Indianapolis: George F. Cram & Co. Tabletop globe. 9 inch diameter. 12 inches tall including turned wood stand on rectangular base. 2 sets of 12 coated-paper gores over pasteboard. Circular cartouche in south-east Indian Ocean. Some chipping to varnish on stand and minimal overall wear, including light cracking of coating, paint smudges, and surface wear.
This wonderful globe is a charming document of the interwar period. Colored in blue and yellow, the globe evidences a number of geographic features specific to this era, including French Indochina and French West Africa, the Mongolian People's Republic, Italian Somaliland, the puppet state of Manchuria, and the Ukraine noted as part of the USSR. In addition, there is also an Analemma scale off the coast of Mexico, which indicates the sun's declination and the equation of time for every day of the year. Also labeled are aeronautical distances, in red, and ocean currents in white. The globe is in good condition with some chipping to varnish on stand, some general light crackling to coating on gores, a few paint smudges as well as a couple of small areas of surface wear. After serving in the Union army, George F. Cram (1842-1928) joined his uncle's map business and later established his own engraving and publishing firm in Chicago in 1869. As the city grew in significance as a transit hub, area publishing firms incorporated new railway routes that ran through the city into increasingly detailed and elaborate renderings of the country. Cram was especially regarded for his use of cerography, an innovative wax-engraving printing technique, that allowed for large-scale maps that could be easily a and efficiently updated. In the 1930s, the business moved to Indianapolis and began making globes, for which they are still known today. This map exemplifies its work.