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Craigmillar Steam Laundry

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Craigmillar Steam Laundry
Craigmillar Steam Laundry
The Craigmillar Steam Laundry was initially formed as the Edinburgh Steam Laundry Company, a property was bought in West Craigmillar on West Saville Terrace and the laundry opened as the Craigmillar Steam Laundry in July 1883.

By 1891 the laundry was handling over 30,000 articles of clothing a week, it was described as “the largest, best arranged, and most perfectly equipped establishment of its kind in Scotland”. The laundry used state of the art equipment including steam driven washing machines and hydro extractors which were a type of spin drier. In addition to cleaning, ironing, and finishing the clothes, the laundry dealt with a whole range of materials including carpets and curtains. All finished goods were despatched in the company’s horse drawn vans. By the late nineteenth century, the laundry employed about over 130 people.

As the twentieth century progressed, the company began buying up other laundries, and the original Craigmillar site was redeveloped. In 1951 the company took over the Caledonian Laundry, and in 1958 opened a petrol station on the Craigmillar site, which was later followed by a car showroom in 1960.

By the early 1970s the company had 6 laundries around the Edinburgh area all using automatic coin operated machines.

The West Saville Terrace property was sold in 1978, and the remaining buildings were let to their tenants as the company became a property letting agency. The company was then sold to Cala Homes in 1986.