Skip to content

Globe-Wernicke Bookcases : The “Standard” Style

Globe Wernicke Standard style bookcase

Click here for the main Globe Wernicke article.
(Source numbers are in brackets, and the sources are listed at the bottom of the post.)

Standard style bookcases were initially the only style of bookcase produced by Globe Wernicke. They were originally produced by The Wernicke Company, first in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and later in Grand Rapids, Michigan [1][4]. After The Wernicke Company was purchased by The Globe Company in 1899, the newly created Globe Wernicke Company in Cincinnati, Ohio continued their manufacture with slight modifications [1][2]. As you can see from the Wernicke Catalog below, the older Wernicke cases had different style bases and tops from the later GW cases. The Wernicke bases are rectangular and the tops are either a flat top that doubles as a shelf, or a rounded top that is generally similar to that of the GW cases except with a slightly different pattern [2]. The Standard style bookcases were discontinued by 1922 [3].

Wernicke Catalogue (c. 1899)

Each full-size standard section is 32″ wide inside and 34″ wide outside [5]. Standard bookcases were also available in 3/4 length versions (25 1/2″), but they are not common [5]. The sections were available in different depths and different heights, depending on the requirements of the books that were to be housed in them. The different depths were C (8″ inside depth, 10″ outside depth), D (9 1/2″ inside depth, 11 1/2″ outside depth), and E (12″ inside depth, 14″ outside depth). G (13″ inside depth, 15 1/2 outside depth) and H (16″ inside depth, 18 1/2″ outside depth) units could be custom ordered, but are consequently very rare [5]. The C bookcase units could be ordered with 9 1/2″ or 11″ inside heights, and the D book units with 8 1/2″, 10 1/4″ or 12 1/4″ inside heights. The E, G, and H units were available with only 13 1/2″, 18″, and 17″ inside heights respectively [5]. The D units are the most common.

Globe Wernicke stack widths

The oldest GW units have no labels but instead have information (including patent numbers) stenciled on the slat. The Wernicke units from 1899 and earlier have similar stenciling, but it appears to be on the inside back of the cases. Later GW units have labels that list “size” and “grade”, where the size is given as “depth-inside height” (for example: C-9 1/2, D-10 1/4), and grade refers to the finish. An S at the end of the size indicates a 3/4 width unit. Still later units have labels that list “pattern” and “grade” where the pattern is a three digit number (e.g. 110, 112) identifying the type of section. The labels are affixed to the inside back, bottom center.

Globe Wernicke stenciled slat

GW stenciled slat

Globe Wernicke early label

GW early label

.

Globe Wernicke later label

Globe Wernicke later label

Canadian Globe Wernicke label

Canadian GW label

.

English GW decal

English GW decal

English GW label

English GW label

.

The tops and bases each feature a distinctive rounded look (commonly referred to as “waterfall”, “ogee”, or “rolltop”). Corner tops (tops with 45 degree angle portions) were available for locating two bookcases in a corner of a room, but are rare. The bases were made with or without a drawer. Combination units were also available that are used to change the depth of the stack. For example, a D combination unit mates to another D depth unit below, but mates to a C depth unit above.

GW combination units

GW angle top

GW drawer base

Source for replacement base and top sections or missing doors:
antiquerepairguy.com

The sections have metal strips (often called “straps”) that cover the joints between the sections, and also serve to lock one stack to another stack next to it. These straps are finished in what GW called an “oxidized” finish. Knobs are typically made of brass. The sections were constructed from plain oak (straight cut oak), quartered oak (quarter sawed oak, tiger oak), mahogany, or imitation mahogany (birch with a mahogany finish). The doors are usually just standard glass, but may be leaded glass or other types of glass.

The oldest units have an equalizer as shown below [6]. Later, an equalizer having an additional member for sliding was used. Replacements are available for both of these equalizer types.

first GW equalizer

first GW equalizer type

Second GW equalizer type

Second GW equalizer type

Sources for parts:
C&H Hardware
Hardware Tree
Rufkahrs Hardware
antiquerepairguy.com
Kennedy Hardware

Known finishes: 198, 199, 296, 297, 299, 299 1/2, 398, 398 1/2, 516 1/2, 598, 898, 998 1/2
Click here for more info on the different finishes.

The following is a listing of the types of units, and dimensions if known:

Size/Pattern Section Name Outside Dimension Inside Dimension
C-9 1/2 Book Unit 34Lx11.5Hx10D 32Lx9.5Hx8D
C-9 1/2-S Book Unit, 3/4 Length 25.5Lx11.5Hx10D 23.5Lx9.5Hx8D
C-11 Book Unit 34Hx13Hx10D 32Lx11Hx8D
C-11-S Book Unit, 3/4 Length 25.5Lx13Hx10D 23.5Lx11Hx8D
C-X Top Unit N/A
C-X Base Unit N/A
D-8 1/2 Book Unit 34Lx10.5Hx11.5D 32Lx8.5Hx9.5D
D-8 1/2-S Book Unit, 3/4 Length 25.5Lx10.5Hx11.5D 23.5Lx8.5Hx9.5D
D-10 1/4 Book Unit 34Lx12.25Hx11.5D 32Lx10.25Hx9.5D
D-10 1/4-S Book Unit, 3/4 Length 25.5Lx12.25Hx11.5D 23.5Lx10.25Hx9.5D
D-12 1/4 Book Unit 34Lx14.25Hx11.5D 32Lx12.25Hx9.5D
D-12 1/4-S Book Unit, 3/4 Length 25.5Lx14.25Hx11.5D 23.5Lx12.25Hx9.5D
D-12 1/4 Combination Unit (mates to C size units)
D-X Top Top Unit
D-X Base Base Unit
D-X Drawer Base Base Unit
E-13 1/2 Book Unit 34Lx15.5Hx14D 32Lx13.5Hx12D
E-13 1/2-S Book Unit, 3/4 Length 25.5Lx15.5Hx14D 23.5Lx13.5Hx12D
E-13 1/2 Combination Unit (mates to D size units)
E-X Base Base Unit
G-18 Book Unit 34Lx20Hx15.5D 32Lx18Hx13D
H-17 Book Unit 34Lx19Hx18.5D 32Lx17Hx16D
108 D-8 1/2 Book Unit 34Lx10.5Hx11.5D
109 C-9″ Book Unit
110 D-10 Book Unit
111 C-11″ Book Unit
112 D-12 1/4″ Book Unit
113
133 C Leg Base
141 Standard D Square Top
143 D Leg Base
145
148 Standard C-D Leg Drawer Base
157 E Leg Base
12 inch record section
10 and 12 inch record section

Sources:
1. Cardinal Brands history of GW
2. Wernicke Catalogue (c. 1899)
3. 1922 GW bookcase catalog
4. pensapedia.com article on Otto Wernicke
5. GW thread at arts-crafts.com
6. article at jrantiquesandgifts.com on barrister bookcases

Advertisements

Globe-Wernicke Elastic Bookcases

Globe Wernicke logo

(This is a work in progress, last update 9/27/2012)

Globe-Wernicke is by far the most well-known manufacturer of barrister bookcases.The intent of this article is to list all of the information I could find on the web in one place. Herein you will find information on identifying the different styles of bookcases, dating particular bookcases, what types of sections are available in each style, dimensions of the sections, and types of finishes known to be used with each style. You will not find pricing information.

Source numbers for this information are given in brackets and the source list is at the bottom of the page.

GW Factory

The Globe-Wernicke Company was created when the Globe Company of Cincinnati, Ohio purchased the Wernicke Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1899 [1][2][5][16][26]. The parent company, Globe, had been founded in 1882 by Henry Yeiser and is best known for their vertical filing cabinets and sectional filing cabinets [1][2][16][26]. The Wernicke Company was founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota by Otto Wernicke, widely regarded as the inventor of the sectional bookcase, in 1893 [2][3][11][27]. In 1897, the Wernicke Company moved to Grand Rapids [5][9].

Henry Yeiser Otto Wernicke

Henry Yeiser                                      Otto Wernicke               .

Soon after the creation of Globe-Wernicke, a battle for control of the company began between Henry Yeiser and Otto Wernicke, resulting in Wernicke being forced out by 1903 [5][10][11][27]. Otto Wernicke joined up with the Fred Macey Company of Grand Rapids in 1904, the resulting company changing their name to the Macey-Wernicke Company, which began making bookcases nearly identical to those of GW [5][11]. Trademark and patent lawsuits were then filed against Macey-Wernicke by Globe-Wernicke, resulting in an injunction that forced Macey-Wernicke to change its name to the Macey Company in 1906 [11][22]. GW eventually lost its patent lawsuits against Macey [11][13].

GW went bankrupt following the stock market crash of 1929 [2][3]. It emerged from receivership in 1934, and in 1951 created the Techniplan, the forerunner of the modern office cubicle [2][3]. In 1963, Globe Wernicke bought the Weis Manufacturing Company and changed its name to Globe-Weis Systems [2][3]. In 1973 it became Sheller-Globe after a merger, which was purchased by ATAPCO in 1987, which later became part of Cardinal Brands, Inc., and today exists as the Globe-Weis brand within TOPS Products, part of R.R. Donnelly and Sons Company. [2][3]. Globe-Wernicke was making bookcases for sale to the government at least as late as 1964 [14].

1902 GW ad

The bookcases produced by these companies are usually called “barrister” bookcases because of their popularity with lawyers. However, the preferred term used by Wernicke and GW is “elastic” bookcase [15][18]. The reason for this was to call attention to the flexible nature of the bookcases, in that homeowners could purchase a small bookcase set, and then at a later time purchase additional sections to expand the case as their libraries grew. Later, GW referred to them as “sectional bookcases” [6]. Each bookcase consisted of a base section, one or more book or other sections, and a top section arranged in a stack to form a bookcase that could meet the requirements of nearly any customer and location.

Wernicke Catalogue (c. 1899)
1907 Globe-Wernicke Filing Cabinets Catalogue
1922 Globe-Wernicke Bookcases Catalogue

GW Universal style bookcaseGW Mission style bookcase

Throughout the years, GW produced sectional bookcases in at least twelve styles: the Standard style, the Mission style (also called the Art-Mission style with slight modifications), the Colonial style, the Ideal style, the Sheraton style, the Economy style, the Universal style, the Ambassador style, the Monticello style, the Arlington style, the Washington style, and a style called the 33 Inch Line. The Standard style was the original and still the most common style, characterized by metal straps at the joints between each bookcase section and rounded top and bottom sections. These sections were available in different depths and heights, and (I think) are often usable with sections made by other manufacturers (the later styles of GW bookcases generally are not). The Standard style cases were discontinued by 1922 [6]. GW was offering Mission style cases by 1906 [25] (they were referred to as Art-Mission by 1913), Ideal style cases by 1907 [24], Sheraton style cases by 1913 [20], Colonial style cases by 1915 [19], and the Universal style cases appeared around 1921 [21]. By 1936, GW had introduced the Ambassador style, which appears to be Universal style book sections with a different style base and top [32]. By 1938, they were producing cabinets in the Economy style, which look similar to the Universal style [33]. Around 1940, GW introduced the Monticello style [34][36]. By 1941, there were the Arlington and Washington style bookcases [35][37][38]. The Washington style featured sideways sliding wood or glass doors. The 33 Inch Line cases were designed for government use, and was a line that included not only bookcase sections but also filing cabinet sections. They are narrower and have a different stacking scheme using metal nipples and receivers instead of the slats of the standard units [39]. The 33 inch cases were produced from at least 1915 [40] and at least some of the sections were available as steel units. GW also produced traditional (non-sectional) bookcases in various styles, as well as various lines of sectional and non-sectional filing cabinets in wood or steel. Bookcase sections were available for some of these file cabinet lines.

See here for a post on the Standard style of GW bookcases

GW Mission bookcase sections

Many of the styles were offered in double width versions, and at least the standard style cabinets could be purchased in 3/4 width versions [4]. Other sections besides book sections were available for many of the styles, including desk sections, locker sections, drawer sections, and phonograph record sections. The base sections of some of the styles were available with or without built-in drawers. The book sections could be ordered with various types of glass in the doors, such as beveled glass, or leaded glass (but not stained glass) [4]. Some styles were only available with particular types of door glass. For example, Sheraton units were only available with standard glass, whereas Ideal units  were only available with beveled or double diamond leaded glass [4][6].

GW bookcase door styles

Source for replacement base and top sections or missing doors:
antiquerepairguy.com

The construction details of a GW bookcase can be useful for dating the piece. The Wernicke and older GW bookcases (one source says from 1895-1929 [4]) interconnect via wooden slats, where a slat on the top of the lower section fits into a gap on the bottom of the section above it. The later GW 3300 series units interconnect with round metal “nipple” pieces on the tops of the sections that fit into round metal receiver pieces on the bottoms of the adjoining sections. Also, the style of door equalizers (commonly called “scissor” mechanisms) can help date a piece. The oldest units have an equalizer as shown below [8]. Later, an equalizer having an additional member for sliding was used. Still later, an equalizer with two of the sliding members was used. Replacements are available for the first two equalizer types. The oldest units have stenciling on the slats (or the backs) that lists patent numbers. Later units have stenciling on the slats warning you to not pick the unit up by the slat.

Wernicke connection method using slats

The Wernicke connection method used a slat on the top of the lower bookcase section that fit into a slot on the bottom of the upper section.

Early GW equalizer

first GW equalizer

Later GW equalizer

second GW equalizer

first GW equalizer

first GW equalizer type

Second GW equalizer type

Second GW equalizer type

Sources for parts:
C&H Hardware
Hardware Tree
Rufkahrs Hardware
antiquerepairguy.com
Kennedy Hardware

Labels can also be useful for dating the units. The labels are made of paper and glued to the lower inside center of the backs of the bookcase units and attached to the bottom or top (non-exposed) surfaces of the top and base sections. Later units had no paper label but stenciled tag information on the left upper inside wall. The labels list a “size” (or later, “pattern”; on Canadian units, it says “standard”) and a “grade”. The size or pattern refers to the type of section, and the grade refers to the finish applied to the section. The appearance of the label itself can also help date the piece. See the examples below.

older GW label

older GW label

later GW label

later GW label

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

GW Art Mission label

GW Art Mission label

stenciled GW pattern/grade

stenciled GW pattern/grade

GW Mission label

GW Mission label

Grade or Finish numbers [31] –
114 1/2 – used on the Economy, Standard series
122 1/2 – used on the Economy series
197 – plain oak, weathered finish, brass oxidized hardware
198 – plain oak, fine medium dark antique gloss finish, copper oxidized hardware, finish available by 1899 [23]
199 – plain oak, Golden finish, oil rubbed dull, brass oxidized hardware
217 1/2 – quarter sawed oak, fumed brownish medium wax finish
278 1/2 – used on 3300 Series
296
297 – quarter sawed oak, weathered dead finish, brass oxidized hardware, dark or medium finish available
298 – quarter sawed figured oak, light polished antique finish, copper oxidized hardware, finish available by 1899 [23]
298 1/2 – quarter sawed figured oak, dead antique finish, dull brush-finished brass hardware
299 – quarter sawed figured oak, deep rich golden finish, highly polished, brass oxidized hardware
299 1/2 – quarter sawed figured oak, dead golden finish, dull brush-finished brass hardware
373 imitation walnut, used on 3300 Series
373 1/2 – imitation walnut, used on 3300 Series
374L – used on 3300 Series
385 1/2 – imitation walnut, used on 3300 Series
397.5 – used on Canadian Economy style
398 – imitation medium dark mahogany, maple/red birch, highly polished, Roman gold end hardware, pearl center door knobs, finish available by 1899 [23]
398 1/2 – Imitation Mahogany, dull finish; brushed brass hardware
498 – (discontinued early) medium dark black walnut, polished, (earlier made of maple), Roman gold end trimmings, pearl center door knobs, finish available by 1899 [23]
516 1/2 – solid mahogany, brownish, dead finish, medium dark, dull brass hardware
517 1/2 – used on the universal style bookcases
598 – solid mahogany, medium dark polished finish, Roman gold end hardware (brass oxidized hardware), pearl center door knobs, finish available by 1899 [23]
598 1/2 – solid mahogany, medium dark dead finish, dull brush-finished brass hardware
599 1/2 – solid mahogany, brownish with a tinge of dull red – Sheraton style only
698 – quarter sawed figured antwerp oak, polished finish, brass oxidized hardware
698 1/2 – quarter sawed figured antwerp oak, dead finish, dull brush-finished brass hardware
798 – quarter sawed figured early English oak
798 1/2 – quarter sawed figured early English oak, medium light (or medium dark?), dead finish, dull brush-finished brass hardware
898 – quarter sawed oak, mission finish, dull black solid brass hardware, furnished on mission and art-mission style of bookcases only
998 1/2 – quarter sawed oak, fumed brownish dark wax finish, dull brush finished brass hardware
2222 1/2
3025 1/2 – used on later Universal series
3098 1/2 – used on later Universal series
3298 1/2 – used on Economy series
3815 1/2 – light oak, used on 3300 Series
4098 1/2 – used on Ambassador style

Following is more detailed information for each of the bookcase styles.

insert links to style pages
Information on the Standard style of GW bookcases

Sources:
1. GW article at News-Antique.com
2. Cardinal Brands history of GW
3. GW history on ancestry.com
4. GW thread at arts-crafts.com
5. pensapedia.com article on Otto Wernicke
6. 1922 GW bookcase catalog
7. article at hurtashistorics.com on barrister bookcases
8. article at jrantiquesandgifts.com on barrister bookcases
9. article on Macey at historygrandrapids.org
10. 1904 article about Otto Wernicke leaving GW
11. 1910 GW vs. Macey lawsuit from US Circuit Court of Appeals
12. 1902 GW vs. Macey lawsuit, US Circuit Court of Appeals
13. 1902 GW vs. Macey lawsuit, US Supreme Court
14. record showing that GW was making bookcases in 1964
15. 1901 article about GW
16. 1909 article about GW
17. 1909 GW ad *
18. 1906 GW ad
19. 1915 GW ad, shows Colonial style
20. 1913 GW ad, shows Sheraton style
21. 1921 GW ad, describing the “new” Universal style
22. 1906 notice from Macey regarding GW trademark suit
23. c. 1899 Wernicke Bookcases Catalogue
24. 1907 GW ad, lists Ideal style
25. 1906 GW ad, lists Mission style
26. Otto Wernicke history at globe-wernickeusa.com
27. Kovel’s article at Nevada Daily Mail
28. US Patent 557737
29. US Patent 781562
30. US Patent 781561
31.globewernicke.com finish grades
32.1936 GW ad showing Ambassador style
33.1938 GW ad showing Economy style
34.1940 GW ad showing Monticello style
35.1941 GW ad showing Washington and Arlington styles
36.US Patent D126206 showing Monticello style bookcase
37.US Patent D126208 showing an Arlington style bookcase
38.US Patent D127208 showing a Washington style bookcase
39.1918 GW ad showing 33 inch Line
40.1915 GW ad, shows 33 inch line

Improvement in School-Desks and Seats.

miniature school desk

Back in the 1800’s, if you wanted to apply for a United States patent, you had to provide a small model of your invention as part of the application. The model needed to be less than 12″x12″ and highlight the inventive features of your creation, and the examiners at the Patent Office evaluated it to determine whether your invention was worthy of a patent. Afterwards, the U. S. Patent Office would store the models. Some of these models are quite cool, as they are miniature functioning machines and products of a bygone era.

the old Patent Office

the old Patent Office

Needless to say, storing models for each and every granted patent eventually became burdensome for the Patent Office. In 1870, Congress abolished the statutory requirement of a working model, and the Patent Office dropped its rule requiring models in 1880. (The Patent Office still requires a working model for anyone claiming a perpetual motion machine. They apparently required the same for flying machines until the Wright Brothers proved one could successfully fly in 1903.) However, some inventors still continued to (at their own discretion) submit models along with their applications. These days, models are no longer accepted with applications unless they are small enough to fit in the application file folder, or are specifically required by an employee at the office during prosecution of the application.

A first fire in 1836 destroyed many of the early models, and a second fire in 1877 destroyed 76,000 more. Although the Smithsonian saved some of the more historically important models, the remainder (over 150,000) were sold by the government in 1925. From there, they ended up in various museums and collections. Many ended up in the hands of a non-profit organization that sold them off to raise funds. Today, they regularly show up on Ebay.

miniature school desk

I purchased one at an estate sale in Mclean, VA. It is a small model of a school chair/desk (approximately 12″x12″x13″), of the type where on the back of the chair, a table portion is mounted to act as the desk for the student seated directly behind. The bottom and back of the chair portion are made of wooden slats, and the sides are cast iron. The desk portion at the back of the chair consists of a wooden table top and a wooden shelf beneath. The top edge of the desktop has a groove for holding tiny pencils. Both the chair seat and the desktop tilt upwards to give the students access to the area below the seat and the shelf below the desktop. (In the photos, the books, pencil, and inkwell are not part of the model and were added by me for effect.)

Unfortunately, I did not get an associated patent number or documentation for the model when I bought it. A small sticker on the desk top included a name that I mistakenly thought must be the inventor’s name. I found the area of the U.S. Patent classification system that had chairs similar to the model, but after several hours of searching for the name that was on the tag, I had found no such inventor. I began to think that perhaps this wasn’t really even a patent model; maybe it was a salesman’s sample or even a piece of dollhouse furniture? Although the thing looks old, it really seemed to be in too good of shape to be from prior to 1880. Plus, the sides are cast iron, and it seems like a lot of trouble to go through to make casts for just one model. Eventually I gave up on the name from the tag and decided to just look at drawings to see if I found anything that looked similar.

I lucked out almost immediately and found a drawing that matches the model exactly: Patent No. 127,940, issued June 11, 1872 to John Upham and William H. Kline for an “Improvement in School-Desks and Seats.” From reading the patent, it appears that the inventive feature of the desk is the hinge mechanism for the seat or desktop (identical hinges are used for both). Apparently, previous desks had hinge types that lost their tightness as they wore such that the seat or desktop would not stay in the raised position after one raised it. Upham and Kline’s hinge features a clamping piece E having a rounded portion E’ that fits into a tapered hole on the support D for the seat or desktop (see Fig. 3). If the hinge loses its tightness due to wear of the clamp and/or support, then one can restore the friction fit simply by tightening bolt F. I was surprised at how much having the real model in front of you really does help one understand the invention the drawings are trying to convey. It’s much easier to grasp than by looking at the drawings alone.

This hinge mechanism is the heart of the invention.

This hinge mechanism is the heart of the invention.

The clamp piece engages the rounded cup section at the pivot point to create friction.

The rounded cup section of the seat support at the pivot point.

The clamp piece engages the rounded cup section at the pivot point to create friction.

The rounded portion of the clamp piece engages the rounded cup section at the pivot point to create friction.

The clamping piece is not necessary for the hinge to function. Without it, the hinge functions as a normal hinge because the support bracket rotates about a protrusion on the chair standard itself, the support bracket being prevented from falling off of the protrusion by the spacing given by the floor, chair slats, and table top. However, the hinge mechanism will be loose and the seat and table leaf will not stay up once they are lifted. What the clamping piece primarily does is provide friction at the pivot point so that the seat or leaf stays up when you lift it until you push it back down again. As the joint wears, a re-tightening of the lower carriage bolt is all that is needed to restore that friction. Another benefit that is apparent from playing around with the device is that the clamping section also acts as a retainer for the support bracket and prevents it from slipping off of the chair standard if jarred. This is not even mentioned in the specification, but it is obvious from looking at the model firsthand.

The inventors are John Upham and William H. Kline from Eaton, Ohio. Eaton is a small town in Preble County west of Dayton, and near to the Indiana line.  In 1846, it had three churches, six stores, and a newspaper office. In 1860, it had 21 stores, a chair factory, and a carriage factory. In 1880, it had about 2000 residents. Both William H. Kline and John Upham evidently lived nearly their entire lives in Eaton. Unfortunately, it does not appear that their newfangled school desk ever made them wealthy, nor did it turn Eaton into an industrial powerhouse. In 2010, Eaton had around 8000 residents.

William H. Kline was born around 1826 in Ohio, to Jacob and Margritte Kline. Like his father Jacob, William was a wagon maker. He and his wife Josephine Gardner had at least three children. In the 1850, 1860, and 1870 Censuses, he is listed as a wagon maker. In 1860, he was a township justice. In 1880, he was a saloon keeper. He died in 1901, and is buried in Mound Hill Union Cemetery.

John Upham was born in Preble County around 1834 to David Upham, a farmer, and Sarah Mikesell. He fought in the Civil War, serving with the 165th Ohio National Guard, Company D. In 1873, he married Lucy Gardner, and they had at least one child (Alfred Upham, who became a professor at Miami University). In the 1860 and 1870 Censuses, John is listed as a carpenter. In 1880, he worked in a planing mill. In 1900, he is again listed as a carpenter. He died in 1911. Seeing as both John and William married Gardner women, maybe they were brother-in-laws.

Incidentally, Kline is the inventor of at least two other school-desk related patents: US Patent 100,416 granted March 1, 1870; and US Patent 172,451 granted January 18, 1876 (also naming Upham as co-inventor, as well as Sterling D. Tuttle). Furthermore, there appear to be many school-desk related patents from Eaton during this period: US Patents 80106, 99895, 109304, 118765, 122221, 130011, 134587, and 215620 all list Eaton inventors. Eaton was a hotbed of school-desk related ingenuity! Likely, there was some company in Eaton specializing in school desks at which all of the inventors worked. I have been unable to identify the company. An 1860 Ohio Gazetteer has a listing of Eaton businesses and lists John Harshman as the proprietor of a chair factory. Maybe this factory employed Upham and Kline? Considering the apparent desk manufacturing activity in the area, it seems likely that the desk based on this patent model may have been actually produced. If so, perhaps an actual example of the desk is still in existence.

Patent models such as this one are an interesting bit of history. They tell us a little bit about our past, and a little bit about their inventors. They show how much things have changed (the technology), but at the same time, they show that certain basic elements of our lives have not. Then, just as now, inventions were solutions to real world problems. Then, just as now, school desks were uncomfortable contraptions of wood and metal. Will we ever successfully design a school desk seat that doesn’t put your butt to sleep by third period? Probably not, but thanks to Upham and Kline, at least they don’t hit us in the head after we lift them up to stow our stuff anymore.

John Stephen Staley

John Stephen Staley family

John Stephen Staley family - front: John Stephen Staley, Elva Staley, Phoebe Ellen Staley holding Edith A. Staley; back: Lawrence E. Staley, Orville Staley, Henry Arthur Staley

(Note: work in progress; some of this information is likely not accurate. Sources are noted in [brackets])

John Stephen Staley was born on January 28, 1856 in Marshall County, Indiana to Stephen Staley and Jane Cheetham [1][4][16][22]. Stephen Staley and Jane Cheetham were married in Carroll County, Ohio on December 14, 1854 [3]. Apparently, Stephen and Jane moved to Marshall County sometime between 1854 and 1856. Lists of letters left at the Plymouth, IN post office from 1856 list both Stephen Staley (February 1856)[18] and Mrs. Jane Staley (April 1856)[19] (there is another Stephen in Marshall County at this time so this may not be our Stephen, but only one Jane Staley to my knowledge, so at least the Jane is likely our Jane). John Staley (may have) had two brothers and a sister: William Edgar Staley, Corah Staley, and George Sanford Staley [1][4]. Both William and George died as children, and are presumably buried in Marshall County [1]. In 1866, Stephen Staley died, and is supposedly buried in Plymouth, Indiana [1]. I have been unable to locate the graves online.

farm of Jane Staley

1879 plat map showing the farm of Jane Staley, and probably the farm of Henry Kauble (says Kemble)

After the deaths of Stephen, William, and George, the remaining family moved to Wyandot County, Ohio around 1867. They show up in the 1870 Census for Richland Township [5], as well as on an 1879 plat map of Richland Township [23]. On July 26, 1883, John Staley married Phoebe Ellen Kauble [1][21][22]. Phoebe Kauble was born in Wyandot County on January 16, 1863 to Henry Kauble and Lucy A. (Gardner) Kauble [17]. John and Phoebe had seven children: Arthur Henry Staley, Lawrence E. Staley, Orville Staley, Elva Staley, Edith A. Staley, Herbert Staley, and Howard Virgil Staley [1][8][10][11][12][21][22].

Jane Staley died December 17, 1916 and is buried in Jackson Center Cemetery, Wyandot County [1][13][15]. Corah married John Gangloff on June 6, 1901 in Wyandot County [20]. John Stephen Staley died March 28, 1925 [1][14][16] and Phoebe Ellen Staley died June 27, 1934 [1][14][17]. Both are buried in Hueston Cemetery, Forest, Ohio [1][14][16][17].

There are numerous discrepancies in the records regarding the Staleys. Firstly, as to Stephen Staley, it is mentioned in family genealogical records that he was from Carroll County, Ohio [2][16] and that he died in 1866 [2] and was buried in Plymouth, Indiana [1]. I have not been able to verify this information through other records (except that John Stephen’s death certificate states that his father was born in Carroll County). One of the family records states: “October 10, 1850 – Stephen Staley from Carroll County, Ohio purchased 320 acres west of Culver, Indiana, from Adam Karn for $800. On March 4, 1851, he bought 80 acres from Nelson and Susan Robinson of New York in Marshall County, Indiana.” [2] Culver is in Union Township. I do not know the original source of this information, although someone has written “information by Paul Staley” on the sheet. It also states that Stephen’s siblings were Henry, Benjamin, Joseph S. M., and Priscella, to whom Stephen’s land was sold in 1867 by Jane Staley [2]. If this is true, then I have likely located the Staley family in Carroll County (also the Cheetham family). However, there are two Stephen Staleys in Marshall County in 1860, so I am not entirely convinced as to whether this information is accurate.

Stephen Staley’s birthdate is listed as 2/10/1826 [1][2], but the Stephen Staley in Carroll County having the above brothers and sister is 18 in the 1850 Census, which puts him being born around 1832. In the 1860 Census of Marshall County, he is 25, which, aside from the fact that he apparently managed to only age 7 years in the 10 years since the previous census, puts his birth around 1835.

Also, Stephen and Jane are listed as having children William Edgar (b. 2/16/1857, d. 2/16/1869) [1] and George Sanford (b. 7/31/1859, d. 4/14/1863) [1]. However, they are not listed in the 1860 Census. This leads me to believe that either they both died before 1860, they were both born after 1860 and died before 1870, or they never existed. The Marshall County Historical Society has guardianship records that only list John and Cora after Stephen’s death. Thus at this point, it seems likely that either they died before 1860 or the family records are in error and Stephen and Jane only had two children, John and Cora. Again, I have not been able to locate the graves of any of Stephen, William, or George. Also, Cora is listed as 4 months old on the 1860 Census, so she should have been born in 1860, not 1858 as the records show.

The marriage record for Cora Staley and John Gangloff lists Cora as being born in Greecastle, Indiana, and also states that her mother was Emma Dailei [20]. I am unsure if these are merely mistakes on the record of the correct Cora, or whether I have the record of a different Cora. I am unaware of Cora’s whereabouts after 1910.

John Stephen Staley family

John Stephen Staley family - front: ?, John Stephen Staley, Phoebe Staley, Howard Staley, ?; back: ?. Edith Staley, Elva Staley, Lawrence Staley

John Stephen Staley, b. 1/28/1856 Marshall Co., IN, d. 3/28/1925 Wyandot Co., OH

parents:

  • Stephen Staley, b. 2/10/1826 Carroll Co., OH, d. 1866, Marshall Co., IN
  • Jane Cheetham, b. 9/1/1836 Carroll Co., OH, d. 12/17/1916 Wyandot Co., OH

siblings:

  • William Edgar Staley, b. 2/16/1857 Marshall Co., IN, d. 2/16/1869 Marshall Co., IN
  • Corah Staley, b. 3/3/1858 Marshall Co., IN, m. 6/6/1901 John Gangloff
  • George Sanford Staley, b. 7/31/1859 Marshall Co., IN, d. 4/14/1863 Marshall Co., IN

marriage:

  • Phoebe Ellen Kauble, b. 1/16/1863 Wyandot Co., OH, d. 6/27/1934 Wyandot Co., OH

children:

  1. Arthur Henry Staley, b. 8/8/1884 Wyandot Co., OH, d. 2/26/1962 Morrow Co. OH, m. 9/15/1915 Ethel Gertrude Clinger
  2. Lawrence E. Staley, b. 10/25/1886 Wyandot Co., OH, d. 3/16/1977 Wyandot Co. OH, m. 10/5/1918 Lola Mae Long
  3. Orville Staley, b. 10/1/1889 Wyandot Co., OH, d. 4/1984 Mt. Blanchard, OH, m. 12/24/1911 Mary Lillian Pever
  4. Elva Staley, b. 6/8/1893 Wyandot Co., OH, d. 10/9/1974, m. Floyd A. Fortunate
  5. Edith A. Staley, b. 2/5/1896 Wyandot Co., OH, d. 12/29/1988 Stark Co., OH, m. 7/15/1919 Harry Earl Klontz
  6. Herbert Staley, b. 9/22/1900 Wyandot Co., OH, d. 6/7/1979, m. 11/25/1931 Hazel Lillian Ludwig
  7. Howard Virgil Staley, b. 3/3/1907 Wyandot Co., OH, d. 11/25/1985, m. 1/23/1929 Geneva Beatrice Sanford
grave of Jane Staley

Grave of Jane (Cheetham) Staley

grave of John Staley and Phoebe Staley

Grave of John Stephen Staley and Phoebe Ellen (Kauble) Staley

Stephen Staley, 1860 Census

Stephen Staley, 1860 Census

Jane Staley, 1880 Census

Jane Staley, 1880 Census

Jane Staley, 1870 Census

Jane Staley, 1870 Census

.

Jane Staley, 1900 Census

Jane Staley, 1900 Census

Jane Staley, 1910 Census

Jane Staley, 1910 Census

John Staley, 1900 Census

John Staley, 1900 Census

.

John Staley, 1910 Census

John Staley, 1910 Census

Phoebe Staley, 1930 Census

Phoebe Staley, 1930 Census

John Staley, 1920 Census

John Staley, 1920 Census

.

Sources:

  1. Staley family history record, possibly prepared by Howard Staley.
  2. Staley family history record, possibly prepared by Paul Staley.
  3. Ohio marriage record for Stephen Staley and Jane Cheetham from familysearch.org.
  4. Stephen Staley family, 1860 Census, West Twp., Marshall Co., IN
  5. Jane Staley family, 1870 Census, Richland Twp., Wyandot Co., OH
  6. Jane Staley family, 1880 Census, Richland Twp., Wyandot Co., OH
  7. Jane Staley family, 1900 Census, Richland Twp., Wyandot Co., OH
  8. John Staley family, 1900 Census, Delaware Twp., Hancock Co., OH
  9. Jane Staley family, 1910 Census, Richland Twp., Wyandot Co., OH
  10. John Staley family, 1910 Census, Jackson Twp., Wyandot Co., OH
  11. John Staley family, 1920 Census, Jackson Twp., Hardin Co., OH
  12. Phoebe Staley family, 1930 Census, Jackson Twp., Hardin Co., OH
  13. Grave of Jane Staley, Wyandot County, Ohio.
  14. Grave of John Staley and Phoebe (Kauble) Staley, Wyandot County, Ohio.
  15. Death certificate of Jane Staley.
  16. Death certificate of John Staley.
  17. Death certificate of Phoebe Staley.
  18. List of letters left at the Plymouth, IN post office, February 1856.
  19. List of letters left at the Plymouth, IN post office, April 1856.
  20. Marriage record for John Gangloff and Cora Staley, 1901 Wyandot Co., OH, from familysearch.org.
  21. John Staley family record from an old family bible.
  22. John Stephen Staley obituary, unknown newspaper.
  23. 1879 plat map of Richland Township, Wyandot Co., OH.

Links:

Israel Benner

Israel Benner family, circa 1874

Israel Benner family, circa 1874 - L to R: Sara, Frank, Mary, Caroline holding David, Elijah, Israel, Irvin, Mary (Smith) wife of John, Hiram, William (son of Mary and John), and John

(Not all of this information may be accurate; source numbers are indicated in [brackets])
Israel Benner and Caroline (Diehl) Benner

Israel Benner and Caroline (Diehl) Benner

Israel Benner was born April 26, 1829 [1][13][16], probably in Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania [2] (other sources say Northampton Co., PA [1] or Bucks Co., PA), to Henry Benner and Lydia (Falk) Benner [1][16]. His parents died when he was a young boy, and he was raised by the Falk family [2]. He started out as a miner in the Pennsylvania coal fields [2], but later took up carpentry [1][5].

Israel had three sisters: Mary Ann Benner, Hannah Benner, and Elizabeth Benner (“Aunt Betsy”) [2]. All three appear to have traveled to Hancock County, Ohio with Israel. Mary Ann married Robert Watkins and lived in Allen Co., OH [16][19]. Hannah married Jacob Flick and lived in Hancock County [16]. Elizabeth married Hiram Longbrake and later moved to Marshall Co., IN [16][20].

In 1848, Israel traveled to Union Twp., Hancock Co., Ohio [1], where on July 6, 1848, he was wed to Caroline Elizabeth Fenstermaker [1][3][5][16]. Caroline Fenstermaker was born on June 14, 1830 in Mercer Co., PA [4][16][17], to Abraham Fenstermaker and Mary (Falk) Fenstermaker [17][18]. They had nine children: John Henry Benner, Elijah Daniel Benner, Mary Alice Benner, William Abraham Benner, Hiram James Benner, Sarah Ann Benner, Jacob Irvin Benner, Franklin Harrison Benner, and David Linfred Benner [6][7][8][9][16].

Israel Benner, plat map

1875 plat map showing Israel Benner's property

Israel purchased 80 acres between Rawson and Mt. Cory on which he established his farm, the farm eventually growing to 120 acres [5][15]. A story passed down through the family about Israel tells how he and a relative started out for the blacksmith with a long barrel squirrel gun and 30 shots. When they arrived at their destination, they had 29 squirrels and one shot left [2]. On September 10, 1874, Caroline (Fenstermaker) Benner died [1][4]. She is buried at Union-Clymer Cemetery [4].

On December 10, 1874, Israel married Caroline Diehl [14]. Caroline Diehl was born on 1/29/1849 in Germany [9][12], the daughter of Peter Diehl [1]. They had four children: Charles Emmet Benner, Emma Arminta Benner, Nettie Pearl Benner, and Samuel Harrington Benner [9]. Israel was a member and class leader of the Evangelical Association [1][11], as well as a school director and township trustee [1]. Israel Benner died of dropsy on October 27, 1892 [10][13]. Caroline (Diehl) Benner died on April 4, 1917 [12]. Both are buried at Union-Clymer Cemetery [12].

Israel Benner - Caroline Fenstermaker marriage record

Israel Benner - Caroline Fenstermaker marriage record

Israel Benner - Caroline Diehl marriage record

Israel Benner - Caroline Diehl marriage record

Israel Benner family, circa 1874

Israel Benner family, circa 1874

.

Israel Benner, b. 4/26/1829 Allengany Co., PA, d. 10/27/1892 Hancock Co., OH

parents:

  • Henry Benner, b. 1799 Pennsylvania
  • Lydia Falk, b. 1803 Pennsylvania

sisters:

  • Mary Ann Benner, b. 1/1/1825 PA, d. 1/31/1892 Hancock Co., OH, m. 10/5/1851 Robert Watkins
  • Hannah Benner, b. 3/23/1834 PA, d. 7/19/1910 Hancock Co., OH, m. 11/20/1853 Jacob Flick
  • Elizabeth Benner, b. 9/20/1836 Lehigh Co., PA, d. 1/26/1907 Marshall Co., IN, m. 9/20/1856 Hiram Longbrake

1st marriage (7/6/1848, Hancock Co., OH):

  • Caroline Elizabeth Fenstermaker, b. 6/14/1830 Mercer Co., PA, d. 9/10/1874 Hancock Co., OH

children:

  1. John Henry Benner, b. 1/17/1850, d. 8/21/1930, m. 9/8/1870 Mary Pauline Smith
  2. Elijah Daniel Benner, b. 11/2/1852, d. 11/10/1915, m. 10/6/1881 Rachael Elnora Spangler
  3. Mary Alice Benner, b. 9/24/1854, d. 5/2/1927, m. George Stultz
  4. William Abraham Benner, b. 10/24/1858, d. 7/28/1859
  5. Hiram James Benner, b. 11/3/1860, d. 5/4/1943, m. 9/21/1882 Elizabeth Rhoda Spangler
  6. Sarah Ann Benner, b. 7/10/1862, d. 3/13/1922, m. Leon Jennings
  7. Jacob Irvin Benner, b. 1/20/1866, d. 9/7/1945, m. 9/23/1899 Cora Antoinette Crist
  8. Franklin Harrison Benner, b. 3/10/1869, d. 6/23/1943
  9. David Linfred Benner, b. 8/8/1873, d. 9/18/1953, m. 10/6/1917 Nellie Viola Decker

2nd marriage (12/10/1874, Hancock Co., OH):

  • Caroline Diehl, b. 1/29/1849 Germany, d. 4/4/1917 Hancock Co, OH

children:

  1. Charles Emmet Benner, b. 2/24/1876, d. 1/15/1957, m. 10/1/1899 Cora Ann Moore
  2. Emma Arminta Benner, b. 4/28/1878, d. 5/4/1898
  3. Nettie Pearl Benner, b. 8/1/1881, d. 1/8/1943, m. 12/24/1899 Fred Philip Lound
  4. Samuel Harrington Benner, b. 7/11/1883, d. 8/24/1965, m. 10/17/1907 Augusta G. Swartzman
Sons and son-in-laws of Israel Benner

Sons, son-in-laws, and grandsons of Israel Benner - back: Hiram Benner, Frank Benner, John Benner, David Benner, Charles Benner, Leon Jennings, Sam Benner; front: Grant Benner, Hoyt Buckingham, Ralph Bear, Kenneth Benner, Ralph Benner

Benner women

L to R: Cora (Moore) Benner, Augusta (Swartzman) Benner, Mary Benner, Belle Buckingham, Bessie Benner, Nellie (Decker) Benner

From “History of Hancock County, Ohio”, Robert C. Brown, Warner, Beers & Co. (Chicago, Ill.), 1886, pp. 853:

ISRAEL BENNER, farmer and stock raiser, P. O. Rawson, was born in Northampton County, Penn., April 26, 1829; son of Henry and Lydia (Falk) Benner, natives of Pennsylvania, of German descent. Henry Benner was a stone-mason by trade but in later life turned his attention to farming. He reared a family of four children, Israel being second. Our subject grew to maturity on the farm, attended the common school, and, at the age of twenty years, learned carpentering, at which he worked for thirty-five years. He came to this county in 1848, and settled in the wild woods on the farm where he now resides. He is the owner of 120 acres of land. Mr. Benner has been twice married; the first time, in 1848, to Caroline Fenstermaker, and nine children were born to this union, eight of whom are now living; four are married and the rest are at home. Mrs. Caroline Benner died in 1874, and Mr. Benner then married Caroline Deihl, daughter of Peter Deihl, a mason by trade. Our subject’s second union has been blessed with four children—two boys and two girls. Mr. and Mrs. Benner are members of the Evangelical Association, in which he has been steward and trustee, class-leader (for ten years) and an exhorter for two years. He also takes an interest in Sabbath-schools and was superintendent for ten years. In politics Mr. Benner is a Democrat. He has been school director, also township trustee.

From “A Centennial biographical history of Hancock County, Ohio”, Lewis Publishing Company, 1903, pp. 541-543:

In 1845, shortly after his marriage to Caroline Fenstermaker, Israel Benner came into Hancock county for the purpose of seeking a permanent home. Though possessed of little of this world’s goods he was master of a useful trade, was of an industrious disposition and as work was then plentiful in his line he soon began to make material headway. Israel’s handicraft was that of a carpenter, and as there was considerable building in progress at that time in Hancock county he was never at a loss for steady employment. Land was also cheap at that period of the county’s history, and Israel Benner had little difficulty in securing possession of eighty acres in Union township, on which he built the regulation log cabin and set up housekeeping after the matter of fact style peculiar to pioneers. As his sons grew up they assisted in the work, so that in course of time the original eighty had been increased to one hundred and twenty acres of land, and the Benners were in independent circumstances. The farm, of course, was greatly improved by cultivation, fencing and building, and eventually became quite a cosy as well as valuable home. By the fact that he held several offices in the township, including that of trustee, it is evident that Israel Benner stood well with his neighbors and was a man of consequence in the community. In early life he had been admitted into the Evangelical church, but later joined the United Brethren, and his daily life was in keeping with the tenets of Christianity, which teach honesty of purpose and integrity of conduct. Israel Benner’s wife died September 10, 1873, but it was not until twenty years later that he himself was claimed by the “grim reaper,” to whom all, sooner or later, must yield. This worthy couple had nine children, of whom eight are still living, and seven of these are residents of Hancock county.

Israel Benner, 1850 Census

Israel Benner, 1850 Census

Israel Benner, 1870 Census

Israel Benner, 1870 Census

Israel Benner, 1860 Census

Israel Benner, 1860 Census

.

Israel Benner, 1880 Census

Israel Benner, 1880 Census

Israel Benner, death certificate

Israel Benner, death certificate

Israel Benner, Civil War draft record, 1863

Israel Benner, Civil War draft record, 1863

.

.

Israel Benner gravestone

Israel Benner gravestone

Caroline (Diehl) Benner gravestone

Caroline (Diehl) Benner gravestone

Caroline (Fenstermaker) Benner gravestone

Caroline (Fenstermaker) Benner gravestone

Sources:

  1. History of Hancock County, Ohio, Robert C. Brown, Warner, Beers & Co. (Chicago, Ill.), 1886, pp. 853.
  2. Oral history, told by Samuel Benner on July 7, 1963.
  3. Marriage record, Israel Benner – Caroline Fenstermaker, Hancock Co., OH, July 6, 1848.
  4. Caroline (Fenstermaker) Benner tombstone, Union-Clymer Cemetery, “Caroline, wife of Israel Benner, died September 10, 1874, aged 44 yrs 2 ms 26 ds”.
  5. A Centennial biographical history of Hancock County, Ohio, Lewis Publishing Company, 1903, pp. 541-543.
  6. Listing of Israel and Caroline (Fenstermaker) Benner’s children with birthdates taken from a family Bible.
  7. Israel Benner family, 1850 Census, Union Twp., Hancock Co., OH
  8. Israel Benner family, 1870 Census, Union Twp., Hancock Co., OH
  9. Israel Benner family, 1880 Census, Union Twp., Hancock Co., OH
  10. Israel Benner obituary, Findlay Weekly Jeffersonian, November 3, 1892, pp. 8.
  11. Mount Cory’s Yesterdays and Todays for Tomorrow, 1872-1972-2072, Mount Cory Historical Society, 8/18/1972.
  12. Caroline (Diehl) Benner tombstone, Union-Clymer Cemetery, “Caroline Benner, born Jan. 29, 1848, died April 4, 1917, aged 68 y 2 m”.
  13. Israel Benner tombstone, Union-Clymer Cemetery, “In loving remembrance of Israel Benner, born April 26, 1829, died Oct. 27, 1892, aged 63 y 6 mo”.
  14. Marriage record, Israel Benner – Caroline Diehl, Seneca Co., OH, December 10, 1874.
  15. Illustrated Historical Atlas of Hancock County, Ohio, Published by H.H. Hardesty, Chicago, 1875.
  16. Israel Benner family history, probably prepared by Mary Heldman or Chloe Benner.
  17. Abraham Fenstermaker family history, probably prepared by Mary Heldman or Chloe Benner.
  18. GenForum post by Jeanine Reichley on 7/29/2010.
  19. History of Allen County, 1885, pp. 782.
  20. RootsWeb post by Cathym on 3/17/2001.

Links:

  1. Benner graves at Clymer Cemetery
  2. History of Hancock Co., OH – Google Books
  3. Centennial Biographical History of Hancock County Ohio – Google Books
  4. Israel Benner grave at findagrave.com
  5. Caroline Fenstermaker grave at findagrave.com
  6. Caroline Diehl grave at findagrave.com
  7. Mary Ann Benner grave at findagrave.com
  8. William Benner grave at findagrave.com
  9. Jacob Irvin Benner grave at findagrave.com
  10. Emma Benner grave at findagrave.com