One of the most fun ways (at least for me) are TESTIMONIALS! Testimonials pop up everywhere — mail-order catalogs, newspaper advertisements, special advertising media like posters, postcards, and flyers. Sears utilized all of the above. In the back of their current catalog, they frequently had a special spread of photos and testimonials of houses built by John Q Public.
|Two-page testimonial spread from the 1921 Sears, Roebuck Honor Bilt Modern Homes catalog. Photo from Archive.org|
|WHERE IS MR. PETERSON'S ELMWOOD?!!! |
(I've looked numerous times in the LaSalle section of Niagara Falls but can't find it. It might have been torn down, of course.) Photo from Archive.org
Manufacturer Gordon-Van Tine published a special brochure just of testimonials called, Proof of the Pudding! Local North Tonawanda roofing and shingle manufacturers Creo-Dipt and Weatherbest published fully illustrated catalogs with photos of actual homes with the owners' names, cities and what was used on the homes. These all make it easier and more likely to find the houses.
|Creo-Dipt catalog. I traced the house in the photo to 920 Highland Ave, Pelham Manor, NY|