Vintage globes – produced in a variety of colors and materials – are popular collectibles today.

Peggy Binkowski of Ferndale is among the many who troll for these topographical treasures, which can vary in size from as small as 1 inch to as large as about a yard. Made by manufacturers including Rand McNally and Replogle in Chicago and George F. Cram Co. in Indianapolis, their value can range greatly according to design, size, condition and rarity. While lucky collectors can pick up 1950s examples for next to nothing at garage sales and secondhand shops, tiny 18th-century pocket globes can fetch prices into the thousands. We checked in with Binkowski to learn more.

What do you collect and why?

I collect world globes, among other things. I realized, not long ago, that I am fascinated by items that measure in some way. I have all sizes of globes, some new and mostly old.

When did you start collecting?

I believe my first globe was purchased at an antique store about 40 years ago. It is my largest and I don’t remember what I paid for it. It could not have been very much because I’m sort of tight. It is dated 1954-1958.

Do you have a favorite?

My oldest son, Mark (who passed away six years ago), dated most of the globes for me. My favorite one is an unusual black one which is dated 1929-1938. It was given to me by my three sons (very expensive, they like to remind me).

Which others are standouts?

My most unusual were one in German and one in Korean, which I found at garage sales. I gave them to my grandson because he showed an interest in them. I have a smallish (old) globe made into a table lamp, which I love. It is undated but quite old. I just counted and have at least 20 globes, plus a brass and glass coffee table with maps of the old world under glass and a wall-size cardboard poster of our solar system (possibly from a school room), also old but undated.

Dream finds?

My dream finds were the German and Korean ones I bought at garage sales.

Where do you display them?

I display the globes all around the living room; most are on the large mantel of the fireplace.

Do you collect anything else?

I also have an impressive collection of scales, large floor model to a small egg scale and I collect clocks as well. Wind-up and electric.

Where do you find your treasures?

I am a junker and garage saler from way back. I still love them but do not get around very well anymore, but I still try to go to the best ones. I get locations from Craigslist.

Advice for other collectors?

My best advice is to be first at garage sales only on the first day. Garage sales are the best sites for collectors. You never know what you will find or what you need.

Do you have an object you would like to know more about? Send a photo and description that includes how you acquired the object to: The Detroit News, Trash or Treasure?, 160 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226. Include your name and daytime telephone number. You may also send your photo and description to If chosen you’ll need to bring the items to an appraisal session. Letters are edited for style and clarity. Photos cannot be returned.

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