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Jandl-Stevenson Collection

Abstract

Title:
Jandl-Stevenson Collection
Author/Creator:
Jandl-Stevenson Collection
Collection number:
96-94
Size:
12.25 linear feet
Bulk dates:
1908-1986
Inclusive dates:
1908-1986
Collection Area:
State of Maryland and Historical Collections
Repository:
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email: askhornbake@umd.edu
Abstract:

H. Ward Jandl and Katherine C. Stevenson were both architectural historians who collaborated to compile research data involving the Sears, Roebuck and Company mail-order house designs prevalent in the first half of the twentieth century. The collections include correspondence, research notes, photographs, and negatives relating to the research and production of their book Houses by Mail (Preservation Press, 1986), which serves as a guide to the homes manufactured and sold by Sears, Roebuck and Company from 1908 to 1940. The designs and materials for approximately 450 houses were featured in the company's mail-order catalogs, which the authors bring to light in their informative book.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred citation:

Jandl-Stevenson Collection, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/1338
Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

The Jandl-Stevenson Collection consists of research data involving the Sears, Roebuck and Company mail-order house designs prevalent in the first half of the twentieth century. Authors H. Ward Jandl and Katherine H. Stevenson, both architectural historians, used this material to compile the book, Houses by Mail (Preservation Press, 1986).

H. Ward Jandl

H. Ward Jandl was born March 17, 1946 in Princeton, New Jersey. He attended the Hotchkiss School, a preparatory school, and graduated in 1964. He received a degree in art history from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1968. After college, Jandl served two years in the U.S. Peace Corps teaching English in Ankara, Turkey. In 1970 he moved to New York City to attend Columbia University where he received a graduate certificate in historic preservation in 1971. While living in New York, he worked for the New York Public Library. Jandl moved to Washington, D.C. in 1974 and began working for the National Park Service as an architectural historian with the National Register of Historic Places, where he reviewed and evaluated nominations. He advanced to the position of Chief, Technical Preservation Services Branch in the Preservation Assistance Division (PAD), then Deputy Chief, PAD, and Chief Appeals Officer. He was responsible for overseeing the Historic Preservation Certification Program by which property owners receive tax incentives for rehabilitating historic buildings. In 1984 President Ronald Reagan awarded him the Presidential Design Award for the Rehabilitation Tax Incentive Program. Jandl also received several awards from the Department of the Interior, including the Meritorious Service Award. As chief appeals officer, Jandl ruled on appeals of denials for certification under the Tax Incentives Program. Having worked for many years developing policy and advising national and state historic preservation programs, he was a nationally known figure in historic preservation. In addition to Houses by Mail: A Guide to Houses from Sears, Roebuck and Company, published in 1986, Jandl co-authored Yesterday's Houses of tomorrow: Innovative Homes: 1850-1950 in 1991 along with numerous official publications and reports. H. Ward Jandl died March 18, 1995 of heart disease in Washington, DC at the age of forty-nine.

Katherine Stevenson

Katherine H. Stevenson was born January 20, 1948. She attended Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, graduating in 1969. She continued her education at the University of Delaware, completing a Master's degree in Art History in 1971. After college, Stevenson worked as a researcher for the National Portrait Gallery before beginning work at the National Park Service as the assistant to the Chief of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. She remained in Washington, D.C. until 1980, when she became the Assistant Regional Director of the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Services division of the National Park Service in Denver, Colorado. In 1983 Stevenson was promoted to the Chief of Division of Cultural Resources. She moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1987 to become the Mid-Atlantic Region's Associate Director for Planning and Resource Preservation in the National Park Service. In 1995 Stevenson returned to Washington, D.C. to take the position of the Associate Director for Cultural Resources, National Park Service. In addition to Houses by Mail: A Guide to Houses from Sears, Roebuck and Company, published in 1986, Stevenson has written numerous official publications and reports for the National Park Service. The Department of the Interior awarded her the Meritorious Service Award in 1995.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Jandl-Stevenson Collection contains material relating to the research and production of the book Houses by Mail (Preservation Press, 1986). Jandl and Stevenson, both architectural historians, wanted to compile a guide to the homes manufactured and sold by Sears, Roebuck and Company from 1908 to 1940. The designs and materials for approximately 450 houses were featured in the company's mail-order catalogs, which the authors bring to light in their informative book. Documents in this collection date from 1908 to 1986, when the book Houses by Mail was published. Since Sears no longer provides access to its archives to researchers outside the company, the book, as well as the materials in the Jandl-Stevenson Collection, provides information of value to historians, architects, honeowners, and other researchers. Likewise, preservation professionals can use the book as a guide to identifying and restoring mail-order structures. The Sears Data Collection Sheets in Series II form the bulk of the collection. The data on the sheets provides information about the many house types sold through the Sears catalogs. Black and white photographs of the structure and floor plans are included with each named house type. These sheets were an important organizational and research tool for helping the authors arrange the guide. The remainder of the collection deals with other research materials such as photocopies of the original Sears catalogs in Series IV, as well as correspondence conducted while researching and publishing the book in Series III. Other papers include the final draft and other preliminary notes used to write the book. These materials provide a rich source of information helpful to those interested in these pre-fabricated homes. Appendix A to this finding aid lists the boxes in Series V: Photographs. Appendix B offers other material related to the mail-order-housing phenomenon.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

On December 1, 1995, Katherine H. Stevenson and Margaret Jandl, sister of H. Ward Jandl, donated the papers and related materials to the National Trust for Historic Preservation Library Collection of the University of Maryland Libraries. The donors as per the deed of gift have retained all copyrights. The University of Maryland Libraries received additional materials on April 9, 1997. The collection was transferred to the Archives and Manuscripts Department of the University of Maryland Libraries in May 2002.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Donna Marie Smith, May 1997. Revised by Elizabeth Russey, May 2002.

Processing note:

The original order of the Jandl-Stevenson Collection was preserved. The only exception to this is in Series V. Photographs from Series II were photocopied and placed in Series V in catalog order rather than in their original order in Series II. Photographs from Series II were also placed in Series V. All paper clips and staples were removed from the collection. All duplicate material was discarded. The records were placed in acid-free folders in acid-free boxes.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Henry Allen, June 2004.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Organization of Houses by Mail, 1986 and undated (0.5 linear feet)

The files in this series relate to the organization, writing, and publication of the book houses by Mail. The folders dealing with the index and introduction to the book provide insight into the arrangement to the material. As a way of identifying and organizing the different house types, the authors used architectural features - more specifically, roof types - and not architectural styles. A graphic taxonomy is provided as a guide to these different roof types. Also found in this series is the final draft of the book manuscript. The arrangement of folders in this series parallels the order of chapters in the book, followed by the final draft of the book. Information on the publication of Houses by Mail is located at the end of the series.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Index, undated series 1box 1folder 1
Introduction, undated series 1box 1folder 2
Introduction, undated series 1box 1folder 3
Introduction, undated series 1box 1folder 4
Taxonomy, undated series 1box 1folder 5
Taxonomy, undated series 1box 1folder 6
Taxonomy, undated series 1box 1folder 7
Drafts, undated series 1box 1folder 8
Drafts, undated series 1box 1folder 9
Final Draft, undated series 1box 1folder 10
Final Draft, undated series 1box 1folder 11
Final Draft, undated series 1box 1folder 12
Final Draft, undated series 1box 1folder 13
Final Draft, undated series 1box 2folder 1
Final Draft, undated series 1box 2folder 2
"Recollections" chapter, undated series 1box 2folder 3
Publicity and publication, 1986 and undated series 1box 2folder 4
Publicity and publication, 1986 and undated series 1box 2folder 5
Photograph requests, 1985-1986 and undated series 1box 2folder 6
Photograph requests, 1985-1986 and undated series 1box 2folder 7

Series 2: Sears Data Collection Sheets, 1986 and undated (3.0 linear feet)

This series contains data of each house type included in the book. The authors collected the exterior and interior specifications of the representative architectural types. This data was then recorded onto a standardized form along with the name of each house identified in the Sears catalogs. Black and white photographs were taken of the pages of the catalogs that depicted the exterior views of each type, as well as some of the floor plans of the houses. They are the images that were eventually used in the layout of the book. This series has been arranged by the authors according to the taxonomy they devised for identifying house types. Photocopies of the catalog photographs are attached to the appropriate data sheet. The originals are located in Series V.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Gable 1 - End Gable, undated series 2box 1folder 1
Gable 1 - End Gable, undated series 2box 1folder 2
Gable 1 - End Gable, undated series 2box 1folder 3
Gable 1+End, undated series 2box 1folder 4
Gable 1+End, undated series 2box 1folder 5
Gable 1+End, undated series 2box 1folder 6
Gable 1+End, undated series 2box 1folder 7
Gable 1+End, undated series 2box 1folder 8
Gable 2+End, undated series 2box 1folder 9
Gable 1 - Corner Entrance, undated series 2box 1folder 10
Gable 1-Side Gable, undated series 2box 1folder 11
Gable 1-Side Gable, undated series 2box 1folder 12
Gable 1-Side Gable, undated series 2box 1folder 13
Gable 1-Side Gable, undated series 2box 1folder 14
Gable 1+Side 1 Dormer, undated series 2box 1folder 15
Gable 1+Side 1 Dormer, undated series 2box 1folder 16
Gable 1+Side 1 Dormer, undated series 2box 1folder 17
Gable 1+Side 1 Dormer, undated series 2box 2folder 1
Gable 1+Side 1 Dormer, undated series 2box 2folder 2
Gable 1+2-3 Dormers, undated series 2box 2folder 3
Gable 1+Side-Gabled Entrance, undated series 2box 2folder 4
Gable 1+Side-Gabled Entrance, undated series 2box 2folder 5
Gable 2+Side, undated series 2box 2folder 6
Gable 2+Side, undated series 2box 2folder 7
Gable 2+Side, undated series 2box 2folder 8
Gable 2+Side, undated series 2box 2folder 9
Gable-2 No Porch/Entrance and Gable-2-Side Porch/Entrance, undated series 2box 2folder 10
X Gable 1-1+1 1/2, undated series 2box 2folder 11
X Gable 1-1+1 1/2, undated series 2box 2folder 12
X Gable 1-1+1 1/2, undated series 2box 2folder 13
X Gable 1-1+1 1/2, undated series 2box 2folder 14
X Gable 1-1+1 1/2, undated series 2box 2folder 15
X Gable 1-1+1 1/2, undated series 2box 3folder 1
Hipped-1, undated series 2box 3folder 2
Hipped 1+, undated series 2box 3folder 3
Hipped 1+, undated series 2box 3folder 4
Hipped 1+, undated series 2box 3folder 5
Hipped 1 1/2, undated series 2box 3folder 6
Hipped 2+, undated series 2box 3folder 7
Hipped 2+, undated series 2box 3folder 8
Hipped 2+, undated series 2box 3folder 9
Hipped 2+, undated series 2box 3folder 10
Hipped 2, undated series 2box 3folder 11
Hipped Gable, undated series 2box 3folder 12
Hipped Gable, undated series 2box 3folder 13
X Gable 2-2+, undated series 2box 3folder 14
Gambrel, undated series 2box 4folder 1
Gambrel, undated series 2box 4folder 2
Mansard 1 1/2, undated series 2box 4folder 3
Flat 2, undated series 2box 4folder 4

Series 3: Correspondence, 1980-1986 (0.25 linear feet)

The correspondence in this series dates from 1980 to 1986 and documents the process of identifying and assimilating information for the book. The authors wrote to Lenore Swoiskin, archivist of Sears, Roebuck and Company, in order to obtain research material for the book. They also contacted various homeowners across the country as a means of learning about the mail-order homes. In turn, the homeowners responded with letters - and sometimes a photograph - describing their homes. The originals are in Series V. Not only did these people provide structural details of their houses, but they often included colorful anecdotes about what owning a Sears home has meant to them. Thus, these letters may reveal some insights into the cultural phenomenon of mail-order homes. This series also includes correspondence with the publisher, the Preservation Press. Arrangement is chronological.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Correspondence, 1980-1986 series 3box 1folder 1
Correspondence, 1980-1986 series 3box 1folder 2
Correspondence, 1980-1986 series 3box 1folder 3
Correspondence, 1980-1986 series 3box 1folder 4
Correspondence, 1980-1986 series 3box 1folder 5
Correspondence, 1980-1986 series 3box 1folder 6
Correspondence, 1980-1986 series 3box 1folder 7
Correspondence, 1980-1986 series 3box 1folder 8
Correspondence, 1980-1986 series 3box 1folder 9

Series 4: Photocopies of House Plan Catalogs and Research Notes, 1908-1986 and undated (0.5 linear feet)

The first half of this series contains photocopies of pages from Sears mail-order catalogs. The authors included publications from 1908, 1919, 1926, and 1933. Most of the folders, however, only contain partial copies of each catalog. There is also one catalog from Aladdin Homes, another company that sold mail-order homes. The research notes of the authors and photocopies of articles made while researching the book form the remainder of the series. Arrangment is then chronological, with undated notes located at the end of the series.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Aladin Homes -- "Built-in-a-Day", 1918 series 4box 1folder 1
Sears and Roebuck -- "Book of Modern Homes and Building Plans", 1908 series 4box 1folder 2
Sears and Roebuck -- "Book of Modern Homes", Summer 1911 series 4box 1folder 3
Sears and Roebuck -- "Book of Modern Homes", 1912 series 4box 1folder 4
Sears and Roebuck -- "Modern Homes", 1913 series 4box 1folder 5
Sears and Roebuck -- "Modern Homes", 1913 series 4box 1folder 6
Sears and Roebuck -- "Modern Homes", Summer 1916 series 4box 1folder 7
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", 1917 series 4box 1folder 8
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", Fall 1918 series 4box 1folder 9
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", Fall 1918 series 4box 1folder 10
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", 1919 series 4box 1folder 11
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", 1919 series 4box 1folder 12
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", Fall 1921 series 4box 1folder 13
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", Fall 1921 series 4box 1folder 14
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", Summer 1921 series 4box 1folder 15
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", Summer 1921 series 4box 1folder 16
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", Summer 1925 series 4box 1folder 17
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", 1926 series 4box 1folder 18
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", 1926 series 4box 1folder 19
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", 1928 series 4box 1folder 20
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", 1929 series 4box 1folder 21
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", 1929 series 4box 1folder 22
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", Fall 1931 series 4box 2folder 1
Sears and Roebuck -- "Homes of Today", 1933 series 4box 2folder 2
Sears and Roebuck -- "Homes of Today", 1933 series 4box 2folder 3
Sears and Roebuck -- "America's New Low Cost Homes", Fall 1933 series 4box 2folder 4
Sears and Roebuck -- "The Honor-Bilt Home: A Century of Progress", 1934 series 4box 2folder 5
Sears and Roebuck -- "Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", 1935 series 4box 2folder 6
Sears and Roebuck -- "Modern Homes", 1937 series 4box 2folder 7
Sears and Roebuck -- "Modern Homes", 1938 series 4box 2folder 8
Sears and Roebuck -- "The Book of Modern Homes", Fall 1939 series 4box 2folder 9
Sears and Roebuck -- "Sears, Roebuck, and Co. Telephone Directory", [1909-1939] series 4box 2folder 10
Research Articles, 1907-1986 and undated series 4box 2folder 11
Research Articles, 1907-1986 and undated series 4box 2folder 12
Research Articles, 1907-1986 and undated series 4box 2folder 13
Research Articles, 1907-1986 and undated series 4box 2folder 14
Research Articles, 1907-1986 and undated series 4box 2folder 15
Research Articles, 1907-1986 and undated series 4box 2folder 16
Customer Material, undated series 4box 2folder 17
Customer Material, undated series 4box 2folder 18
Research Notes, undated series 4box 3folder 1
Research Notes, undated series 4box 3folder 2
Research Notes, undated series 4box 3folder 3
Research Notes, undated series 4box 3folder 4

Series 5: Photographs and Negatives, 1908-1939 and undated (8.0 linear feet)

This series contains black and white photographs made of the Sears, Roebuck, and Company mail-order catalogs. Each page in the catalog was photographed to make a 3"x5" image. The photographs are arranged by their original order in the catalog and the catalogs are arranged chronologically. Some pages from the catalogs are missing. The photographs in Boxes 1-6 were originally located with their corresponding Sears Data Collection Sheet in Series II. Photographs included in correspondence from Series III are in Box 7 of this series. A detailed listing is located in the appendix.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
"Book of Modern Homes and Building Plans", 1908 series 5box 1folder 1
"Book of Modern Homes", Summer 1911 series 5box 1folder 2
"Book of Modern Homes", 1912 series 5box 1folder 3
"Modern Homes", 1913 series 5box 1folder 4
"Modern Homes", Summer 1916 series 5box 2folder 1
"Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", Summer 1917 series 5box 2folder 2
"Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", Fall 1918 series 5box 2folder 3
"Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", Summer 1921 series 5box 3folder 1
"Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", Summer 1923 series 5box 4folder 1
"Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", Summer 1925 series 5box 4folder 2
"Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", Fall 1926 series 5box 4folder 3
"Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", 1928 series 5box 5folder 1
"Homes of Today", 1933 series 5box 5folder 2
"Modern Homes", 1934 series 5box 5folder 3
"Honor-Bilt Modern Homes", Fall 1935 series 5box 5folder 4
"Modern Homes", 1937 series 5box 6folder 1
"The Book of Modern Homes", 1939 series 5box 6folder 2
Unidentified photographs of interior and exterior of Sears homes, undated series 5box 7folder 1
Negatives of Sears Catalogs, 1908-1939 series 5box 8folder 1

Related Material

There are numerous books on mail order and pattern book buildings in the National Trust for Historic Preservation Library Collection. Below is a partial listing.

Aladdin; North American Construction

Architects Small House Service Bureau of the United States

C.H. Robinson. Robinson's Money-Saving-Mill-Made Cut-to-Fit Houses. Providence, R.I.: C.H. Robinson, [1914?]. [TH48919.P7C22 1914]

Co-Operative Building Plan Association. Shoppell, R.W. Modern Houses, Beautiful Homes. Rockville Center, NY: Antiquity Reprints, 1978 [Folio NA7207.S54 1978]. The designs and articles in this book are selections from the many issues of the magazine Shppell's Modern Houses, originally published in 1887 by the Co-operative Building Plan Association, New York.

E.F. Hodgson. Hodgson Houses and Outdoor Equipment for Your Country Home. Boston, Mass.: E.F. Hodgson Co., 1933. [NA7561.E2 1933]

Gordon Van-Tine. 117 House Designs of the Twenties. New York: Dover, 1992. Reprint edition of the Gordon-Van Tine Co's 1923 catalog. [Folio NA7208.A12 1992]

Harris Brothers. A Plan Book of Harris Homes. Chicago: The Company, 1918. "Book number 74." [TH4819.P7H27 1918]

Hollow Tile Building Association. Hollow Tile for the Home. Chicago: Hollow Tile Building Association, 1920. Publication no.2, serial no.3. [Folio NA7155.H65 1920]

Montgomery Ward. Wardway Homes. Chicago: Montgomery Ward, 1924. [TH4819.P7M66 1924]

Portland Cement Association. Plans for Concrete Houses. Chicago: Portland Cement Association, 1925 [Folio NA7160.P73 1925]

Ready Built House. Ready Built Buildings. Portland, Ore.: Ready Built House, 1989 (1915). Photocopy. [TH2819.P7R42 1915a]

Sears, Roebuck.

Other

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Selected Search Terms

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Subjects

Names (Added Entries)