Fitz globe

Author: Fitz, Ellen Eliza
Publisher: Ginn & Heath
Date: 1879

Scale: 1:80,000,000
Call Number: G3170 1879 .F6


Designed for educators to use in the classroom, this twelve-inch globe was published in Boston by the textbook firm of Ginn and Heath. A special feature of this globe is its mounting with two vertical rings showing the changing daylight, twilight and nighttime hours any place on the Earth. The mounting system of vertical rings was patented by Ellen Fitz, a governess from New Brunswick. She was the first woman involved in the design and manufacturing of globes.

The actual globes that were used with the Fitz mountings were fairly standard mid-19th century globes, derived from the ones published by Gilman Joslin of Boston or W. & A.K. Johnston of Edinburgh. By the third quarter of the 19th century, the outlines and interiors of all the major land masses, except Greenland and Antarctica, had been fairly well explored and mapped. In promoting the study of physical geography, the globe also shows ocean currents (white lines) and average isotherms (lines of equal temperature) for January (blue lines) and July (red lines).

The globe's mounting, which was Fitz's unique contribution to this educational tool, was designed to help students understand the effects of the Earth's daily rotation on its axis and yearly revolution around the Sun, with regard to daylight, twilight, and nighttime. By turning the globe's base in relation to the pointer representing the Sun's vertical ray, it is possible to observe these changes through the seasons.

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