Also known as the "President's Globe", this globe is truly huge! It weighs around 340 kilos and its dimensions are 1 meter and 27 centimeters in diameter.

This globe was given as a Christmas present to President Franklin Roosevelt in 1942, during the Second World War.

Roosevelt next to his globe

What's interesting about this is that there was a twin globe for the Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill.

They used this globe as a point of reference when they had to communicate regarding war strategies. Thus, each one could see the same geographical references that one leader told another, without getting lost in coordinates.

Churchill with his twin balloon.

Behind the creation of these globes was the mapping division of the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS), today known as the CIA. At that time it was directed by Arthur H. Robinson during World War II.

Robinson's team at the OSS was responsible for the production and procurement of cartographic materials, and the “President's Globe” was one such specially designed product.

Arthur H. Robinson

Robinson explained that the balloons offered leaders "a more astronaut-like view today." There is no doubt that this approach helped them to contemplate the immense strategic and logistical problems of a truly global conflict.

However, the OSS map makers who worked on the project were never personally recognized. They only left a "signature" when inserting their cities of origin in the sphere, although it is difficult to identify them among the 17,000 place names present on the globe.

The segments were 91 centimeters long and 11 centimeters at their widest point. Sticking them onto the balloon was quite a feat of craftsmanship. In fact, the Geography and Maps Division has a copy of the segments, as you can see below.

The weight and size of the globe required a special base to be made to support and rotate it. The base uses rubber balls seated in steel cups to rotate the huge sphere.

Roosevelt's globe is now part of the former president's library and museum in New York.

In Mappin we also have our globes, here we show you some...

Who would you have a twin globe with?

Information extracted from: https://blogs.loc.gov/maps/2018/01/the-presidents-globe/