Friday, February 22, 2013

Victor Truck at Home

Hilltop Drive home,1953 by midgefrazel
Hilltop Drive home,1953, a photo by midgefrazel on Flickr.

By 1953, when this photo was taken, I can remember some of the people and the work at Victor. The truck brought furniture and other items from my grandparent's house to ours (on weekends) so it was handy to have this truck at our disposal. The truck brought items to my grandparent's beach house at Bonnet Shores in Narragansett, RI.

The only seat in the truck is for the driver. I think of it every time the UPS or FedEx trucks come to my house. As a little girl, I was not allowed in the truck while it was moving unless my mother was with me to hold me down while we rode on the floor. My mother didn't know that the men who were the drivers let me sit in the drivers seat while the trucks were parked in the company garage. All kids love to pretend drive.

The plant was a bustling place of business.  The women who worked the sheet ironer (a huge machine in which you fed the sheets in between rollers to flatten them out), chatted and gossiped while they worked. It was a kind of dance step rhythm to the work.

An overhead conveyor belt, moved the finished cleaned clothes (on hangers)  from one station to another. The workers put a piece of clothing on the belt for me to follow. It stopped at each station so I could talk to that worker and see what they did. No all of them spoke English but I learned to cope. I also collected a lot of buttons (some I still have.) People were nice to me.

My uncle did wet wash and my aunt operated the shirt machine. I hate ironing because I saw how easy it is to do a shirt if you have a machine!

It was HOT in the plant, all year round. It smelled like dry cleaning fluid, bleach, soap, machinery oil and a combination of clean and dirty clothes. It is something I will ever forget.

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