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George F. Cram Company
Cram, a leading manufacturer of World Globes for 74 years. logoGeorge Franklin Cram was a civil war veteran who marched with Sherman prior to his career as a map publisher. On March 18, 1867, George F. Cram and his uncle, Rufus Blanchard, founded the company Blanchard & Cram in Evanston, IL. The company manufactured and sold maps and atlases. Cram became the sole owner two years later and renamed it the George F. Cram Co. The company sold a wide variety of atlases, including the popular Unrivaled Atlas of the World, which was printed continuously from the 1880’s to 1952.

In 1921, Cram sold his business to one of his largest customers, E.A. Peterson of the National Map Company. The companies were combined at 32 E. Georgia St. in Indianapolis. The Cram name survived the merger. On March 24, 1928, George F. Cram died at the age of 86.

In 1932, the George F. Cram Company began manufacturing globes. In 1936, the company moved again to 730 E. Washington St. That location is currently the Marion County Jail.

Loren B. Douthit joined the company in 1937 as a School Sales Field Manager to develop the potential of the school market. Between 1937 and 1966, Cram developed a variety of educational maps and globes including the most usable globe in the classroom, Horizon Ring Globe.

Loren Douthit became President and majority shareholder of the company in 1966. In March of 1968, Cram moved again to 301 S. LaSalle St. where it remained for 38 years. Loren Douthit retired in 1978, passing the torch to his two sons. William Douthit became President and John Douthit became Vice-President.

The company remained in the Douthit family for 40 years until it was sold to another Indianapolis company, Herff Jones. Cram moved to its newest location at 4719 W. 62nd St. on the Herff Jones corporate campus in 2006.

"I never intend to stop studying, but life with me will now be real, earnest, practical."
- George F. Cram, April 28, 1865

Copyright George F Cram Company, used with permission, Interface Network Inc.
Source Cited

The George F. Cram Company: Map and Globe Accuracy
Developing and maintaining the accuracy of Cram globes and maps is a deliberate and ongoing effort. Prior to each printing, a map or globe will be edited for update changes and revision work.

Authoritative sources
The updating and printing of over 150 maps and globes in the course of a year requires a nearly constant review of authoritative sources to update our files. Major geographic publications, which include encyclopedias, atlases, competitors' maps and globes, are used to review overall content. Recent or ongoing changes require more contemporary sources, which are produced on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. These sources include newspapers with reputable international coverage, weekly newsmagazines, and governmental or academic publications and websites. Official sources include US Government agencies, such as the State Department and the US Board of Geographic Names, or foreign embassies.

A question of de facto vs de jure
A de facto status refers to a "factual" situation as it actually exists, while de jure means the legal or official status. Sometimes de facto and de jure are the same; sometimes there are sharp differences. Cram (and many US publishers) primarily uses the de facto status of a situation. An example is the nation of Taiwan. This island is claimed by China, it is not formally recognized by the US Government, and it is not a member of the United Nations. However, Cram (and many US publishers) treats Taiwan, as it is in fact, a fully functioning and independent nation.

A World of Confusion
The world will always be a confusing place, with competing interests and interpretations. Many places are known by more than one name or spelling. No publisher can honestly claim to represent the one, true interpretation of the world. We all make judgment calls. In some particularly confusing situations, we will include an alternate name, spelling, translation, or explanation.

David J. Mellen
Cartography Manager
The George F. Cram Company, Inc.

Copyright George F Cram Company, used with permission, Interface Network Inc.
Source Cited

Cram, manufacturer of affordable World Globes. logo

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