The Upper Swabian company Columbus Verlag, is the oldest manufacturer of globes in the world. It has been producing exclusively in Germany since 1909, because creativity and the highest quality are among the most important requirements.
The products range from small table globes to impressive large globes, from the plastic sphere to the hand-blown crystal ball.
COLUMBUS expands the possibilities of the globes with their audio video pen. The elegant pen reacts as it nears the surface of a compatible globe, and delivers fascinating background information about the relevant location.
COLUMBUS Verlag Paul Oestergaard GmbH is the oldest still operating globe manufacturer in the world. The Oestergaard family has been producing a variety of different representations of the Earth for more than 100 years.
The experience gained over four generations makes COLUMBUS the foremost globe brand in specialist shops, and the leading innovator in the entire industry. COLUMBUS developed and produced the first illuminated globe, the two-image system for illuminated globes, the deep drawing manufacturing process for acrylic globes, the first day/night globes, and the first floating globe. As the creator of all benchmarks in the globe development field, COLUMBUS is also the recipient of numerous awards, such as the World Didac silver award for the COLUMBUS PLANET EARTH illuminated globe.
Cooperation with the RAVENSBURGER, WHAT IS WHAT and GEO series supplement the extensive range of products. In addition, COLUMBUS has been the exclusive supplier of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY, the world's largest non-profit science organisation, globes since 1999.
When Paul Oestergaard founded the publishing house in Berlin, he sought to combine his strength and creative imagination to form his own company. He started production in 1909 with the aim of creating globes that were accessible to all, with the mission statement "a Columbus globe for every home". He offered his customers excellent cartography and produced the tasteful designs in large numbers, so that he could offer an image of the Earth at a reasonable price for the first time. Production grew steadily and the workforce grew tenfold. The COLUMBUS globes were produced in 24 languages.
The second generation, Paul Oestergaard Jnr., joined the publishing house in 1942. In the same year, manufacturing and operations became a victim of the war and had to be paused. After the end of the war, attempts were made with the remaining members of staff to rebuild and, after the Russian blockade in 1948, a plant was established in southern Germany (Stuttgart). The production grew steadily and with the patent of the DUO globe it became possible for the first time to display two map images simultaneously on one globe.
In 1963, Peter Oestergaard, the third generation of the family, joined the company. The mechanical engineer was involved from the beginning in the development of the duplex globe introduced in 1965, and he automated the production of the revolutionary plastic models.
After the reunification of Germany in 1993, turnover in the industry collapsed and Peter Oestergaard, together with his son Torsten, decided to move to Krauchenwies. At a time when cartography and production could hardly keep up with the speed of global change, local suppliers became more closely involved in the production process and capacity was significantly expanded.
In 1999, COLUMBUS Verlag took over the core of the workforce of Leipzig's Räthgloben Verlag. With the foundation of the Leipzig globe factory, production was increased and the traditional craftsmanship of hand-blown crystal glass globes was preserved from extinction.
A year later, the publisher once again surprised the industry and set new standards with a world first. COLUMBUS introduced a model in which the globe floats freely within a magnetic field.
Under the current leadership of Torsten Oestergaard, the company is focusing on expansion for the future. To this end, the subsidiary CartoDirect was founded in 2003, which took over the exclusive European distribution of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY map and globe range, along with the COLUMBUS Verlag Paul Oestergaard GmbH products.