E-Z Shelving History

The original design for the E-Z Shelving brand of cantilever shelving was developed during WWII, and manufactured and marketed by Standard Steel Works of North Kansas City starting in 1945.  In the mid-70’s E-Z was acquired by Ronald Johnson, a successful engineer and entrepreneur with Swedish-American roots who admired the system’s strength and efficiency.

One of Johnson’s early successes was to build reach-in and walk-in cooler shelving for over 3,000 Pizza Hut restaurants during that chain’s period of rapid expansion.  As a no-nonsense engineer, he promoted the shelving’s durability to restaurants, hospitals, schools, research facilities and other heavy-use environments that require easy-to-clean, easy-to-configure, high-capacity storage surfaces.

  • Vintage Advertising - E-Z Shelving Systems, Inc.
    E-Z Shelving in a Classic Grocery Store
  • Vintage Popular Mechanics - E-Z Shelving Systems, Inc.
    A Vintage Popular Mechanics Ad
  • Vintage Signage at an Early Trade Show - E-Z Shelving Systems, Inc.
    Early E-Z Trade Show Signage
  • Vintage Brochure - E-Z Shelving Systems, Inc.
    A Mid-Century E-Z Shelving Brochure
  • Walk-in Cooler Shelving Vintage Tradeshow
    An Early Restaurant Trade Show Exhibit

What Johnson wasn’t expecting was for E-Z to develop a following for its aesthetic properties.  Architects and designers frequently use E-Z’s shelving components to contribute to a “mid-century modern” or “industrial” feel, or to create clean lines in residential settings.  E-Z is part of projects featured in publications such as Architectural Digest, the New York Times, Vogue, and Dwell, to name a few, and it’s just as likely to turn up on sharing sites such as Houzz or Pinterest these days as it is in the lab of a California university.

E-Z Shelving Today

E-Z’s long-time employees, including second-generation Johnson family members, are proud to continue manufacturing in Merriam, Kansas, even as most other shelving production has moved overseas.  “When one of our customers comes to us with a design challenge or a time constraint, manufacturing locally means we can come through for them in ways that others can’t,” says Jim Parmiter, E-Z’s Senior Project Specialist.

When you order from E-Z you’ll be in direct communication with team members that are invested in every step of the process – from design through delivery, installation, and post-sale service.  Our customers routinely tell us that we provide some of the best customer support they’ve ever experienced.  See our Testimonials page for examples, and imagine how that level of service can facilitate your next project.

Ready to order?  Get the ball rolling on our Quote page, or call us at (800) 353-1331 to explore how we can help.

We thank you for your interest!