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Kit Houses

A guide to provide basic information on kit houses, as well as to provide links to resources on these prefabricated houses.

Archives & Manuscript Collections

Archival Collections contain manuscript collections documenting all aspects of history and culture. There are a couple of collections around the country relate to the Kit Houses.

There has been a recent effort to digitize many of these collections and the make them available.


Archival Resources

The Aladdin Company Records

The collection includes an almost complete run of company catalogs, full set of sales records, over 15,000 post-World War II architectural drawings, and various other company records create an extraordinary historical resource. The collection is held by the Clark Historical Library at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, MI. A lot of the collection has been digitized and can be found on-line.



Montgomery Ward Records, ca 1860-1989

The collections includes a nearly complete run of Wardway Homes catalogs dated 1874 to 1985. (Collection 8088, Series III, Catalogs). Among the company's other records, are competitors' catalogs, Montgomery Ward correspondence, newspapers and magazine articles on Montgomery Ward, national press coverage and new releases, photographs and legal and financial files of the company. The collection is held by the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, WY.




 Jandl-Stevenson Collection

H. Ward Jandl and Katherine C. Stevenson were both architectural historians who collaborated to compile research data involving the Sears, Roebuck and Company mail-order house designs prevalent in the first half of the twentieth century. The collections include correspondence, research notes, photographs, and negatives relating to the research and production of their book Houses by Mail (Preservation Press, 1986), which serves as a guide to the homes manufactured and sold by Sears, Roebuck and Company from 1908 to 1940. The designs and materials for approximately 450 houses were featured in the company's mail-order catalogs, which the authors bring to light in their informative book.