During the 1910s and 1920s, it's not uncommon that customers would order their homes from mail-order catalogues. First, the house type was selected from free House Plan Catalogues. Then blueprints could be ordered for a nominal fee. From the blueprints, house materials were ordered and shipped by rail.
This Sovereign House Plan Catalogue was originally published in the 1910s by the Sovereign Construction Co. Ltd (later became Canadian Aladdin Co. Ltd.), which was the largest company in the mail-order house business in Canada, and a branch company of the American Aladdin Company.
About the American Aladdin Company -- Excerpt from the Wikipedia:
The Aladdin Company was a pioneer in the pre-cut, mail-order home industry, founded by two brothers, W. J. Sovereign and O. E. Sovereign in 1906. It quickly expanded to become one of, if not the, largest mail-order house companies. By 1915 sales surpassed one million dollars. In 1918 Aladdin alone accounted for 2.37 percent of all housing starts in the United States, around 1,800 homes.
Aladdin's output fell below 1000 homes in 1928 on the eve of the Great Depression, and never recovered. The company continued to produce catalogues, and maintained sales of a few hundred homes per year through the 1960s. During the 1970s sales fell further and by 1982 the company ceased manufacturing. The company ceased all operations in 1987.
The Aladdin Company, along with other catalogue-home businesses played a key role in providing affordable housing to Americans in the period between the turn of the twentieth century and World War II. They also made key advancements in the prefabrication of housing which would enable the post-war housing boom. Finally, they helped to propagate nationwide preferences for common architectural styles such as the Craftsman, Bungalow, Four-Square and Cape Cod homes.
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