I have an old childhood memory of spinning the blue world globe in my bedroom with my eyes closed and slapping my finger down on a faraway location. I’d dream about what life and the people might be like there. I learned early how to use a globe to explore the world, and I bet I wasn’t the only one who was spinning globes when they were kids.
At some point I also learned that our desk globe was tilted at 23.5 degrees to match the tilt of the earth, which I found extremely interesting. When I was a little older I learned that the tilt of the earth in relation to the sun is what makes the seasons change, as well as the hours of daylight lengthen and shorten.
The world globes of today are different from the globes that were around during childhood, not just because we have so many different aesthetic varieties available. Territorial lines are not the same and many countries have changed their names and/or their boundaries. The USSR, once the biggest “country” in the world (I used the term “country” loosely because the Soviet Union was actually a union of annexed republics, not a union of independent countries who elected to join), has been replaced by smaller independent nations. Germany has been divided and reunited. What was once East Pakistan from 1947 to 1971 is now Bangladesh.
Colonies of the British Empire are now independent countries. The list of changes to the modern world map and current, updated world globes goes on and on.
There are many types of globes that can make world geography fun for kids, even globes that have countries and borders that can be colored in with crayons or markers. Teens can enjoy decorating their rooms with colorful globes or world globes that can even hold jewelry and other items. And of course there is a whole menagerie of globes and bar globe drinks cabinets to choose from that can be used as furniture, whether your taste in decor is classic style or whether it is modern and chic.
Geographic and educational world globes teach us many things about the world and provide us with a lifetime of enjoyment and learning. They combine beauty, functionality, design and education. But most importantly, they also allow us to dream about visiting distant lands. Even if we are no longer children spinning our globes in our bedrooms, we can still dream and discover the world.
Rita Dapkus-Sproston owns BarGlobeWorld.com, a family business launched to express a passion for world globe bars and vintage bar globes, and to keep the age-old art of crafting vintage globe furniture as popular today as it was centuries ago.