An American businessman Henry C. Yeiser set up a furniture factory called The Globe Files Co in Cincinnati in 1882. The factory started manufacturing office and filing furniture. In about the same time, a furniture factory called The Wernicke Co was set up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A few years later The Wernicke Co designed a bookcase, which consisted of different sized glass cabinet components. By stacking these components on top of and beside one another, you could create different wholes.
Henry C. Yeiser got interested in this design and bought The Wernicke Co factory. With the new owner, the factory was renamed The Globe Wernicke Co. In December 1892 Henry C. Yeiser patented this unique bookcase design. This bookcase design was a huge success and aroused great interest also in Europe. By the end of the 19th century, an English furniture manufacturer Thomas Turner started marketing the design in England. The company was named The Globe Wernicke Co Ltd. In time, The Globe Wernicke Co also expanded to Canada, France, Belgium and Austria.
With the designs great success several other furniture manufacturers got interested in the product and started to manufacture similar designs. The most notable of these in Europe were: Shannon Registrator, Minty and Gunn in England; Aug. Zeiss & Co (later Zeiss Union) and Soennecken in Germany and Lingel in Hungary.
In Finland, Billnäs Bruk Aktiebolag started manufacturing American style office furniture in 1909. A significant part of this product line was the Globe Wernicke bookcase design. Billnäs Bruk merged with Oy Fiskars Ab on the 1st of January 1959, but continued to manufacture furniture under the name Billnäs Bruk. The making of American style office furniture ended in the late ’60s and the furniture factory was closed down in 1970. BOKNAS
Otto Heinrich Louis Wernicke in 1889 invented a stacking system for units, meant as a quick
system of building up storage shelves. The design of this storage rack - made from bare planks - formed the basis of the later known Globe-Wernicke bookcase technique. The first patent for this shelving system was granted in 1892 and not long after the Wernicke Company, in Norwood, a suburb of Cincinnati in the USA, emerged. The popularity of the then known Wernicke bookcase units rose very quickly. With frequent advertising in the North Western Law Reporter these units were soon given the nickname the Barrister Bookcases. But notaries, lawyers and ministers also found the stacking bookcase system an attractive benefit. In 1899 the company Globe took over the Wernicke company. The Globe company had already developed to be one of the largest producers of archive systems, filing cabinets and pigeon-hole shelving. The company knew that with this bookshelf system it would create a welcome addition to their existing portfolio of products. Thanks to the increasing popularity of the units they could make a start on refining them. Thus they began using them to hang in window fronts helping prevent dust and once decorative