Archive

Posts Tagged ‘sears amsterdam’

The Dandy Amsterdam!

March 23rd, 2012 Sears Homes 1 comment

The Sears Magnolia was their biggest, fanciest home, but the Sears Amsterdam was a close second.  The Magnolia had 2,880 square feet of living area, and the Amsterdam was only 300 square feet behind, at 2552. Heretofore, we’ve found seven Magnolias in the country, and yet I’ve never seen one Amsterdam. The one shown below came from a photo sent by Melody Snyder. This house is in Pittsburgh, PA.

If you’ve seen an Amsterdam in your town, please send me a photo! I suspect these houses weren’t that rare, but more likely, folks have not really been looking for them! Of the 70,000 Sears kit homes in the country, probably fewer than 20% have been identified as such. In general, about 90% of the people living in these Sears Houses didn’t know what they had until I knocked on their door and told them.

To learn more about how to identify Sears Homes, click here.

The Amsterdam, as seen in the 1928 Sears catalog.

The Amsterdam, as seen in the 1928 Sears catalog.

*

First

And it has a music room (and a half-bath) on the first floor!

*

Look at that floorplan! Very spacious.

Look at that floorplan! Very spacious.

*

The Amsterdam - in brick!

The Amsterdam - in brick! This house is in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo is copyright 2011 Melody Snyder and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.)

*

And from the side...

And from the side, you can see a little piece of that staircase bumpout on the back of the house. (Photo is copyright 2011 Melody Snyder and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.)

*

One common feature found in many Sears Homes is this plinth block. The simple block made it easier for homeowners to deal with complex joinery (such as is found at staircase landings). Photo is copyright 2011 Catarina Banner and cannot be used or reproduced without written permission.)

One common feature found in many Sears Homes is this plinth block. The simple block made it easier for homeowners to deal with complex joinery (such as is found at staircase landings). Photo is copyright 2011 Catarina Banner and cannot be used or reproduced without written permission.)

*

Marked lumber is another way

Marked lumber is another clue that tells you, it may be a kit home. On Sears Homes, the mark is a three-digit number and a letter (as is shown on this floor joist).

*

To learn more, click here.

Endless Entertainment - From an Old Vintage Catalog

June 24th, 2011 Sears Homes 3 comments

The cover of the 1921 Sears Building Materials catalog has proven to be a source of endless entertainment for me. But then again, I’m pretty easily entertained. I’ve started scanning catalogs and ephemera so that it may be preserved and shared with a larger audience. And this website’s traffic is growing every day. In May, this site had more than 22,000 visitors.

Read the captions below to see what *I* see when I look at this 1921 catalog’s cover.

Pretty darn interesting!

The cover

The cover of the 1921 catalog is so interesting for so many reasons.

*

people

We have the people showing up to look at the new house under construction.

*

killer

Like the opening scenes of a low-budget horror flick, they have no idea that a massive elephant has surreptitiously blended into the landscaping behind them, and waits to pounce. Red arrow above is centered atop the forehead of the threatening beast.

*

wow

"We just came from looking at those crappy little houses behind us," the man might be saying. "Over yonder is one of those little Sears kit homes." Pictured through this window is the Sears Ashmore, a classic Arts & Crafts bungalow.

*

rl

"That's right," says the woman who wears a hat with a flared brim and oversized bow." The kitchen in that crummy Elsmore right behind me was abysmal."

*

Verona

The second man speaks up and says, "And that Verona was so blase! Who'd want to buy a cookie-cutter kit home when you can have something nice that you've designed yourself!"

*

people

"Yes," the man with the blueprints says, "We looked at those three little boxes behind us, but we want to talk to you about this nice house that you're building here!"

*

tools

But oh no! These people shouldn't be turning to this fellow for help and guidance! He doesn't even know how to build a carpenter's tool box! How could he possibly build an entire home!

*

boar

The house isn't even roughed in yet, and the door isn't set, and yet he's putting in the lath board! Plus, there are several puddles with a strange yellow substance throughout the house. Icky!

*

dude

And some of that yellow stuff is on the carpenter, too!

*

house

And perhaps most interesting, the house featured on the cover is clearly not a Sears kit home. Sears never ever offered a house with these arched windows. So the homebuyers have turned their back on the three Sears Homes (behind them), and are talking to this fellow about a custom-built house. Pretty darn interesting. And this image shows a better view of that angry elephant in the background.

*

And yet, the back page of the catalog features an advertisement for Seroco Paint (first syllable of Sears, Roebuck and Company), and in that graphic, there are several Sears Homes featured.

And yet, the back page of the catalog features an advertisement for Seroco Paint (first syllable of Sears, Roebuck and Company), and in that graphic, there are several Sears Homes featured. Top is the Sears Sherburne, and along the bottom are the Sears Roanoke (two left) and the Sears Matoka (two on the right).

To read another article on Sears Homes, click here.

To buy Rose’s book, click here.

*   *   *