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 illumination.

Paul Oestergaard

Peter Oestergaard

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.


Marco Polo Day/Night Globe
Marco Polo
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 final product.

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.

Torsten Oestergaard

  Hand cut globe map gores
Globe Map Gores Cut by Hand

Globe map gores hand applied to sphere
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 manufacturers.

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 products.


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% recyclable.

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 automated methods.


Hand Lamination Process

Our Selection of Columbus Globes:

Floor Globes Desk Globes  
Magnum Giant Display Globes
The Columbus Berlin - Blown Glass Floor Globe
The Osnabruck - Crystal Sphere Floor Globe
The Hannover Duorama Hand Blown Crystal Floor Globe
The Hannover Duo Hand Blown Crystal Floor Globe
The Hannover Royal Hand Blown Crystal Floor Globe
The Bremen Royal Glass Political Floor Globe
The Bremen Duorama Hand Blown Crystal Floor Globe
The Bremen Duo Hand Blown Crystal Floor Globe

The Munich Duo Floor Globe -
The Portico - Blown Crystal Sphere Floor Globe - ITEM NO LONGER AVAILABLE
The Carthaginian - Mouth Blown Crystal Floor Globe - ITEM NO LONGER AVAILABLE


The Stuttgart - Crystal World Globe
Weimar - Blown Crystal Globe
The Kiel - Blown Crystal Globe
Marco Polo Day/Night Globe
Hamburg Physical/Political 16" Desk Globe
Rothenburg Political 16" Desk Globe
Vienna Antique Ocean Political 16" Desk Globe
Ulm Political 13" Desk Globe
Krauchenwies Physical/Political 13" Desk Globe
Lech am Arlberg Physical/Political 13" Desk Globe
Sigmaringen Physical/Political 13" Desk Globe
Lindau Political 13" Desk Globe
Kempson Political 13" Desk Globe
Freiburg Physical/Political 13" Desk Globe
Heidelberg Political 13" Desk Globe
Ravensburg Physical/Political 13" Desk Globe

Geographia Crystal Desk Globe- ITEM NO LONGER AVAILABLE
The Sisyphus - Glass Sphere Desk Globe - ITEM NO LONGER AVAILABLE
The Crystal Usonian - Blown Glass Desk Globe - ITEM NO LONGER AVAILABLE
The PhysioSphere Glass Globe - ITEM NO LONGER AVAILABLE
The Full Moon Illuminated Moon Globe - ITEM NO LONGER AVAILABLE
Hohenzollern Physical/Political 14" Desk Globe - ITEM NO LONGER AVAILABLE
Dresden Physical/Political 14" Desk Globe - ITEM NO LONGER AVAILABLE
München Physical/Political 14" Desk Globe - ITEM NO LONGER AVAILABLE
Illuminated Outdoor Globes  
TerraSphere Outdoor World Globe - ITEM NO LONGER AVAILABLE
EnviroSphere Outdoor World Globe - ITEM NO LONGER AVAILABLE
The Cosmos Outdoor Constellation Globe - ITEM NO LONGER AVAILABLE
New Moon Outdoor Moon Globe - ITEM NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Information and images presented courtesy of Columbus Verlag Paul Oestergaard GmbH