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Sanitary Laundry Records, 1909-1962

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-2020-041

Content Description

This collection contains materials relating to Sanitary Laundry's daily business, including cost estimates for resources, floor plans, finances, correspondence, receipts, news clippings, and meeting minutes. This collection is arranged into three series: Series 1: General, 1909-1947; Series 2: Correspondence, 1944-1945; Series 3: Financial, 1909-1962. Materials are dated 1909-1962 and in good condition.

Dates

  • 1909 - 1962

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public without restriction. The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to duplicate or publish material from this collection must be obtained from the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Biographical / Historical

Sanitary Steam Laundry was incorporated by the State of North Carolina in May 1909. According to the 1909 City Directory, the laundry was located at 1417 South Boulevard. In 1929, founder Frank Dallas Lethco died, and William F. Mederis was elected to the Board of Directors to serve alongside MM Murphy, Charles R. Price, and ES Bea.

On April 7, 1925, a Certificate of Amendment was filed with the Secretary of State for a name change and issuance of stock, which allowed Sanitary Steam Laundry to officially shorten its name to Sanitary Laundry. M. H. Eppes and Elenora Eppes surrendered all their interests in the laundry to E. S. Bee. By 1933 there were nine shareholders, Mary Lethco and E.S. Bee being the only persons remaining from the original group.

In 1929, founder FD Lethco died, and William F. Mederis was elected to the Board of Directors to serve alongside MM Murphy, Charles R. Price, and ES Bea.

Sanitary Laundry operated throughout the Great Depression. Meeting minutes from January 1935 declared 1933 as the worst year of business, with business slowly picking back up in 1934. The business lost a considerable amount of money during these years, with full time staff drawing shrinking salaries. In 1936, the business was able to award a $900 bonus to those who had worked throughout the Depression.

The September 21, 1945 issue of the Charlotte Observer reported a strike by the laundry workers of Charlotte. The strike was called by the Laundry Workers Union of America in an effort to get the management of the laundries to recognize the union as a bargaining agent. The workers at the Sanitary Laundry participated in the strike, which lasted four months. Conciliators were unable to bring any agreement between the union and management and the union members voted to discontinue the strike.

From 1950-1962, the Queen City saw Sanitary Laundry grow and add new storefronts at East Blvd., Selwyn Ave., Scaleybark, and Central Ave. The business' name was changed to Price Bro Laundry and Cleaners in 1963 in honor of Charles R. Price, who joined the shareholders in 1929.

The last year of operation was 1974 and the only branch operating at that time was at 137 Scaleybark.

Extent

0.25 Linear Feet

0.25 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The Sanitary Steam Laundry was incorporated by the State of North Carolina in May 1909 and served the Charlotte community through 1974. This collection contains documents with information on cost estimates for resources, floor plans, finances, correspondence, receipts, news clippings, and meeting minutes. Materials are dated 1909-1962 and in good condition.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into three series:

Series 1: General, 1909-1947, includes documents such as certificate of incorporation, news clippings, lease agreements, floor plan sketches, and other miscellaneous materials generally relating to the business.

Series 2: Correspondence, 1944-1945, contains correspondence to Charles Price, as well as a subpoena.

Series 3: Financial, 1909-1962, is comprised of financial documents relating to the business, such as receipts, bills of sale, and cost estimates.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The immediate source and date of acquisition for this collection is unknown.

Related Materials

Epps/Epes/Eppes Family. (CALL NUMBER: NCR VERTICAL FILES)

Laundries and Dry Cleaners. (CALL NUMBER: NCR VERTICAL FILES)

Lethco Family. (CALL NUMBER: NCR VERTICAL FILES)

Bibliography

Sanitary Laundry Records, 1909-1962. Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Condition Description

Materials are in good condition.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of this collection was completed by Sydney Carroll, August 2020.
Title
Sanitary Laundry Records, 1909-1962
Author
Sydney Carroll
Date
2020-08
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Repository

Contact:
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library-Main
310 N. Tryon Street
Charlotte NC 28202 USA