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.

2 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.


    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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