|A beautiful, authenticated Sears Osborn, as shown in a post on the tribute blog, Sears Houses in Cincinnati|
Along the way in my own readings and research, I learned that several other kit-house companies existed, too (some larger than Sears, and older), and some of the bloggers I read include excellent information about homes by those companies, too: among them Aladdin, Gordon-Van Tine, Wardway (by Montgomery Ward), Harris Brothers (and their earlier name, Chicago House Wrecking Company), Lewis (later Lewis-Liberty), Sterling, and Bennett Homes. All of these companies sold houses through catalogs, selling house blueprints, and bundling them up with all of the needed pre-cut-and-labeled lumber, screws and nuts and bolts, windows and doors, framing wood and millwork, staircases and built-ins, and even paint, stain, flooring, shingles, light fixtures, bathtubs, sinks, faucets, and heating systems.
Other companies sold only the blueprints, requiring you to turn to your local lumber yard for all of the needed supplies. We call these, Plan Book companies, and their house plans were usually compiled in books available at local lumber yards (who were all in deep competition with the mail-order kit-house companies). Some of the big names you might read about are: Radford, C. L. Bowes, Standard Homes, and Home Builders Catalog. There are others, too.
Here's a list of a few blogs you might enjoy, given in no particular oder. They're all informative and well-done. They're not updated daily, because research takes time, but each post is worth the wait:
1. Sears Houses in Cincinnati
• Click here to read the informative post about that Osborn
• Click here to get to the home page of Sears Houses in Cincinnati
2. Sears Homes of Chicagoland
• Click here to go to the home page of Sears Homes of Chicagoland (www.sears-homes.com)
3. Sears Houses In Ohio
• Click here to read Sears Houses in Ohio
• Click here to go to the Facebook page, Sears Modern Homes
4. Kit House Hunters
• Click here to read Kit House Hunters
If your blog reading has given you a taste for further research on your own, I've provided a list of a few great resources in the side column on the right of my blog (Don't miss Daily Bungalow's albums on Flickr, the resources found at Antique Home, and online original catalogs you can find via this link.) Happy hunting! This is an enjoyable hobby, but also an important bit of research into an unusual phenomenon in American History.