Leo Labrecque using a Launder-O-Meter to test the wash-fastness of dyed fabric. Bottles containing a standard weight of fabric in a standard soap solution are visible both within and outside of the machine. During the test, these samples were rotated in a water bath maintained at a standard temperature for a standard period of time. This photograph was taken in the Customer Service and Quality Control Laboratory at the Althouse Chemical Company plant in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Based in Reading, Pennsylvania, the Althouse Chemical Company was founded in 1915 by C. Scott Althouse (1880-1970) as a small, family-owned firm specializing in fabric dyes of a superior quality and class. In 1954, the Crompton & Knowles Corporation of Worcester, Massachusetts acquired Althouse, which continued to operate as a division of Crompton & Knowles and a leader in the specialty dyes industry.
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“Launder-O-Meter at Althouse Customer Service Laboratory,” circa 1960. Photographs from the Records of the Althouse, Bates, and Crompton Chemical Companies, Box 1. Science History Institute. Philadelphia. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/hd76s009b.
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