Resources for Modeling Structures in the United States pre World War II

October 1, 2019

RE: Many Cities and Towns in America were built to common plans

My interest in this topic came from numerous critics of American Towns and Cities that said they basically all look alike. This got me to thinking about were houses and structures in America built to common plans the Answer is Yes.

Sears Roebuck & Company
Between 1908-1940 Sears Roebuck & Company had a mail order house business in which you could consult a plan book and order a house. It would be shipped on a railcar with assembly instructions to a rail siding in the place you specified. Some of these plans have been republished.

Houses by Mail by Kathern Cole Stevanson & H Ward Janl covers a wide cross section of these Houses. Included is a first floor plan and second floor plan with actual dimensions as well as a front view. The floor plans will show where doors and windows were.

Radford Architectural Company:
Headquartered out of Chicago Illinois they sold building plans from approximately 1900 thru 1930.

Dover has republished some of these plan books:
Radford’s Portfolio of Plans
Radford’s Artistic Bungalows
Radford’s Stores & Flat Buildings.

Floor plans are included along with dimensions. Usually a picture of the front is included as well.

Using perspective correction the picture could be scaled to the floorplan creating a template to build your model

Brown-Blodgett Company
100 Small Houses of the Thirties
Includes front view and floor plans with dimensions

Pocket Catalogues
Pocket Catalogue 1925 Jackson & Newton Company, Boston MA
A plan book of doors and windows giving their dimensions. The information would be useful insofar
as making a model of the windows and doors on a structure and then scaling a perspective corrected picture to those windows and doors would be another method of estimating the size of a structure and modeling it in correct proportion.