Kawartha Lakes Public Library - Digital Collections
Looking Back: Lindsay cleaners had white glove treatment

Hooper, John, Author
Media Type:
Item Type:
Written: 27 July 2001
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.35012 Longitude: -78.73286
Copyright Statement:
Protected by copyright: Uses other than research or private study require the permission of the rightsholder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permissions and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Kawartha Lakes Public Library
WWW address
Agency street/mail address

190 Kent St W.
Lindsay, ON K9V 2Y6
(705) 324-5632

Full Text

Many of our readers will recall the names Bert and Marjorie Ellis, founders of the Lindsay Cleaners and Dyers[sic]. They operated their shop at 27 Kent St. back in the early 1930's.

Bert, of course, will be remembered for the fedora he always wore in the store. He was so particular about the cleanliness of his shop that he often wore white cotton gloves. These gloves were used to run over equipment and furniture in the shop to ensure everything was spotless.

Your scribe was seeking work and spoke to Mr. Ellis who happened to have a position open as a delivery man. When not on delivery, I was assigned to other little tasks about the plant.

Other members of the staff included Mrs. Aldred, an inspector; Russell Card served as a cleaner and presser as did Floyd Miller. Ruth Torrance and Mrs. Hutchinson attended to check-ins, Clair "Mucker" O'Connell drove one of the trucks and Don Howie, along with his wife Betty, came from England where Don served as a bookkeeper.

In 1962, Ivan Rodd left the Royal Canadian Air Force to join the staff as spotter and plant foreman. In 1062 he purchased the business from Ellis and has continued over the years to provide quality service to his customers.

My stay was somewhat short as I was finishing my apprenticeship as a projectionist at the Academy Theatre. However, I thoroughly enjoyed doing deliveries and working in the back shop.

Bert Ellis gave "Mucker" and I permission to extend credit to dependable customers and just prior to my leaving the cleaners, I had customers who had accumulated a fair sum of money on the book determined to clear them before my departure. I was fortunate with all but one customer who kept giving me excuses for not having the money. I tried calling back to her home, until I finally struck on an idea. I told her if I did not receive payment by the following day (Friday, which was my last day at the cleaners), I would go to the location where her husband was manager and ask him for payment.

"Oh you wouldn't do that!" she exclaimed.

Informing her that I had assured Mr. Ellis I would collect all outstanding accounts on my route before leaving him, she could rest assured I would do exactly that.

"Just a moment," she said. In a matter of moments she returned to the door with a cheque in hand which she thrust at me and slammed the door!

I enjoyed working with the gang there, and especially leaving with no accounts.

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Looking Back: Lindsay cleaners had white glove treatment