The History of the Motion Display
The roots of the revolving display, now manufactured exclusively by Spin Display in Boulder, Colorado, go back more than 65 years to Mr. B. L. Berg, of Madison, Wisconsin. In 1938, the concept of a showcase with multiple shelves that could be rotated was first developed by Ben Berg. Berg tested his idea for the next several years building some crude but promising prototypes. By 1946 Berg had refined his design and the first hand made models were put into service in the Berg Sporting Goods Store in Madison.
Berg's cases were more successful than he ever imagined. Tied flies and fishing lures were displayed in his first models. His "rotator" showcase as his customers called it was perfect for these flies, very small and traditionally difficult to merchandise. While selecting an item the customer operated a switch which caused the display to rotate forward or in reverse. Multiple trays which revolved in a vertical motion held over 400 different varieties of flies and lures. The merchandise was in perfect order, safe from pilferage yet readily view able by the customer. Simultaneously the product was easily accessible to the store clerk. This new style of showcase, which evolved into the "Berg Selector" netted Berg a 500% increase in sales.
A Fixture in Retail Stores
The Berg Selector was manufactured by B. L. Berg until Dairy Equipment Corporation, also of Madison, WI, purchased the company in 1952. Dairy Equipment Corporation continued production of the Selector under the name The Berg Company. They manufactured a wide variety of showcases and several motion displays of various styles for different types of merchandise. The Selector was updated and renamed the A-Model Motion Display in 1961. It became so popular it literally was a ' fixture' in retail stores across the country. Shoppers everywhere were eagerly pushing the forward and reverse buttons. The Berg Company, as a subsidiary of DEC - Dairy Equipment Corporation, produced retail store fixtures for 30 years.
The Berg Company in 1972 was joined by Jahabow Industries of Owensville, Missouri when they began to manufacture a copycat display called the Pro-Motion Revolving Display. The mechanism of the Pro-Motion case was completely different from the Berg model yet the look and functions of the two cases were essentially identical. Jahabow Industries manufactured the Pro-Motion for several years before giving up on the rotating case and discontinued production mid 1980’s.
Production of the A-Model moved from Madison, WI in 1982 with the sale and purchase of the showcase division of The Berg Company. Berg Showcase Manufacturing, Inc. of Longmont, CO began producing the Berg showcase line and the A-Model maintaining the leader position of motion display in the showcase industry. The last A-Model Motion Display was built by Berg Showcase Manufacturing at the end of 1998 shortly before the company went out of business.
The Spin Display
Today, Spin Display Inc., a division of BWInc., of Boulder, Colorado, has introduced the next generation of motion display. Spin Display has continued the evolution by improving and updating the "Berg Motion Case" being careful to maintain the important features that made the Berg predecessors the very best in motion.
Thousands of the original Berg Selectors and later A-Models are still in service today. Faithfully serving the retailer & collector they continue to serve up their offerings to the shopper and admirer over 60 years later.
Spin Display will continue to support these fine cases by supplying technical assistance and parts subject to availability.