Peoples Steam Laundry
The following data is extracted from Baker County, Oregon, Gold Mining History.
One of the most important industries of our thriving town is the above, it portion of the interior of which we present, in an accompanying cut. It is located on Washington street, a half block east of the Warshauer Hotel, in the most central part of the city, and at a spot where they have the moat excellent drainage. The building is 30x100 feet, two stories high. In the purchase of machinery, and in the installation of business no expense was spared in making everything first class, in order that the work turned out might equal any in the state. A short time since we paid a visit to the laundry, and were well repaid. Although from early Monday morning until late Saturday night it is a busy place, time is always taken to show visitors through, and explain the machinery and its workings.
Entering the office which is neat and comfortable in its appearance, one can follow the process of washing, drying, starching and ironing, until the once soiled linen is tied up ready for delivery. In its snowy whiteness, which must be seen to be appreciated. The bundles of dirty clothes are assorted into separate bins, after being counted and marked, and are then ready for the wash-room. Large crates are wheeled to the clothes bins, and the clothes run into the washroom, and put into the washers, which are large cylinders, revolving first forward, then backward, allowing the clothes to drop from side to side upon raised ribs of wood. This gives the same effect as rubbing them over the familiar washboard, and in one hour 100 to 125 shirts or equal proportion of other clothing are ready for the bluing. After rinsing and bluing, they go to the extractor, which is nothing less than a centrifugal drier. The plain work is then ready to be ironed on the mangle, a large steam ironer capable of ironing one thousand towels in one hour, which will give the same finish to a bedspread as to a napkin. The starch work goes to the starch table, thence to the dry room, which is a series of racks in a steam-heated closet. The steam table for underwear, blankets, etc., is a novel idea, and a valuable one too. as it raises the nap on the goods until they are soft and fluffy and as pure and sweet as new. In the shirt, collar and cuff department it is a relief to see the work done by girls in their neat and attractive attire, rather than to see the filthy Chinese in their close cramped quarters, spewing over their work which may be a little cheaper but in a thousand ways objectionable.
The shirt work alone is rapidly building up a business for the laundry, which the management may well be proud of, as it is conceded of every hand to be equal if not superior to any work of this nature in the state. Two delivery wagons call for and deliver work locally, and they also have established agencies in Union, Sumpter and Huntington, Oregon, and Weiser, Caldwell and Nampa, Idaho, besides at all the mining camps in the neighboring counties. The management consist of J. W. Dalton and his wife, have both personally had over fifteen years experience in the business, and who personally look after the inside part of the work. They contemplate some improvements in the near future, such as putting in a large drive well filter, additional storage tanks for hot and cold water. etc., which when finished, will make it the most complete laundry between Portland and Salt Lake.
Source: Baker County, Oregon, Gold Mining History