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Edward Bok (Ladies' Home Journal's editor-in-chief from 1889 to 1919) believed that the opulence and fast pace of 19th-century life had caused average families to overdecorate and overstuff their homes with "useless bric-a-brac." He so disapproved that he maintained that the "common error of over-furnishing so many of our homes [directly causes] many of the nervous breakdowns of our women." That's why, beginning in 1895 and for more than 60 years, Ladies' Home Journal published professional architects' plans for simple, attractive, suburban homes that readers could build for a moderate amount of money.
Pictured: The very first set of Ladies' Home Journal house plans, published in 1895.