A cozy comfortable home, a bower of roses, a patch of delectable vegetables, your own car, a garage to match your home! What man or woman has not dreamed of such a home? Away from high rents and landlords. A safe and happy place to raise children – a cheerful home where the health and happiness of the entire family are raised to new heights of enjoyment. That is the heritage you may now claim. This far away dream is now a close-up reality.
1927 Wardway Homes catalog, page 14
Have you always wondered if that boxy little house across the street is a kit home? Or maybe you've wondered about your own home? There's only one way to find out. Order your copy of Montgomery Ward's Mail-order Homes today!
Five years in the making, Montgomery Ward's Mail-order Homes was researched and written by America's top experts in the field of early 20th Century kit homes: Rose Thornton and Dale Wolicki. Learn more about this fascinating chapter of our country's architectural heritage. Open this book's pages and rediscover this amazing time in history when American men and women ordered their dream home from the pages of a mail-order catalog.
When Dale and Rose started publishing books and articles on kit homes, there was very little information available on Wardway Homes, but as interest in this subject increased, people started sharing their stories with us, and sharing their historic documents, blueprints, catalogs and more. And that's the reason for this book – to create a reference book for people who want to know more about the mail-order homes of Montgomery Ward.
Montgomery Ward's Mail-order Homes includes a field guide to Wardway Homes, with easy-to-read drawings and floorplans, vintage illustrations and original catalog images, contrasted and compared with contemporary photos. Organized by housing style, this field guide will allow readers to quickly determine if their home could be a Wardway Home.
In addition to the field guide, there's also a 50-page history of Wardway Homes, including,
- The Catalogs: a brief history of how the Montgomery Ward catalogs progressed from the early house plan catalogs to the later pre-cut house catalogs, accompanied with may pages from these historic catalogs.
- The Advantages of Pre-cut Homes: a discussion of why pre-cut homes were so popular compared to traditional residential construction. What was it like to buy a Wardway Home? What happened when the customer placed his order for a Wardway home? How were these homes financed? What was it like to build a home of your own from a 12,000-piece kit? And how did it all end? Why did Montgomery Ward stop selling kit homes?
- Identifying Wardway Homes: What are the "Six Simple Signs" that will readily enable you to identify a Wardway Home?
- The Competition: In addition to Montgomery Ward, there were other mail-order companies selling kit homes, such as Sears Roebuck, Aladdin, Lewis-Liberty, Pacific Homes, Harris Brothers, Sterling and Bennett. This chapter offers a concise history of the companies that competed with Wardway.
Maybe you're wondering about that little house across the street, or maybe you just love learning about America's historic architecture, but one thing's for sure: You'll want to read Montgomery Ward's Mail-order Homes again and again.