Discoveries at the North Pole
By NEWTON, [John], NEWTON, [William] and BERRY, [Miles], 1830
Newton’s New & Improved Terrestrial Globe.
- Author: NEWTON, [John], NEWTON, [William] and BERRY, [Miles]
- Publication place: London
- Publisher: Newton Son & Berry
- Publication date: c1830
- Physical description: Globe, 12 hand-coloured engraved paper gores, over a papier mâché and plaster sphere, housed within original shagreen over paste-board clamshell case, lined with hooks and eyes, lined with two sets of 12 hand-coloured engraved celestial gores, varnished.
- Dimensions: Diameter: 70mm (2.75 inches).
- Inventory reference: 15745
During the first half of the nineteenth century the firm of Newton, together with Bardin and Cary, occupied a leading position in the manufacture of globes in London. The firm was established by John Newton in 1783 and operated originally from the Globe & Sun 128 Chancery Lane, moving to 97 Chancery Lane in 1803, before settling at 66 Chancery Lane in 1817.
John Newton (1759–1844) was trained by Thomas Bateman (fl1754-81), who had previously been apprenticed to Nathaniel Hill (fl1746-1768). Newton’s first globe was a revised edition of Hill’s 1754 pocket globe, which he published in 1783 in association with William Palmer. The partnership dissolved shortly after, and Newton continued to publish the pocket globe under his own name. John’s second son William Newton (1786–1861) joined the firm between 1814–1816, which traded under the name J. & W. Newton. In the same year the firm produced a new series of globes, including a new pocket globe.
By the 1830s the firm was also active as a patent agent and was joined by Miles Berry, a civil engineer and patent agent, after which the firm was known as Newton, Berry & Son. In 1842, William’s eldest son, William Edward Newton (1818–1879), joined the business, followed by his brother Alfred Vincent Newton (1821–1900). The firm became known as W. Newton & Son, or once again, on the death of William, as simply Newton & Son from 1861 until about 1883.
Perhaps the greatest triumph for the Newton family was the Great Exhibition of 1851, where, aside from the globes they exhibited from 150 to 635mm (1 to 25 inches) in diameter, they were awarded a prize medal for a manuscript terrestrial globe of six feet in diameter.
In North America, Alaska is marked “Russian Territ.y”, denoting the success of the Russian-American Company’s colony, which was set up in 1799, to hunt sea otters for their fur. To the west of Alaska the Bering Straits are now named.
The results of the multiple voyages of the British explorer William Parry in the Arctic throughout the 1820s are shown. He explored throughout the area and wintered on the ice on two separate occasions, avoiding scurvy among his crew by growing mustard and cress in his cabin. In 1827 Parry broke the record for the furthest exploration north — a higher latitude would not be reached for 49 years. The tentative coastlines shown were named by him “North Georgia” and “Melville Land” for George III and Robert Dundas, 2nd Viscount Melville and First Lord of the Admiralty.
Interestingly, in Australia, Newton has named the continent both “New Holland” and “Australia”. New South Wales and Sydney are marked. Geographical features include the Swan River, the Gulf of St. Vincent as named by Matthew Flinders, and Halifax Bay. Further south in the Antarctic Circle are Alexander Island “Alexander 1st I.” and Peter 1st Island “Peter 1st I.”. The islands were discovered in 1821 by a Russian expedition under Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, who named them for the reigning Tsar of Russia and Peter the Great. Von Bellinghausen was the second person to circumnavigate Antarctica, disproving James Cook’s theory that there was no land at the south pole, and the first Russian to circumnavigate the world.
The celestial gores pasted to the inside of the case show the constellations in pictorial form. Those include all 48 Ptolemaic constellations, all 12 of Plancius’ southern constellations, all those of Hevelius, except “Mons Maenalus” and all the Enlightenment constellations of Lacaille, except “Reticulum”. The stars are marked with their Bayer notations.
- Dekker GLB0054 (terrestrial), GLB0060 (celestial)
- Dekker, Elly. (1999). Globes at Greenwich: A Catalogue of Globes and Armillery Spheres at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Oxford: Oxford University Press and the National Maritime Museum.
- Sumira 48 (terrestrial)
- Sumira, Sylvia. (2014). The art and history of globes. London: The British Library.