Saturday, February 08, 2014

SC Johnson Globe

Today's "Anything Goes Saturday" images started out as a fun mystery!

I have two vintage slides that intrigued me, since they were unlabeled and undated (though certainly from the 1950's). A woman stands in front of a large globe (hey, I live on that planet! It is the planet Urf) and she is pointing at something. Either where she is, or where she lives, or at the flying saucer that is just out of frame. I wonder what the globe is made of; my guess would be some kind of terrazzo (…a composite material, poured in place or precast, which is used for floor and wall treatments), polished to a high gloss.

In the second image, we can see that something special was going on in Racine, Wisconsin. Hey, the SC Johnson global headquarters is in Racine! You know SC Johnson, aka Johnson & Johnson, makers of baby shampoo and lots of other stuff . (Never mind, thanks for the correction to my dumb error, Nanook! Don't ever trust anything I write!) The Johnson campus is famous for a number of Frank Lloyd Wright structures, and it also has the "Golden Rondelle Theater" from the 1964 World's Fair.

Here's a modern picture of the SC Johnson campus; the research tower on our left is beautiful, but not one of Frank Lloyd Wright's best efforts technically (it is no longer in use for a variety of reasons). As for the globe, you can see that this one is different than the one in the old photos. According to the official SC Johnson gallery's tribute, "At Home with Frank Lloyd Wright", "….Wright envisioned a globe displayed on the SC Johnson campus. The first … globe was installed in 1952. Thirty four years later, employees banded together to present their Chairman, Sam Johnson, with a replacement that still stands today". I am assuming that the earlier globe fell victim to the elements, but could find no definitive information.

I need a giant globe!


Nanook said...


Love the globes. But - S.C. Johnson is unrelated to Johnson & Johnson.

S.C. Johnson = Samuel Curtis Johnson
Sr., Herbert Fisk Johnson, etc.

Johnson & Johnson = Robert Wood Johnson, James Wood Johnson, Edward Mead Johnson.

Although the idea of a Band-Aid impregnated with Lemon Pledge does sound promising-!

Thanks Major for these swell images.

TokyoMagic! said...

I didn't know that the company's theater from the '64 N.Y. World's Fair still existed. I wonder what they use it for now?

Anonymous said...

She might be taking the Pledge to Shout about the Fantastik Scrubbing Bubbles that Mr. Muscle is sending down the Drano?

I'm Off.

Bill in Denver, Planet Urf

Melissa said...

"...and then I studied the art of flashing in Santarém, Brazil, with the great master flasher, João 'O Sobretudo' Lopes. Now,let me demonstrate my raincoat technique..."

Nanook said...


I don't think I've ever witnessed a flasher who wore "sensible shoes". Could be an exciting first-!

Melissa said...

You gots to be able to get away quick.

Omnispace said...

The theater was redesigned to fit with the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture but when I stopped by there one time with my aunt, they still played the worlds fair movie. That was a while ago. Still a good stop if you are north of Chicago -- incredible architecture.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, what about Mr. Johnson from Blazing Saddles? AHA! Stumped you. I would buy a lemon fresh band-aid any day.

TokyoMagic!, according to the website, "…the building continues to function as a theater for both company and public events. Visitors to SC Johnson can arrange to view the Academy-Award-winning To Be Alive! and Carnaúba: A Son’s Memoir, which tells a remarkable story of family and adventure"

Bill in Denver, I loves me some scrubbing bubbles. You sure know a lot about SC Johnson products!

Melissa, that poor lady, she never imagined that some 60 years later, people would call her a flasher!

Nanook, sneakers are preferred, but "to each his (or her) own", I say.

Melissa, comfort is important too.

Omnispace, as you might have seen in my comment above, they do still show "To Be Alive!", as well as other films. I'd love to go someday!

Nanook said...


Damn,you're good-!

Melissa said...

I used to work in a building that was endowed by one of the Johnsons, so I had to do my share of telling them apart back in the day, too.