"Homes Built In a Day"
The Aladdin Company of Bay City, Michigan was one of America's most long lived manufacturers of mail-order, "kit homes." Begun in 1906 by two brothers, Otto and William Sovereign, the family-owned firm continued to manufacture houses until 1981. Over the firm's long history it sold over 75,000 homes to both individual and corporate customers.
The records of the Aladdin Company were donated to the Clarke Historical Library in 1996. The almost complete run of company catalogs, full set of sales records, over 15,000 post-World War II architectural drawings, and various other company records create an extraordinary historical resource.
We welcome you to explore this site that discusses the history of this fascinating firm and also to examine the finding aid, which explains in detail what records survive from the firm. The Aladdin Company records are open for use by the public, having been arranged and described through a grant made by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Full-text copies of the annual sales catalogs were scanned through a grant by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs.
This information was originally written in 2001.