COLUMBUS globes since 1909

When Paul Oestergaard founded the company in Berlin, he aimed at cultivating his energy and creative phantasy in his own company. A few years prior, he had already gained some experience in the production of globes together with his brother.


Having set himself the goal to make globes accessible to a broad population, he founded COLUMBUS in Berlin in January 1909 with the mission statement ‘A COLUMBUS globe for every home’. In addition to offering his clients exemplary cartography, he also implemented the tasteful design in large numbers, enabling him to offer the representation of earth at a low price for the first time.


Within a few years already, the initial rooms of the company which was now exporting worldwide were too small. The innovations by COLUMBUS dominated the market, and production was ever-growing. The number of staff had increased tenfold, and COLUMBUS globes were produced in 24 different languages.


The second generation, Paul Oestergaard Jr., joined the company in 1942. Management and production fell victim to the war in the same year, which is why they were moved into neighbouring sites and into the private family house.


After the war had ended, attempts were made to rebuild the company together with the remaining staff. After the Berlin Blockade in 1948, the decision was made to start a factory in southern Germany (Stuttgart).


Production grew steadily, and patenting the DUO™ globe made it possible to simultaneously display two maps on one globe.


Representing the third generation of the family entering the company, Peter Oestergaard joined in 1963. From the beginning, the trained mechanical engineer was instrumental in the development of the next innovation, the Duplex™ globe, introduced in 1965. He also automated the production of these revolutionary plastic models.

Another chapter in the history of the company was written when the Planet Erde globe was introduced in 1972. This extraordinary globe offered a maximum amount of information, answered a multitude of questions and displayed sunrises and sunsets, twilight zones and seasons.

After the German reunification in 1989, sales in the industry plummeted, and Peter Oestergaard decided to move to Krauchenwies together with his son Torsten. During a time in which cartography and production could hardly keep up with the rapid global changes, local suppliers were more closely integrated into the manufacturing process and capacities were significantly expanded. That is how COLUMBUS was able to further secure its forerunner position in the sector.

During the millennium year, the company took the industry by surprise again and set new standards with a world innovation. COLUMBUS presented a model where the globe was freely levitating in a magnetic field. COLUMBUS was also able to wow with the world’s largest globes produced in series – the large globes from the Magnum product range. With a diameter of up to two metres, the large globes from the Magnum product range display the world with unseen precision.

At the 2011 Book Fair, the audience was astonished when COLUMBUS presented talking globes, which can report on global events thanks to an audio pen. Competitors and experts alike are amazed by the dichotomy between the analogue and the digital.

But already one year later, COLUMBUS introduces the first 4D globe app onto the market. Applicable to older globes too, the client can use this app to let the weather data of global metropolises float above the globe in a fourth dimension as if by magic.          

The app includes a geographical encyclopaedia, which presents exciting and important up-to-date information on all countries on earth.

 2015 was another milestone which cemented the leading position of the globe manufacturer. Meanwhile in the fifth generation, Niklas Oestergaard further developed the audio pen. Current information worth-knowing can be found in six different categories, such as beautiful films on different countries. Just like being there in person.

COLUMBUS - Worth a discovery

Video about the history of Columbus (german)

Columbus Verlag from Marken Made in Germany on Vimeo.

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