April 26, 2022

Did Sears Houses Come with Plaques?

In this post I will re-examine another “fact” about Sears kit homes that is consistently mentioned on the internet.

Many people claim that Sears houses came with plaques that signified that the materials were from Sears Roebuck.

  • "My neighbor's house is definitely Sears. He even has the Sears plaque mounted in the utility room."
  • "I found a Sears plaque in a basement of a house I lived in once. "
  • "I am not sure what model I own, but there is a Sears plaque on the stairwell to the basement."
  • "The Realtor saw a plaque in the attic that said it is a Sears house."

Purportedly plaques are found everywhere in Sears houses--in utility rooms, basements, stairwells, and attics. Is this true? And if it is not the case, why are there all these reports of plaque sightings?

Let's take these questions one at a time.

Did Sears Houses Come with Plaques?
If all Sears houses came with plaques, identifying them would be easy!

I personally have never seen a plaque inside a Sears house. I have never had a homeowner tell me that their Sears house had a plaque. I have never once seen a photograph of a plaque. The Sears Modern Homes catalogs never once mentioned that a plaque that would be issued.

However, I have seen plaques on the outside of Sears houses that were issued by local historical societies, but I don't think that is what the people on the internet are talking about.

162 Rosedale, Crystal Lake.

Sears Willard.

The house plaque that clearly did not originate from Sears Roebuck.

Without any evidence to support the claim of plaques being issued by Sears Roebuck, we must presume that the people who think they saw one are mistaken.

Which brings us to our next question...

Why are There Many Reports of Plaque Sightings?
I consulted with a couple of other Sears house researchers. The best explanation we could come up with is that people saw the plaques found on prefabricated homes sold after WWII and erroneously attributed them to Sears.

For instance, the Lustron Corporation and the Gunnison Housing Corporation did have plaques on their houses. (Neither of these companies was affiliated with Sears Roebuck.)

A metal plaque on a Lustron house. It designates the model and serial number.

A Lustron in Lombard.

A metal registration plate signifying a Gunnison Home.  It says "Registered" and a bunch of numbers I can't read.

A Gunnison house in Kenosha.

1 comment:

SearsHouseSeeker said...

Yup, I'd say it's the Lustron or Gunnison plaques that they're thinking of.

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