Shelves: A Brief History

A giant stack of shelves, with many books on them, surrounding an old door

Today, we’ve decided to honour the humble shelf (and shelves in general) as they really are excellent and don’t get the credit they deserve.

Without them, our book of da week section would look pretty weird.

And we’re sincere about this, too. Many a time have we just stuffed things onto a shelf and not really thought anything about it.

Shelves just get on with their duty quietly—they don’t complain, they don’t grumble, and they don’t need toilet or lunch breaks.

If they could talk and type we’d hire them to do our jobs for us. Yes, we ruddy well would. Enough of all that! Today we honour the Shelf.

Stuff You Can Put On Shelves

You can stick all manner of stuff on your shelves! You could even put unused shelves on your shelves if you so wished, but here is a more practical list.

1. Easter Island Statue

For this you’re going to need to go to Easter Island (as opposed to Pitcairn Island). We’re not entirely sure if you’re allowed to proclaim (steal) one of the statues, but we can’t really see a problem with it. Imagine one of those things sitting on your shelves!

You could throw a dinner party and everyone would come round and almost immediately, following the initial formalities, attention would turn to the Easter Island Statue. “What’s that on your shelf?!”

You’d grin a knowing grin, “It’s an Easter Island Statue!” you’d state. “You must have really great shelves to hold that weight!” they would squeal.

2. Dust

If you don’t actually have anything to keep on your shelves, or if you can’t manage to steal one of the Easter Island Statues, then you’re going to have to get used to dust.

After a few weeks there will be a fine collection on any empty shelf – you must be proud of this! If not you dishonour the shelf, and that will not do, sir/madam.

3. Cheese and Sausages

If you don’t own a fridge, yet remain thoroughly partial to cheese and sausage, then a shelf is the perfect place to put your favourite food.

What’s even better is that the food stuffs will be off the floor entirely (as they are on a shelf) and so no vermin will be able to consume your dish of choice.

4. Cabbage

Cabbage tends to get in the way a lot, we find. It’s very annoying.

You buy two dozen or so from the supermarket and then you never really bother eating them, so what you have to do is leave them lying around in your larder, on the bathroom floor, or on your roof.

But never fear! With a trusty shelving unit in place you can put your spare cabbage on a shelf and stand back in glee. Glory be! It’s a cabbage on a shelf!

5. A shed

If your shed’s taking up too much room in your garden then bring it indoors and keep it on a shelf!

Your garden will then become a new breeding ground for numerous and varied fabulous creatures.

Or you can have more room for when the good weather arrives to sit around getting utterly wasted.

Shelf Facts

Had enough of that? Good! Here are some shelf facts to round up the whole thing.

  • Shelves were invented by Mr. and Mrs. Shelf in 1633 out of mud and cow blubber. They actually named the device the “Mud Flap” but, as this had already been patented by the automobiles of the day, they had to relent. Eventually, after several more names (including; Streamlined Aerodynamics, Transmission, Traction Control, and That Thing On The Wall) they decided on Shelf. Clever them.
  • Shelves are very popular items to lean on.
  • Shelves can support the weight of seventeen fully grown elephants.
  • It’s believed that, when shelves die, they go to shelf heaven where they spend the rest of eternity doing their favourite hobby—supporting two dozen books as they gather dust as their owner doesn’t really read and is instead simply attempting to appear smart.

Have some gibberish to dispense with?

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