Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Babson World Globe turns 50.

Roger W. Babson speaking at the dedication of the Globe on June 18, 1955.

June 18th is the fiftieth anniversary of the dedication of the Babson World Globe. The idea for the globe came from Mr. Babson's grandson Roger Webber during his first days as a student here after WWII. Roger Babson (RWB) thought it was a good idea and would complement the large relief map of the United States that was already in place in Coleman Hall on the Babson Institute campus. Initial planning was begun and $40,000 was allocated toward the project. George Izenour was hired as principle designer and ground was broken on May 30, 1953.

The linear scale was 1"=24 miles. The surface is 28' in diameter with an 88' circumference. The total weight is 41 tons.

The carriage and shaft was built by Bethlehem Steel. The shaft was 25' long, 22" diameter and weighed six tons. The combined weight was 16 tons.

The sphere was built by Chicago Bridge & Iron Company. The sphere was made of 28-3/8" steel plates each weighing almost a ton.

Originally the globe and carriage were capable of independent motion.

The skin was designed and created by Bettinger Corporation's husband-wife team of Kal Kubinyi and Doris Hall. The skin was made of approximately 580 16 gauge curved steel plates. The plates were hand-painted with porcelain enamel paint and each fired at least four and as many as nine times. They were then bolted to the sphere and sealed with caulking. The globe was dedicated June 18, 1955. I have attached a photo of RWB speaking at the dedication. The final cost was $200,00.

The original plan called for an amphitheater to protect it and to allow class use of the globe but the contractors convinced RWB that the roof wasn't necessary. By the late 1970s rust began to appear around the edges of the plates. The seals were beginning to fail and the plates were rusting from behind. In 1983 the plates were removed. In 1988 the Trustees voted to take down the globe. The student curator of the Map and Globe museum spread the word and soon there was a "Save the Globe" committee. They were successful.

In 1993 the Delorme Company of Freeport, Maine was hired to design and build a new skin. The "new" globe was dedicated on October 2, 1993. The new skin cost over $225,000. Delorme went on to build their own Globe which I believe is the current largest capable of both rotation and revolution.

Our globe is available to visit during the daylight hours. Feel free to contact me or check the current campus map for directions. You can find the map in the list of links.


Posted by Hello


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home