Sunday, April 29, 2007

Winkel Goes Global!

When I came across a collection of 170 snow globes I simply couldn't resist. I loved the idea of spreading them out in the front window and watching people smile and explore all the destinations encapsulated in plastic.
My favourite story so far is a woman who bought a New York City globe. On a childhood trip to the Big Apple she wanted to buy a souvenir at the top of the Empire State Building, but when she got up to the cashier she found out that with the additional taxes she couldn't afford the snow globe. Heartbroken, she left empty handed.
Many, many years later she spotted an almost identical globe in my window and fulfilled her childhood wish. She bought the NYC globe for five dollars, no tax.

Snow globes first appeared during the early 1800's in France following the popularity of paperweights. In 1889 the first Eiffel Tower globe was produced to commemorate the International Expo in Paris.

Snow globes crossed the Atlantic in the 1920's and were marketed in America as collector's items. Many of the globes available at the time were made by Atlas Crystal Works, which had factories in Germany and the States. Perhaps the most cinematically famous snow globe appeared in opening of "Citizen Kane" in 1941.

I have a few snow globes that I like to keep around to remind me of special places. On a shelf or a desktop, they can whisk you away for a moment and make you smile.