University Libraries

Carlson Library's Globe

GlobeThe Carlson Library globe, formerly next to the stairway on the first floor, now on the third floor, is often a source of questions from library visitors.  The table below summarizes some data about the globe, followed by an article from The Alumnus on the history and features of the globe.


Dimensions & Specifications of the Globe
(at Sea Level)
75 inches
Overall Height 90 inches
Scale 1:6,700,000
(1 inch = 106 miles)
Vertical Scale Approximately 40x the horizontal
Mt. Everest 3/4 inch
Construction Hand laminated in Fiberglass and epoxy
Motor 1/4 horsepower, 4 amp., 110 volt, AC 40-70 cycles
Rotation 1/3 RPMs
Weight Each hemisphere, ~160 lbs.
Base, with motor and axis, 210 lbs.
The globe is cast in two hemispheres which fit precisely at the equator. It is shipped in three cases, one for each hemisphere, one for the base. The unit is completely free standing, can be installed in a few hours, and can be dismantled and relocated as desired.

The base lies entirely within the perimeter of the globe, so the maximum space required for the globe is an area 77 inches in diameter

Unique Rotating Globe Installed In Library

UT Model Only 1 Of 4 Of Type Ever Crafted

An oceanographic geophysical earth globe, one of only four currently installed in the U.S., has been placed in the main lobby of the new William S. Carlson Library.

The Globe, according to Dr. Byron E. Emery, professor of geography and director of the University College, was custom made for the University by Rand McNally & Co., New York. The original molds for the globes of its type now displayed took three men over two and one-half years to prepare.

Four men, he said, spent eight months adding the oceanographic feature.

Hand-painting of the UT globe took approximately 575 man hours.

Dr. Emery indicated that there are dozens of geophysical earth globes – one is located at Miami University – but the added oceanographic features make the model at UT distinctly uncommon. The three other oceanographic models are located at the New England Aquarium, Boston; the geophysics department of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks; and the California Academy of Science Building, San Francisco.

THE GLOBE "is an ideal teaching aid for many fields of study, especially geology and geography," Dr. Emery said. A total of eight shadings of blue have been used to differentiate contoured ocean depths.

The globe weighs 320 pounds and the base with its motor and other accessories weighs another 210 pounds. It rotates once every three minutes.

Six feet in diameter, it was molded from fiber glass and epoxy. Mounted on a stand, its inclination is 23 ½ degrees.

It shows the land in surface relief with natural summer vegetation colors. The features, Dr. Emery said, would be the same as if you could view the earth on a clear day from a distance of 370 miles in space.

Its scale is an inch to 105 miles and its vertical scale is exaggerated 40 times.

Cost of the globe including shipping was $19,055, and that price was covered almost entirely by private donations.

Originally printed in The Alumnus:  The University of Toledo. June/July 1973, p. 18.

Last Updated: 6/27/22