Newton & Son’s Newton’s New and Improved Terrestrial Globe

Meet the Artists of Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature, and Culture

A globe

Newton & Son, Newton's New and Improved Terrestrial Globe, 1852, wood, paper, brass, and glass, 42 in. x 26 in. overall, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

About this Artwork

This is the globe Cyrus Field used to determine the optimal route for the transatlantic cable. Field spun this globe in his study, realizing his fingers were tracing the shortest route between North America and Ireland. Afterward, Field was often photographed standing next to a globe as a symbol of this achievement. In 1890, Field’s daughter donated her father’s memorabilia from the Transatlantic Cable project to the Smithsonian, including segments of the cable, his globes, and his associated papers.