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A Delightful Cartographic Curiosity
From Chicago's Columbian Exposition of 1893

Globe/ Chicago World's Fair/ Curiosity. SCHEDLER, Joseph [Jersey City, 1893]
[Over-printed along equator:] WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION, CHICAGO, ILL. 3-inch terrestrial globes, 12 lithographed, hand-colored gores mounted over plaster, on nickel-plated, worn, cast iron stand, housing a pencil sharpener; 5 1/4-inch total height. Some abrasion & losses to globe but quite good for such an item.


A very scarce, professionally made globe that was issued as a souvenir of the great Columbian Exhibition of 1893 in Chicago. The base of the globe swivels off to reveal a cylindrical container that functions as a pencil sharpener. This is the earliest example of a combination pencil sharpener/globe of which we are aware. The apparent rationale of combining the two is that it could actually be doubly useful to students as a geographic aid and pencil sharpener. Numerous 20th-century examples of pencil sharpener globes are known, but in different styles than this and generally with a smaller globe.
Joseph Schedler (fl.1860s-1880s), founder of the Schedler firm, and his successor, Herman Schedler (fl. 1880s -1890s), were German immigrants based in New York and Jersey City, New Jersey, who manufactured a wide variety of table, floor, and novelty globes, generally for school use, but some were designed specifically for the home "parlor" and others as novelty globes and souvenirs. Although this globe bears only the name of "J. Schedler," it was likely produced by his successor Herman, inasmuch as it was made in the 1890s.
The 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition was a world’s fair celebrating the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of the New World. Chicago was selected from among several U.S. cities that vied to host the fair. It was formally dedicated in 1892, but the fairgrounds did not open until May 1893. An extremely large number of souvenirs were issued in connection with this fair, including various other forms incorporating world globes.

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