To garner excitement about its homes and home furnishings, Sears started the national Home Beautiful Contest in early 1930. Longtime Sears employee Kurt Ulbricht had a copy of the entry form and was kind enough to send it to me.
|Sears states that the reason for the contest is to "increase interest" in its homes and home furnishings. Scan courtesy of Kurt Ulbricht.|
|The blank room layout for the Mitchell's living room. Entrants also had to write a 500-word story about their dream house. Scan courtesy of Kurt Ulbricht.|
Sears announced the contest winners on January 2, 1931. The design submitted by Mrs. Edgar L. Cooper of Georgetown, Texas was awarded first prize. There were over 700,000 entries submitted.
|"From every state in the union... and from every outlying United States possession, the Philippines, Porto [sic] Rico, the Hawaiian Islands, and Alaska, came booklets telling the story of the many happy hours that had been spent in creating a 'dream home'." Scan from the Spring 1931 Sears merchandise catalog.|
|523 E. Grand Lake, West Chicago. The brick version of the Mitchell had a different name--the Stratford. Photo from Realtor site.|
|Sears Stratford--the same house as in the contest entry form, but in brick.|