Wyld’s Great Globe in Leicester Square

800px-Greatglobe_sectionalWyld’s Great Globe (also known as Wyld’s Globe or Wyld’s Monster Globe) was an attraction situated in London’s Leicester Square between 1851 and 1862, constructed by James Wyld (1812–1887), a distinguished mapmaker and former Member of Parliament for Bodmin. At the centre of a purpose-built hall was a giant globe, 60 feet 4 inches (18.39 m) in diameter. The globe was hollow and contained a staircase and elevated platforms which members of the public could climb in order to view the surface of the earth on its interior surface, which was modelled in plaster of Paris, complete with mountain ranges and rivers all to scale. Punch described the attraction as “a geographical globule which the mind can take in at one swallow.”

By day the globe was illuminated by the light from the glass set into the dome directly above it and by night with gas lighting.Visitors entered the globe through an opening into the Pacific Ocean, then ascended through a series of four platforms. At each stage they could see a different portion of the world represented on the concave interior face of the globe. The platform scaffolding was built up from the conveniently desolate Southern Ocean; Antarctica was largely unknown at the time – Wyld dismissed stories of the existence of a great Southern continent:

“It was formerly imagined that a great continent must exist somewhere towards the South Pole, to counterbalance the mass of land lying in the northern hemisphere, but the discoveries of the English, under Ross, and of the American, French, and Russian navigators, prove, that although a large mass of broken land, with volcanoes now burning, exists there, the southern continent cannot be of a great extent.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyld%27s_Great_Globe

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s