Proudly promoting itself as "the largest home building organization in the world," Sears, Roebuck and Company advertised in 1932 products in a handsome catalog that also displayed a full-size replica of Mount Vernon, created from Sears materials for a Paris exposition in 1932.
At the heart of this now-rare publication were measured floor plans for 68 Sears homes. Over 200 illustration displayed interiors and exteriors for such handsome residences as the Belmont, a six-room house with vestibule, breakfast alcove, three bedrooms, and one-and-a-half baths; and the Dover, an English-styled cottage with a massive chimney and unusual roof lines. Photographs of some interiors revealed a furnished living room with paneled side walls and hewed oak ceiling beams; a spacious kitchen with contemporary appliances; a 60-foot living room with a huge stone fireplace, built-in bookshelves, a vaulted ceiling, and other designs.
An invaluable sourcebook for restorationists, this handsome volume will also be of use to people interested in preserving homes of the period. It will be welcomed by anyone who relishes a glimpse of America's architectural past.
Read an Excerpt
SEARS HOUSE DESIGNS OF THE THIRTIES
By Dover Publications
Dover Publications, Inc.Copyright © 2003 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Historic Mount Vernon Reproduced at Paris Exposition
In response to an invitation from President Doumergue, on behalf of the French government, the United States participated in an unique and fitting manner, in the French governmental Exposition Coloniale Internationale de Paris. The architectural plans for the American buildings carry as a feature a full size replica of Mount Vernon.
Following the approval of the architectural plans by President Hoover, the State Department decided that all materials and equipment should come from the United States—and awarded the contract for this and for the actual erection of the other American Exhibit buildings in Paris to the Home Construction Division of Sears, Roebuck and Co. These contracts were entered into the first part of October, 1930, with the understanding that all construction was to be completed by February 28, 1931. The confidence the United States government has placed in the Home Construction Division of Sears-Roebuck is merited by our well trained organization, which has built nearly 60,000 homes in all parts of the United States.
"If You Built That, I Want You to Build My Home"
We believe you will say this same thing as thousands of others have—after you have reviewed these beautiful homes and the details of Sears, Roebuck and Co.'s remarkable home building financing offer.
Just as Sears built in France a duplicate of George Washington's ideal Virginia home, so are Sears building in every type of community, homes of every size and style—the ideals of individuals in every walk of life.
These men and women will tell you that fine homes built under the Sears plan cost less than ordinary homes built under ordinary methods—and they will tell you that it takes less time and less worry to own your home the Sears-Roebuck way.
Now, it is your home that is to be built—your purse, your needs, your ideals of home ownership that are to be given every consideration. And we believe that when you have weighed the advantages of Sears unrivaled home building and financing services, after you have counseled with us, that you will make the same decision that nearly sixty thousand others have made, "I want Sears-Roebuck to build my home!"
Home Building Organization in the World
EVERYONE KNOWS that Sears, Roebuck and Co. is in fact, as well as in name the World's Largest Store. Financiers, business and mercantile leaders can tell you that about one per cent of the nation's business—or about three hundred and fifty million dollars a year—is done by this one concern. No wonder! More than twelve million families are proud to tell you "We buy at Sears."
YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS TOO. The Home Construction Division of Sears, Roebuck and Co. is the biggest home building organization on earth. It is a separate and distinct unit of the company, owning its own factories, employing upwards of 2,500 in its own organization, and with a trained personnel experienced, over 25 years, in every phase of fine home building. What other organization in the world can say the same?
Nearly sixty thousand homes already constructed —from foundation to roof—equivalent to the number of homes in a city of two or three hundred thousand people. In scores of cities there are complete construction offices devoted exclusively to selling these fine homes—modest cottages of four rooms—mansions of forty and more. Even exposition buildings for the United States Government! No building undertaking too large—none too small.
A GIANT CRAFTSMAN. Fourteen million feet—about 70 times as much as the average yard is the storage capacity of his lumber plants. He operates ten great factories for building needs only. At one of them the huge ocean freighters come right up to his own docks to unload raw materials and supplies for this single forty-acre plant. That saves many dollars on transportation.
The enormous dirigible "Los Angeles" could conveniently find mooring space in one of the buildings at this Port Newark, New Jersey, plant if other equipment were removed. Nearly one hundred feet high, five hundred feet long, and one hundred sixty feet wide, this single building is a giant hive of industry itself. But there are others.
In Norwood, Ohio, the World's Biggest Home Builder operates a seventeen acre sash and door factory able to produce three and a half million dollars worth of millwork a year— doors, windows, everything that helps make four walls a home. And the eyes of the giant watch quality at every step. The best materials, skillful workmanship and low cost are his exacting demands of man and machine.
YET ANOTHER 40-ACRE PLANT. To serve the great Midwest and South a combined lumber and millwork plant of forty acres is kept humming at Cairo, Illinois. Batteries of singing saws and crooning planers, creeping caterpillar tractors, and husky cranes are kept busy preparing material that will save the building workman's time and your money. If a special machine is needed to handle a job more efficiently, more economically, that machine is bought, invented, if necessary.
MACHINES DO EVERYTHING BUT THINK. Like mighty mechanical ants, and as busy, are the peculiar trucks that haul tons of building supplies underneath their stilt-wheeled bodies; fast moving electrically driven, they pick up their own piles and drop them down without a slip just as real ants carry crumbs. One remarkable rafter machine does three things at once, beveling both ends and cutting the notch for the top plate with lightning speed, and absolute accuracy. Human hands cannot compete with such machines. Fewer minds are needed to guide them. But so great is the number of machines that hundreds of skilled mechanics are needed to operate those in our lumber and millwork factories alone.
ONE AND TWO STORY SKYSCRAPERS. Just as the big girders for the framework of skyscrapers are fabricated at the mills, so are the joists, sills, studs, plates, and rafters for your home measured, cut and marked at the factory. Carpenters like to have materials arrive this way, just as cooks like to have "butter the size of an egg, a cup and a half of sugar," etc., on hand when baking. Neither too much nor too little, but the right amount, of the right quality, ready to use. Furnishing the framing parts this way eliminates tiresome back breaking toil and enables carpenters to concentrate on construction, to work faster, do more and earn more.
CONTRACTORS PREFER THIS METHOD. Contractors recognize these advantages. One contractor who has built more than one hundred residences this way said recently, "Since there is no hand sawing to be done, and no waste of lumber, I do not have to charge for these. I pass these savings along to the home owner in the form of a lower construction price. This method is better for me too, because I can get the work done sooner and can send my men on to other jobs, handling more business in less time."
THE GREATEST VALUES FOR YOUR BUILDING DOLLARS. Our many lumber, millwork, paint and roofing factories, wall paper mills, and other related plants, reduce your building costs still further. When we build your home, we know what are the best materials and equipment to use, and the lowest price at which these can be obtained. Our tremendous buying power and our complete manufacturing facilities make it possible to obtain or produce these products for you at that low price. Only by buying direct from the World's Largest Home Building Organization can you make these big savings. Only from a general merchandise institution, such as Sears, Roebuck and Co. can you get an iron-clad guarantee of complete satisfaction. We are in the home building business to make life-long friends and to create steady customers for "The World's Largest Store." Nowhere else can you get such big values for your home building dollars.
What This Means to You!
First of all, doing things on a big scale implies tremendous buying power. Mass production plus this greater buying power means extra economies, prevention of waste, not skimping of materials. This in turn brings top quality at low prices.
But low prices aren't enough. The valuable experience gained by the Largest Home Building Organization in the World, twenty-five years of it, is worth much more to you. This twenty-five years experience saves you disappointment as well as money. It has shown the way, not only to lower home building cost, but to better homes, better construction, and happier home ownership.
Everything–We Need to Build –including Money!
PLANS. Here at your disposal to pore over and to study is the world's biggest library of fine home designs and suggestions. Your ideas and suggestions—what you want—are welcomed and made practical at a price you can easily afford.
Artists picture many fine homes for your study exactly as we have built them for others. Experienced home counselors confer with you so that you consider every comfort and convenience that will make your home most livable and attractive. Nothing is forgotten. Then the value of the completely built house is guaranteed as the final price to you. No needed "extras" later to "boost the bill."
Sears two hundred million dollar guarantee of satisfaction begins here.
MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT. Only top quality materials and equipment with the best performance records, tested over a twenty-five year period in nearly sixty thousand homes. Only designs, patterns and colors most in demand by discriminating home seekers. No products less worthy—less desirable, deserve the backing of Sears unqualified guarantee. No unnecessary tax for heavily advertised brand names. Sears-Roebuck fine homes, finely built, are their own publicity—in every community. And these complete materials, equipment, and appointments of your selection must give you just as much—in many cases more—satisfaction and service as you could rightfully expect from any similar products offered by any other concern in the world.
This is but one more way you are protected by Sears two hundred million dollar guarantee of satisfaction.
COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION. Sears-Roebuck employs the best building tradesmen in your community. Every construction detail from the breaking of ground to the final flick of the last paint brush is carefully checked by Sears engineers at each step of the way. This insures all workmanship meeting not only your local building code, and the requirements of the U. S. Bureau of Standards, but the higher, more advanced standards of Sears- Roebuck construction.
Again greater values are yours—guaranteed by the entire resources of this two hundred million dollar institution.
CONSULT YOUR OWN ARCHITECT FOR OTHER IDEAS AND ARCHITECTURAL SERVICE
SEARS BUILD FROM ANY PLANS YOU MAY HAVE OR PLANS PREPARED BY YOUR OWN ARCHITECT
Little or no cash needed.. low payment - monthly like rent
No. 1 15-Year Plan
If you own a well-located lot, for each dollar you invest Sears will lend you up to three dollars to build the house. You furnish one-fourth of the cost of your house and lot—Sears furnish as much as three-fourths. As the following examples show, little or no cash is needed to build this way and monthly payments are lower than rent for homes of equal value. Under this plan you can take as long as you want to pay for your home—up to fifteen years. No payments for the first four months.
Suppose your proposed home will cost $4,000
And the appraised value of your lot is 1,000
Sears-Roebuck will lend you up to three-fourths. 3,750
Your cash investment in addition to lot would be only $250
Monthly payments would be only $32.10.
If your proposed home will cost $15,000
And the appraised value of your lot is 5,000
Sears-Roebuck will lend you up to three-fourths. 15,000
And your lot, therefore, is your only investment necessary.
Monthly payments would be only $128.40.
This plan means you can stop paying rent and apply that money to the purchase of a home! Ask yourself "How much money am I losing by not owning a home of my own?" You can easily figure it out from the following table.
No. 2 5- Year Plan
We will lend you up to sixty-five per cent of the total value of the completed house and lot. Payments are one-half per cent of the principal monthly and interest at six per cent per annum. Home seekers who own well-located lots and who want loans for a short time only prefer this five-year plan. No monthly payments for the first four months.
No. 3 Farm Loan Plan
We will negotiate these loans to home seekers who own free and clear, well located, productive farm land; that is, farm lands not already mortgaged and which are self- supporting. In such cases we will loan up to fifty per cent of a fair valuation of the land owned. These loans run for not longer than five years. You pay one-tenth of the loan in the fall of each year and six per cent interest. Balance at end of fifth year. You may also pay oftener during the year or even monthly, if desired.
How to Build Through Arrangement With a Building and Loan Association
Sears, Roebuck and Co. will ship the materials to you upon receipt of a letter from your Building and Loan Association, stating that the amount of our bill has been set aside for us and payment for the material will be remitted to us at certain periods as the work progresses. At your request we will be glad to furnish you the kind of a letter required by us, made out, ready for your Building and Loan Association to sign.
2% Discount for Cash With Order
We allow 2% discount if you enclose cash for the full amount—money order, draft, or personal check—with your order for a complete house.
One order—requiring just a Few interesting hours on your part —puts your entire home building program into the hands of this leading organization, with over 25 years experience in better home construction.
And Remember ...
Sears, Roebuck and Co. put their entire resources—over two hundred million dollars— behind your home to assure you the utmost in dollar for dollar long time value.
Charming Interiors That Are So
Entrance hall of ELMHURST as built in Ohio. See page 13 for plans showing how every part of the house is reached from this hall.
Living room of the PENNSGROVE, which is described on page 61. The story and a half living room has panelled side walls and hewed oak ceiling beams.
Living room of the LEXINGTON Colonial home shown on page 17, as it was built in central Pennsylvania.
Living room of early American home built by Sears in Pennsylvania.
An ELMHURST kitchen in Ohio. Gray, black, orange, and green make it most attractive.
Typical of Sears-Roebuck Homes
Living room of eight room Dutch Colonial house built for a client in Pennsylvania. Your own ideas skillfully interpreted by Sears
Two views of the 60 foot living room of the H-shaped early American home of log cabin style, built for Mr. and Mrs. Fuller M. Rothschild, Palatine, Ill. Vaulted ceiling and knotty pine walls.
A view of Rothschild's living room showing huge stone fireplace, bookshelves, lounging chairs and sofa. Ample light and ventilation in all Sears houses.
One of the three large bedrooms in the Rothschild's home. Specially designed wardrobes and unique color schemes in all three.
ELMHURST bathroom as built in Ohio. Equipment as designed by owner.
What Enthusiastic Home Owners Say About
"I can truthfully recommend every dollar's worth of material I received from you people to be first class in every respect. Upon comparing prices I find that I saved over $1000 in buying my Oakdale home from Sears, Roebuck and I got better material. My heating plant simply can't be beat. I will gladly show anyone through my home who is interested and explain it to them."
WALTER BRUMITT, Address furnished on request..
Excerpted from SEARS HOUSE DESIGNS OF THE THIRTIES by Dover Publications. Copyright © 2003 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Historic Mount Vernon Reproduced at Paris Exposition,
"If You Built That, I Want You to Build My Home",
The Largest - Home Building Organization in the World,
Everything–We Need to Build –including Money!,
Answers to Your Questions reveal why Sears method is - AMERICA'S MOST POPULAR,
HOME BUILDING PLAN,
Index of Houses,
Alphabetical List of Designs,
Sears, Roebuck and Co. Offer a Complete Construction Service,