What’s the difference between Gordon Van Tine kit homes and Montgomery Ward kit homes?

Not much.

Montgomery Ward offered their first kit-home catalog in 1909, but they didn’t start offering pre-cut kit homes until 1917.

Gordon Van Tine first offered building materials in 1912, and introduced pre-cut homes in 1916.

When Montgomery Ward added pre-cut homes to their catalogs in 1917, they subcontracted the orders to Gordon Van Tine.

In 1927, Montgomery Ward introduced its mortgage program and sales jumped to 2,500 homes per year. In 1931, Montgomery Ward issued their last Wardway Homes catalog.

Gordon Van Tine kept plugging along for a few more years. During WW2 (1941-1945), orders for temporary housing and shipping crates kept Gordon Van Tine in business.

In their 40 years of operation it is estimated Gordon Van Tine manufactured approximately 75,000 plan book and pre-cut houses. Montgomery Ward (Wardway Homes) probably sold fewer than 25,000 plan book and pre-cut homes.

Distinguishing a Wardway from a GVT kit home is nearly impossible, short of ripping off the millwork and moldings and checking for a name. Perhaps Dale can post a picture for us, but the millwork on Gordon Van Tine homes say, “GVT, Davenport, Iowa,” and the Wardway Homes say, “Montgomery Ward.”

Below are photos of a Gordon Van Tine #568 that Dale found in Cambridge, Ohio.

Thanks to Rachel Shoemaker for providing the original catalog page from Gordon Van Tine!

To learn more about Gordon Van Tine, click here.

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Gordon Van Tine #568. Nice price, too!


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Very distinctive features on this house. Those "through-the-cornice" dormers with their shed roofs would be hard to miss! Note the ornamentation at the top of the porch columns.


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"Every piece of material is marked..." which makes it easier to identify these homes nine decades later. More than 90% of the people living IN these kit homes don't know what they have.


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Nice floor plan and a very busy kitchen!


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Dale found this model #568 in Cambridge, Ohio. What a match!


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Another look at the catalog page.


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