Hoover Home Furniture . . .

Hoover’s OMNI Division introduces ‘wood-less’ shelving system

July 15, 1973 (PD: 201307)

Hoover Shelving 1967

Hoover’s OMNI-Spectrum storage system allowed for a variety of urethane shelf and cabinet arrangements

A July 15, 1973 article in the Atlanta Journal reported on a new storage system made of rigid urethane shelves and cabinets supported by aluminum poles, all of which were manufactured by Hoover Ball and Bearing Company’s OMNI Division based in Charlotte, Michigan.

Created by industrial designer Henry Glass, the OMNI-Spectrum system was meant as a partial solution to the shortage of lumber available for furniture.  The urethane components used in the cabinet system were touted as being stronger and more design-friendly than wood as well.

The molded cabinets came in a variety of colors and because they had no seams or corners, they supposedly held no dust.  Depending on the number of components included, the price of a basic system ran from $45 to $185.

Hoover reentered the home furniture business with its acquisition of Aluminum Extrusions, Inc. and its OMNI furniture line in 1967.  Hoover sold its furniture division in 1981.

Johnson Controls’ acquisition of Hoover in 1985 marked the former company’s entry into the automotive seating and plastic bottle businesses.