Kit Homes by Montgomery Wards
Wardway Kit Home - The Monteroy
The Wardway Homes catalog has been reproduced and is readily available either online through Amazon or at your local bookstore. What is not so easily available is the history and context of the Montgomery Ward's foray into the kit home market.
Montgomery Ward was started in 1872 as a single sheet catalog offering household goods with "satisfaction guaranteed." The rail system that criss-crossed the US delivered mail and goods to train depots in hundreds of thousands of small, rural towns across the country. By cutting out middlemen and using state-of-the-art technologies, Aaron Montgomery Ward and his successors built the company into a catalog retailer with a customer base of more than three million customers in less than 30 years.
Like many companies, Montgomery Ward offered house plans, blue prints, and materials lists, but didn't actually begin offering kit homes in their catalog until 1919.
Two of the major manufacturers, Aladdin and Sears, had been successfully selling "houses by mail" for years and had the manufacturing and infrastructure organization and facilities to design, cut, and package the entire house from a number of regional centers across the country. Montgomery Ward did not. To meet their demand for kit homes, Montgomery Ward subcontracted the manufacturing to Gordon Van Tine.
Montgomery Ward sold kit homes from about 1921 to 1931.
For Wardway house plans and images, see Antique Home for more bungalow information.
BooksWardway Homes, Bungalows, and Cottages, 1925 by Montgomery Ward & Co.
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