Category Archives: WWII Era

Office Space: Globe-Wernicke Desk, ca. 1940s

At Dorset Finds we spend a good deal of time talking about, searching for and contemplating the best office chair solutions. Comfort, durability, design and value all come into play because let’s face it, you spend more time sitting in this chair than anywhere else so there are a lot of boxes that need to be checked before choosing the right item.

Just as significant – though often overlooked – is the selection of the right desk. This Globe-Mernicke desk has a great industrial look while also being sleeker that some of the other tank-style steel desks of the same era.

Globe-Wernicke originated in Minneapolis in 1899 when the Globe Company, who already had production plants in Europe, purchased the Wernicke Company in an effort to expand into the US market. The company was most notably an office furniture manufacturer but like many companies had its factories converted to produce military equipment during WWII.

The deep, seaweed green, heavy-gauge steel shows some age marks and the black vinyl top has scratches, imprints of the odd paper clip and and a few stains. The subtle, slimline drawer is sans hardware. Merely a small logo plate. Its width and depth prove a worthy match for all those pesky desk items that need stowing. Yes, this desk has been used, but it’s tough as nails and more sturdy an office desk, has never there been made…

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Salute the General: Goodform Chair, ca. 1930s

At Dorset Finds, we’re on a permanent search for comfortable office seating solutions to park your caboose. Herman Miller may not be in your budget but there are plenty of other mid-century options that offer great design and comfort without the price tag. The General Fireproofing Company of Youngstown, OH, manufactured timeless classics that are available today at any budget.

Founded in 1902, The General Fireproofing Company manufactured office chairs and desks and became the largest producer of commercial office furniture in the world. The Goodform line of seating was introduced in 1930 and featured a jet-stream aluminum design; a style that works in a contemporary setting as much today as it did then.

One of the great things about aluminum furniture from this era is that it can be buffed out to show its original sheen. This example has black perforated upholstery in very good condition and the seat and back adjustments are working well.

This item is currently for sale at Modern Anthology, Brooklyn.

Hearts and Minds: Classroom Biology Chart, ca. 1940s

Thoughts of 10th grade biology class came flooding back to me upon spotting this WWII era chart which illustrates in raised relief, the circulatory and respiratory systems, the brain and the heart.

Made in Italy, this piece possesses fresh, bright colors applied to molded plastic. The frame is metal (pitted and showing rust spots) and includes two small hooks for easy hanging.

After giving myself a quick quiz, it’s apparent I no longer have the ability I once did to recall the various terminology associated with each diagram so please don’t tell my 10th grade teacher!