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When Paul Oestergaard created the publishing house in Berlin, in 1909, his vision was to bring high quality reference globes into the homes of the public. A Columbus globe for each home was the idea he had in mind, and the philosophy that globes should not be exclusive to the wealthy. These were among the highest quality globes ever produced and offered at an affordable price so that all could enjoy their superior cartography. The globes were produced in 24 languages and were sold all around the world. Production constantly grew, as did the staff. Within only a few years the international demand for these excellent globes outgrew the factory's supply capabilities.

During the second world war, the Columbus administration and manufacturing facilities were badly damaged, as well as the Oestergaard family's household. It was Paul Oestergaard Jr. and the remaining work force that moved operations to Stuttgart. Shortly after this move, the DUO globe was patented. This was the first time that two map versions were shown on a single globe by using internal illumination.

In 1963, the third Oestergaard generation took over the company. Peter Oestergaard was a machine builder by trade, and helped developing the revolutionary DUPLEX globe. This was a milestone for not just Columbus globes, but for the entire globe industry, as it was the first plastic globe produced which was made by using a mostly-automated manufacturing process. 

In 1972, a new development simply called the Planet Earth globe was introduced. This was arguably the most information-rich globe ever produced, featuring a visual display of day, night and twilight, as well as the cycle of seasons. 

After the re-unification of Germany in 1993, Peter along with his son Torsten Oestergaard, recognized a need to speed up the process of updating cartography to match the speed of our changing world. It was then decided to move to a digital format for maintaining cartographic data and to move facilities again into a more efficient, all-in-house production facility, where the Oestergaard family could have more direct control of the final product.

In 1999 Columbus Globes took over another specialty globe maker who was among the last still producing hand coated, mouth blown crystal spheres for cartographic globes. The acquisition of this manufacturing process has essentially preserved this particular method of globe making from going extinct. The cherished glass globes are still offered today thanks to the foresight of the Oestergaard family. It was also in 1999 that Columbus Globes was granted the exclusive license to produce globes for the National Geographic Society.

In 2000, Columbus globes shocked the globe industry once again with their development of the first electromagnetic levitating globe.

Very impressive are the MAGNUM globes. Up to 6.5 ft diameter, these globes represent the world very rich in detail. 

At the international Frankfurt bookfair 2011 COLUMBUS presents to the wondering public talking globes which tells all different kind of information about the world affairs.