Thursday, October 22, 2020

How Many Sears Houses? 1940 - 1942

"Sears Modern Homes" catalog (1940)

Back in 2013, my fellow kit house researcher Lara, who blogs at Sears Homes of Chicagoland, made a comprehensive effort to answer the eternal question of "How Many Sears Homes Were Built?" One would think that this would be a relatively easy question to answer - Ask Sears Roebuck! But even Sears doesn't know exactly how many houses they sold through their "Modern Homes" program. Because Sears purged the paperwork associated with the "Modern Homes" program, the records that would have answered that question definitively have been lost to time. The answer given by the Sears Archives is around 70,000 - 75,000 homes. After quite a bit of research and best guesses to fill in blanks, Lara came up with a total of between 63,000 and 65,000 homes. I think Lara's research is pretty spot on. But one area where there was very little information was the time period from 1940 -1942 when Laura estimated that Sears sold around 700 homes. I think that number is low and I'll run through the numbers to explain why I think that's the case.