In 1882 in Cincinnati, an American businessman Henry C. Yeiser founded a furniture factory, the Globe Files Co., producing furniture for offices and libraries. Around the same time, another furniture factory, the Wernicke Co., was established in Grand Rapid in Michigan. A couple of years after establishment, the Wernicke C. developed a bookcase model which consisted of fully assembled modules of different sizes. These modules created complete sets when placed on top of, or next to each other. This model fascinated Henry C. Yeiser, and he acquired the Wernicke Co. factory. The latter was renamed as the Globe Wernicke Co. after its new owner. In December 1892, Henry C. Yeiser acquired a patent for this unique bookcase system. It turned out to be a true success story and attracted interested in Europe as well. After the expiry of the patent, many other furniture manufacturers started producing a similar model. The major producers in Europe included Shannon Registrator, Minty and Gunn in England, Aug. Zeiss & CO (later Zeiss Union) and Soennecken in Germany, and Lingel in Hungary.

In Finland, Billnäs Bruks Ab started the manufacture of American style office furniture in 1909. The bookcase system of Globe Wernicke played a major role in that product range. The manufacture of American style office furniture was discontinued in the 1960s and the furniture factory with long traditions was closed in 1970.

The story of one of the most innovative and unconventional furniture systems in history continued in 1994. Skano took the dimensions, production methods and materials copied from the Billnäs Bruk's historic originals and started to manufacture the modular units again. The Skano bookcase system has gained popularity among book lovers and furnishers in Europe and elsewhere, largely owing to the fact that its elements can be easily combined, and can fit comfortably into traditional or contemporary settings. The modules are fully assembled at the factory. The modules are placed on top of or next to each other and the design outcome can be easily supplemented or rearranged.