maker
James Wilson was the first globe-maker in America. From humble beginnings as a Vermont farmer, he went on to establish the premier globe manufactory of the New World, building terrestrial and celestial globes similar to the London article but at a much cheaper price. Like many early American engravers, Wilson was largely self-taught. He traveled to Boston to learn engraving under John Akin, and eventually became an apprentice of Amos Doolittle.
In 1810 he began producing his own globes, following the model of a pair of European celestial and terrestrial globes belonging to Mr. Miltmore of Dartmouth College. He began making thirteen inch globes in 1821 and in 1835 Cyrus Lancaster (having assumed leadership of the firm after the death of Wilson's two sons in 1833) brought out a new edition of the thirteen inch globe with the American eagle in the cartouche.
During James Wilsonís extensive self-instruction in the art of globe making, he experimented little with methods of making backgrounds to which he would adhere the results of his engraving. He started out by creating a large sphere of solid wood, and covered it with paper and drew in the countries with pen and ink. He was not concerned with the construction of the globe and its mounting as much as he desired to become such a skilled engraver that one would not be able to tell the difference between a globe of his creation from the English models popularly used in the New World.
The terrestrial globe gives a definitive view of the earth and its explorations of the late eighteenth century. It shows Hawaii called Sandwich Islands or Owyhee with notes on the death of Cook in 1779 and with Hergest and two others in 1792. New Holland or Australasia not yet divided into provinces. In North America, Louisiana and Missouri are states but entire Northwest called Missouri Territory and Southwest called Internal Provinces.
The celestial globe provides an equally definitive view of the heavens in the early nineteenth century. Ursa Major and Minor, Leo the Lion and Leo Minor; Cancer; Taurus the Bull; Pixis Nautic; the Mar Compass; Serpentarius; Virgo the Virgin; Cetus the Whale; Sagittarius the Archer; Bootes; Argonauvis the Ship; Corona Borealis and many other figures are depicted.