According to Nancy McMichael, a snow globe collector profiled in a 1997 article in The New York Times, the first snow globes were showcased at the 1878 Paris Universal Exposition by a local glassware firm. She isn’t the only one who noticed. As described in the (exhaustive) reports of the U.S. Commissioners to the exposition, the water-filled globes each featured a little man holding an umbrella, and “a white powder which, when the paper weight is turned upside down, falls in an imitation of a snow storm.” The next iteration of the snow globe came in 1889, again at the Paris Universal Exposition. As McMichael writes in her book Snowdomes, this time the globe—which was the work of an enterprising souvenir vendor—featured a tiny ceramic version of the just-unveiled Eiffel Tower, and the whole ball fit in the palm of a hand. (An example of the globe lives at the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass in Wisconsin.)
Most people get location-based snow globes as souvenirs to remember particularly eventful vacations, but apparently some people want mementos of the donut chains they visited. Or at least, that’s the only logic I could come up with for this Dunkin’ Donuts snow globe. The Grumpy Cat snow globe is perfect for anyone who loves memes, anyone that adores Tardar Sauce or anyone who simply hates snow globes. Best of all, it’s not even officially for sale right now, so if you pre-order it, you can claim that you ordered the Grumpy Cat snow globe before it was cool … but it was still awful. More details on custom snowglobes.
Modern Globes: The snowglobe fell out of favor in the 1970’s when it epitomized kitsch –but have evolved into something more sophisticated, intricate and valued among designers and collectors. Novelty gift manufacturers have upgraded the designs and components making them unique gift items often including beautifully modelled landscapes. Some incorporate lights, music and motors eliminating the need for shaking. Many high-end department stores introduce a custom design every year to commemorate the Christmas season.
The snow globe was invented by accident when a mechanic tried to improve the light bulb. Shaking snow globes are synonymous with Christmastime, but they came about by accident. In 1900, a surgical instruments mechanic in Vienna named Edwin Perzy was trying to improve the brightness of the light bulb. He was inspired by shoemakers of the time who would mount “a glass globe filled with water in front of [a] flame” and attempted doing the same thing with the lightbulb. Unfortunately, he discovered that process didn’t work so well. His son told the BBC what happened next: “One day he found a white powder, semolina, used for baby food. And he poured it into the glass globe, and it got soaked by the water and floated very slowly to the base of the globe.” This reminded him of snow falling. Next thing you know, the first snow globe company, Original Vienna Snow Globes, was created in 1905. And it’s still in business today! Source: https://www.qstomize.com/collections/custom-snow-globe.