American Steam Laundry circa 1932 379 South 7th Street

1MENROOMWASHTYU42t3  This collection of photographs are in a binder that belonged to John Dolin of Irvington, NJ. He wrote the year 1932 on the cover. My best guess is he was one of the salesman pictured in the second photograph.

The photos show the whole operation. All the people who washed and processed the laundry appear to be women. The truck drivers and salesmen were men. The work was physically demanding with long hours standing at the various machines. The factory was not air conditioned   making it quite hot in the summer. I know nothing about the wages or hours. The year being 1932 would indicate that the Great Depression was underway and that many small factories in Newark were closing down – never to return. Still listed in the 1942 City Directory the American Steam Laundry had obviously avoided that fate. The owner at that time was listed as Benjamin Harris.

New housing occupies the former site of the laundry.

8 thoughts on “American Steam Laundry circa 1932 379 South 7th Street

  1. Benjamin Harris, the founder and owner of the American Steam Laundry, arrived in this country as a teenager, from Russia. He lived on Renner Avenue in Newark before moving his family to Maplewood, where he raised his three children.

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    1. Thank you for commenting on my post. I always appreciate when a family member responds. The photos I used came from an album which documented the entire laundering process. People such as your ancestor helped create the economic engine that was Newark.

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  2. Thank you so much for this glimpse into the early history of Newark, NJ. It is quite fascinating. I have a first cousin, Pasquale Grasso, who died August 12, 1925 from a boiler accident. He worked as a laundry worker at the American Steam Laundry, 379 Seventh Street in Newark, NJ from 1908 until his death. Pasquale Grasso died in a boiler accident. Do you have any information about Pasquale Grasso or if his accident occurred at the American Steam. Laundry? Many thanks. Caren Matyckas

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  3. Thank you so much for this glimpse into the early history of Newark, NJ. It is quite fascinating. I have a first cousin, Pasquale Grasso, who died August 12, 1925 from a boiler accident. He worked as a laundry worker at the American Steam Laundry, 379 Seventh Street in Newark, NJ from 1908 until his death. Pasquale Grasso died in a boiler accident. Do you have any information about Pasquale Grasso or if his accident occurred at the American Steam. Laundry? Many thanks. Caren Matyckas

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    1. Hi Caren
      I looked in a 1914 Newark City Directory to see if I could find your ancestor . There were three Pasquale Grasso’ but none seemed to match your relative. If you can provide any further information I’d be happy to do a little more research.
      John

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  4. Hi John,
    What a great way to start the New Year! Thank you for your prompt reply. Here is all the information I was able to gather on Pasquale Grasso. I hope it’s helpful.

    DOB: 12/14/1880; Born in Serino, Italy
    Parents: Gaetano Grasso and Carmata Cirasuolo
    DOM: 5/10/1990; Married in Serino, Italy
    Spouse: Roses Brescia
    Arrives in US: 11/27/1902
    DOD: 8/12/1925 (boiler accident)

    – City Directory for The Oranges
    1908: Residence: 82 Jefferson; Occupation: Laundryman
    1922: Residence: 480 Cary Street; Occupation: Laborer
    1924: Residence: 480 Cary; Occupation: Engineer
    1925: Residence: 480 Cary: Occupation: Laborer
    – 1910 US Federal Census
    Residence: 82 Jefferson; Occupation: Laundryman
    – 1918 WWI Draft Registration Card
    Residence: 61 Central Avenue; Occupation: Laundry Worker for American
    Steam Laundry, 379 7th Street, Newark, NJ

    Any information would be greatly appreciated. Stay well; be safe.

    Sincerely,
    Caren Matyckas

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  5. Hi John,
    What a great way to start the New Year! Thank you for your prompt reply. Here’s all the information I could gather on Pasquale Grasso.

    DOB: 12/14/1880; Born in Serino, Italy
    Parents: Gaetano Grasso and Carmata Cirasuolo
    DOM: 5/10/1990; Married in Serino, Italy
    Spouse: Roses Brescia
    Arrives in US: 11/27/1902
    DOD: 8/12/1925 (boiler accident)

    – City Directory for The Oranges
    1908: Residence: 82 Jefferson; Occupation: Laundryman
    1922: Residence: 480 Cary Street; Occupation: Laborer
    1924: Residence: 480 Cary; Occupation: Engineer
    1925: Residence: 480 Cary: Occupation: Laborer
    – 1910 US Federal Census
    Residence: 82 Jefferson; Occupation: Laundryman
    – 1918 WWI Draft Registration Card
    Residence: 61 Central Avenue; Occupation: Laundry Worker for American Steam Laundry,
    379 7th Street, Newark, NJ

    Any additional information would be greatly appreciated. Stay well; be safe.

    Sincerely,
    Caren Matyckas

    Like

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