Aladdin service is equal to any demand made of it. No matter what your requirements are – a single home or a complete city – the Aladdin organization is capable of handling it with the greatest despatch (from the 1919 Aladdin Homes catalog).

Aladdin Homes took its name from the mythical story of Aladdin and the genie that built a castle overnight for his master. It was founded in 1906 by Bay City, Michigan brothers Otto and William Sovereign, and it was the first company to offer pre-cut kit homes. Aladdin set the standards for the housing industry, with advertising and catalog of stylish models, colorful illustrations, and descriptive text.

Unlike other pre-cut housing companies, Aladdin did not have commissioned salesmen or a mortgage program. All houses were sold through catalogs and on a strict cash only policy. This allowed Aladdin Homes to operate with minimal staff and free of debt, and the resulting savings were passed along to the customer.

Initially Aladdin contracted its orders out to local and regional lumber companies but eventually they built mills in Michigan, North Carolina, Mississippi and Oregon, shipping about 2500 homes a year. During the Great Depression, sales dropped to a few hundred homes but rebounded when Montgomery Ward and Sears got out of the housing business.

During World War Two, Aladdin manufactured military barracks, emergency housing and shipping crates. Post-war restrictions on prices and building materials kept the Aladdin mills closed until 1948. Throughout the 1950s, the company shipped more than 2000 homes a year, with most of them being Ranch homes and Colonials  style homes. The increasing popularity of mobile and prefabricated homes brought a sharp drop in sales during the 1960s and 1970s.

In 1981, Aladdin Homes closed their doors, having shipped about 100,000 homes throughout the United States, Canada and England. The records for Aladdin Homes are located at the Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Here are a few beautiful Aladdin Shadowlawns in Hampton Roads area (Virginia). The first two are in Portsmouth and the third is just outside of Portsmouth – on Portsmouth Blvd in Chesapeake!

Aladdin Shadowlawn from the 1919 Aladdin catalog

Aladdin Shadowlawn in downtown Portsmouth

Aladdin Shadowlawn in downtown Portsmouth (VA) on Elm Street

Another Shadowlawn - in Chesapeake