Replogle Globes, world’s leading globe-maker, to return to Illinois

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The world’s leading manufacturer of globes is returning to Illinois.

Replogle Globes will move to Hillside later this year, according to company officials and Hillside Mayor Joseph Tamburino.

The company, founded in 1930 in a Chicago apartment, has been operating out of Indiana.

RELATED STORY: LeRoy Tolman, who had the world in his hands as globe-maker’s chief cartographer, has died at 84.

The motto of founder Luther Replogle — who became a U.S. ambassador to Iceland in the Nixon administration — was: “A globe in every home.”

The company turned out globes on Narragansett Avenue until moving in the 1980s  to Broadview. In 2010, Replogle was bought by Indianapolis’ Herff Jones, a maker of yearbooks, class rings and diplomas.

Replogle, which produces about 500,000 globes a year, will employ approximately 50 people at its new headquarters at 125 Fencl Lane in Hillside, Joe Wright, its chief executive officer, said in an interview Wednesday. Wright said about 35 will be new hires, some of them former Replogle employees from Illinois.

Replogle closed last week on the Hillside property. The facility should open by the end of November, Wright said.

Herff Jones has sold the company to Wright and three Replogle veterans, according to Clayton Chang, one of the new owners.

“We’re going to make globes and maps. We’re still the biggest,” said Chang, a longtime Replogle staffer who is president of the new venture.

“We’re going to work to keep them happy,” Tamburino said. “It’s a wonderful thing.”

To attract the company, Hillside worked with Cook County to grant Replogle lowered assessments that will save it hundreds of thousands of dollars in property taxes, Tamburino said. And the state of Illinois is providing some financing for the building, Wright said.

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