We occasionally have vintage Globe-Wernicke ‘Elastic’ bookcases come up for sale at our auctions – like this one we have entered this week.
Globe-Wernicke was founded in 1899 in Cincinnati, Ohio. One of the founders of the company, Otto Wernicke, had previously patented the ‘Elastic bookcase’ in 1892 – the forerunner to all those modular shelving systems we know today. Today, they’re also commonly known as ‘barrister bookcases’. They were so successful that they soon expanded their manufacturing internationally to Canada, France, Germany and here in the UK. They opened retail outlets in London and Manchester.
Globe-Wernicke modules are now hugely popular items of furniture; they’re in great demand for storing books but also for displaying collections such as vintage pottery & glass, antique toys and fossils & taxidermy.
Here are a few ads from the time publicising Globe Wernicke ‘Elastic’ bookcases: