How old is your terrestrial globe?
The first step is to know the manufacturer and the time the manufacturer was in operation. This will help narrow down the age of your globe by several centuries. See our list of globe makers to find yours.
Below is a listing of important discoveries and political names or border changes that are noted on most globes. This will help determine the age of your model. We have created this detailed list by combining information provided by the Vienna Globe Museum (of the National Library of Austria) and dating information of globe manufacturers such as Cram’s and Replogle.
Please keep in mind that dating globes is not a perfect science as many globes, especially up to the early 20th century displayed borders based on information provided by explorers, military and other political or commercial influences. You may find models made in the same era but in different countries not showing exactly the same information on their maps.
Please see THE “TRUTHINESS” OF GLOBES article for more details.
Quick checks to determine the approximate era of a Globe to follow up with a more detailed search:
Is Israel shown? If yes, globe was made after 1948.
Persia or Iran? Name changed to Iran in 1935.
St. Petersburg, Russia was renamed Petrograd from1914-1924. Then, it was Leningrad from 1924 to 1991. Now, it is St. Petersburg again.
1816 – Independence of Argentina.
1817 – New Holland becomes Australia.
1818 – Chile becomes independent.
1819 – Florida ceded by Spain to U.S.
1821 – Peru independent.
1922 – Brazil independent.
1830 – Belgium gains independence from the Netherlands.
1831 – Discovery of Endrby’s Land in Antarctic.
1838-40 – Central American Federation, consisting of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
1845 – Texas and Florida become part of the United States.
1846 – Van Dieman’s Land becomes Tasmania.
1848 – Kilimanjaro discovered.
1849 – Mount Kenai and Ngami Lake discovered.
1850 – California becomes part of the United States.
1854 – Orange Staat independent.
1855 – Victoria Falls discovered.
1856 – Lake Tanganyika discovered.
1857 – Lake Victoria discovered.
1859 – Lombardi becomes Sardinia.
1860 – Transvaal Republic established.
1861 – Moldavia and Walachia merge to become Romania.
1864 – Lake Albert discovered.
1866 – Venice and Venezia change from being Austrian to become part of Italy.
1867 – Alaska sold by Russia to U.S.
1868 – Austro-Hungarian Empire established.
1869 – Suez Canal complete.
1872 – Pesth changes to Budapest.
1872 – Franz Joseph Land established.
1875 – Independence of Greece.
1876 – Lake Edward discovered to be a separate entity from Lake Albert.
1877 – India becomes an Empire.
1878 – Serbia, Montenegro and Romania independent.
1883 – Bolivia looses its access to the Ocean (Province Atacama).
1884/5 – German Colonies in Africa established.
1885 – Congo Free State (Congo State) established.
1888 – Lake Rudolph discovered.
1889 – Dakota in the U.S. divided into North and South.
1890 – Indian Territory established in Eastern Oklahoma.
1895 – Rhodesia replaces Ndebele territory of Zimbabwe.
1896 – Abyssinia gains Independence.
1897 – Haiti becomes protectorate of the U.S.
1898 – Cuba, Phillipines and Puerto Rico become protectorates of the U.S.
1900 – Cook Islands annexed by New Zealand.
1901 – Cuba gains Independence from the U.S.
1902 – Orange Free State established.
1903 – Panama gains independence from Colombia.
1905 – End of the Swedish-Norwegian Union (Norway independent); Sakhalin Island divided between Japan and Russia (Asia).
1907 – Indian Territory no longer visible in Eastern Oklahoma; Italian Somaliland established.
1908 – Bulgaria becomes independent kingdom; Congo Free State becomes Belgian Congo.
1910 – Union of South Africa established.
1911 – Rhodesia divided into North and South; Morocco becomes a French colony.
1912 – Albania independent; Arizona and New Mexico become part of the United States.
1913 – Ottoman Empire ceases to exist.
1914 – Opening of the Panama Canal.
1914-18 – World War I.
1914-24 – St. Petersburg renamed Petrograd, thereafter Leningrad, until its original name (St. Petersburg) was restored in 1991.
1917 – Finland independence.
1918 – End of World War 1: Austrian-Hungarian Empire ceases to exist. Instead Austria, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and more emerge as new countries.
1918 – Iceland gains independence.
1919 – Treaty of Versailles; Independence of Afghanistan.
1920 – British East Africa becomes Kenya; Palestine becomes British mandate.
1920 – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania independent.
1922 – Russia changes to Soviet Union; Egyptian independence.
1923 – Turkey becomes an independent Republic; Tannu-Tuva independent; Palestine established independent from Transjordan.
1924 – Petrograd changes to Leningrad; Christiana, Norway renamed Oslo.
1926 – Former Russia now identified as USSR.
1926-31 – Central Australia was created out of Northern Territory.
1930 – Constantinople becomes Istanbul.
1931 – Japan invades Manchuria and renames it Manchukuo (until 1945).
1932 – Saudi Arabia and Iraq independent.
1935 – Persia becomes Iran (on US made Globes, German Globes continued calling in Persia for a few more years).
1936-41 – Ethiopia occupied by Italy and renamed Italian East Africa.
1937 – Burma separates from India.
1938 – Germany annexes Austria.
1938 – Bolivia loses Gran Chaco to Paraguay.
1939-45 – World War II.
1939 – Bohemia (currently Czech Republic) occupied by Germany; Slovakia independent; France returns Hatay to Turkey.
1940 – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania are annexed by Soviet Union.
1942 – Ecuador loses Oriente to Peru.
1944 – Lebanon independent from Syria; Tannu-Tuva annexed by USSR.
1945 – End of World War II.
1946 – Philippines independent from United States.
1947 – India independent; East and West Pakistan created.
1948 – Israel created (before 1948, maps say “Palestine”); Republic of Ireland independent; Ceylon and Burma become independent from India.
1949 – Newfoundland and Labrador join Canada; Korea divided into North and South.
1951- Libya gains independence.
1953-63 – Central African Federation.
1954 – Former French Indo-China becomes Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
1956 – Morocco, Tunisia independent; “Anglo Egyptian Sudan” becomes Sudan.
1957 – Gold Coast becomes Ghana; Malay states become Malaysia.
1958-61 – Egypt and Syria united as United Arab Republic.
1960 – French West Africa, French Equatorial Africa, Belgian Congo and other African colonies cease to exist, creating over 15 independent countries, including Niger, Chad, Somalia, Congo, Nigeria. Zaire.
1961 – Sierra Leone, Tanzania (Tanganyika) independent; Kuwait independent.
1962 – Uganda, Algeria, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago independent.
1963 – Kenya gains independence.
1964 – Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland dissolve and become Malawi and Zambia; Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge to form Tanzania.
1965 – Rhodesia independent as well as Singapore.
1966 – Botswana, Gambia, and Lesotho independent.
1967 – French Somaliland changes to Afars & Issas (Fr.).
1968 – Equatorial Guinea , Mauritius and Swaziland gain independence.
1970 – Muscat and Oman merge to become Oman.
1971 – Bahrain independent; Congo changes to Zaire.
1972 – Ceylon changes to Sri Lanka.
1973 – Bahamas independence.
1974 – Guinea-Bissau independence; Grenada independence.
1975 – Angola (formally Portuguese West Africa) and Mozambique independent.
1976 – Vietnam unifies.
1977 – Djibouti independence.
1978 – Dominica independence.
1979 – Southern Rhodesia changed to Zimbabwe.
1981 – Belize gains independence from the UK and Guatemala.
1984 – Upper Volta changes name to Burkina Faso.
1986 – Ivory Coast changes name to Côte d’Ivoire.
1989 – Burma changes name to Myanmar.
1990 – West and East Germany reunite to become one Germany; North and South Yemen merge into one country, Yemen.
1991 – Soviet Union dissolves, 15 countries become independent: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
1992 – Yugoslavia dissolves into 5 new countries: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Yugoslavia.
1993 – Czechoslovakia divides into Czech Republic and Slovakia.