Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,518 pages of information and 233,949 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Globe-Wernicke Co

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November 1935.

of 222 Kensal Road, London, W10

1882 An American businessman Henry C. Yeiser set up a furniture factory called the Globe Files Co in Cincinnati. The factory started manufacturing office and filing furniture. At a similar time, a furniture factory called the Wernicke Co was set up in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

1889 Otto Heinrich Louis Wernicke invented a stacking system for units, meant as a quick way to build up storage shelves. A few years later the Wernicke Co designed a bookcase, which consisted of different sized glass cabinet components. By stacking these on top of and beside each another, one could create different effects.

Henry C. Yeiser became interested in the design and bought the Wernicke Co factory. With the new owner, the factory was renamed the Globe-Wernicke Co.

1892 In December, Henry C. Yeiser patented his unique bookcase design. The bookcase was a great success and also aroused much interest in Europe.

By the end of the 19th century, an English furniture manufacturer named Thomas Turner started marketing the design in England. The company was named the Globe-Wernicke Co Ltd. Manufacturer began in London and the design became a great success in Victorian England. Because of the world-wide spread of the British colonies, the bookshelves even reached India.

After the first patent expired (after 20 years), Globe-Wernicke evenually expanded to Canada, France, Belgium and Austria, Germany and Scandanavia.

Successful products are always imitated. the first copies appeared. This was not only the case in the USA and England, but copies were also being made in Germany and Scandinavia.

1906 The Globe-Wernicke Co (1906) was registered on 13 January, to acquire as from 31 May 1905, the undertaking of the Globe-Wernicke Co, to take over the business of office and other furniture manufacturers, and subsequently the name was changed. [1]

1920 The inventor died and sales began to drop.

1929 Listed Exhibitor. Manufacturers of Office and Library Furniture. "Elastic" Bookcases, "Elastic" Filing Cabinets, "Flat Roll" Desks, Library Desks, Writing Tables, Card Index Cabinets, Office Supplies, Board Room Furniture, Gramophone and Wireless Cabinets. (Stand No. T.32) [2]

1955 The company was taken over.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  2. 1929 British Industries Fair Page 68
  • [1] The Arts and Crafts Home