Monday, November 23, 2015

The Geographic Educator company what happened

     The Geographic educator company was an interesting contributor to the marketplace for globes and globe related teaching instruments.  A flash in the pan, this company based on Long Island NY lasted about 3 years before folding presumably under the weight of the great depression. However in that short time they produced a couple of very interesting toys/ learning tools of a geographic nature that are highly sought after by globe collectors today.
     By far this company is known in the globe collecting world as the producer of the Geographic Educator Puzzle globe. A wonderful cross sectioned terrestrial globe that separates to reveal continents and further still, countries arranged as individual puzzles.

Although active for only a few years these globes are readily available for sale, usually showing up on eBay and through dealer web sites on a regular basis. Easy to find yes, but the challenge becomes finding an intact example. So often these globes are found with pieces of the puzzle missing, or other damage to the outside gores due to it's repeated assembly and dis assembly over the years.   This example shown here is better than average of what you will find when shopping for this particular globe.
The globe disassembled, into each continent
     The Geographic educator company was not necessarily a one trick pony, they did make at least one more learning apparatus. Called Block-o-Graphy, it was a rather ingenious puzzle, that took advantage of all sides of a building block  to make 6 different puzzles each showing one continent, clever almost a disassembled Rubik's cube.
Block-o-Graphy in original box, a rare find

So with two unique products to offer what happened to this company?  Were they victims of the depression? Was their core product too expensive to produce? Too expensive period? At $7.50 ( in 1927)  this was quite a luxury to be able to afford one of these for your child.    Was Block-o-Graphy added late in the company's short existence as a "last gasp" attempt to salvage things? Does this explain the relative scarcity of the puzzle as compared to the globe?  
Patent drawing for puzzle globe
The Geographic Educator Company also made a traditional globe also of a 6 inch diameter, utilizing the same map as on their puzzle globe and mounted to a pasteboard and plaster orb. Below is a picture of the exceedingly scarce solid globe version of their 6 inch sphere.  This solid version is on eBay right now : Geographic educator solid globe (May 29 2016)
      If you are considering adding a puzzle globe or a Block-O-Graphy set to your collection, keep in mind completeness. Don't even bother with a Block-O-Graphy with any missing pieces, it's not worth your time. As for the educator globe, they are difficult to find complete, is one missing piece a deal breaker......? Well that depends  defiantly it is important to find one with globe gores mostly or completely intact because after all it will be displayed most likely in it's assembled state.  Just my 2 cents anyhow!
Geographic Educator solid globe

     I have included the patent drawing for the globe above and an original ad below  I should mention the inventor is a man named Charles B. Roberts, presumably he is also the man behind the company I have tried to learn about this person, but little else seems to be available concerning him or his interesting contribution to geographic studies in this country.
An original ad for the Geographic educator globe

As always lets discuss, if you know something about this company or these globes I'd love to hear about it , drop me a line or leave a comment below,  happy hunting........

***All photos in this post are courtesy of Omniterrum, thank you***

Update April 25th 2016:     This intrepid collector was just recently able to acquire a very nice example of the Geographic Educator globe, here are a couple of pictures and a few thoughts.

I took a picture of the globe and my phone for size reference, one thing I never could quite grasp is that this globe is rather small.  Barely over 10 inches tall, and just 6 inches diameter the educator was small, and let me tell ya, I know why so many globes have missing pieces. They are very small puzzle pieces, and much like Lego's could easily be lost by a child.  I also made note of the fact that this globe was produced with two different styles of base. A simple 3 legged bent metal base, as seen here and in the patent drawing above. As well as a more elaborate tripod base as shown in the pictures above from another example.  With a production run of only about two years, I can't help wonder why they went to the trouble of changing the base?  It seems clear that they started out using the simplified base, then switched to the more elaborate base later on.  Nothing else about the globe is different. Another thing to note about the globe is how well made it is. It is substantially heavier than you would expect. The globe is made of some sort of very dense plastic, almost ceramic like. the puzzle pieces are also of this very dense material.  A lot of design and cost went into making this little gem, it's a shame that it didn't take off.


  1. I found one of these globes in storage. Very interesting piece. Looking to sell.

  2. Send a couple of pictures to my email I'm interested

  3. It was my father and uncle that invented and manufactured the blocs and globe
    I have more information on their history if interested.

    1. Sylvia, please email me directly at I'd love to hear everything!!!

    2. Or send me your email address and I'll contact you. You didn't leave your email address in the post, hope to hear from you!!

    3. Sylvia and Kyle,
      I'd love to see any more information on the globes. I have a couple of the puzzles (mainly for parts) and one solid model.

  4. Hi, there,
    If anyone has one of these to sell, I would be interested in purchasing one. My dad had one and I let it go to auction when his house was sold. I've regretted it ever since. Thanks so much!

  5. what would be the cost of the block puzzle. Complete and in original box (which is worn)