The Mars globe shares a trait with many of these early depictions of the known world: factual poverty. Old globes of the world showed massive waterfalls at the end of the sea to the west of Europe and any sailor silly enough to venture too near would fall forever into the void. Likewise, Mars was portrayed with the skill and conviction of observers who saw a spider's web of canals woven across its red surface.
The sorry story of Percival Lowell is well told and often so. How this rich amateur astronomer was convinced that the canals were products of an advanced race of beings who were desperately short of water and so built a wondrous complex of canals to transport the precious fluid hither and thither over the Red Planet. Indeed the notion of canals and therefore "men" on Mars was wildly popular at the turn of the 20th Century and HG Wells used this fascination with the possibility of life on Mars as material for his sci fi novel, "The War Of The Worlds".
Back in the early 1900's, Lowell was certain that he saw canals as he studied Mars through the massive 24" refractor that he had installed in his observatory at Flagstaff Arizona. Night after night he plotted the canals until he had "surveyed" all of them and presented the results of his work to the public in the form of maps and books and lurid descriptions of the inhabitants. The canals were not seen by every observer: only those who apparently believed they were there. It is surprising that such a race of minds "immeasurably superior" to our own used such basic canal routing methods. Few, if any of the canals follows the path of a great circle, a circle drawn over the surface of a sphere so that its plane cuts precisely through the centre of the Earth. The Equator is a Great Circle but the Tropics and the Arctic and Antarctic circles are not. This is odd because great circles are the shortest distances between two points on a globe and so the poor old thirsty Martians dug many more miles of canal than they needed to.
By the 1910's scepticism about the canals of Mars had been supported by increasing knowledge of Mars and by the advent of photography. Soon most talk of canals on Mars was relegated to the idle chit chat of amateurs and laymen. I say most but not all talk of canals as real, artificial entities on the Red Planet. On my bookshelf is a beloved little book. Entitled "Stars" and written by eminent Hayden Planetarium astronomer, TD Nicholson in the late 50's, the book shows the planetarium's rendition of Mars - big and round and lousy with canals that don't exist.
The space race had begun and we were entering the golden age of space exploration yet here was an anachronism of how Mars never was. Proof, if needed, of how reluctant we are, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, to throw away things that never were.