Diminutive English Teaching Globe
209. [GLOBE]. Rice’s Mechanical Globe. G. Philip & Son, London [title in circular label pasted on Pacific Ocean]. Solid wooden terrestrial globe on which are mounted 12 lithographed and varnished paper gores with original full coloring, Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn painted in red, equator painted in black, Arctic and Antarctic circles painted in blue, mounted on original wooden stand with tripod feet; engraved sub-divided brass meridian; horizon ring with lithographed astronomical data (months, days, astrological signs). London: George Philip & Son, n.d. [between 1867 and 1898, showing Alaska, which was annexed in 1867, as belonging to the U.S.; but with Hawaii, annexed by the U.S. in 1898, still designated as Sandwich Islands]. Globe height: 7 cm; width: 7 cm; height of globe and stand: 18 cm. Globe slightly darkened and with scattered spots, one small paper crack at North Pole, Southern hemisphere scraped with small voids, wooden stand neatly repaired.
This is an excellent, attractive example of a diminutive teaching globe meant to be used by individual students at their desks. The English geographical publishing and globe-making firm of George Philip & Son made countless globes and maps and pioneered mass production of cheap, quality lithograph maps affordable to the masses. “Their most important contribution was publication of educational maps” (Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers, revised edition, Vol. III, p. 425). The firm was established in 1834 and continues to the present. See: Philip George, The Story of the Last Hundred Years; A Geographical Record (London: G. Philip & Son Limited, 1934).
For decades the globes of William Rice F.R.G.S. were considered the premier aids for teaching geography. Testimonials may be found in Joseph Hughes, The Practical Teacher: A Monthly Educational Journal (London, March 1884-February 1885, p. 485); and J.W. Jarvis, “Globes and Mechanical Models in the Teaching of Geography” in The School World: A Monthly Magazine of Educational Work and Progress Vol. VIII January to December, 1906 (London & New York: Macmillan, 1906, pp. 12-14). In commenting on the geographical teaching artifacts of Philips and Rice, Jarvis states: “Perhaps here we may mention the whole secret of successful work with the globe in school. Like most trade secrets, it is very simple, and, indeed, everyone knows it, but they do not think about it. It is that the pupil should study the globe by himself with the minimum of explanation by the teacher. If ever a little wholesome neglect is beneficial, it is when pupils are dealing personally and in actual touch with concrete things. Just as the boatman gives the skiff a gentle push off, so should the discreet teacher tell the boy just enough to start him on his travels round and about the globe. The rest may be safely left to the natural inquisitiveness of the human boy” (p. 14).
Copyright Dorothy Sloan 2009