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 FigureRare! Retired! Cinderella Double Sided Storybook Musical Snow GlobeAuthentic Disney Mickey Mouse Snow Globe/nrfbDisney Parks Rare Epcot Center World Showcase Wdw Millenium Musical SnowglobeNightmare Before Christmas Jack Skellington Bedtime Snowglobe Peanuts 4 Foot Airblown Inflatable Light Up Snow Globe By Gemmy Snoopy WoodstockHarry Potter Snow GlobeDisney SnowglobesNightmare Before Christmas Jack Skellington & Zero Laboratory Musical Snowglobe Stampin Up Snow Globe-christmas Tree- Carrousel Horse-castle-snowman-lot + CardNightmare Before Christmas Snowglobe Jack And Sally Original Disney 1993 Never Used Beer Tap Handle Gordon Biersch Winter Bock Snow Globe Skier SkiingNightmare Before Christmas Double Snowglobe Henri Bendel 1961 Musical Moon River Snow Globe Lady Shopper W/ Packages Disney Beauty And The Beast The Enchanted Rose Snow Globe Rare!Authentic Pandora Sterling Silver Snow Globe Bead 791228en12Rare! Disney Musical Pinochio Snow Globe Locked In Birdcage On Wagon With FairyHalloween 20th Anniversary Snow Globe Set W/vhs Jamie Lee Curtis Rainbow Brite Snow Globe Rare Hard To Find Hello Kitty Blue Snow Ice Skating Picture Frame And Snow GlobePremiere Edition Beatles Yellow Submarine Snowglobe By Pepperland GlobeD03s My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Snow Globe Princess Celes FigureThe Nightmare Before Christmas Snowglobe Lights Up Musical Numbered 1526/2028Rare Lion King And Friends SnowglobeDisney's Tinkerbell Mushroom Cookie Jar With Jewels, Flowers And Fairy Dust NibStampin Up Snow Globe Castle Stamp Snowglobe Carousel Snowman Christmas Tree Stampin Up Sweet Snowglobe-christmas-holiday-lodge & Trees-snowflakes-lot + CardRetired Disney Peter Pan, Wendy & Tinkerbell Large Music Snowglobe W PinDisney Cinderella's Magical Coach Ride Cookie Jar NibDisney Little Mermaid Snow Globe Origami Owl Rare Snowglobe CharmVintage Walt Disney Snow Globe 1969 The VillainsPhish Hampton Snow Globe Snowglobe Not Tickets Magnaball Dick's Commerce City 24ft Gemmy Airblown Inflatable Snoopy Woodstock Snow Globe Works Great W/ BoxDisney Villains Glitter GlobeThings Remembered Cinderella Carriage Musical Snow Globe Engraved Holds Photo Nightmare Before Christmas 10th Anniversary Snowglobe Ltd Edition 2003 Vintage Disney's Snow GlobeDisney Aladdin And Jasmine A Whole New World Musical Snow Globe In Original BoxDisney Store Tinkerbell Fireflies Fairy Snowglobe Music Box NibDisney Snow Globe LargeDisney Snow White Snow GlobeVery Cool Vintage 1993 Addams Family Values Promo Thing Snow Globe Video No ResHarry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone Large Snow Globe In Box- Excellent CondDisney's Finding Nemo Pixar Aquarium/fish Tank 3d Cookie Jar NibThings Remembered Amazing Grace Musical Snow Globe Dome Revolving Cross & PrayerMacys Thanksgiving Day Parade 2000 Twin Towers Snow Globe With TagExo - Miracles In December D.o Snow Globe PhotocardInkadinkado New Rubber Stamps 2369 Snow Globe Christmas WinterDisney Roger Rabbit Chasing Jessica Snowglobe Music Lights Movement Benny WeaselFinding Nemo Disney Store Snow Globe Music Box Over The Waves Rare RetiredDisney Nightmare Before Christmas Jack Skellington Mini Snow Globe Lot Of 7!Enesco Disney Alice In Wonderland Snowglobe Musical Glitter Double White RabbitDisney Peter Pan Snowglobe RareDisney Peter Pan Bookends SnowglobesPhish Hampton Snow Globe Snowglobe Not Tickets Magnaball Dick's Commerce CityDisney's Beauty And The Beast & Princess SnowglobeDisney Peter Pan Masters Of Animation Snow GlobeDreamsicles Under The Sea A Whole New World Snow Globe Angel Figurine Disney? Disney 101 Dalmations 64 Mcdonalds Dog Figures 4 Snow Globes 1 Wind-up Toy