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If you have a local historical society or association devoted to the preservation of period homes, they often have considerable research material and experts who can authoritatively determine whether your home is a kit.The nice people at Antique Home Style have put together a handy index of ready-cut house plans from the major manufacturers and builders, including Sears. It borrows from earlier styles, emphasizing some features, deemphasizing others until a new, identifiable form emerges. While the Arts & Crafts Movement provided the philosophy and rationale, the nuances of the architecture were taken from a great many sources: late Victorian shingle-style and other purely American influences such as Shaker and Southwest Spanish Mission; as well as some distinctly Asian influences, particularly the broad horizontal lines, low roofs and well-crafted natural materials characteristic of the traditional Japanese house Craftsman, Prairie and Four-Square styles also borrow freely from each other.But, by then a great many people had had enough of industrialization.

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As many social movements do, it began with a revolt, an intellectual and philosophical rebellion against heady excesses of the late Victorian age.

It was sad to see such wonderful craftsmanship go by the wayside, but it was inevitable. Kits weighed about 25 tons, included a detailed assembly manual, extensive blueprints, and 10-30,000 individual pieces.

Sears, which sold them from 1908 to 1940, offered 447 architect-designed models.

There are a number of different craftsman-style houses, the American Four-square is actually a craftsman-style house.

But the most popular Craftsman home was the simple 1-1/2 story bungalow.

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