Four major companies in America continued to produce snow globes of varying quality and subject including souvenirs, but also holiday globes and novelty gifts. It was a similar landscape in Europe, with a few manufacturers dominating the snow globe scene. By the 1980s, snow globes were still a staple of the gift industry, but they’d also become the epitome of kitsch—probably because everyone and everything from Disney’s Bambi to the Lone Ranger to Niagara Falls and the White House could be put under glass and forced to endure frequent and bewildering snowstorms. But what does the market look like today? Oddly enough, snow globes remain big business. There is a sizable collector’s market for both antique and novelty domes. And Erwin Perzy III’s company is still healthy. The Vienna shop produces upwards of 200,000 snow globes a year, and that’s just a small part of the market. It’s perhaps a mark of how familiar a form a snow globe is, and what innocent—almost saccharine—kitsch they’re meant to be that they can be so gleefully perverted, as this collection of weird, macabre, and wonderful snow globes demonstrates.
Snow globes are supposed to remind you of the swirling flurries of a gentle winter storm, and while most snow-based experiences are positive, too much cold can be deadly—as Etsy seller BubbleRoll’s snow globe featuring a frozen Jack Torrance from the end of The Shining reminds us. The Great Elder One will be pleased with you if you leave this tribute to him resting on your mantel. Along the base of this snow globe from Fear Werx is the ominous Necronomicon quote: “That is not dead which can eternal lie and with strange aeons even death may die.” It’s going to be a very scary Christmas this year thanks to this delightful snow globe from Things From Another World Comics filled with zombie carolers. Additional info on custom snow globe.
Anatomy of a Snow Globe: Originally the globes were made of glass and the figures inside were made of porcelain, bone, metals, minerals, rubber or wax. The snow or “flitter” as it’s called, could have been ground rice, wax, soap, sand, bone fragments, meerschaum, metal flakes or sawdust. Producers tried everything. The base was either round or square and may have been of stone, marble, ceramic or wood. Today, all but the best quality globes are plastic. The liquid is just water in the plastic snow globes. Glass snow globes often include glycol, an antifreeze, to keep the glass from breaking if frozen. A little dust doesn’t bother snow globes – but they don’t like direct sunlight.
Thomas Edison invented the first string of electric Christmas lights. Edison brilliantly displayed a string of lights outside his workplace, the Menlo Park Laboratory in New Jersey, in 1880. The first people to see them were train passengers riding by the building. It was Edison’s partner, Edward H. Johnson, who took the idea and applied it to Christmas trees. He was the first person to hand wire 80 colored light bulbs and wrap them around his Christmas tree. Prior to this idea, people would try to light up their Christmas trees with candles. Source: https://www.qstomize.com/collections/custom-snow-globe.