A nice Japanese rack

The Unirack system was created in 1972 as a Japanese company’s entry into the storage space market. Not only does it look modern today, it’s also extremely innovative and would have become a design classic were it not for the oil crisis.


While undeniably 70s in colour scheme, they also hold up fairly well today. The Unirack system came in three types- A, B and C, A being a plain shelf, B being segmented and C being a set of drawers. All three came in a choice of red, blue or yellow and could be stacked together using locking protrusions.

As you can see, A and B also came with handkerchiefs. Why on earth would they, I hear you ask? Well, there was just one more gimmick: the secret compartment at the bottom.


The hankies were there to illustrate this interesting concept. Adverts depicted a boy pulling out the hankies like in the old magic trick, but they were more than just frippery- one could hide their super-secret documents inside the compartment, something Hillary Clinton should have thought of.

And that Japanese company?

Nintendo. Yes, that Nintendo. Before the advent of electronic games, Nintendo were best known as a company that specialised in traditional Japanese hanafuda cards, but also made forays into toys and even office goods as illustrated here. A lot of great pre-1983 Nintendo stuff can be seen at the excellent Before Mario blog, where I got the picture used in this article from.


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