How to Use Globes (1859)
In 1859, A.H. Andrews & Co. of Chicago published the manual How to Use Globes, a text found in the Packer Collegiate Institute’s archives.1 There was a geography class taught in Packer’s elementary school during that time, although it is unclear if this book was used, as it is in pristine condition.2 The first half of the 19th century saw great change geographically, economically, and socially. In the preface of the manual, the author describes that the globe had previously been thought of as “an ornament,” but that it was becoming a very useful tool to understand the changing world, especially since America was expanding into new frontiers. Starting in the early 1800’s settlers began moving westward in huge numbers towards what are now the states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, California and Oregon for the hopes of being able to own land.3 With the help of cartography, the settlers helped bridge the gap between the East and West, bringing various trade benefits such as increased clarity in trade routes and knowledge of North America’s complex and intricate geographical landscape. The rising need for globe use also shows that business and the economy were becoming global affairs, in contrast to the regionally limited trade that America had before. Simply the shipping of How to Use Globes at Packer was proof of this. A.H. Andrews & Co. was based in Chicago, and it was only with technological advances such as the Erie Canal (1825) and railroads that this product was able to be shipped to Brooklyn Heights.4 The transition of business to coastal cities such as New York was another factor in creating a global economy; since these cities had ports, they were able to interact with businesses all over the world.5 It was with this development of a stronger economy that institutions for women’s education, such as Packer, were able to become a reality.6 The act of founding these schools opened up a world in which young girls could study books they had never had access to or begin to form passions for educational subjects, such as geography, about which they had never dreamed of learning.