Early 1900s DIY

Aladdin Readi-Cut Homes (not pre-fabricated) 1906-1981 The popularity of DIY “do-it-yourself” home improvement and decorating projects began in the early 20th century. The North American Construction Co., later known as the Aladdin Co., was founded in 1906 by the William and Otto Sovereign Brothers. They got the idea from a Michigan company that was selling pre-cut, pre-fitted boats for consumers to assemble themselves. The Sovereign Bros. took the idea a few steps further and offered boats, homes, and garages and advertised that “Anyone who can drive a nail can put together an Aladdin House.” Once they sold a “kit” by mail order, they contracted out the specifications for the wood in the kit to local lumberyards, which would then pre-cut the sections of the houses for shipping and final assembly by the consumer. Aladdin claimed that “A saw is practically unnecessary in the erection of one of our houses. We supply the entire house for you to fit and nail together in a few days.” In 1910 they coined the more »

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