The Steam Laundry


To be honest, the only way I knew this was a steam laundry is because the building told me. I am not even sure what a steam laundry is, exactly. I get the general idea – dirty clothes go in, something happens that involves steam (and, possibly, detergent), and clean clothes come out.

But at any rate, it doesn’t matter: the place is out of business and the building is for sale.

Colorado City, Texas

photographed 3.13.2013

Posted on March 21, 2013, in architecture, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Is there no use for clean cloths in Colorado City anymore? This must have been a good business once, it’s looks like a huge building.


    • This is the craziest thing – today I gave a presentation on social media at a conference. One of the women there had ties to Colorado City, Texas: her grandparents owned this laundry. So, I asked her what happened re. the steam laundry. She said in the early days of the laundry, a lot of business was from uniforms from local businesses. And the rest of it was from people who didn’t have washing machines in their homes. Gradually, the town’s population declined, some of those uniform-wearing businesses left and others abandoned uniforms, and people got their own washers.

      She also told me that a favorite game of the grandkids was to push each other up and down the streets in the big laundry carts. “I have lots of scars,” she said.


      • Fantastic that you got some living scars to go with these dead ones. Oral history makes so much difference, though this is a fantastic photo – a new addition to my list of favourites of your shots – that would stand alone with only the usual implied stories. You and your camera do a great job of telling those kinds of stories.
        Now I wonder what a laundry cart looks like.


      • That’s an interesting point about implied stories v. actual ones; I’ve never thought about it too much, probably because this is one of the very few times I’ve had an actual story to go along with a photograph.

        I’ll see what I can find out re. laundry carts, and let you know!


  2. Cool post – the picture looks quite foreboding to me and your words made me laugh. Good combination/contrast.


  1. Pingback: My (current) favorite town | One Day | One Image

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