Inside Bennington Museum's collection: Terrestrial Globe, 1810

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James Wilson of Bradford, Vt., was a farmer and blacksmith of little formal education who created the first globes in America. At age 37, with a farm to run and a large family to support, he set forth to make globes as fine as those imported from England, but at a price village schools could afford.

Wilson sold some of his stock to raise $130 (an enormous sum of money at the time) and purchased a 1797 set of Encyclopedia Britannica. He traveled to Connecticut to learn the art of engraving. This is one of a small group of Wilson's earliest globes still extant.

While the Bennington Museum is closed, we invite you to explore our online database at, found on our website under Collections/Research. And be sure to tune into our Tours at Ten on the Museum Facebook page for great programming about our collection, galleries, history, and so much more. We also welcome your ideas and suggestions. Send them to

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