Indianapolis: George F. Cram & Co. Tabletop globe. 12 inch diameter. 18 inches tall including decorative cat-iron and turned wood stand on circular base. 12 chromolithograph gores. Circular overlabel in South Indian Ocean, signed below label. Some general light crackling and soiling to gores, a couple small scratches with paper loss, some light wear to stand.
This wonderful commemorative globe was editioned to celebrate Richard E. Byrd's historic Antarctic expedition of 1928-1930. In 1929, Byrd launched his famous flight to the Pole, becoming the first explorer to reach the South Pole by air, an accomplishment that earned him a Congressional Medal of Honor. A key on the continent lists Byrd's 1929 trip along with the journeys of his predecessors: Roald Amundsen, in 1911, and Robert Falcon Scott in 1912. As many historians have since reattributed the first verifiable claim to the South Pole to Amundsen, this commemorative globe is now a historical artifact in more ways than one. Other notable geographic features of the interwar period include the puppet state of Manchuria, French Indochina and French West Africa, and Italian Somaliland. The globe is colored with a muted glue-green for oceans and yellow for land. Nautical distances are marked in red. An Analemma scale in the south Pacific indicates the sun's declination and the equation of time for every day of the yeas. Some general light crackling and soiling to gores, a couple small scratches with paper loss, some light wear to stand. 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 globe exemplifies its work.