Monday, January 20, 2020

Authenticated Houses - Part 1

Authenticated Sears Crafton
Yorktown Heights, New York
I'm starting a new series on the blog to help highlight kit houses that I have been able to authenticate. My hope is to do this on a bi-weekly basis, sharing houses that I have authenticated since the last update. Kit house researchers use a variety of ways to authenticate houses and I'll be sharing the methods I've used to authenticate the houses as part of this feature. By highlighting these houses, I hope to be able to assist some homeowners in identifying their kit house and showing that they own the real deal! I also hope to show other kit house researchers and those interested in researching their houses how we go about doing that. On to the houses!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Kit House Presentations

Catalog images of Sears Stratford
(1929 Special Supplement)
Images courtesy of Antique Home
Interested in hearing us speak about kit houses? Check out our list of upcoming presentations. Interested in having us present? We're scheduling presentations for 2020. Contact us to schedule a presentation in your community!

2020 Scheduled Presentations

All of the scheduled presentations have been canceled due to the current public health emergency. As those are rescheduled, those will be presented here. 

View a list of previous presentations.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Sears Modern Homes on Wikipedia

One of the things I've learned in reading articles online and in print about Sears homes is that one of the most frequently consulted sources about houses from Sears is Wikipedia. Whether it's cited or not, it becomes quickly apparent when an author has done their research using the Wikipedia entry for Sears homes. I've spent some time trying to ensure that the entry is factually accurate so if that's an author's only source of information, they could do a lot worse. Still, it's bothered me that for years, the entry was titled "Sears Catalog Homes". While the article content made clear that the homes sold by Sears weren't limited to catalog sales or examples from the catalog, the title left a different impression. So I'm pleased to see that the title for the entry was recently updated to "Sears Modern Homes". I think this change is a good one for a couple of reasons:

1. It reflects the fact that "Sears Modern Homes" was the branding used by Sears for the houses that they sold through their "Modern Homes" catalog. 

2. By removing the reference to "catalog" in the title, it makes the title more consistent with the article content, which reflects the numerous ways that the "Modern Homes" were sold - through mail order catalog, from "Modern Homes" offices and by salesmen employed by Sears Roebuck. 

It may seem like a small change but hopefully, it will ensure that the "Modern Homes" name appears in more articles in the future and more readers will learn about all the ways that Sears sold their "catalog" homes. 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Covington, Kentucky - An Introduction

Sears Langston
Covington, Kentucky
Covington, Kentucky is located on the south bank of the Ohio River, opposite the treasure trove of Sears houses that can be found in Cincinnati, Ohio. Once we discovered how many Sears houses were located in Cincinnati, it was only logical to assume that Covington would be home to a fair share of Sears houses too. Over the years, we had read stories that made reference to a large number of Sears houses in Covington. There were even rumors of a survey of Sears houses in Covington. But none of my fellow researchers had any luck putting their hands on said survey. From time to time, houses would pop up in real estate ads and searches of digitized newspapers, and we would add another Sears house in Covington to the list. But no one had pulled together a comprehensive list of Sears houses in Covington to see what all was out there - until now. Let's take a look!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Where are the Sears Houses - December 2019 Edition

Sears Claremont
New Providence, New Jersey
The cold days of winter can be prime days for Sears house hunting. While the snow and ice may keep kit house researchers off the roads, it's the perfect time for us to go online and find homes from Sears Roebuck through real estate listings, newspaper articles, public records and other digital resources. Recently, one of the members of our research group put out the challenge to reach the 12,000 homes mark by the end of 2019. The group stepped up to the challenge and hit 12,000 with weeks to go before the end of the year.