April 3, 2009

American Home Service Company, 4539 Broadway, Uptown, Chicago, IL

Editor's note: Way back in 2007, we posted about the Rice Bowl, a restaurant that used to exist in the approximate location of the Harris Bank on Broadway. Recently, we learned a little bit more about the location. From a 1922 article:

American Home Service Company

Mclaughlin, B. O. Larson And H. W. Pellage have given Uptown Chicago, in whose growth they have played leading parts, another great enterprise in the American Home Service Company.

The American Home Service Company consists of the Lincoln Hand, Paragon and Clark Street Wet Wash Laundries. The merger was effected in April, 1922, with Mr. McLaughlin, representing the Lincoln Hand Laundry, as president; Mr. Larson, of the Paragon Laundry, as treasurer; and Mr. Pellage, of the Clark Street Wet Wash Laundry, as secretary.

The plant of the new corporation will be a five-story edifice, costing $200,000, to be located on a site adjoining the Paragon Laundry at 3543 North Ashland avenue. The plant will be one of the largest laundry plants in the world and will contain all of the latest methods for improving and expediting the handling of wash. It will stand as a monument to the efforts of Messrs. McLaughlin, Larson and Pellage to enhance the industrial as well as residential and scenic possibilities of Chicago's North Side.

Of one thing, the American Home Service Company is already assured— a well-balanced management, backed by a definite policy and years of achievement in the laundry trade. Each of the three officers has been affiliated in one capacity or another with this business since he stepped out of the period of adolescence.

Mr. McLaughlin is among the North Side pioneers who had faith in the potentialities of his district. He began in the laundry business in an humble way, opening a tiny laundry at 1447 North Halsted street in 1893. Two years later, he moved to a store at 2007 North Halsted street, next to the Bismarck Gardens, opening the same week as this well-known resort.

When he began talking of moving to Broadway, then Evanston avenue, his friends presupposed that he was suffering from arterio-sclerosis but, nothing daunted, he built a three-story building at 1886 Evanston avenue, now 4539 Broadway, the first building in the block between Wilson and Sunnyside. The first floor was occupied by the Lincoln Hand Laundry and the upper floors were rented to families and for office purposes. Here the laundry was operated by five persons, including the proprietor, Mr. McLaughlin.

Ten years later, Mr. McLaughlin reached another turning point, with the erection of the first building of the group which is now known as one of the finest laundry properties in Uptown Chicago. The main laundry, the last section built, was added in 1913.

The wisdom of Mr. McLaughlin's move in locating on the North Side is attested to by the steady growth of his business.

Mr. McLaughlin organized the North Side Dyers and Cleaners in 1910 and served as president and manager for several years. He was president of the Chicago Laundrymen's Club in 1919 and 1920; member of the executive committee of the Chicago Laundry Owners' Association in 1920, president in 1921 and unanimously re-elected in 1921.

Mr. Larson, treasurer of the new concern, operated the Paragon Laundry, in partnership with Mrs. Amalia Threedy. For the past thirty-five years, the Paragon Laundry has confined its efforts to the North Side and, by dint of hard work and determination to treat its customers with the utmost consideration, has gained an enviable reputation. Mr. Larson was associated with Mr. McLaughlin in the organization of the North Side Cleaners and Dyers on Broadway, serving as treasurer for many years.

Mr. Pellage, the secretary, introduced the wet wash laundry to Chicago housewives. His departure so caught the fancy of housewives that no other designation was needed, it simply being known as the Wet Wash Laundry. Since then, the plan has been found so good that wet wash laundries have sprung up on all sides and Mr. Pellage has taken the name of the Clark Street Wet Wash Laundry. His plant is located at 4507-09-11 North Clark street.

1 comment:

Janet Lamberty said...

J.W. (John) McLaughlin was my great grandfather


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