February 3, 2015

Let's Travel Back Through Time to See Some Sears Starlights

The Sears Starlight was sold for 21 years (1911-1932). The Starlight in 1911 was a small bungalow with no bathroom. Over the 21 years, the interior and exterior changed, but the nameplate remained the same. 

In 1933 the Starlight was renamed the Plymouth, and the same house under that name was sold for another five years.

Let's travel back and take a look at the Starlight over the years.




Back to the 1910's...
Sears houses did not have names in those days, but rather model numbers. In the 1914 catalog, the Starlight was the 264P217. Catchy!

Sears Starlight from 1914. No bathroom!

Sears says that over 100 houses have been sold. I guess they sold over 100 outhouses as well. Around 1916 Sears began offering an alternate floor plan that contained a bathroom.

The 1916 catalog shows the two floor plans of the Starlight.


Starlights from the 1910's are tough to identify because of their generic styling. Additionally, it's unlikely that many have survived in the Chicago area because five-room bungalows are often torn down in high-priced neighborhoods.

On to the 1920's...
The Starlight from the 1920 Modern Homes catalog. 

 
By 1920 Sears had sold over 200 Starlights nationwide. By 1928 that number leaped to 1,300.

Around 1915 Sears began offering a clipped gable dormer on the Starlight that had three funky windows. This became the standard style shown in the catalog around 1920 (and it was by far the best selling). There are many Starlights of this style in the Chicago area that were built in the 1920's.


 

36 S. Lincoln, Westmont. Built 1922. Photo courtesy of Realtor site.

 

Photo courtesy of Realtor site.


 

380 Hamilton. Elgin. This is an authenticated Starlight (stamped lumber in the basement) built in 1927.



On to the 1930's...
The Starlight got a revamp in 1930. The dormer was changed once again; pillars were changed. Beginning in 1933, the Starlight was called the Plymouth.


Sears Starlight from 1932.


Sears Plymouth from 1935. Same house as the Starlight, just a new name. Scan courtesy of Antique Home.



148 E. Main, Cary. This is an authenticated Sears Plymouth built in 1933.


Back to Today...
The Sears Starlight was a big seller for Sears for decades. The 1920's version is also one of the easiest Sears houses to recognize, and you probably have one in your town. In its catalogs, Sears summed up the reasons for the Starlight's popularity:
"The Starlight bungalow is one of our most popular designs. It is dignified and substantial in every detail. Architects and builders say the Starlight has as good an arrangement, considering its size, as it is possible to have. It has the proper number of rooms for the average family....Here in the Starlight you can enjoy comfort in every room, and on a warm day the shady porch bids you welcome for rest, as there is room for hammock, swing, and other porch furniture."






2 comments:

Juliet Carol said...

Thanks again for a very interesting post! The addition of the bathroom in 1916 was a good idea! The photos help to bring the floor plan to life. Appreciate the research you do!

SearsHouseSeeker said...

Everything I've wanted to know about the Starlight and the Plymouth :) Except... where to find one around here :)

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...