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Summary is pleased to offer a catalogue of house plan booklets and brochures dating from the early 1900s through 1970. These “pattern books,” depicting a home’s exterior together with detailed floor plans and enticing descriptive paragraphs, feature page after page of designs for homes both large and small. The images and evocative language employed in the catalogues and brochures engaged the imaginations of readers of an earlier era as they pondered the virtues or liabilities of individual designs (see, for example, the prolix verbiage of item 47803, page 6). Insidiously, the dream of home ownership took hold....The house plans booklets and brochures offered in the present catalogue have been gathered over a period of years and provide insight into firms that “directed most of their business to those who would aspire to the American dream of achieving not only home ownership, but ownership of a house which was of a particular status-communicating type.” (Smeins, Building an American Identity, p.99).... The concept of 20th century “pattern book” ephemera as signifiers of evolving social and moral imperatives is one of the more intriguing derivatives of these engaging vintage brochures and booklets, and is surely an area of investigation warranting further study.
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