It was the American Dream by Mail Order --Smithsonian Americans have ordered from Sears, Roebuck just about everything they have needed for their homes for 100 years--but from 1908 to 1940, some 100,000 people also purchased their houses from this mail-order wizard. Sears ready-to-assemble houses were ordered by mail and shipped by rail wherever a boxcar or two could pull in to unload the meticulously precut lumber and all the materials needed to build an exceptionally sturdy and well-designed house. From Philadelphia, Pa., to Coldwater, Kans., and Cowley, Wyo., Sears put its guarantee on quality bungalows, colonials and Cape Cods, all with the latest modern conveniences--such as indoor plumbing. Houses by Mail tells the story of these precut houses and provides for the first time an incomparable guide to identifying Sears houses across the country. Arranged for easy identification in 15 sections by roof type, the book features nearly 450 house models with more than 800 illustrations, including drawings of the houses and floor plans. Because the Sears houses were built to last, thousands remain today to be discovered and restored.
Houses by Mail shows how to return them to their original charm while it documents a highly successful business enterprise that embodied the spirit and domestic design of its time. "After decades of obscurity, Sears houses have become chic." --Wall Street Journal "These were . spacious, solidly built homes." --Parade "Don't be surprised if your own cozy bungalow turns up [in the book]."--Philadelphia Inquirer "A nostalgic and informative look at the tastes of Americans in the years before World War II."--Publishers Weekly "The bible to researchers of Sears' ready-cut homes."--Saturday Evening Post