Dating globes
Last edits: February 2010


Questions about your old globe? Want to see photos of antique and vintage world globes?

Visit the Globe Collectors' Blog -- a forum for sharing & learning about world terrestrial globes.

Do you collect antique or vintage terrestrial globes? Perhaps you like to see how older world globes show the political boundaries of their times. It is fascinating to see how countries and cities have changed their names over the decades, and the results of wars that have moved boundaries. Some people collect globes because they often show the tracks and routes that explorers took as they learned about our planet. Others collect world globes because they are beautiful to look at.

Whatever your reasons for collecting older globes, you may wonder "How old is my globe?" and need help determining how old it is.

The following dates will help you "date your globe" and determine how old it might be. These dates were compiled from Internet and book sources by Kate Register of Rice, Virginia. This is a work in progress, and should not be quoted without verification. Remember, globe manufacturers did not always change the names of countries and boundaries immediately. To learn more about the art of collecting antique and vintage globes, visit OMNITERRUM.COM -- the best web site on the topic!
Lots of globe/map sites are also listed on: http://www.libs.uga.e


The journeys of explorers of the ocean, land and space can be found on vintage and antique world globes. Here, the explorations of Amundsen, Scott and Byrd to the South Pole are recorded.


Share photos of world globes in your collection: Globe Collectors' Blog

Please send updates to this list of dates to: registerkm (at)

Quick checks to determine age of Globe:
o Persia or Iran? Name changed to Iran in 1935
o Does your globe have Constantinople or Istanbul? This city changed its name to Istanbul in 1930.
o Is Israel shown? If yes, globe was made after 1948.
o Tanganyika instead of Tanzania? If yes, globe was made 1946-1961
o Gold Coast became Ghana in 1957.
o Does Bangladesh appear on the globe? If so, globe was made after 1970
o Is Vietnam shown as one nation (not North & South)? If yes, then globe was made after 1976.
o 1984 - Upper Volta changes name to Burkina Faso
o 1991 - Soviet Union dissolves into 15 new countries


List of dates that can be helpful when dating globes.
1817 - New Holland becomes Australia
1819 - Florida ceded by Spain to US
1831-33 - discovery of Endrby's Land in antarctic
1846 - Van Dieman's Land becomes Tasmania (so. of Australia)
1856 - Burton and Speke discover Lake Tanganyika
1857 - John Speke discovers Lake Victoria
1867 - Alaska sold by Russia to US
1868 - Austro-Hungarian Empire established
1869 - Suez Canal complete
1878 - Serbia, Montenegro and Romania independent
1878 - Cyprus became British
1885 - Congo Free State (Congo State); Britain established Bechuanaland Protectorate in what is now Botswana. Southern part of Bechuanaland was called British Bechuanaland, a colony that later became part of the Cape Colony and later S. Africa.
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.
1902 - Boer War ends - Eng. acquires So. African states
1902 - Cuba independence
1903 - Panama independence
1905 - End of the Swedish-Norwegian Union (Norway independent); Sakhalin Island divided between Japan and Russia; Alberta and Saskatchewan become provinces in Canada
1907 - Eastern Oklahoma was called Indian Territory until 1907.
1908 - Bulgaria becomes independent kingdom; Belgium takes over Congo Free State
1909 - Canberra becomes capital of Australia.
1910 - Union of South Africa (Confirm this)
1910-1945 - Korea was called Chosen by Japan
1910 the four main republics in the region united as the Union of South Africa.
1911 Rhodesia was divided into Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Southern Rhodesia, the latter becoming a self-governing British colony in 1922.

1912 - Albania independent
1913 - Turkey loses most of European lands, Coup D'etat in Turkey
1914 - opening of the Panama Canal (another source said 1913). Egypt becomes British Protectorate.
1914-18 - World War I
pre1914 St. Petersburg, Russia
1914-24 St. Petersburg was renamed Petrograd (1914-1924), thereafter Leningrad, until its original name (St. Petersburg) was restored in 1991.
1917 - Finland independence. Russian revolution.
1918 - 1940 - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania were independent. Annexed by Soviet Union 1940.

1918 - Yugoslavia created. "Russia" and "Austro-Hungarian Empire" disappear.
1918 - Austria, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia independence
1919 - Treaty of Versaille; League of Nations formed; flu epidemic.
1920-33 - Prohibition in U.S.
1920 - Mahatma Gandhi becomes leader of Congress. British East Africa becomes Kenya. Palestine becomes British mandate.
1921-24 - Irish Civil War
1922 - Russia changes to Soviet Union. Egyptian independence.
1923 - Turkey independent
1924 - Christiana, Norway renamed Oslo
1924 - Leningrad appears

1928 - Peiping changed to Peking
1927 - Stalin comes to power. Lindbergh flies Atlantic.
1929 - Yugoslavia name change -- learn more about this

1930 - Constantinople becomes Istanbul
1931 - Japan invades Manchuria and renames it Manchukuo
In 1931 South Africa became a fully sovereign and self-governing dominion under the British crown. In 1961 it became a republic.
1932 - Saudi Arabia independent. Iraq independent from Britian.
1932-45 - Japan seizes Manchuria; renamed Manchuokuo
1933 - Nazis come to power in Germany
1934 - Italian East Africa merged Somaliland, Eritrea and Ethiopia
1936-41 - Ethiopia occupied by Italy, renamed Italian East Africa
1935 - Persia becomes Iran
1937 - Burma separates from India
1937-45 Japan invasion of China
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
1939 - France returns Hatay to Turkey

1940 - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania are annexed by Soviet Union
1941 - Slovenia divided between Italy and Germany; Croatia independent
1942 - Ecuador loses Oriente to Peru
1944 - Lebanon independent
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.
1949 - Newfoundland and Labrador join Canada.

1953 - Korea divided into North and South; Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
In 1953 the two parts of Rhodesia were reunited, and combined with Nyasaland, modern day Malawi in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and after its dissolution in 1963 the whites demanded independence from Southern Rhodesia (Rhodesia from 1964).

1953-63 - Central African Federation
1954 - "French Indo-China" ceased to be. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia independent; Sudan independent. Formally was "Anglo-Egyptian Sudan"

1956 - Morocco, Tunisia independent. "Anglo Egypt Sudan" becomes Sudan. Sudan independent of UK.
1957 - Gold Coast becomes Ghana. Malay states become independent.
1958-61 - Egypt and Syria united as United Arab Republic

1960 - French West Africa divides into independent countries and ceases to exist; Congo and Somalia independent. Major break-up of colonial Africa: French West Africa, French Equatorial Africa, Belgian Congo, and other territories
end, creating over 15 independent countries, including Niger, Chad, Somalia, Congo, Nigeria. Zaire -- independent in 1960. Formally Belgian Congo.
1961 - Sierra Leone, Tanzania (Tanganyika) independent. Kuwait independent.
1961 South Africa became a republic. British Somaliland became independent.
1962 - Uganda, Algeria, Jamaica independent. Also Trinidad and Tobago, and Western Samoa.
1963 - Kenya independent. Malaysia independence. Zanibar independence.
1963 the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland dissolves. The whites demanded independence from Southern Rhodesia (Rhodesia from 1964).

1964 - Malawi and Zambia independent from UK; Zambia was Northern Rhodesia. Rhodesia divided. Nyasaland becomes Malawi. Malta becomes independent.
Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge to form new country: Tanzania
1965 - Southern Rhodesia independent (later became Zimbabwe in 1979 or 1980). Singapore independence
1966 - Botswana, Gambia, and Lesotho independent. Guyana independent
1967 - French Somaliland changes to Afars & Issas (Fr.)
1968 - Equatorial Guinea independence. Mauritius and Swaziland (from UK) gain independence.

1970 - Muscat and Oman changes to Oman. Fiji and Tongan Independence.
1971 - Bahrain independent. Congo changes to Zaire. Bangladesh independence
1972 - Ceylon changes to Sri Lanka
1973 - Bahamas independence
1974 - Guinea-Bissau independence. Grenada independence.
1975 - Angola (formally Portuguese West Africa) and Mozambique independent. Suriname independence. Papua New Guinea gains independence.
1976 - Vietnam unifies. Indonesia annexes Portuguese Timor. Seychelles Independent.
1977 - Djibouti independence
1978 - Dominica independence
1979 - St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines independence. USSR invades Afganistan.

1979/1980 - Zimbabwe gains independence from United Kingdom. It was called Southern Rhodesia. Name changed to Zimbabwe in 1979.
1981 - Belize gains independence from United Kingdom/Guatemala. Antigua and Barbuda become independent state in British Common-Wealth of Nations
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 merge into one country, Germany.
North and South Yemen merge into one country, Yemen
Namibia gains independence

1991 - Soviet Union dissolves into 15 new countries: 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
1993 - Eritrea was part of Ethiopia but seceded and gained independence

1994 - Palau was part of the Trust Territory of Pacific Islands (administered by the United States) and gained independence as a former colony.
1994 - South Africa territory Walvis Bay becomes part of Namibia
1997 - Zaire changes name to Democratic Republic of the Congo
Hong Kong possession transfers from United Kingdom to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China
Western Samoa changes name to Samoa
1998 - Nunavut Territory created from part of Northwest Territories (Canada)
1999 - Macao transferred from Portugal to China

2002 - East Timor gains independence from Indonesia (declared independence from Portugal in 1975 but did not became independent from Indonesia until 2002.)
2003 - Yugoslavia divides into Serbia and Montenegro
2006 - Montenegro was part of Serbia and Montenegro (also known as Yugoslavia) but gained independence after a referendum. (June 3)
2006 - Serbia was part of Serbia and Montenegro (also known as Yugoslavia) became its own entity after Montenegro split. Kosovo may also gain independence from Serbia in the future.

Please send corrections, additions, comments or updates to:

This globe shows paths taken across the Atlantic Ocean by the Graf Zeppelin and Lindbergh (N.Y. to Paris). From the collection of Katie Register, Rice, Virginia