The Houses That Sears Built:

The Old House Web

The second edition of this popular book by the country's leading authority on Sears homes, Rosemary Thornton. With four new chapters, including oral histories of Sears homeowners and many new photos, this is THEbook on Sears homes. Included are the "The Lost Sears Homes" and exclusive photos from the archives of Sears, Roebuck and Company.


The Houses that Sears Built Author: Rosemary Thornton
Publisher: Gentle Beam Publications
Format: 176-pages, 8.5 x 11 inches. Paperback
More than 80 diagrams and pictures.
ISBN: 0971558817
Buy it:

Clickhere to buy! Only $19.95 plus $4 shipping & handling!

Between 1908 and 1940, Sears customers ordered about75,000 houses from Sears Roebuck and Company mail-order catalogs.

Today these houses have become a treasured piece of Americana. Yet while interestin Sears homes is soaring, research by an expert suggests that fewer than 5,000Sears houses have been conclusively identified around the U.S.

"More than 70,000 Sears homes remainundiscovered and unknown," says that expert, Rosemary Thornton. "Because of this, our communities best architectural treasures ourgrand collection of Sears homes are being damaged by remuddling and worse,demolished."

Thornton, a regular contributor here at The Old House Web,hopes her latest book will help historians and homeowners alike discover some ofthe many thousands of unidentified Sears houses scattered around theU.S.

The book also provides a fascinating portrait of the people and ideasbehind the Sears mail-order housing business.

Her new book offers a detailedhistory of the Sears catalog-home business. And better yet, it is loaded withpages from those Sears catalogs of yesterday ... including many that have notseen the light of day in many decades.

In this book, youll learn howto identify Sears homes from the inside, from the outside and from visits to thearchive vault at your local court house or registry of deeds..Youll learn details of how these houses were built. And you'll learn detailsabout the largest single order ever placed for Sears houses: a cool $1 million.

From the BackCover:

"Between 1908-1940, more than 75,000 Sears homes werebuilt. Sears kit homes contained 30,000 pieces, including 750 pounds of nails,27 gallons of paint and a 75-page instruction book. Sears estimated that theaverage carpenter would charge $450 to aseemble those 30,000 pieces of house.The painter's fee: $34.50. Sears estimated that other skilled labor would cosst$1 an hour. Prices for these built-it-yourself kit houses ranged from $600 to$6000."

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1:
    What Is A Sears Catalog Home?(And Why Are They So Intriguing?)

  • Chapter 2
    Hang Your Saw On a Nail All Day: Sears Homes and Their Unique Place in American Architecture.

  • Chapter 3
    What Were Sears Homes Made Of?Amazing Facts, Interesting Details and Curiosities About Sears Homes.

  • Chapter 4
    The Houses That Sears Repossessed ...Sears Modern Homes, Sears Mortgages And The Great Depression

  • Chapter 5
    $1 Million Worth of Sears Homes ...The Biggest Order In The History of The Sears Modern Homes Department.

  • Chapter 6:Is It Really a Sears Home?How To Identify Sears Homes From The Curb, The Kitchen or The Courthouse.

  • Chapter 7:A House for the Little Woman And The Kiddies ...A Fascinating Look Inside The Sears Modern Homes Catalogues.

  • Chapter 8:Fact vs. Fiction ...Myths, Mistakes And Misinformation About Sears Modern Homes.

  • Chapter 9:Frequently Asked Questions

  • Chapter 10:The Lost Sears Homes

  • Chapter 11:Conclusion ...What Did George Bailey and Sears, Roebuck Have in Common?

Aboutthe Author

Rosemary Thornton has been writing and lecturing about Sears homes forthree years. She's also conducted surveys of Sears homes for severalcommunities. As a result, Ms. Thornton found that she received frequent requestsfrom people all over the country, asking for more information about these oldcatalog homes. Because of this, she decided it was time to combine her copiousfield notes with the tall stack of rare historical information she'd unearthed,and write a book: The Houses That Sears Built.

From the Author

"This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I hope my love of theseawesomeold homes shines through the pages of this book. Above all, I hope "TheHouses That Sears Built" will inspire you to go out into your community andfind the Sears homes that are hidden there.

"I hope this book will fuelyour love of old homes, specifically Sears homes. And I hope that this bookhelps preserve and protect this country's dazzling collection of Sears Roebuckcatalog homes."

About the Author
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