Water-filled glass snowglobes (aka snowdomes) originated in France in the late 1800s and gained popularity in the U.S. as a promotional item for thousands of travel destinations and roadside attractions.

Up through WW2, crudely fashioned glass snow globes were primarily novelties in the U.S., issued for Christmas or as keepsakes for events like the 1939 New York World's Fair. After WW2 came a desire for more fun souvenirs, however, and colorfully decorated glass disks and Italian shell based globes showed up. By the early 1960’s, souvenir snow globes had been overtaken over by the plastic Hong Kong made snow dome.

Snowglobes were integrally linked with early roadside travel, as early tourist amusement parks, motels, and restaurants needed to stand out from the crowd. Not mention famous landmarks, museums, caverns and caves, missions or old homes of famous people, trains rides, miniature golf, gardens, trained bear acts, animal parks and storybook castles. You name it and they sold snow globes!

Up through the 1960s, most American snowdomes were designed and manufactured by one of three companies, The Karol Western Corporation, Nanco, and the Allen-Lewis Manufacturing Company (they also made salt and peppers shakers, glasses, pennants, ashtrays, souvenir buildings, tablecloths and scarves).

With vintage souvenir snowdomes, rarity and condition are king. Rarity is usually determined by the customized scenic panels representing remote or abandoned locations and attractions.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Andy Zito's Snowdomes

Andy Zito's Snowdomes

Andy Zito's partial showcase of his collection of over 4,500 snow domes (aka globes), browsable by category. Start … [read review or visit site]

Advertising Antiques

Advertising Antiques

This classy looking British site features hundreds of high resolution photos of antique porcelain pre-war (enamel) … [read review or visit site]

Ad Access

Ad Access

Duke University's library has pulled together an impressive collection of over 7,000 ads printed in U.S. and Canadi… [read review or visit site]

Plan 59

Plan 59

From the Nostlagia Factory in Virginia comes this celebration of 'mid-century automotive advertising illustrations'… [read review or visit site]

American Package Museum

American Package Museum

Ian House's gallery of early 20th Century American package designs. Browse the exhibits in slide show mode or view … [read review or visit site]

Found in Moms Basement

Found in Moms Basement

Paula Zargaj-Reynolds’ blog, an extensive collection of 20th century vintage advertising, is a visual feast. Scro… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Disney Frozen Elsa & Anna Musical Waterglobe Snowglobe Plays "let It Go" Genuine Authentic Pandora Sterling Silver Charm Snow Globe Bead 791228en12Disney Rare Alice In Wonderland-2003 Limited Edition Of 500--mibGemmy Christmas Snow Globe Inflatable AirblownDisney Fire Dance Lilo And Stitch Snowglobe Polynesian Tiki Gods Rare HtfFriday The 13th Jason Voorhees Snow Globe NecaAuthentic Pandora Sterling Silver Snow Globe Bead 791228en12San Francisco Giants Sf Giants Sga World Champions Parade Snow Globe NewGemmy Prototype Christmas Santa Snow Globe Inflatable AirblownDisney Snow White And The 7 Dwarfs Musical Snowglobe Collectible Disney Fantasia Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey Mouse SnowglobeVintage Mountain Dew Snow Globe (rare)Disney Store ~ Large Beauty & The Beast Revolving Musical Snowglobe ~ 1991Disney Mulan Musical Snow Globe ReflectionsCoach Purse Hangtags Acrylic Gold White Clear Snowglobe EffectRare Disney Jumbo 101 Dalmations Musical Light Up Snow Globe, Cruella De VilDisney Pomp And Circumstance Musical Graduation Snow Globe #66150Disney Lilo And Stitch Surfing Musical Snow Globe Rare Htf2014 Sf Giants World Champions SnowglobeDisneyland Disney Word Haunted Mansion Musical Snowglobe**retired Limited Edition** New Rare Origami Owl Snowman Snow Globe CharmRare Hard To Find Origami Owl Snowman Snowglobe CharmDisney Winnie The Pooh Birthday Party SnowglobeDc Direct Harley Quinn Snowglobe/music Box #42/2300Pandora Charm - Reindeer Snowglobe - .925 Sterling Silver And White EnamelDisney Beauty & The Beast Snow Globe Be Our Guest With BoxThe Disney Store Beauty & The Beast Musical Collectible Decorative Snowglobe2014 San Francisco Giants World Series Champions SnowglobeSan Francisco Giants 2014 World Series Triplets Snow Globe Trophy Brand NewNightmare In Elm Street Freddy Snow Globe NecaDisney Pixar Monster's Inc Snow Globe 4" Boo D03a New Hasbro Mlp Friendship Is Magic Snow Globe Princess Celes Figure 5 InchRare Mary Engelbreit Mini Snow Globe "life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries"Disney The Aristocats "everybody Wants To Be A Cat" Musical Snowglobe Snow GlobeDisney Book End SnowglobeFinding Nemo Disney Musical Snowglobe Excellent Condition With BoxDisney Mulan--mibDisney Winnie The Pooh Bridge SnowglobeStarbucks 1999 Musical Snowglobe Jc Penney Winnie The Pooh & Piglet Snowglobe W/box Never Used Beer Tap Handle Gordon Biersch Winter Bock Snow Globe Skier SkiingRare Disney Tale As Old As Time Beauty And The Beast Musical SnowglobeRare Disney Store World Of Disney Through The Years Musical Snow-globe Book Vo 1Beauty And The Beast Rotating Snowglobe "be Our Guest" Disney - Beauty And The Beast Mini SnowglobeDisney Finding Nemo Snow Globe Coral ReefDisney Beauty And The Beast Mini Snow Globe2 Harry Potter Mini Snow Globes; Challenge 6 Mirror Of Erised & 2 Devil's SnareDisney Little Mermaid Glitter Globe Ariel Resin Seashells & Coral Base Enesco Teletubbies Musical Snow Globe Glitter Dome - Beautiful And VhtfRare Mary Engelbreit Mini Snow Globe "the Queen Of Everything"D03v New Hasbro Mlp Friendship Is Magic Snow Globe Princess Celes Figure 5 InchD03n New Hasbro Mlp Friendship Is Magic Snow Globe Princess Celes FigureSan Francisco Giants 2014 World Series Championship Snow Globe GiveawayDisney Mickey Mouse Sorcerer's Apprentice Snowglobe Figurine Disney's Princess Mulan Musical Rotating Snow Globe Excellent Condition - Rare Nightmare Before Christmas Halloweentown Snowglobe Lot Of 10+ Precious Moments Figurines, Snowglobe, Misc. Other ItemsWizard Of Oz Ruby Slippers Light-up Mini Snow Globe, Nib, 75th Anniv Promo MerchVintage Mickey Mouse Fantasia Musical Snow Globe