Monday, January 21, 2013

Victor Laundry

Victor Laundry by midgefrazel
Victor Laundry, a photo by midgefrazel on Flickr.
One goal in this project, is to try to date this photograph. It was given to me by the North Stonington Historical Society. They had glass plate negatives that belonged to Fred Stewart and they scanned them. They knew I had a connection to this business. Isn't that great?

This location is probably Coggswell St. in Pawcatuck, CT. Notice it is near the water, not the railroad tracks (as in Westerly, RI). 

The biggest clue is the NAME of the business. Not Westerly Steam Laundry, not Westerly Laundry and not Victor Cleansing Co. Growing up, I never knew there were three business names. The short history (1908-1958) I have begins with my grandfather starting the business in Providence in 1908. But, I now know he did not live in Providence then so he must have driven back and forth to Westerly.

This photo tells me that they do laundry (known to me a "wet wash"), men's shirts, dry cleaning and rug cleaning.

The Westerly and Pawcatuck City directory for the years 1930-31 shows that my grandfather's brother, Dudley Wheeler Stewart runs the Victor Laundry on Coggswell St. in Pawcatuck, CT. (p. 215). The listing for 1930-1931 in the Westerly directory is just the city information. This means this volume was another that was scanned incorrectly.

I need to search the years prior to this (backwards) to see if I can find the year the name changed from Westerly Laundry to Victor Laundry.


Celia Lewis said...

It's confusing to find different names for a family business! Did the title change when someone died? or when a new building was purchased/built? I'm assuming there was a reason of sorts for the changes in names. I'm quite fascinated by your research! Cheers.

Midge Frazel said...

The name changed probably because my grand father wanted to move to Providence and then, of course, the word Westerly would have not worked.

My great grandfather and his wife, moved also and left Dudley behind. Getting the timeline right is a challenge.

Thanks for reading.