One of my best friends live in the sweetest, charming, and simple little house set on a spectacular waterfront on Shelter Island. This house was a ready-to assemble kit house produced by Sears. From 1908 until 1940, the retailer Sears, Roebuck, and Company sold its Sears Catalog Homes, which consisted of kit houses. Approximately 70,000 of these houses were sold in North America during these years, shipped via railroad boxcars in kits that included all the materials needed to build a house. Within these homes, Sears offered the latest technology available was incorporated: central heating, indoor plumbing, and electricity. More than 370 different designs, all based on the indigenous American home, were available during the program's 32-year history.