Quite some time ago Dale Wolicki sent me a 1942 Gordon Van Tine brochure of testimonies of special order homes and said, here…you can find these. I immediately set out to find them! Of course. 🙂
This Home Building System 1942 for Gordon Van Tine Company brochure features the testimonies or examples of several late model custom homes designed by their home planning department. Homes built in the later years are sometimes more difficult to locate from testimonies.
In 1940 a chemist in Champaign Illinois would look to Gordon Van Tine to choose a home for his wife and young daughter. Instead of choosing a home from the 1940 catalog they opted to have the home planning department design one for them with their needs in mind.
This page is from my Gordon Van Tine 1940 catalog of homes.
The 1942 brochure that Dale Wolicki sent to me had this image. Nothing more than the information you see.
My research shows that this was the home of James Stewart Machin. According to the assessor it was built in 1940 and in the spring of 1940, per the 1940 census, James and his wife Flossie and 5 year old daughter Elinor were living here.
James was originally from St Louis Missouri. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1917 to 1919 during World War I.
From 1922 to 1924 he was a chemistry instructor at Westminster College in Missouri and a professor of chemistry at Sioux Falls College in South Dakota from 1924 to 1936. James received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1932 from the University of Chicago. He joined the Illinois State Geological Survey in 1936 as a chemist. This is when he and his family moved to Champaign.
Above is their custom Gordon Van Tine 1940 home as it looks today.
This current google screen shot and a little photo editing shows that other than a few evergreens the home of James Machine looks pretty much as it did in 1940! The tree out front is even still there. I wonder if the current homeowners know the history of their house?
James went on to become quite the chemist. You can read about his success by clicking here.
Special thanks to Dale Wolicki for sending me a brochure full of fun! He knows how I love to find houses.
Do you have a kit home to share or that you need help identifying? If so email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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