Released in September 1920, this Buster Keaton short depicts a happy couple (Buster and Sybil) being gifted a “ready-to-assemble” kit home. A jealous old beau alters the numbers marked on the framing members (which were marked to facilitate construction), thus wreaking havoc on poor Buster’s ability to erect the 12,000-piece kit.
On a personal note, I find it fascinating that kit homes were so common in 1920 that movie goers could be expected to have the foreknowledge about these mail-order houses, their “marked lumber,” as well as how they were to be assembled.
All that aside, this is a very cute little short, and I first discovered it in 2004, when my daughter Corey used this piece for a senior project she did for graduation from high school. I was honored and touched that my daughter was drawn to a movie on kit homes – because of her mama! 🙂