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! Villains Chernabog/evil Queen/malificent Disney Musical Snow Globe W LightNew Disney Store Pixar Up Snow GlobeWalt Disney World Princess Ariel Cinderella Belle Fairy Tales Snow Globe LightsNew Disney Store Oliver And Company Snow GlobeDisney Snow Globe, Peter PanSleeping Beauty 40th Anniversary Musical Snow Globe With Light (disney, 1989)New Disney Aladdin Princess Jasmine Hourglass Snow Globe Lights UpRare Large Sleeping Beauty Musical Snowglobe With Original PackagingDisney Cinderella Castle Rare Musical Light Up Animated Snow Globe Figure StatueDisney Snow White & 7 Dwarfs Rare Musical Animated Story Time Snow Globe FigureJim Shore Disney Traditions Stitch - "stitch Or Treat" Halloween Snowglobe Tonner Doll Witch Wizard Of Oz Witch Taking Flight Le 300 Doll Snowglobe RareQueen Of Hearts Alice In Wonderland Water Globe Brand NewDisney Pixar Snowglobe Aquarium Finding Nemo Fish Tank W Music Box Retired RareDisney Store Exclusive Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Snow GlobeStampin Up Snow Globe-snowman-christmas Trees-castle-horse-lot + CardAuthentic Chanel Limited Edition Vip Gift Chanel No 5 Snow Globe Dome NibNemo 6 Inch Musical Fish Tank Snowglobe (disney Direct, #27738) NwobDisney Beauty And The Beast "the Enchanted Love" Light-up Musical Snow GlobeDisney Snow Globe, Lady And The TrampDisney Fox And The Hound Snow GlobeWalt Disney Toy Story Ii Andy's Toy Box Musical Rotating Lightup Snowglobe RareChanel Logo Crystal Mini Snow Globe Dome Christmas Novelty New Gift BoxHp Needlepoint 18ct Kirk And Bradley Rocking Horse Snowglobe/threads/guide-ll271939 New York Worlds Fair Snow Globe Souvenir Bakelite NywfDumbo Snowglobe Disney Beauty And The Beast Hourglass SnowglobeAmerican Girl Molly Christmas Box W/ Snow Globe And Nurse Doll Pleasant CompanyAurora And Her Price Sleeping Beauty Snow Globe Disney StoreDisney Peter Pan Musical Snow Globe Pirate Ship "you Can Fly!"Star Wars Tesb At At Imperial Walker Snowspeeder Snow Globe Music Box DisplayDisney Store Toy Story The Claw Space Crane Aliens Snow Globe RocketDisney Flying Dumbo With Casey Junior Train Snowglobe Plus BoxHarry Potter Musical Snow Globe 2001 Cerberus Hermoine Globe Disney Store Aladdin And Jasmine Musical Snowglobe Winter Lane Musical Snow Globe Lantern Angel NewDisney "frozen" Musical Snow Globe (anna, Elsa, & Olaf)San Francisco Giants Sf Giants Sga World Champions Parade Snow Globe NewWaechtersbach Christmas Tree -- Snowglobe Snow Globe Music Box ExcellentDisney Store Snow White And Prince Musical SnowglobeLenox 2003 Disney "whistle While You Work" Waterglobe With The Seven DwarfsDisney Mulan Musical Snowglobe Rotating Base "reflection" Retired WaterglobeRare Beauty & Beast Musical Snowglobe Disney Enchanted Rose Princess ClassicRare Disney Tinker Bell And Fairy Friends Musical Snow Globe You Can Fly Disney's Finding Nemo Snow Globe Nemo, Dad & Dory And Friends With BoxRare Toy Story Woody Roundup Mini Snowglobe Snow Globe Record Player On BookVintage Santa & Reindeer Plastic SnowglobeDisney Cinderalla Musical Snow Globe A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes4 Vintage Fun Hallmark Christmas Pins Horse Santa Wind Up Snowglobe BearD03 New My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Snow Globe Princess Celes FigureNice Used Wonderful World Of Disney "friend Like Me" Snow Globe Disney Store Walt Disney Casey Jr. Train Dumbo Snowglobe #95430 Rare Retired Brand NewIts-a-wonderful-life- Musical Snowglobe-auld-lang-syneDisneyland Snow Globe 60th AnniveraryLot Of 10 Disney Mickey Mouse Christmas Jc Penney Mini SnowglobesWestland Giftware 1999 Betty Boop Bathtub Snowglobe With Tags No Box Disney Princess Belle Yellow Picture Photo Stand Frame Castle Snow Globe Rose2015 Jcpenney Mickey Mouse Black Friday Disney Mini SnowglobeHow The Grinch Stole Christmas Tree Ornament Snow Globe SnowglobeAuthentic Origami Owl Discontinued Halloween Haunted House Snow Globe