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Houses by Mail; A Guide to Houses from Sears, Roebuck and Company; A Guide to Houses from Sears,

Houses by Mail; A Guide to Houses from Sears, Roebuck and Company; A Guide to Houses from Sears,

by Katherine Cole Stevenson, Diane Maddex (Editor), H. Ward Jandl

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Between 1908 and 1940 Sears sold over 100,000 nearly completed houses across the country, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest. Some 500 models were available, and the company sought to make ordering them ``as easy as ordering an automobile, radio or piece of furniture.'' The houses, which had on average 30,000 pieces and cost between $650 and 2500, were usually shipped by rail and often were assembled by Sears employees. This volume reproduces copy from the original Sears house catalogues. There is, for example, the ``Matoka,'' a two-bedroom bungalow that was popular during World War I. The ``Rockhurst'' had three possible exterior designs. The ``Winthrop'' was based on classic New England styles. This book offers a nostalgic and informative look at the tastes of Americans in the years before World War II. There are 800 illustrations, an informative introduction, a bibliography and an index. (June)
Library Journal
Between 1908 and 1940, Sears, Roebuck offered ready-to-assemble houses from special catalogs. Over 100,000 of these dwellings were constructed across America. The authors have re-created the look of the catalogs in this heavily illustrated guide to 447 models. Each entry includes, among other information, promotional copy from the original catalog, house details and features, price, and a short list of cities where examples can be found. The book is organized as an identification guide, with sections arranged by roof design. A lengthy introduction chronicles the evolution of the catalogs and explores the reasons for Sears's success in helping Americans select, finance, and build low-cost homes of good quality. Recommended. Douglas Birdsall, North Dakota State Univ. Lib., Fargo

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