Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sears No. 110 in Fulton, New York: Testimonial of I. S. Jennings

Front view of the early model of the Sears No. 110, testimonial house of I. S. Jennings
Sears model No. 110 • circa 1910 • 706 Emery Street, Fulton, New York
catalog image of Sears No. 110 in 1908
Sears No. 110 in the 1908 Sears Modern Homes catalog
It's no secret that the Sears Silverdale (first marketed as the No. 110) is my favorite Sears model. And, for good reason: It's the house that my mom grew up in, and it's the house that sparked my interest in Sears kit homes, many, many years ago. 

So, when my research led me to this particular Sears No. 110, in Fulton, New York, I was über excited! A big part of that, was because it's the first extant No. 110 that I have seen, that was built according to the original plans for this model, as shown in the 1908 catalog. That year, the model was shown with this odd little slanted roof over the front vestibule area. Pretty soon after that catalog, Sears re-thought that look, and re-designed that part of the house, to have the vestibule covered, instead, by extending the porch roof. I prefer the later look -- it flows more naturally.

catalog image of Sears No. 110 in 1908
The first version of the Sears No. 110 model, as shown in the 1908 catalog.

The Sears No. 110 as it was marketed in 1912 -- the porch roof was extended to cover the entry vestibule.

catalog image of Sears No. 110 in 1916
The Sears No. 110 in its first year offered with the pre-cut option, 1916.
Catalog scan courtesy of our friend at Daily Bungalow/Antique Home.



catalog images of the floor plans of the Sears No 110 1912 and 1916  showing no bathroom
The earliest versions of the Sears No. 110 did not include an inside bathroom!
close up of back right corner of Sears No. 110 floor plan with no bathroom 1912
Only a storeroom in the back right corner of the first floor, until 1918... no bathroom.
918 Sears Silverdale catalog image of the house
The new name! The No. 110 is unveiled as The Silverdale in 1918

floor plan of first floor of the 1918 Sears Silverdale, showing a bathroom in the back right corner
This is from my June 1918 Sears Modern Homes catalog. An August 1918 catalog has a slightly higher price.

floor plan of first floor of the 1918 Sears Silverdale, showing a bathroom in the back right corner
And, here we see that the back right corner space has been converted into a bathroom.
That's where the bathroom was added in my mom's family home, a No. 110 from 1911.
Back To The Fulton, New York No. 110
This No. 110 in Fulton, New York, is authenticated as a Sears house. It was built circa 1910 by Isaac S. Jennings, a carpenter, who lived there in his later years, with wife Carrie E. Keller Jennings.

testimonial letter sent in to Sears from I. S. Jennings for his No. 110 with drawn image of house
Testimonial letter to Sears, from I. S. Jennings
Image courtesy of our friend at Daily Bungalow / Antique Home
Mr. Jennings wrote in to Sears at some time after building his house, and his testimonial letter was included in the 1912 Sears "Big Book" catalog, in the section about Sears building materials.  The page shows Sears houses, with a mention of how to order the 1911 "Book of Modern Homes" catalog, but with Mr. Jennings' letter simply referring to being pleased with the materials for the house he built... the name of the model wasn't mentioned, but a drawing of the house accompanies the letter. Researcher and Architectural Historian, Rebecca L. Hunter, included a mention of I. S. Jennings in her book, Putting Sears Homes On The Map-- A Compilation of Testimonials Published in Sears Modern Homes Catalogs 1908-1940 (available here ) .The book is arranged by model number, but also by state, and in the listings for the state of New York, in the town of Fulton, there are three houses mentioned. One is a Chelsea, one is a Sherburne (Andrew Mutch did a blog post about that one), and the first one mentioned is listed with a ? in place of the model name... and it's linked to "Jennings, I.S.".  So, this summer, I set about trying to find what model that might have been -- because I hadn't yet seen this actual page from the 1911 building materials catalog-- I hadn't seen the actual testimonial letter yet.

color image of street of Sears houses -- cover of 1911 Sears Book of Modern Homes catalog
The front cover of the 1911 Sears "Book of Modern Homes" catalog.
Source: Sears Archives page
Using Ancestry.com, it didn't take me very long to find out that I. S. Jennings was Isaac S. Jennings, of Fulton, New York. The 1910 census gave me an address on South Sixth Street, that didn't have a Sears house on it-- and that was the same address given at the top of the testimonial letter-- but the 1920 census gave me 706 Emery Street, as his address. When I plugged that address into Google Maps, and it landed me on this house, I let out a big, "Wow!", because I thought I probably had a Silverdale, but when I moved along the street to see the left side of the house, it revealed that, not only was it a Silverdale, but it was the very earliest version of that model, the 1908 version of the No. 110. I closed my eyes and let a big, broad smile come across my face.

So, though we don't know for certain what year the house was built by I. S. Jennings, we do know that by 1912, this model had the new look with the porch roof covering the entry vestibule. I have never seen the inside of a 1910 or 1911 catalog, so I don't know which year the model changed. But, we do know that the 1910 city directory for Fulton, and the 1910 U.S. census, both list Mr. and Mrs. Jennings on South Sixth Street. Since we know that the model had changed by 1912, the house had to have been built either in late 1910,  or in 1911. The 1912 Fulton City Directory lists Isaac Jennings at the address of this house.

snippet of the 1920 US Census showing Isaac S. Jennings and Carrie E. Jennings at 706 Emery Street, Fulton, New York
Here they are, in the 1920 U. S. census, aged 70 and 68, at 706 Emery Street
snippet of the Fulton NY city directory, 1912, showing Isaac S. Jennings, carpenter, at 706 Emery Street, Fulton, New York
The 1912 Fulton, New York, city directory.
Let me tell you, the 1912 "Big Book" catalog -- the big Sears catalog that offered everything imaginable, where this testimonial was published -- is an amazing thing to peruse. There is everything from ladies' hats and wigs to diamond rings to wicker rockers and colorful carpets and elaborate stoves and pocket watches. Everything imaginable was available from Sears. And, this is probably where the Jennings family bought some of their own clothes and house furnishings. And, my mom's grandparents, too, when they built their 1911 No. 110.
This is just one page of the huge 1912 "Big Book" Sears catalog.
You can peruse it here, on Archive.org.
Getting back to the house in Fulton, though...the right side elevation of the No. 110, remained the same throughout its catalog years, so this side looks almost as we'd expect to see it-- the back half of this side of the house looks, however, to have been extended out to make it even with the center cross ell of the house... the floor plan image shows that area to be in about two feet.

right side view of the early model of the Sears No. 110, testimonial house of I. S. Jennings
The Sears No. 110 was not sold with these wrought-iron porch columns or railings.
The 1908 version had what is called, "turned" columns. These are replacements.
1908 catalog image close up of the front porch columns of the Sears No. 110
1908 porch columns for the Sears No. 110

1912 catalog image close up of the front porch columns of the Sears No. 110
1912 porch columns for the Sears No. 110 -- the smoother, Colonial porch column
Here is an authenticated Sears Silverdale in Charleston, West Virginia, showing that side of the house:
307 Dayton Drive Charleston WV Sears Silverdale
I blogged about this house when I found it in a real estate listing, in early 2015. The new owners later ran across my blog post, and excitedly contacted me to share more photos. They've been working hard to bring the house back to life, and I recently learned that they found Sears shipping labels glued to the back of some trim that they removed during renovations-- that authenticates the house as a definite Sears Silverdale.
The back porch area of the left elevation of the house, is hard to see in any of the catalog images. I'm not sure if any changes were made to that element, after 1908, but the current look of the Isaac S. Jennings No. 110 shows the back porch roof looking like this:
back porch view of the early model of the Sears No. 110, testimonial house of I. S. Jennings
Back porch entry of the Sears No. 110 in Fulton, New York
This is the left side elevation of the house. It looks pretty clearly to show that this house had a new porch roof added there, to extend over the full width of the back porch. Other authenticated houses show the back porch roof being shorter in width.
Both the Charleston Silverdale, and another authenticated No. 110 in West Finley, Pennsylvania, show a back porch roof that's a little different than what we see on the Fulton house:
307 Dayton Drive Charleston WV Sears Silverdale
Back porch roof on the Charleston, West Virginia Silverdale.

This is a Sears No. 110 from 1915, in West Finley, Pennsylvania. You can see more about it in this blog post of mine.

Let's take one last look at the No. 110 of Isaac and Carrie Jennings:
Front porch view of the early model of the Sears No. 110, testimonial house of I. S. Jennings
A very nice front porch!
Take note of the entry spot onto the No. 110 here in Fulton. This corner entrance to the porch is part of the original design of the house, and it's one of the ways to tell this model apart from its almost exact lookalikes by other companies. The porch roof also cuts off at the corner here, to follow the same shape as the entry area. I wrote a blog post in March of 2015, pointing out this one sure detail that helps us identify a true Sears No. 110 or Silverdale, versus the Gordon-Van Tine lookalike model, or the lookalike model from Chicago Millwork Supply Company.
Sears Silverdale/No.110 next to catalog images of two lookalike models
Read about the differences between these models, in this blog post of mine.
I'm so glad to see that this wonderful old Sears house is in such beautiful condition. It is clearly very well taken care of. I wonder who lives there now? Might it be descendants of the Jennings family? It could be... my family's Sears No. 110 is still occupied by members of the Gross family, descendants of the original builders of the house, my mother's grandparents-- John and Frances Gross. 

My Family's No. 110
The Gross family No. 110 is in Northampton, Massachusetts. At the time that it was built, in 1911, by John and Frances Gross, who were immigrants from Russian Poland, it was modified to enlarge it to allow enough room for it to hold two families. The upstairs was extended to add an extra bedroom in the front part of the house. I realize now that the house, had it been built according to original plans, would have probably had the odd little roof extension over the entry vestibule, as is shown in the 1908 catalog. When I wrote about my mom's family home, in my very first blog post, back in December of 2014, I detailed all of the alterations that were made to the house, starting at the time of build, and going on through the many years that it has been standing.
historic Sears No. 110  in Northampton, Massachusetts
John and Frances Gross built this Sears No. 110 in 1911. Their son, Julian, and his wife, Martha Petroski Gross, raised my mom and her four siblings here. 
My mom lost her dad during her early teens, and my amazing grandmother, Martha Petroski Gross, took over the helm of the family. She continued the family business out of the house, and raised her children there. It was never easy.  Gram's own brothers were loving uncles to my mom and her sister and brothers, and helped out as much as they could. My sister told me that my mom once mentioned to her how especially close she was to her Uncle Jack --  it was he who bought her a bike one year, after her grandfather had given bikes to her brothers. Poor Helen was pretty sad at being passed over (especially since she was the oldest child!), but I guess that her grandfather thought bikes were only for boys. 

1920s photo of Jack Gross and his niece Helen Gross
Helen Gross as a young girl, sitting with her cherished Uncle Jack Petroski.

Uncle Jack's gift bike for Helen Gross
Here's Helen on the bike that Uncle Jack gave her!
Many thanks to my cousin, Martha, for sharing these two photos with us. She grew up in the Sears No. 110, too!
I don't know when Helen, my mom, learned about the provenance of her family home-- that the house she was grew up in came from Sears. If she did know, I don't think she much cared one way or another! She was always a bit surprised by my avid interest in Sears houses, and would chuckle every time (every single time) that I answered her question, "What did you do today, dear?" with, "Well, umm, you know... I spent some time looking for Sears houses." Ha! She finally learned that all of the research involved in this "huge historical treasure hunt" was really rewarding for me, and in the last year or so of her life, she made a point of encouraging me. 
group photo of cousins and friends in 1920s Northampton Massachusetts, with Helen Gross
Here's Helen with a bunch of her cousins and friends, back in the late 1920s, I'd say.

colorized photo from circa 1930 of young Helen Gross
This is another photo shared with me by my cousin, Martha. She or my cousin Pete, found it in the house not long ago.

Helen Gross circa 1940, wearing high school graduation cap and gown
The happy graduate, around 1940.... photo surely taken in the yard of the Sears No. 110.

Inside the Gross family Sears house in Northampton, Massachusetts, circa early 1950s
In the dining room of the No. 110 in Massachusetts, in the 1950s. That's the front window of the living room, in the background. There's my mom, on the left, with the white blouse. My grandmother, Martha, is in the red dress. Mom's dear cousin, Hilda, who also grew up in the house, is in the dark coat, and next to her, with that sweet blonde hairdo, is my beautiful Aunt Marion. To the right of my Aunt's arm, is the door to the entry vestibule of the house. Marion married my mom's youngest brother, Ed, and they raised their children in the Sears No. 110. Marion still lives there, as does my cousin Pete! I'll bet Marion made those pretty red drapes, because no one can sew like my Aunt Marion. Well, my mom was pretty good, too, now that I think about it--she made our Easter coats, and lots of dresses for us.
We lost my mom two years ago today. Here's to you, Mom. Thanks to you and Dad for a great life, and for giving me my two great sisters! This year, we have a new little one in our lives--the first member of the newest generation of our family. So, Zoë, this one's for you, too, my sweet, adorable, teensy little new Grand Niece! 

Friday, August 3, 2018

Wardway Florence In South St. Louis, Missouri

Wardway Homes Florence model • St. Louis, Missouri • 1925

The Wardway Florence, in the 1924 Wardway catalog
A reader of our Sears Modern Homes Facebook page, recently contacted us to ask what model Sears home this might be, as they had been told, when purchasing it, that it was a Sears kit house. But, instead of it being a kit house sold by Sears, we let her know that this house was actually a model sold by Montgomery Ward, through their Wardway Homes catalogs, as the Florence model.

This sweet little house has been beautifully restored, with lovely old hardwood floors, fresh paint, and a refreshed look to the kitchen. It's a simple floor plan, with two bedrooms, and, as is typical of our 1920s kit houses, it has wonderful wide Craftsman-style moulding around the doors and windows and at the base of the floors... and even around the wide openings between rooms. That is what really "makes" these houses... it's what is missing from the modern-era subdivision houses. 

The cover of the 1924 Wardway Homes kit house catalog.
A Montgomery Ward & Co. storefront on Biltmore Avenue in Asheville, North Carolina
(from the E. M. Ball Photographic Collection, 1918-1969, Special Collections, D. H. Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina at Asheville, retrieved from the Pleasant Family Shopping blog ) 
Montgomery Ward was a big, national-brand department store chain, with a popular mail-order catalog,  just like Sears. Throughout the mid-19-teens, 1920s, and up until 1932, they offered pre-cut house kits for sale, just like Sears, through their off-shoot, Wardway Homes catalogs. They also offered building supplies via catalog, just like Sears, and we can see from those catalogs, the kind of doors and kitchens and bathrooms and staircases and door-handle hardware and fireplace mantels,  and lighting fixtures (etc.!) that would have been included in Wardway homes.
Montgomery Ward 1930 Building Supplies catalog cover. (source)

Pink and green tile bathrooms, pink and yellow kitchens! Adding some color in 1930.
(source)
Both Wardway and Sears offered those iconic wooden batten-style, English-cottage-style,  doors, often rounded at the top, offered with big iron hinges ... well, they weren't really hinges (like on authentic doors from the 1600s, for example), but were referred to as "decorative iron strapping".
From the 1930 Building Supplies catalog put out by Montgomery Ward.
In fact, we researchers can sometimes pinpoint whether a house of a lookalike style is a Sears or a Wardway house, by looking at the decorative iron strapping. Sears batten doors used an iron strapping with a very distinctive curlycue at the hinge edge. No other company offered the exact look that Sears did. Here's a comparison:

Wardway batten doors on the left; Sears batten doors on the right. See the Sears curlycue?

Here is an authentic Sears batten door, with its distinctive curlycue.

And, here is an authentic Wardway batten door, with no curlycue at the hinge edge of the iron strapping.
But, I digress. Our Wardway Florence was built in 1925, according to St. Louis City records, and this batten-style, cottage-style door with iron strapping, was found more often on the 1930-era homes with that English cottage look.

The 1920s homes often offered a simple, solid, Craftsman style door, with or without some kind of window openings at the top. And, that's the case for what would have been supplied with the Florence model.
It looks like the catalog showed the Wardway Sacramento style Craftsman-style door. Our St. Louis Florence, however, looks to have that same style, but with another solid panel at the top.
From the 1930 Wardway Building Supplies catalog
Here's the door on the Florence. Those two windows on either side of the entry door make a really nice look, I think. It sets the Florence apart from the many other straight-shot models offered by every company.
Here is the Craftsman style solid-panel front door on our St. Louis Wardway Florence.
Look at those gleaming hardwood floors!
The Wardway Florence in St. Louis is full of beautiful Craftsman-style door and window trim:
From the 1930 building supplies catalog, here. (click to enlarge)
With solid-wood, two-panel Craftsman-style interior doors:

From the 1930 Wardway Building Supplies catalog, here. (click to enlarge)
What Is A Pre-Cut Mail-Order House?
If you're new to this concept, as our new buyer may well be, here's the concept: companies that sold house kits via mail-order catalog, like Sears and Montgomery Ward (there were other companies, too), shipped just about every bit of the house to you, via train, in several box-car loads. It was up to the new homeowner (or their hired construction crew, if they weren't building themselves) to go to the train depot and unload everything from the box car... then load into their own vehicle... and haul everything back to the work site, for construction. Sears instructed its buyers to be SURE to FIRST organize all of the pieces of building lumber, etc., before even THINKING of beginning construction.

Beginning in the mid 19-teens, most all of the house kits purchased, were pre-cut. That meant that the framing lumber would have all been stamped on the ends, and on the face, of each piece, with a letter-and-number code to help sort, and then put together, the lumber pieces. The pieces were pre-cut to the size needed for their purpose, and so it was absolutely essential that everything be put together in an organized way. Sears and Wardway explained that this pre-cut system was part of what saved you money -- you didn't have to waste time measuring and hand-sawing (or hauling wood to a lumber yard's sawmill), and you also, therefore, didn't have waste, because you weren't paying for the parts of the lumber that you weren't using (well... in theory). The Florence, however, was available as either a Ready-Cut kit, or Not-Ready-Cut. If the original buyers chose Not-Ready-Cut, then they would have saved a little money on the cost of the kit, but would have added the cost, in time and money, of having to deal with standard-length pieces that needed to be measured and cut on site.  The first image, below, is from a Sears catalog, and shows where the stamps on the edges of lumber would have been:
This image is one I took, myself, of stamps on the face of lumber, found in the basement of a Sears house in Affton, Missouri. That blog post of mine, is a good source of information about the whole concept of pre-cut, mail-order homes.

And, here is a much more visible example of stamped lumber, from a Sears Sunbeam in Wilkins Twp, PA

The following images are all from a Sears instruction book, but I'm sure that Wardway must have sent the same kind of thing:






And, Wardway offered pages in their catalogs (like these from the 1924 Wardway Homes catalog), explaining the Ready-Cut system, and how it saved money:
From page 9 of the 1924 Wardway Homes catalog, available here, online.
They also offered pages outlining the quality offered in their kit homes:

These last two images are from page 10 of the 1924 Wardway Homes catalog.
Wardway also explained where their lumber mills were... but... they weren't actually Montgomery-Ward-owned mills. Montgomery Ward actually contracted with the Davenport, Iowa-based Gordon-Van Tine kit-house company, to cut and ship their Wardway Homes (which we know, thanks to research done by Dale Wolicki). Gordon-Van Tine was an off-shoot of the U. N. Roberts Lumber Company of Davenport, Iowa. In 1915, U. N. Roberts re-tooled one of their lumber companies -- the Funck Lumber Company, in St. Louis, Missouri-- to add on a section to prepare pre-cut lumber for their Gordon-Van mail-order kit homes, as I explain in a previous blog post:
This information is from a previous blog post of mine, about a Gordon-Van Tine Glencoe model kit house in South St. Louis. Scroll down through the blog post to the section titled, Gordon-Van Tine In St. Louis, if you'd like to read a bit more about GVT's lumber facility in St. Louis. It was located on Goodfellow Avenue.
Then, Gordon-Van Tine also contracted with Montgomery Ward to cut and ship the wood for the Wardway Homes. So, it is likely that this house, though bought through Wardway, was manufactured right here in St. Louis, at the Funck Lumber Company (by the 1920s, though, the lumber yard had been re-named as the Goodfellow Lumber Company, after Mr. Funck retired).
This page from the 1924 catalog, indicated that photo No. 2 was the Missouri Lumber Distributing Yard. This had to have been the Funck/Goodfellow Lumber Yard owned by Gordon-Van Tine. 
Back To Our St. Louis Florence
Because Wardway and Gordon-Van Tine worked closely together, they had some kind of agreement to both offer the same house models (most of the models were in both company's catalogs, but not all), but they offered them with different model names. Interestingly, the Florence, as offered up until 1924 or 1925, does not have a GVT equivalent. However, beginning in 1926, Wardway made a few slight changes to the Florence, and began marketing this floor plan as the Avondale... with Gordon-Van Tine offering the exact equivalent, as their GVT No. 618. Take a look at the floor plans of these three models... they are (almost) exactly alike:
The floor plans of the three models.
However, if we take a closer look inside, we see that it would be erroneous to call the Avondale and No. 618 identical to the Wardway Florence.... because the Avondale and No. 618 have had the slightest little changes made... they've had a linen closet added, and a bedroom closet added:
The post-1924 models have two extra closets added.
From the exterior, we can see the changes that were made to the number and placement of windows -- again, making the Avondale / No. 618 not an exact twin to the Florence. The distinctive windows flanking the front door, were changed -- which really takes away the one nice bit of personality that the Florence had going for it. Other spots where there were doubles, windows were changed to singles, or to separated singles, and two additional back windows were added (one in the kitchen, and one in the back bedroom). A side window was added to the front bedroom, as well.
Changes made to the number and placement of windows, from the Wardway Florence,
to the Wardway Avondale / GVT No. 618.

Changes made to the number and placement of windows, from the Wardway Florence
to the Wardway Avondale / GVT No. 618.
But, though I don't see the Florence in the 1926 catalog, it was apparently brought back (or never left... maybe my 1926 source missed a page?), because the Florence is a highlighted house in the 1929 and 1930 and 1931 catalogs. Here it is in the 1930 catalog (thanks to Andrew Mutch for scanning his catalog for us):
Wardway Florence, 1930 Wardway Homes catalog

Wardway Florence, 1930 Wardway Homes catalog

You'll notice that the post-1924 floor plans show a window in the back wall of the kitchen (which our St. Louis Florence has), and a side window in the exterior side wall of the front bedroom (which our St. Louis Florence does NOT have).

The Interior Of The St. Louis Wardway Florence
The interior views show that the St. Louis house remains faithful to the floor plan, with the front door opening into the living room, the dining room following behind that, and the kitchen behind that. Even the size of the openings between the rooms, remains correct for the original house. The entry into the short hallway, from the dining room, is visible, and you can then see that the bathroom is in the correct spot. The bedrooms look correct, as well. Everything has a nice fresh coat of a pretty, soft grey paint, with bright white woodwork. Let's take a look:
Entry, into the living room

living room, looking into the dining room

living room, looking into the dining room, looking into the kitchen

kitchen, looking into the kitchen, on the left, and into the hall and back bedroom, on the right

nicely refreshed kitchen

looking up toward the front of the house, from the kitchen

Back corner of the kitchen, I believe -- there's that back window, that is not shown on the 1924 floor plan...
And, what is that box under the window? The owner tells me that it's a box. Is that a box for ice delivery?

double widows of the front bedroom
Thanks to Bing maps (because Google street view here is too grainy), we have a (somewhat dark) photo of the side of the house, showing all of those double windows on the left side:

The Wardway Florence in St. Louis, against the 1924 catalog image.
Our National Database of Gordon-Van Tine and Wardway homes, has only two other Wardway Florence models on it --neither in St. Louis. That doesn't mean that there aren't any others in the St. Louis area, but, actually, this is the first Wardway home we have found in the St. Louis City and St. Louis County area. Of any model. This makes me think that I should be looking for them -- I didn't find any Wardway mortgages (at least not with the known Wardway trustee name that we have) in my St. Louis area mortgage searches, and, frankly, I simply don't have Wardway models in my head. This is the first time that I have really analyzed one of the Wardway models... I won't forget it, now!

Here's a Wardway Florence, in Columbus, Oho
Here's a Wardway Florence, in Plymouth, Michigan
If you're interested in learning more about Wardway homes, the best book out there (the only book, actually), is this very good field guide by Wolicki & Thornton, which looks to contain all of the Wardway homes, thoughout the years. It is a good resource (though, for some maddening reason, they did not include an index):
You can buy a copy of this very good filed guide, here, on Amazon. Or, here, saving a few dollars (even with the shipping), direct from one of the authors.
Whatever you do, don't go to eBay to buy it... it's outrageously priced there.
Actual original Wardway Homes catalogs pop up occasionally on eBay. Because most of them are available to look at, online, you shouldn't overpay for them. They are often labeled, "Rare!", but, honestly, they're not that rare. Especially the ones from the 1920s. Don't pay the $90 that they sometimes ask for them. There is a re-print out there, of the 1925 catalog, and it starts at something shy of $150, on Amazon... that's nuts, too.  If you want to see the available-to-see-online years, I have the links to them organized nicely, by year, on this blog post of mine... jus scroll down to the section on Wardway:


I was very happy to find out about this cute little Wardway Florence in my own home town! Thanks for asking for our help identifying your house, new owner -- and for giving me permission to blog about your home.