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    

Authentic Origami Owl Snowglobe Snowman Christmas Charm Retired NewVintage Nightmare Before Christmas Jack Musical Bubbling Snow Globe 1st Edition Disney Official Frozen Anna Elsa Olaf Musical Snowglobe Plays Let It GoDisney Nightmare Before Christmas Limited Edition Santa Jack Neca SnowglobeOrigami Owl Authentic - Christmas Snow Globe Charm - Retired And Rare! Disney Multi Villians With Dragon Musical Snow Globe Cruella Deville Evil Queen Disney Princess Castle Clock Snow Globe Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty And BeastPeter Pan Wendy And The Darling Family Kids Snow Globe Authentic Pandora Snow Globe Charm 791228en12Disney Store Frozen Elsa Anna Olaf Musical Snowglobe " Let It Go" New In Box Authenitc *rare* Origami Owl Snow Man Snow Globe Charm Mac Glitter & Ice Snowglobe Beauty Powder Sold Out Nib New Box Full Size Ltd EdFinding Nemo A Ride With Mr.ray Snow GlobeWalt Disney Pirates Of The Caribbean Dead Man's Chest Musical Snow Globe VgcDisney Haunted Mansion Small Snow Globe Hitchhiking Ghosts Grim Grinning W/musicDisney The Little Mermaid 20th Anniversary SnowglobeFrozen Elsa Anna Olaf Disney Store Musical Snowglobe "let It Go" New Nib In HandWizard Of Oz Hour Glass Bythe Music Box Company Of San Francisco SnowglobeLouis Vuitton 2009 Red "alma: Handbag Gold Glitter Limited Edition Snow Globe *pre Owned* Disney Halloween SnowglobeDisney Princess Enchanted Garden Snow Globe. Rare Find, Still Sealed.Disney Mickey Mouse Lonesome Ghost Snow Globe RareRare Disney Nightmare Before Christmas Halloweentown Snowglobe In Original BoxNightmare Before Christmas SnowglobeDisney Alice In Wonderland GlobeDisney's Little Mermaid, Ariel & Flounder Snow Globe - SmallDisney Winnie The Pooh Halloween Tigger's Haunted House Musical Snow Globe VgcLion King Globe. Disney Musical Snow Water Globe The Fox And The Hound W/ Box 96309Authentic Pandora Sterling Silver Snow Globe Bead 791228en12Wizard Of Oz San Francisco Music Box Company Snow GlobeDisney Pocahontas Just Around The Riverbend Snowglobe Disneystore Deluxe Lion King & Friends Musical Snowglobe W/timon Pumba Rafiki Carl Barks - Disney Donald Duck Uncle Scrooge Money Bathtub - Snow Globe - WorksDisney Winnie Pooh Musical Snowglobe ** Pooh Double**Secretariat 25th Anniversary Snow GlobeDisney "mickey's 75th Anniversary" Musical Snow Globe Steamboat RideHalloween 20th Anniversary Snow Globe Vhs Set In Box With Price TagDepartment 56 Halloween Theme Grimsly Manor Snow Globe ~rareEnesco Coca Cola Moving Bears Music Figure, Coke Santa Candle, Coke Snow GlobeStampin' Up Snow Globe Retired 2002Disney Store The Jungle Book Musical Snowglobe "bare Necessities" VintageLionel 6-37035 Santa's "holiday Present Express" Snow Globe "plays Music" Mib Disney Donald Duck Through The Years Snow GlobeAuthentic S925 Sterling Silver Snow Globe Bead 791228en12Disney Snow White And The 7 Dwarfs Music Snow GlobeMusical Angel Snow Globe From "things Remembered" Engraveable - Sweet!Mickey And Minnie Mouse Musical Wedding Snow Globe Disney Restoration Hardware Large Heavy Beautiful Photo Snow Globe - EucDisney Enesco Peter Pan Wendy In The Clouds Big Ben Snow Globe Silver BellsHalloween 20th Anniv Bloody Snow Globe Michael Myers Compass Int. Limited Look!Vintage Disney Store Snowglobe The Little Mermaid Princess "under The Sea" ArielUnder The Sea Ariel Disney SnowglobeDisney Snow Globe, A Dream Come True, Free S&hNightmare Before Christmas Watch Santa Jack W Snowglobe Sally Lock Shock BarrelUnique Thomas Kinkade Wondrous Winter Snowman Musical Snowglobe VillageNib Mac Beauty Powder ~ Snowglobe ~ Face Highlighter/blush~glitter Ice Le~pink3 Nightmare Before Christmas Mini Snowglobe Lot / Jack & Sally Rare! DisneyNew Cool Snow Globes Butterfly On Branch By Big Trike In Box Nice!The Three Musketeers Disney Musical Snow Globe