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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Cleaning Pressing Dyeing: 1924

Cleaning Pressing Dyeing: 1924

Washington, D.C., circa 1924. "Palace Laundry (Elite Laundry)." Soft collars, 3¢. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Elite Laundry

I remember this shop at 5616 Connecticut Avenue NW next to the Avalon Theater, just two blocks south of Chevy Chase Circle.

5616 Connecticut Avenue NW

Elite Laundry was one of those delivery laundry services with several locations around the city. I found an old Washington Post ad indicating this one was 5616 Connecticut Avenue NW (between the Avalon Theatre and Magruder's grocery store just south of Chevy Chase Circle). The address now belongs to this Subway sandwich shop, but it doesn't look to be the same building.

[The building may well be gone. Or it might still exist, but with a different street number. - Dave]

Not Responsible for Goods Left Over 30 Days

At my father's laundry, he supplied lists for the customer to enter the number of the items that were individually listed. There was also a sign that said that read something like "If contents list was not included with bundle, our count must be considered correct." Another sign he had said "Not Responsible for Goods left over 30 Days." Dad had a back storage room with what appeared to be hundreds of parcels. When I asked him about it he said they were unclaimed packages, some of which were years old. I asked him about the sign and he said that legally he had to hold the goods for seven years and a day and then advertise that he was disposing of them

Soft Collars at Five Cents

Might have afforded them more appealing window decor.

Sanfordized & Son

As neat and clean as this shop is overall, the only reason I can think of for that crooked "Elite Laundry Co" sign in the window is because whoever dusted the area bumped it. And how about the ghost fotog and his tripod? Re the "Drop package" door, unlike car dealerships now where after-hours dropoff service provides a key envelope where you write your instructions, I see nothing here for the customer to "Write Name Plainly" on what package? Maybe customers were given a stash of such material to keep at home. A mystery buried in time.

Reflect upon your laundry

At first glance, the reflection in the window looks like a passerby with a cane, however, a closer look reveals the photographer and his tripod. I would imagine that is rare thing for a professional photographer to do.

Cleaning Up

We've seen another part of the Elite empire here. A franchised business do you think?

Self Service

I presume that meant that the patron dropped off their dry cleaning, rather then Elite having to come to them?

[I don't think so. "Self service" might be the wet-wash price -- you or your maid does the drying and ironing. - Dave]

Ha! That does make more sense, 'fits' the wording as well, thanks! HA!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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