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Books and references

Think you may own a Sears Modern Home or want to know more? Try any of the following resources. Most of these books, and numerous articles on the subject of mail-order homes, may be available at your local library. Click on the picture of the book to go to the listing on


The Houses That Sears Built:
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sears Catalog Homes

Author: Rosemary Thornton
Publisher: Gentle Beam Publications, 2002
About: This book will inspire you to go out into your community and find the Sears homes that are hidden there. This book includes pictures of rare Sears homes that haven't been published in 80 years.
Houses by Mail: A Guide to Houses from Sears, Roebuck and Company
Author: Katherine Cole Stevenson and H. Ward Jandl.
Original publisher: National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1986.
Current publisher: John Wylie & Sons, New York.
About: If you have no records, this book is the best way to look up the style of your home (includes 447 styles). The authors have re-created the look of the catalogs in this heavily illustrated guide to 447 models. Each entry includes, among other information, promotional copy from the original catalog, house details and features, price, and a short list of cities where examples can be found.

Click here 
for listing on

Catalogues and Counters
Author: Boris Emmet and John E. Jeuck.
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, 1950.
About: A history of the early operations of Sears, Roebuck and Company with a number of references to Sears Modern Homes Program.

Click here 
for listing on

America’s Favorite Homes
Michael W. R. Davis and Robert Schweitzer.
Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 1990.
Reference source for information on mail-order homes from Sears and other companies.
Sears House Designs of the Thirties
Publisher: Dover Publications, 2003

Catalog Reproductions

Sears, Roebuck and Co. Catalog of Houses, 1926, an Unabridged Reprint
Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1991. (#26709-1)

Sears, Roebuck Homebuilder’s Catalog:
The Complete Illustrated 1910 Edition

Publisher: Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1990. (#26376-2) Unabridged.
About: Reprinted from a rare original: a huge illustrated selection of early 20th-century building materials and fittings—from roofing and siding to chandeliers and porcelain-enameled bathtubs—complete with original advertising copy, specifications and prices. Hundreds of black-and-white illustrations, plus 8 color plates.
Homes in a Box, Modern Homes from Sears Roebuck
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen, PA, 1998.
About: This paperbound book is a reproduction of Sears 1912 Modern Homes catalog. It gives a nostalgic look at the more than one hundred home kits sold by Sears Roebuck in the early 1900s.
Small Houses of The Twenties
Publisher: Dover Pubns; Unabridged edition (June 1, 1991)
About: Excellent reproduction of rare catalog illustrates describes 86 different types of houses and bungalows still in evidence across America. Over 300 photographs, illustrations and floor plans with full descriptions comprise an invaluable sourcebook for study, authentication or restoration of antique articles or architecture.
1897 Sears, Roebuck Catalogue
Publisher: Chelsea House Publishing, 1997
The 786 - page reprint of the 1897 Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalogue is a priceless piece of Americana. Profusely illustrated, readers will enjoy studying the surprisingly enormous range of consumer goods then available, most of which are obsolete or little used in American life today.

For Further Information

Standards for Rehabilitation
Remember that all work to restore your Sears home should conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. You can obtain a copy of the Standards from local or state preservation offices (addresses for preservation offices should be available from your state governor’s office). The U.S. Department of the Interior also publishes standards for preservation planning.

National Trust for Historic Preservation
Contact the National Trust for Historic Preservation (Washington, DC), which not only publishes material on historic homes and neighborhoods but also publishes guides to historic building materials and how to properly rehabilitate homes.
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