In 2004, Dale Wolicki invited me and Rebecca to visit him in Michigan. One of our stops was Bay City, where we saw all manner of Aladdin kit homes, including “The Oxford.” Our wonderful tour guide (Dale), told us that the photograph of the Oxford model (shown in the 1931 catalog) was the very same Oxford that had been built in Bay City. It was the “original model,” and the only Oxford in Bay City.
Sears was the most-well known of the kit home companies, but Aladdin was bigger. Aladdin was the first kit home company, starting business in 1906. Sears started two years later, in 1908. Aladdin outlasted all the others, remaining in business until 1981. Sears sold about 70,000 kit homes. Aladdin sold more than 75,000.
To learn more about Aladdin, click here.
I’ve only seen two Oxfords in my travels. The first was in Bay City, MI and the second was in Lorain, Ohio. And apparently, there’s a third one in Schenectady, NY (according to the testimony below).
The flared front gable makes this house very distinctive. Image is from the 1931 catalog.
And there's one in Schenectady, NY, built by Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Newell.
Here's the house we saw that day with Dale. It's in Bay City, and is the same house shown in the 1931 catalog above. This photo was taken in 2004. Must have been July, because there's no snow on the ground.
I love this floorplan. Notice the "Radio Room" on the first floor! This was a room dedicated to that most important appliance - the radio! Today, we build entertainment centers bigger than this!
The largest bedroom is a mere 12 by 13. Not very big!
The 1931 catalog had a two-page spread on the Oxford, and yet the captions mention that some of these images are NOT pictures of the Oxford.
My favorite feature in this little 1931 catalog are the interior views. The caption states that two small bedrooms were turned into one large bedroom.
Nice big living room. Love the furniture.
But this classic 1931 kithcen is the best room in the house.
And it has a breakfast nook. I have a thing for breakfast nooks. Again, this is apparently NOT the Oxford's kitchen because there's no provision for a breakfast nook in the floorplan.
Click here to read more about breakfast nooks.
The cover of the 1931 Aladdin catalog is a study unto itself.
To read more about the cover of this Aladdin catalog, click here.
To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.
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