Archive

Posts Tagged ‘history of monitor top’

A Very Nice House on a Champaign Budget

August 5th, 2010 Sears Homes 1 comment

Sears Homes were real kit homes, ordered right out of the pages of the Sears Modern Homes catalog. The 12,000-piece kits came with a 75-page instruction book and a promise that “a man of average abilities” could have it assembled in 90 days.

One of my favorite Sears kit homes is the Sears Dover. This little neo-Tudor is adorable, thoughtfully designed, well-laid out, relatively spacious and just as cute as a button. On the back of the house is a large shed dormer, creating plenty of room on the second floor for an additional two bedrooms and a full bath, giving the house a total of four bedrooms, two baths, large living room, dining room and kitchen.

For the late 1920s/early 30s, that was a good-size house.

Here’s a cutie-pie in Champaign, Illinois. This particular catalog page does not show price, but generally the Dover sold for under $3000. Pretty good deal.

This photo (and the one below) was taken in late February 2010, when I visited my daughter and her family.

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here or  click here.

The Sears Dover as shown in the 1936 catalog

The Sears Dover as shown in the 1936 catalog

The Sears Dover in Champaign, IL

The Sears Dover in Champaign, IL

___________

Pictured below is another beautiful Sears Home, The Americus. This house is in Urbana, Illinois. So I guess we’d call it, a fine little Sears House on an Urbana budget?

Sears Modern Home, The Americus

Sears Modern Home, The Americus

The Sears Americus in Urbana.

The Sears Americus in Urbana.

To see more pictures of Sears Homes, click here.

GE Monitor Top Refrigerators

August 2nd, 2010 Sears Homes No comments

In the 1930s, The “Monitor-top Refrigerator” quickly became one of General Electric’s most popular appliances. Its design was based on a sound principle and a highly efficient plan: The compressor sat atop the fridge, and heat extracted from the appliance cabinet naturally moved up and away from the refrigerator.

According to all reports, these were also unusually well-built appliances, with a life expectancy of 25 years - or more. Today, appliance aficionados are always on the look-out for these vintage refrigerators, because with a little work and a few new parts, they can be restored to their original condition and live on - indefinitely.

Heretofore, no one has created a reproduction Monitor Top refrigerator which is a surprise, especially considering how popular these used appliances have become. A thoroughly restored three-door Monitor Top fridge (fully restored) can fetch $10,000 or more. For more information and detail on these appliances, click here.

When I was researching The Houses That Sears Built, I read 32 years of American Carpenter and Builder, a popular building magazine of the early 1900s. Whilst studying its pages, I found an ad for a Monitor Cupola and a few bells rang in my tired brain. Was this where the “Monitor Top” fridge got its name? The resemblance between this Monitor Cupola and the GE’s compressor was sound. I’ve googled all the terms I can think to google and yet to no avail. I love to know - is this the source of the moniker Monitor-top?

Update: A friend found a link explaining that monitor-top GE refrigerators got their name from the iron-clad Monitor Ship from The Civil War. Maybe that’s where Monitor Cupolas got their name?

Want to read more about Rose’s new book on internet dating?  Click here.

Want to learn more about Sears Homes? Click here.

Ad from 1915 building magazine showing Monitor vent

Ad from 1915 building magazine showing Monitor vent

An image from a 1930 magazine, showing the GE Monitor Top

An image from a 1930 magazine, showing the GE Monitor Top

Full ad from a 1930 magazine

Full ad from a 1930 magazine