Kit Houses

Aladdin Block 3

Aladdin War Housing ad, 1942. Courtesy of Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University.

The Aladdin Company caught the attention of more than residential buyers. As early as 1908, the company advertised to mining, manufacturing, and other industries. In 1915, the DuPont company contracted with Aladdin for housing for its Hopewell, Virginia, munitions factory workers. Aladdin also enjoyed robust overseas sales. In 1917, the Austin Ford Company in Birmingham, England, ordered several hundred Aladdin houses to accommodate its growing workforce during World War I. Despite the economic challenges faced by all kit house companies following the war, Aladdin sold 2,800 houses in 1918—nearly two percent of all housing starts in the U.S. that year.

Aladdin fostered a sense of community for its customers as part of the Aladdin family. Its Department of Service answered questions and offered advice on design, landscaping, and other decisions. Its Homecraft publication featured everything for the home, from cookware and dishes to lights and plumbing fixtures.

Aladdin Homecraft Magazine. Courtesy of Winterthur Museum Library.


Aladdin enjoyed the most staying power of any kit house company. When it closed in 1981, it had sold over 75,000 homes in 49 states. Aladdin Readi-cut Homes, Catalog no. 54. Courtesy of Historic New England.