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Facts

The December 7 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this ad for a newly-opened chain of cleaners.

I love the use of capitalized words for emphasis. And they used exclusive English formulas!

Spick & Span Cleaners hit the ground running late in 1931: the 1931 Toronto city directory does not list any locations, and the 1932 directory lists all 36 locations shown here. The business more or less thrived, despite being started in the depths of the Great Depression; by 1939, 27 stores remained in business, and the company had spawned one imitator, Spick & Slick Cleaners at 2388 Bloor West.

The firm persisted at least into the late 1960s. In 1955, there were 27 stores in the chain, but their numbers started to gradually dwindle after that. In 1960, there were 23 branches; in 1965, there were 13. There were also 13 branches in 1969, the last year for which I can access the online Toronto city directory. A Google search turned up no reference to the chain, so I do not know when they went out of business.

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