9340 118 Ave.

EA-160-1978

City of Edmonton Archives EA-160-1978

Page the Cleaner was established here in 1935. Early on it became Page the Cleaner and Furriers, combining cleaning with processing furs into clothing. Over the years Page the Cleaner has grown into a major chain of cleaners throughout the capital region.

Dry cleaning was discovered in the mid-nineteenth century in France when they discovered how to remove soil and stains with petroleum-based products. Initial experiments with the process were successful, but had the minor drawback of creating solvents that were extremely flammable.

This problem was dealt with by the mid-1930s, around the time Page the Cleaner was established. The industry shifted to the use of tetrachloroethylene or ‘perc’ for short. Tt was an ideal solvent; it cleaned well and was stable, non-flammable and gentle on clothing. Unfortunately, it was also the first chemical to be classified as a carcinogen by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the United States.

The machines used to clean garments were generally of the vented variety, expelling the fumes into the atmosphere and surrounding area and leaving a legacy of pollution.

The building on the west side which is today a grocery store was built in the early 1950s as a garage and warehouse for furs. To the east was the original store but it was replaced shortly after by the long warehouse structure we see today.

EA-160-1978

City of Edmonton Archives EA-160-1978

 

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