The best description of the kind of innovation the Elastic Globe Wernicke Bookcase represented, can be found in the welcome message from the company’s 1922 catalogue:
Time was when even Kings slept on the floor in straw and rushes. Then came beds. And then, spring mattresses. Time was when books were stacked in piles, heaped up in corners anywhere. Then came solid bookcases. And then, Globe-Wernicke Bookcases.
Beds of straw and rushes strewn upon the floor could not be found in any home today. Even the poorest enjoy the comforts of modern improvements. So also with books. Everybody realizes the value of his library, however small, and appreciates the modern form of bookcases – the Globe-Wernicke Bookcase. Today, the out of date solid bookcase is only found in homes that are behind the times in the proper housing of books.
The early premise of the elastic system, was that it would grow with the needs of the owner. Starting out with one units, a base, and a top, the fledgling intellectual would add sections as they bought new books. If needed sections of file space, displays, writing desks, and even record cases could be combined to create the perfect storage system for any individual’s unique needs.
Because of the modular units used to create the system, the cases were a hit with those who moved frequently or regularly redecorated. Not only did books not need to be removed and repacked, the struggle with getting large cases through tight door frames was completely removed in this configuration. Damage to items is reduced by their never having to be taken out of their cases in transit, and in emergencies the units containing important heirlooms or valuables can be evacuated quickly and safely.
While a standard bookshelf have only one method of arrangement, namely vertical. These modular sections can be frequently rearranged to provide a room with a new look or different purpose with minimal effort. The only limiting factors is one’s sense of imagination.
In the articles under this topic, you’ll find descriptions of the major Globe Wernicke bookcase styles and sizes. Not only does the ‘elastic’ idea provide for a variety of specialized purposes, but also stunning array of tastes and sensibilities.