Like its competition, Gordon Van Tine was focused on creating a market for its building materials, ready cut houses, and kit homes. The company was established in 1907 as a building materials distributor in Davenport, Iowa. For an in depth account of the history of the company, there is no better authority than architectural historian, Dale Wolicki. His website on the Gordon Van Tine presents some of his research. (His books are listed in the right column for your convenience.)
We have a couple catalogs. The first published here is the 1940 Depression-era catalog. The houses are generally small and inexpensive. The market was slow and businesses struggled to survive. The company published the same cover for about five years with various home styles that evolved from the bungalow and revival styles to more modern mid-century styles in 1940.
Companies like Gordon Van Tine, Aladdin, and Sears all had difficulty in these years because the newly established Federal Housing Administration made it possible for borrowers to essentially refinance their homes with less expensive mortages. That undercut a substantial portion of the money-making potential of these manufacturers.
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