Wyld's Monster Globe, Leicester Square, London, 1851-1862.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Chavanne after T H Shepherd. James Wyld (1812-1887) was a member of Parliament, distinguished geographer, and publisher of atlases. His exhibit, designed in competition with the Great Exhibition, was a globe 60 feet in diameter. Wlyd's globe was hollow and contained a staircase which members of the public, for the price of a shilling, could climb to view the continents, mountain ranges and seas modelled to scale inside. 'Punch' described the experience as 'a geographical globule, which the mind can take in at one swallow'. After the 10-year lease had expired, it was removed in 1862, and the central garden of Leicester Square was redesigned.