Dating Vintage Globes


*All of the above globes are available or sold in Our Shop

One of the things I enjoy most is dating the unique selection of vintage globes we get in the shop. It’s hard to find a good reference tool, so we decided to create an easy-to-follow one ourselves.

This tool works by determining what the names of the countries were in a specific year. You can get into more detail with the boundaries and specifics (see links below). It’s helpful to have Wikipedia open if you don’t know the country locations.

Here is a general guide for dating your globe:

1831-33- Discovery of Endrby’s Land in Antarctic
1846- Van Dieman’s Land becomes Tasmania (South Australian Island)
1867 – Alaska sold by Russia to US

1878 – Serbia, Montenegro and Romania independent
1885 – Congo Free State (Congo State)
1891 – North and South Dakota divided and Indian Territory in Oklahoma
1895- “Rhodesia” name on Ndebele territory of Zimbabwe

1900 – Cook Islands annexed by New Zealand
1905Alberta and Saskatchewan become provinces in Canada
1910-1945 - Korea was called Chosen by Japan
1914 – Egypt becomes British Protectorate
1914-24 St. Petersburg was renamed Petrograd
1917 – Finland independence
1918 - Yugoslavia created. Russia + Austro-Hungarian Empire disappear

1920 – British East Africa becomes Kenya. Palestine becomes British mandate
1922 – Russia changes to Soviet Union. Egyptian independence
1924 – Christiana, Norway renamed Oslo
1924 - Leningrad appears 1928 – Peiping changed to Peking

1930 - Constantinople becomes Istanbul
1931 - Japan invades Manchuria and renames it Manchukuo
1932- Saudi Arabia independent. Iraq independent from Britian
1934- Italian East Africa merged Somaliland, Eritrea and Ethiopia
1935 - Persia becomes Iran
1937 – Burma separates from India

1940 - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania are annexed by Soviet Union
1944 – Lebanon independent
1946 – Philippines independent from United States
1948 - Israel created (before 1948, maps say “Palestine”)
1949 – Newfoundland and Labrador join Canada

1953 - Korea divided into North and South
1957 - Gold Coast becomes Ghana. Malay states become independent
1958-61 – Egypt and Syria united as United Arab Republic

1964 - Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge to form new country: Tanzania
1967- French Somaliland changes to Afars & Issas (Fr.)
1968 – Equatorial Guinea independence. Mauritius and Swaziland gain independence

1971 – Bahrain independent. Congo changes to Zaire. Bangladesh independence
1972 - Ceylon changes to Sri Lanka
1975- Papua New Guinea independence
1976 - Vietnam unifies
1979 – St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines independence

1984 - Upper Volta changes name to Burkina Faso

1989 - Burma changes name to Myanmar

1990 - West and East Germany merge into one country

1991 - Soviet Union dissolves into 15 new countries

For more info visit: Longwood, Replogle and Getty Thesaurus of Geographical Names


  1. Posted February 5, 2010 at | Permalink

    Oh cool! I had so much fun trying to date my globes.
    Thank you so much :)

  2. Posted February 5, 2010 at | Permalink

    this is great research- thanks for sharing!
    I usually pass the globes to my husband to date since he’s a history/news junkie…

    love your shop.

  3. Daniel + Valeria
    Posted February 7, 2010 at | Permalink

    Great! So glad you found it useful! I’ve been looking for a good reference for some time so decided to make my own and it’s come in handy many times :)


  4. Posted February 10, 2010 at | Permalink

    What a valuable resource…thank you!

  5. Posted March 11, 2010 at | Permalink

    FanTAStic guide!! Wow! love the visual aid.

  6. Elyse
    Posted March 13, 2010 at | Permalink

    I love your website. I love your blog. I have to tell you though that Tasmania is not south of Australia, it is the southernmost part of Australia.

  7. Daniel + Valeria
    Posted March 13, 2010 at | Permalink

    Thanks Elyse! That must have slipped by us :)

  8. Elyse
    Posted March 14, 2010 at | Permalink

    :) Sorry for being such a pedant.

  9. James
    Posted March 11, 2013 at | Permalink

    You have a couple of errors in your globe dating guide. First, Dakota Territory split into the states of North and South Dakota in 1889, not 1891, and second Korea was split into North and South Korea in 1949, not in 1953. Korea was split along the 38th parallel initially, but the current border between the two Koreas is the armistice line, commonly known as the DMZ, the DeMilitarized Zone, which no longer follows the 38th parallel, but actually lies slightly to the north of the 38th.

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