HOME - Front Page
Pictorial Library \ Introduction | Viewer

The Aladdin Company of Bay City, MI

Internet Resources
Dedicated to history of Aladdin Company.
[Central Michigan University]
Archive of Aladdin Catalogs.
[University of Maryland]
About Kit Houses (lots of information).
[Article by Ronica Roth]
Built in a Day: Capturing the Era of Catalog Architecture.
[Article by Fred J. Becker]
The Kit Home History.
[Article by Les Henry]
Mail-order Houses.

Aladdin Company made history as the first company to ever sell pre-cut house when it began doing business in 1906 as the North American Construction Company, and was later renamed the Aladdin Company. The business was owned brothers, William and Otto Sovereign. Two years later, Sear Roebuck and Company got into the business, and many did as well later on. Aladdin sales continued to grow rapidly over the next two decades inspite of the competition. The market was ideal for sales of pre-cut homes at that time as population was growing, morgage loans non-existent, and assembly a pre-cut home had a major cost advantage over tradition methods of constructing a home.

During those peak years Aladdin expanded its operations extensively with several mills situated around the country and an affiliate in Toronto which operated under the name of Canadian Aladdin Company LTD.

When the United States entered WWII Aladdin turned to supporting the war effort, supplying pre-fabricated barracks and large recreation buildings. By the beginning of the 1960s the pre-cut housing market was on the decline as more and more people could afford hire a contractor to build a house, morgage loans eliminate the money problem and pre-cut homes offer little monetary advantage over traditional methods of constructing homes. Aladdin closed operations in 1981.

Bay City has two other companies in the pre-cut housing business, Lewis Manfacturing (Liberty homes) and the Iternational Mills Company (Sterling homes).

This pictorial provides a sampling of some Aladdin many home and complemetary products. Central Michigan University houses a large collection the records from the Aladdin Company and has many of their complete product catalogs available to browse online. A link to their website is below along with some other sources for information on kit houses:

Features of JSViewer
Keyboard Controls:
a - advanced options
c - toggle controls
d - toggle descriptions
e - toggle effects
f - full screen
h - toggle help
m - max image size
p - toggle pre-cache
r - toggle random
s - start/stop slideshow
t - toggle thumbnails
x - close window
z - toggle zoom
^ - move controls
- previous image
+ - next image
< - slower
> - faster
? - about JSviewer
HELP - Controls

HELP US IF YOU CAN! -- Contribute content to Bay-Journal.