Wednesday, April 8, 2015

G is for Globe: Inventions by Women A-Z


What a clever a woman. Ellen Eliza Fitz (1836-??) was an American working as a governess in New Brunswick, Canada, when she decided to design a better globe. She was teaching her young charges about geography and the changing seasons with the course of the sun, and thought she could do a better job . . . so she designed a special globe mounting to do just that. 

The Fitz Globe is the first globe designed by a woman.


In 1875 Ellen filed a patent for the new globe mounting that showed the effects of the earth's daily rotation on its axis, and yearly revolution around the sun. Finally, her students could follow the path of the sun and durations during the day, night and twilight throughout the year. The globe made its debut in Philadelphia at the Centennial Exhibition in 1876. In 1882, she filed a second patent to show the position of the stars.

The handbook Ellen wrote to assist

Thinking back on the globes in my life, I don't recall every seeing one this complicated. My parents had a standard globe that I rotated and played with once in awhile. I found the atlas more useful, but the Fitz Globe sounds interesting.  

Are you familiar with the Fitz Globe?

In case you are wondering what an 1879 Fitz Globe might cost today should you find one, I checked. I found one at Bonhams (an online auction house) that sold for $4,375 (U.S.) in Oct. 2014.


 


Sources:
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/trr133.html
http://maps.bpl.org/id/m8671
http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22247/lot/26/ 


Copyright 2015 © Sharon Marie Himsl

34 comments:

  1. Something else I didn't know. thanks for the interesting post.

    Yvonne.

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  2. Appreciate the late (here anyway) visit! We're half way through week two.

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  3. I've never heard of a Fitz globe before - it looks complicated. I only remember the standard globes from school :). Very useful invention though - visualising such things can be hard without an example.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. I would love to hear if these are still used anywhere. They do seem useful but today the internet has replaced a lot of hands on devices for learning (or so it seems). Maybe a teacher will comment...

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  4. Never heard of Fitz Globe until now.

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  5. I have to admire the brilliance that has an idea - showing the effects of rotation and season and angle to the sun - and manages to come up with a way to demonstrate it. All the examples you have given so far make me think of flowers that bloom whether or not people notice them. Admirable, influential, and impressive.

    ...meanwhile, my mother has a globe she bought at a yard sale that looks a lot like a Fitz globe. Most likely not, but I am going to look...

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    1. That will be interesting to find out, Diana. Even if your mother's globe is a remake of the original, you would be able to see how it operates. And who knows, ,maybe it's worth something. Let me know what you find out...

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  6. Wow! I love globes, and I loved playing with them when I was little. As a storyteller, sometimes I let kids spin the globe and point out a country and I tell them a story from that country. So much fun :)

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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    1. I remember spinning the globe and finding a place on the globe as a child. It didn't inspire stories but I would always wonder about the people living there.

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  7. I love globes and never thought it was invented by a woman! They need to teach these things in school

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    1. Would be nice, yes. History can be so boring for students, but add a real person with some personal data, and it becomes real and interesting. Meanwhile, teachers are pressured to teach a certain curriculum (or so I'm told; my daughter is a teacher). This could be a great extra-curricular project for girls especially....on any of the inventors in this series!

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  8. Hi Sharon - I love globes and looking at them .. I don't think we ever had one - but p'rhaps! What an amazing invention .. especially with all the data and then doing the stars and writing a handbook .. she must have been dedicated. What a great woman .. cheers Hilary

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    1. I would love to see one of these for real. I would buy a copy if I could find one....but not at the auction price I mentioned! Stay the course, Hilary!

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  9. OMG! I would never have guessed! So many inventions by women and no one gets to hear about them. Thanks for sharing. Thanks also for visiting my blog.

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  10. Nice to meet you, Keren, and thanks for the follow! Hope to see you back :)

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  11. When it comes to smart and clever women, I always mention Emmy Noether, who discovered the famous Noether's theorem in theoretical physics. She was outstanding in mathematics and theoretical physics >:)

    Cold As Heaven

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  12. There were many other women I could have chosen for the A-Z. Of course had to follow the alphabet to fit the format. Thanks for visiting, CA!

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  13. Oh, that's awesome! I mean I've always loved globes, but an easier globe to tell what is going on is much better and I LOVE that a woman invented it.

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    1. Hi Hart. Thanks for following. I think this globe is absolutely cool . Really hope I can find one someday.

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  14. I have never seen one of those. I would have loved to play with one as a kid, daydreaming about world travel while slowly spinning the globe.

    PS. The link in my comments to your blog doesn't work. For help on getting it to work correctly see Jenny Pearson. # 346 on the list.
    http://pearsonreport.blogspot.ca/

    Thanks for visiting.
    Bushman
    2015 A to Z Challenge Ambassador
    @jwb81074


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    1. Yep, that's what I want to do with this globe...just spin and daydream )
      Appreciate you stopping by Jeff and for the tip on my link. Hopefully it works now. Let me if it does.

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  15. I love this! Thank you for the information. I've had Earth globes and star globes but not one that has both. I'm interested to see one of these.

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  16. I would very much like to see one of these globes. I'm going to ask around next time I go antiquing. Thanks Kate!

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  17. Cool post! When I have more time
    I will come back and read the posts before
    this one.

    M : )

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    1. Nice to see you again, Melinda. Hope you can come back. Happy Spring!

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  18. I have never heard of a Fitz Globe. Interesting Blog Post. Thanks for stopping by my blog post and leaving a comment. Good luck with the rest of the A to Z Challenge.

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  19. Hi...I enjoyed your blog today. Thanks for stopping by.

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  20. Just started following your blog! I LOVE your A-Z theme! I look forward to future posts!

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  21. Yay, nice to meet you, Lori! I'm having fun with this theme. Off to your blog next :)

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  22. What a brilliant theme to honor women! Great choice for G! Loved learning something new.

    A Deecoded Life [AtoZchallenge]

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  23. Thanks, Dee. Nice to see you again. Hope you're enjoying the A-Z and life in Singapore!

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