Lewis Manufacturing managed to remain in continuous operation for more than 60 years when it finally ceased business in 1973.
Kit homes, popular in the decades preceding WWII, allowed home buyers to build and own a good quality home for substantially less than a conventionally built house. Thousands of small houses, often generically called "Sears houses," were built across the US. The total number is unknown but estimates of these small manufactured houses built from roughly 1910 to 1970 are usually around a half million for all the companies combined. Many have been altered beyond recognition and many have been torn down.
Generally, the quality of the kit home manufacturers ... at least the "name brands" like Liberty, Aladdin, Sears, and Gordon Van Tine ... is very good. Materials were cut to fit and waste was minimal.
For more information about the history of the Lewis Manufacturing Company and plans from its early pre-WWII homes, see Antique Home & Style.
© 2011 — Mid Century Home Style