1900s: the Way We Lived - Research Article from Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell Bottoms

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Catalog Houses

Most people are used to buying clothes and other speciality items from catalogs, but in the first half of the twentieth century, Americans could also buy houses from catalogs. As Americans began moving into cities and their suburbs (see entry under 1950s—The Way We Lived in volume 3) in increasing numbers after 1890, they needed affordable housing. Catalog houses offered Americans one way to solve their housing problems.

The catalog house industry began in earnest after 1907 with the founding of the Aladdin Company. It was soon joined by other companies, most importantly Sears, Roebuck and Company (see entry under 1900s—Commerce in volume 1). Sears sold catalog houses between 1908 and 1940. In all of these catalogs, customers could select from a number of different housing styles, with bungalows and colonial revival homes being among the most popular. When customers ordered a catalog house, they...

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This section contains 415 words
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Buy the 1900s: the Way We Lived Encyclopedia Article
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