Columbus Globes - "Experience the World"
Columbus Globes' History
|When Paul Oestergaard created the
publishing house in Berlin, in 1909, his vision was to bring high quality
reference globes into the homes of the public. A Columbus globe for each home
was the idea he had in mind, and the philosophy that globes should not be
exclusive to the wealthy. These were among the highest quality globes ever
produced, and offered at an affordable price so that all could enjoy their
superior cartography. The globes were produced in 24 languages, and were sold
all around the world. Production constantly grew, as did the staff. Within only
a few years the international demand for these excellent globes outgrew the
factory's supply capabilities.
During the second world war, the Columbus administration and manufacturing
facilities were badly damaged, as well as the Oestergaard family household. It
was Paul Oestergaard Jr. and the remaining work force that moved operations to
Stuttgart. Shortly after this move the DUO globe was patented. This was the
first time that two map versions were shown on a single globe by using internal
|In 1963, the third Oestergaard generation
took over the company. Peter Oestergaard was a machine builder by trade, and
helped develop the revolutionary duplex globe. This was a milestone for not just
Columbus globes, but for the entire globe industry, as it was the first plastic
globe produced, and was made using a mostly-automated manufacturing process.
In 1972, a new development simply called the Planet Earth globe was introduced.
This was arguably the most information-rich globe ever produced, featuring a
visual display of day, night and twilight, as well as the cycle of seasons.
Planet Earth Day/Night Globe
|After the re-unification of Germany in 1993,
Peter along with his son Torsten Oestergaard, recognized a need to speed up the
process of updating cartography to match the speed of our changing world. It was
then decided to move to a digital format for maintaining cartographic data and
to move facilities again into a more efficient, all-in-house production
facility, where the Oestergaard family could have more direct control of the
In 1999 Columbus Globes took over another specialty globe maker who was among
the last still producing hand-laminated, mouth-blown crystal spheres for
cartographic globes. The acquisition of this manufacturing process has
essentially preserved this particular method of globe making from going extinct.
The cherished glass globes are still offered today thanks to the foresight of
the Oestergaard family. It was also in 1999 that Columbus Globes was granted the
exclusive license to produce globes for the National Geographic Society, which
they still hold today.
In 2000, Columbus globes shocked the globe industry once again with their
development of the first electromagnetic levitating globe.
Globe Map Gores Cut by Hand
Globe Map Gores Expertly Hand Applied to
Glass and Acrylic Spheres
Columbus Globes Profile
Columbus Globes is the worlds oldest
continuously running globe manufacturer. For nearly a century the Oestergaard
family has continuously innovated and revolutionized the globe making industry.
The experience accumulated over 4 generations of globe making has earned the
Columbus brand the status of the worlds premier globe manufacturer. Popular
features such as internal illumination, dual-mapping, and the invention of the
acrylic globe spheres were all innovations brought to us by Columbus globes and
the Oestergaard family, and are all common features across many of todays globe
Today, Columbus Globes slogan -- Experience the World is an exemplary phrase to
describe the feeling one gets when in the presence one of their outstanding
Columbus Globes Commitment to Conservation
While being innovators and leaders in
the globe making industry, Columbus Globes is a company that is also focused on
conservation of the planet we all share and live upon. Due to their commitment
to the environment, Columbus carefully chooses materials not only for their high
quality, but also considers their ecological impact. Woods used on the floor
globes come from renewable sources, and are finished with special
formaldehyde-free lacquers. The plastics used are the highest quality, 100%
recyclable ABS materials. Cardboard materials used in packaging are also 100%
Columbus has also preserved a manufacturing process that would have otherwise
gone extinct in this new world of automated production. Their exclusive
mouth-blown crystal spheres with hand laminated cartography are among the finest
examples of globe-making available anywhere. The raised-relief mountains on
these are individually added as bits of hand formed clay, and adhered to the
sphere before the map is layered on a skill that takes a steady and very
experienced hand. Again, an effect that would simply be impossible using
Hand Lamination Process
Information and images presented courtesy of Columbus Verlag Paul Oestergaard