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 Parks Peter Pan Captain Hook Pirate Ship Snowglobe Statue Display FigureNightmare Before Christmas Jack Skellington Bedtime Snowglobe Disney Peter Pan Bookends SnowglobesBeauty And The Beast Disney Snowglobe RareAuthentic Pandora Sterling Silver Snow Globe Bead 791228en12Disney Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Jessica Rabbit's Dressing Room Snowglobe!Nightmare Before Christmas Snowglobe Jack And Sally Original Disney 1993 Nightmare Before Christmas Double Snowglobe Halloween 20th Anniversary Snow Globe Set W/vhs Jamie Lee Curtis Halloween 20th Anniversary Snow Globe Set, Box Has Bin Opened Harry Potter Snow GlobeDisney SnowglobesDisney Parks Rare Epcot Center World Showcase Wdw Millenium Musical SnowglobeThe Nightmare Before Christmas Snowglobe Lights Up Musical Numbered 1526/2028Disney Beauty And The Beast Hourglass Enchanted Castle Snowglobe Music & LightsNightmare Before Christmas Jack Skellington & Zero Laboratory Musical Snowglobe Retired Disney Peter Pan, Wendy & Tinkerbell Large Music Snowglobe W PinDisney Princess Snow White & Seven Dwarfs Dopey Musical Snowglobe Display FigureNightmare Before Christmas Jack Skellington Musical Snow GlobeDisney 101 Dalmations Snowglobe RareRare Nightmare Before Christmas Musical Snow Globe Origami Owl Rare Snowglobe CharmHenri Bendel 1961 Musical Moon River Snow Globe Lady Shopper W/ Packages Disney Beauty And The Beast The Enchanted Rose Snow Globe Rare!Disney Villains Glitter GlobeGirls Crazy 8 Cheery Good Friends Llama Snowglobe Top/matching Leggings Size 3tHarley Davidson Motorcycle 100th Anniversary Snow Globe W/ Lights & Motor SoundDisney's Besuty And The Besst Mini Snow GlobeNightmare Before Christmas 10th Anniversary Snowglobe Ltd Edition 2003 Stampin Up Snow Globe-christmas Tree- Carrousel Horse-castle-snowman-lot + CardRare Lion King And Friends SnowglobeHarley Davidson Genuine Pumpkinhead Snow Globe 2003 HalloweenOrigami Owl Snowman Snow Globe Rare Four (4) Disney Snow Globes-toy Story 2, Jungle Book,lady & The Tramp,tinkerbellEnesco Disney Alice In Wonderland Snowglobe Musical Glitter Double White RabbitDisney Peter Pan Snowglobe RareGenuine Pandora Charm - Reindeer Snow GlobeRetired!! Authentic Origami Owl Christmas Tree Snow Globe Charm Vhtf!! Rare!!Nightmare Before Christmas Musical Snowglobe Jack Skellington Coffin Sleigh Disney Nightmare Before Christmas Jack Skellington Mini Snow Globe Lot Of 7!Vintage Walt Disney Snow Globe 1969 The VillainsDisney Lady And The Tramp Snow Globe Snowglobe Musical & Lights Up RetiredStampin Up Sweet Snowglobe-christmas-holiday-lodge & Trees-snowflakes-lot + CardSnow White And The Seven Dwarfs Musical Water GlobeHalloween Snow Globe LightWizard Of Oz **ruby Red Slippers** Musical Snow Globe 1997-over The Rainbow Vintage Htf Advertising Snow Globe Wolf 1950s Sasheen 'be A Wolf' Usa New YorkAlice In Wonderland 50th Anniversary Snow GlobeVintage Disney's Snow GlobeDisney Aladdin And Jasmine A Whole New World Musical Snow Globe In Original BoxDisney Store Finding Nemo Coral Reef Over The Waves Musical Snow Globe4ft Gemmy Airblown Inflatable Snoopy Woodstock Snow Globe Works Great W/ BoxDisney Peter Pan Masters Of Animation Snow GlobeVery Cool Vintage 1993 Addams Family Values Promo Thing Snow Globe Video No ResDisney Pixar A Bugs Life Musical Snowglobe- Retired - RareVintage Advertising Snowglobe..transit-mix Concrete Supply BusinessDisneys Little Mermaid Under The Sea Musical Snowglobe *john Deere Snow Globe Santa On Tractor In Very Good ConditionStephen King's "the Mist" Snow GlobeInkadinkado New Rubber Stamps 2369 Snow Globe Christmas Winter