Andrews absorbed the globe business of the Holbrook school apparatus company in about 1865. You see Andrews worked for Holbrook initially (2) They kept the Holbrook name for awhile, and gradually added theirs to the cartouche over time. Andrews made globes as small as 3 inches, and as large as 30 inches, with many sizes in between. They produced an extensive array of globes for both schools, and the home. Entering bankruptcy in the 1890's their globe business was purchased by C. F. Weber, later becoming Weber Costello. (2)
So Andrews produced globes for about 35 years, ending production 115 years ago, so they should not be too hard to find right?......Well wrong, the ephemeral quality of globes is easily demonstrated with Andrews. These globes in large part were produced, used by students, and families, then discarded. Having become outdated, or simply being damaged by a careless hand.
|Andrews 8 inch globe|
about $10.00 new
Below I have assembled 4 photos from an 1881 A.H. Andrews catalog. These images are really fascinating, they show the extensive lineup of globes available from just this one manufacturer. Many of these shown on these old catalog pages are scarce, rare would not even do them justice, I have never seen an Andrews bracket mounted globe. What a spectacular find if you were to run across an intact example of one of those ( not to mention space saving to the collector!) . I fear that they were not hot sellers in 1881 due to their lack of portability and relative high cost. Few sold and fewer survive! When looking at the catalog remember that these are prices in 1881.
Realize that in 1881 the average wage for a Carpenter was about $15 a week, a laborer $10 a week.
Andrews mainstay products were as mentioned, desks, chairs, chalk boards, and the like. With that said it is easy to see that the same people working with wood and metal designing those items also had a hand in the design of Andrew's globes, they produced some of the most ornate and otherwise well done globe mountings in their time. This example I want to show below is courtesy of Omniterrum and is a very early Andrews globe made only 3 years after the Holbrook transition. It can be more completely viewed here: 1868 Andrews desk globe This A. H. Andrews really shows what this company was capable of as far as artistically displaying a globe.
Keeping in mind that in 1868 a $13 globe was an expensive endeavour, the individual who purchased this globe was fairly well off. Most likely a member of an educated class, or a successful business person. Just imagine seeing the complete world on your desk back then? What did those folks think about when they spun this sphere for the first time. This globe manufactured in Chicago pre-dates our first transcontinental railroad by one year. Cross country travel via stagecoach was a 21 day agonizing affair!(3) The world was a lot bigger than it is today, studying this globe had to be a mesmerizing experience for it's owner!
|1868 Andrews 8 inch globe|
original retail price about $13.00
|1890 Andrews 12 inch globe|
|Close up 1890 Andrews, notice the|
incredible map coloration
|18 inch desk globe C. F. Weber|
This globe is exceptional for it's size as well as it's beautiful turned wood base, it's marriage of wood, paper, and brass is wonderful. Shown here with thanks to Murray Hudson the proud owner of this colossus, please follow this link to learn more: 18 inch C.F. Weber desk globe 1895
|Andrews to Weber transitional|
Let me close with a few thoughts. Andrews as a company transitioned globe manufacture in this country from an east coast centered industry to one that from then on would be centered in Chicago. Industrialization was happening. Westward expansion, and large immigrant populations were swelling our size, and the ranks of school age children. A. H. Andrews went bankrupt in the 1890's and their various businesses were split apart and sold. Why did this happen? I wish I knew, but C.F. Weber saw value in globes and other school supplies and carried this part of the business foreword.
At nearly the same time Joslin, with a 45 year history making globes ceases to exist, as well as Schedler. Both of these companies end globe production sometime in the 1890's. Why? lets find out together, chime in with some insight in the comments!
Finally someone reading this post is going to ask themselves Why did he write this? Why as a collector do I need to know any of this history? My answer is simple, how can you appreciate your collection without knowing it's history. Nerdy right...? Well you didn't get to the end of this article without being a bit nerdy yourself.....
*** A post like this does not get written without a lot of research, and a lot of help, I want to acknowledge, and say thank you to: Omniterrum, Murray Hudson, An anonymous fellow collector, The American globe preservation society ( source 2) , as well as the encyclopedia of Chicago ( source 1) And of course Wikipedia ( source3) ***