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]

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]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Rare Disney Parks Alice In Wonderland Cheshire Cat Snow Globe "i'm Late" 95782Chanel Logo Crystal Mini Snow Globe Dome Christmas Novelty New Gift BoxWalt Disney's Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs Hourglass Snow Globe 12"Disney Lion King - Simba's Pride Musical Snow Globe Plays "upendi" - OriginalDisney SnowglobeDisney Cinderella At The Castle At Midnight Musical Snow Globe - RareDisney Musical Snow Globe Sleeping Beauty Princess Aurora Tune Once Upon A DreamDisney Snow GlobeDisney Little Mermaid Ariel Snowglobe Under The Sea Symphony Mini Globes In BoxDisney Jungle Book - Friendship Musical Snow Globe Hard To FindLarge Deluxe Disney Musical Little Mermaid Ariel Snowglobe Waterglobe Globe RareLego 40223 Santa Snowglobe New 40106 Christmas Elf Workshop BonusDisney Evil Queen Snow White "talking Mirror" Villain Snow Globe Lights SoundsRare Disney Cinderella Staircase Musicial SnowglobeDc Direct Superman Fortress Of Solitude Porcelain Snow Globe RaDisney Princess Snow Globe - Disney Store- Discontinued Haunted Mansion SnowglobeDisney Ariel The Little Mermaid Musical Snow Globe Plays "part Of Your World"Erasure Snow Globe Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set-sealedWalt Disney Flying Dumbo & Mouse Water Globe / WaterballDisney Hercules Musical Snowglobe Rare Pete's Dragon Disney Snow Globes- New And Sealed.Disney's Little Mermaid Ariel Seahorse Chariot Snow Globe Part Of Your World Rare Disney Sleeping Beauty Prince Philip Fairies Snowglobe Music Box FigureLego Limited Edition Santa Snow Globe 40223 - New SealedDisney Epcot Snowglobe Lights UpDisney Musical Snow Globe Cinderella Princess & Prince So This Is Love CarriageDisney Store Exclusive - Nightmare Before Christmas Musical Snow GlobeDisney Villains Musical Snowglobe WaterglobeRubber Stamp Snowglobe Set Of 6 Santa Cat All Night Media Stampinsisters #2259Rare Captain Nemo Helmet Disney 20,000 Leagues Under The SeaDisney Beauty And The Beast Musical Light-up Christmas TreeDisney Peter Pan Snowglobe "in The Bedroom"Sf Giants Snoopy Snow GlobeAssorted Harry Potter Lot Puzzles View Finder Books Prophcy Orb Snowglobes MoreBeautiful Large Aladdin Musical Snow Globe! RetiredRare 1998 Michael Myers Halloween Leaky Snow Globe Dome 20th Anniversary #10436Peter Pan Musical Animated Water Globe By Hallmark 50th Anniversay You Can FlyDisney Parks Little Mermaid Ariel Mini Water Globe Figure Retired Water GlobeWaterford Holiday Heirlooms 2016 Times Square Limited Edition 8" Snow Globe NewDisney Figaro & Cleo Fishbowl Snowglobe From Pinocchio, Hard To Find PhDisney Evil Queen Picture Holding Light Up Snow Globe- Original BoxSan Francisco Music Box Company - Wizard Of Oz Lighted Snow GlobeHallmark 2016 Frosty Friends Snow Globe New Mint Still In Foam Packing! Auction --- China Glaze Snow Globe Nail Polish - Glittery Sparkle - Brand NewDisney 101 Dalmatians Family Light Up Snow GlobeDisney Radiator Springs Snow Globe *rare*Disney Dumbo Musical SnowglobeVintage Euclid Beach Park Cleveland Ohio Adorable Snow Globe Of Family And Gate Disney's "roger Rabbit" Musical Snow Globe ~ Circa 1988 RetiredChicago Snow Globe Music Box Saks 5th AveMickey & Minnie Snow Globe Ice Skating - Disney Store - Silver Snowflakes 2002 Disney Winnie The Pooh Snowglobe "group Photo Shoot" Musical Great ConditionDisney Cinderella Midnight Magic Rotating Base Rare Snow Globe "so This Is Love"Disney Store Exclusive Aladdin Jasmine And Raja Tiger Mini Snowglobe W/ Gems 4"Tinker Bell Picture Photo Frame Disney Store 25th Figurine Peter PanJim Shore Disney Traditions Eeyore 'gloom To Bloom' Snow GlobeDisney Tinkerbell Lighted Musical WaterglobeRudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer Hallmark Ornaments/plushies/snowglobes Lot!Tim Burton Nightmare Before Christmas 10th Anniversary Snow Globe