My Rand McNally Lunar Globe & the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing – can you believe that fifty years have passed since that momentous occasion?? To celebrate I’m sharing some photos of my vintage Rand McNally lunar globe that featured in this month’s Reclaim Magazine…

Knowing that the moon landing anniversary was coming up, I wrote a piece about Rand McNally globes earlier this year and hoped that my photos of my luncar globe would make an interesting Design Icon for Reclaim Magazine. I was so pleased with how the piece turned out in the magazine – here’s a snap of the spread:

And here are PDFs of the pages if you would like to download and read the full article for yourself:

I wrote about the history of map specialists Rand McNally (who are now leaders in GPS travel solutions and devices) and how moon globes first became popular in the 1960s as people followed the American and Soviet space race. My globe actually pre-dates the moon landing as the Sea of Tranquillity is shown, but there’s no mention of the Apollo mission landing in this location.

But how do you identify a genuine Rand McNally globe if you stumble upon one in a vintage store or at a car boot sale? Have a look around the equator and you should see the words ‘Rand McNally & Company, made in the U.S.A.’ printed somewhere in the centre of the globe. Dating it is more tricky – but if you’re looking at an Earth globe you can get an idea of its age by the names of the countries, some of which will have changed over the years.

I shared some photos of my minimalist bedroom earlier this week as I’ve been styling it up with space-y touches ever since hanging my vintage lunar globe from the ceiling. Have a look at my space themed (yet grown-up and minimalist!) bedroom decor blog post in the DIY interiors category to have a nosy around my room!

A couple of interior design legends that I follow on Instagram also contributed photos of their rooms for the piece, showing us how to style up a space using vintage globes. I thought I’d share some of their photos with you so that you can see just how easy it is to incorporate a retro globe into your interior.

I love this dark, industrial-style office that interiors Instagrammer @ThreeSonsFarmhouse has created. She told me that the desk is a vintage work bench – the aged wood and original hardware make it the perfect rustic touch for her son’s room. She used plumbing parts and timber from her local DIY store to build the shelving, which looks equally industrial.

The chair is an old tractor seat that has been turned into a stool. Even the old workshop apron hanging off the back of the seat is a practical yet vintage touch – it’s a place to store the remote controls! I love the globes that Laura has used in this interior – the glossiness contrasts with the rough old timber but the dark tone fits into the colour scheme seamlessly.

Another way to use vintage globes in an interior is in a kids bedroom. A collection of old globes on stands and poster-sized maps lends a globetrotting feel to the room. And what child doesn’t want to feel a sense of adventure – imagining that they’re an explorer and packing up their vintage trunk with essentials for their trip.

Home decor stylist and event planner Caroline from CB Designs has amassed a collection of vintage globes over the years and has displayed them on a rustic timber shelf with pipework fixings. I love how the muted tones of the faded maps and globes blend together to form one cohesive display that may one day inspire her children to travel the world.

While it’s not practical (well, I don’t need to work out my route over the moon’s surface, do I?) I love my lunar globe and have hung on to it for years, despite many house moves and clear-outs. It finally has a place of it’s own – hanging in my bedroom beside my white globe light fitting. And I’ve only knocked into it a couple of times, which is good going for me!

Now I feel like my vintage space-race style decor is complete. And just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing – TODAY! It must have been unbelievable to watch the lunar landing on TV all those years ago. It’s incredible enough to think that these days we have astronauts like Tim Peake living in space for extended periods of time on the International Space Station, and who knows what the next leap in space exploration will be.

Let me know if you’re doing anything to celebrate the anniversary of the moon landing today or leave me a comment if you remember it from 1969 – I’d love to hear all about your experience of this incredible event.

Check out the Back Issue Archive if you want to buy the copy of Reclaim magazine that my article was in – Issue 40.


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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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