88 Parliament Street, NOTTINGHAM.

THAT Nottingham is fully equipped with the minor conveniences of life is proved by the establishment of the City and Suburban Window Cleaning Company, who conduct their business on the same lines as the companies which have met with great success in London, New York, Berlin, and many other large cities.

The Company has proved very beneficial to its subscribers since the introduction of the Workmen's Compensation Act (1897), by relieving them, without increasing their charges, of what statistics prove to be, the most dangerous work.

As evidence of the success which has attended their efforts, we may mention that the Nottingham School Board, the leading Bankers, Warehousemen, and Residents are amongst their numerous subscribers.

The workmen of the Company are provided with every requisite for carrying out the most difficult and dangerous work at extremely moderate charges, and it is only necessary to send a post card to the company's offices which are centrally situated at 88 Parliament Street, to obtain —free of charge—an estimate for periodical cleaning,.


Proprietor: Mr. A. T. RICHARDS.                                 Radford Boulevard, NOTTINGHAM.

THE Imperial Laundry, now one of the recognised institutions of Nottingham, was established by the present proprietor, Mr. A. T. Richards, in 1879, and removed from Thackeray Street to the existing works on Radford Boulevard some four years ago. The works are situated at the junction of Player Street with the Radford Boulevard, to which latter thoroughfare they present a frontage of 141 feet, whilst the frontage to Player Street is about 75 feet. The fabric is of red brick, relieved with dark brick copings, and the main elevation two stories in height. Both the public and goods entrances are in Player Street. The collection of goods for delivery during the same week takes place on a Monday; and to facilitate this, and for other cogent reasons, the proprietor has established throughout the city a number of receiving offices located as follows :— 34 Beck Street, 41 Sherwood Street, 7 Fisher Gate, 133 Radford Road, 39 Canal Street, 32 St. Ann's Street, Boden Street (off Alfreton Road), Sneinton Market, 55 Woollaton Street, and 187 St. Ann's Well Road. Vans also call at customers' own residences when desired.

Section of Warehouse.
Section of Warehouse.

On arrival at the laundry, the goods are taken into the receiving room and at once checked and sorted prior to being passed on to the wash-houses. The department referred to, and the laundrying section, are both under one roof, from which an excellent light is obtained ; and as the building is about 60 feet by 40 feet, ample space is available for all purposes. It may be mentioned that the whole of the water used for washing is softened by special process in tanks capable of dealing with one thousand gallons per hour, and occupying an elevated position outside the building. For flannels, which are largely washed by hand, nothing but distilled water is requisitioned. The wash-house itself is floored with solid concrete, and well drained, and the whole place has been admirably equipped, the plant comprising two powerful rotary washers, besides numerous supplementary contrivances. The rotary machines consist of a circular copper cage, the circumference of which is composed of small, perfectly smooth copper rods, placed a short distance apart. This cage revolves on a horizontal shaft within a strong case of steel boiler-plates, and when in operation the motion is reversed automatically every three or four revolutions. On the clothes being introduced, water is first admitted, and then high-pressure steam, after which the cage is set revolving, the water and steam together permeating the clothes and passing freely through the cage by means of the openings between the rods. When the clothes are thoroughly washed the hot water and steam are discharged, and three or four changes of cold water admitted for rinsing. In short, these machines not only perform the washing operation, but also the rinsing, and if necessary the bluing, without the goods being either touched by hand or removed from the cage. Moreover, the high-pressure steam produces a sufficient temperature to absolutely destroy all infectious germs. Other machines in use in the wash-house include separate washers for flannels, coloured goods, and prints. The preliminary drying of all fabrics treated is accomplished by means of hydro-extractors, which revolve at a velocity sufficient to extract the moisture by centrifugal force. On leaving the extractors the clothes are three-parts dry, and consequently ready for the drying rooms. The latter, three in number, occupy an upper floor at the rear of the wash-house, and one of them is set apart for flannels only. All three are heated with hot air, which is forced into them by fans, after being filtered through gauze and raised to the requisite temperature over steam pipes. Next come the finishing departments, where damping-down, starching, ironing, etc., are done. Table linen and all kinds of plain linen, sheets, towels and the like go to the calendar, a powerful machine with 9-foot rollers heated by steam. The results produced by this appliance are exceptionally perfect, designs on serviettes, table cloths and other linen bearing a pattern being brought out with a clearness which one would only expect to find on a new article. Lace curtains are likewise finished on the calendar, thus obviating the risk of damage which is bound to occur when frames are used. For starching collars and shirt fronts two splendid machines by Messrs. Braithwaite, of Kendal, are available, whilst the ironing plant embraces a complement of six machines for ironing collars and nine for ironing fronts. Body linen, and embroidered and insertion work, is entirely ironed by hand. After passing through the finishing departments, the various articles are thoroughly aired, so as to be ready for immediate wear or use, and sent to the packing room, where they are parcelled and forwarded to their respective destinations, the average weekly number of packages sent out reaching upwards of three thousand. Altogether the works are admirably representative of the best laundry practice, and a more efficiently managed establishment we have not as yet had the pleasure of inspecting.

Section of Ironing Room.
Section of Ironing Room.

Turning to the sections for dyeing and cleaning, we find they have been organised and fitted up on similarly perfect lines to those which prevail in the laundry proper, nothing being wanting that could conduce to high-class work, and the equipment throughout being of the most adequate charactre. Dyeing is executed in all colours, and a special feature is made of an improved dry-cleaning process, whereby serges, tweed, cashmere, silks, satins and other dress fabrics can be beautifully cleaned and finished, and rendered equal to new in point of appearance. Gentlemen's overcoats, covert coats, suits, etc., children's frocks and pelisses, hoods, capes, carrying cloaks, and the like, cleaned by this method, do not shrink, neither is the shape or colour affected. The process can also be recommended for plushes, fancy and tapestry covers, woollen and silk repp, embroideries, art serges, and fringes, which always come out beautifully when treated by this means. It should be added that the works are provided with their own engineers' shops for machine construction and repairs, and that the staff employed numbers upwards of one hundred hands, including about eighty females.

The present premises having proved too small to accommodate the continuous growth of the business, the proprietor has decided to extend the works by adding three rooms, each 60ft. by 24ft.