On its title page the Home Builders Catalog says "A Reference Work for Building Contractors, Building Supply Dealers, Architects, and Home Owners — Containing Authentic Information on Building Materials and Home Equipment and Hundreds of Original Illustrations and Plans of All Types of Small Homes, Garages, Etc."
Suppliers include a pantheon of the important manufacturers of the 1920s that are gone now as well as many names that are common today: American Telephone & Telegraph Co., Crane Company, Cyclone Fence, and S.C. Johnson & Son to name just a few.
It's a wonderful resource of materials used, suppliers, and a snapshot of American homes and the way people lived in them. For example, in the 1929 catalog a short article states, "In many new homes and recently modernized ones, the old single door between dining room and living room has given way to French doors or the broad archway with buttress cabinets for books or china to give convenient accessibility and distinctiveness."
About half the book is devoted to house plans. The architects are not identified but we know that some (if not most!) of the plans by the C. L. Bowes company were incorporated into the catalog.
The history of the Home Builder's Catalog is somewhat murky and requires more research. We know that in 1928 it was compiled, edited, and published by The Home Builders Catalog Co., of Chicago, but that the 1929 version was published by National Building Publications, a division of National Trade Journals, Inc. of Chicago and New York.
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