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    

Origami Owl Authentic - Christmas Snow Globe Charm - Retired And Rare! Disney Mary Poppins Carousel Musical Snow Globe Rare SnowglobeDisney Beauty And The Beast Village Musical Snowglobe RareOrigami Owl Snow Globe Charm Limited Edition Sold Out! Retired CharmDisney's Mary Poppins Commemorative Snowglobe Beautiful Rare Disney Snow Globe Lion King Simba "just Cant Wait To Be King"Disney Store Beauty And The Beast Snowglobe With Working Music BoxFrozen Snow Globe Disney Disney Store Exclusive Limited Edition Disneys The Little Mermaid Retired Snowglobe DecorationDisney Aurora Light Up Musical Snow Globe With Fairies Sleeping Beauty AnimalsLimited Edition Disney Dumbo Timothy & Crows Snow Globe - Music Box & BlowerDisney Mickey Through The Years Snowglobe W/ Snow Blower, Music & Lights. In BoxHallmark "a Christmas Story, You'll Shoot Yer Eye Out, Kid!" Snow Globe NewStampin' Up 2002 "snow Globe" Mounted Stamps (winter, Snowman, Castle) RareLilo And Stitch Experiment 626 Snowglobe W/ Light And Sound Disney Catalog Oop Adoreable Walt Disney Hercules SnowglobeMac Cosmetics Beauty Powder Snow Globe Glitter & Ice Compact New Nib Limited EdDisney Store Bambi Snowglobe With Working Music BoxDisney Snowglobe Mickey In The Comics Lights Musical Donald Goofy Minnie Z182 QrDisney Store Walt Disney’s Cinderella Staircase Dual Snowglobe With Orig BoxDisney Ariel's Treasure Trove The Little Mermaid Musical Snowglobe W/ LightsMac Cosmetics Beauty Powder Snow Globe Glitter & Ice Compact New Nib Limited EdDisney Lion King 10th Anniversary SnowglobeDisney Musical Snow Globe The Haunted Mansion Ride Mickey-goofy-donald Duck RareJohn Carpenter's Halloween 20th Anniversary Snow Globe SetAuthentic Pandora Sterling Silver Snow Globe Bead 791228en12Hallmark Frosty Friends Ninth In Series Snow Globe "have Yourself A Merry Lc"Disney's Lady And The Tramp SnowglobeVintage Who Framed Roger Rabbit Toon Town Snow Globe Hallmark 2006 A Christmas Story " You'll Shoot Yer Eyes Out" Snow GlobeDisney Cheshire Cat Alice In Wonderland Spinning Tea Cup Snow Globe Mad HatterPepe Le Pew And Penelope Musical Mechanical Snow Globe "love You A Latte"Ariel Snow GlobeDisney Cheshire Cat Alice In Wonderland Spinning Tea Cup Snowglobe Mad Hatter 60Halloween Michael Myers 20th Anniversary Blood/snow Globe Boxed With Vhs 1998Jean Paul Gaultier Fragile Edp 1.6 Fl.oz. Snow Globe Figure Glitter *collectableNightmare Before Christmas Jack & Sally Mini-snowglobes2003 Michelin Man Snow Globe Limited Edition Collectible Figure Tires Auto GasDisney Beauty And The Beast Musical Ballroom Snow GlobeDisney's A Bugs Life SnowglobeDisney's Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, And Pluto SnowglobeWaterford Times Square 2014 8" Crystal Snowglobe NewDisney Store Cinderella Snowglobe With Working Music BoxElf On The Shelf Christmas Table Ornament Led Color Changing Snow Globe From MrtDisney Store (exclusive) Little Mermaid Ariel W/ Seahorses SnowglobeDisney Pinocchio Snowglobe Toyland1990s Disney Princesses Musical Snow Globe (waterball) Plays "fur Elise" Vtg Retired Dogs Walt Disney 101 Dalmatians Cruella De Vil Musical Snow Globe!!!Wizard Of Oz Snow Globe Music BoxDisney Little Mermaid Ariel's Treasure Trove Musical Blue Oil Lights Snow Globe Walt Disney Peter Pan Tinker Bell You Can Fly Theme Park Snowglobe IobDisney Snow Globes Lady And The TrampChristmas Flourishes: Joy Is In The Air Snow Globe Stamp Set Clear Mount NewVtg Brett Favre Green Bay Packers Nfl Snow Globe Limited Edition Nice!!!!Rare 2000 Jc Penney Snow Globe Winnie The Pooh & Piglet Too! Disney ChristmasWalt Disney Goofy's 70th Anniversary Thru The Years Snowglobe Disney Snow Globe Cinderella's Castle With Tinker Bell - "you Can Fly"Disney Jessica Rabbit Art Deco Snowglobe Pin Extremely Rare Le Sold OutAdoreable Walt Disney Tinker Bell Peter Pan Sailing Ship SnowglobeDumbo Snowglobe