Thursday, March 10, 2011

Behold... the globe

One last thing about the Fair Lawn jaunt: before we left town, Ivan told me there's something in the library that I had to see. I've come to trust his judgement on that kind of stuff, so off we went.

Here's what he led me to:

Yup -- you got it.  It's a 6 foot wide, 7 foot tall, 350-pound Rand McNally geophysical relief globe. And it rotates on its axis.  According to a sign posted next to it when it was donated by the Rotary Club in 1967, it's the "largest, most accurate and detailed relief globe ever made. The prototype was created at a cost of 1/2 million [sic] dollars and took two years to complete." The sign also stated that on the globe, Mount Everest is 3/4 inch high, constructed of epoxy and reinforced with fiberglass laminations.  It takes three minutes to make a full revolution.

I did a little more research and discovered that this specific globe cost more than $12,000. The Fair Lawn globe had brothers at the Library Of Congress and the Buhl Science Center in Pittsburgh, though I couldn't find confirmation that those are still on display. In any case, globie here is not one-of-a-kind, but it's close.

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