Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 242



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 242

houses,” discovered after she had built ten that not one contained a parlor!

Ladies’ Home Journal houses” were now going up in communities all over the country, and Bok determined to prove that they could be erected for the prices given. Accordingly, he published a prize offer of generous amount for the best set of exterior and interior photographs of a house built after a Journal plan within the published price. Five other and smaller prizes were also offered. A legally attested builder’s declaration was to accompany each set of photographs. The sets immediately began to come in, until over five thousand had been received. Bok selected the best of these, awarded the prizes, and began the presentation of the houses actually built after the published plans.

Of course this publication gave fresh impetus to the whole scheme; prospective house-builders pointed their builders to the proof given, and additional thousands of sets of plans were sold. The little houses became better and better in architecture as the series went on, and occasionally a plan for a house costing as high as ten thousand dollars was given.

For nearly twenty-five years Bok continued to publish pictures of houses and plans. Entire colonies of “Ladies’ Home Journal houses” have sprung up, and building promoters have built complete suburban developments with them. How many of these homes have been erected it is, of course, impossible to say; the number certainly runs into the thousands.

It was one of the most constructive and far-reaching pieces of work that Bok did during his editorial career—a fact now recognized by all architects. Shortly before



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