Where Did All the Chinese Laundries Go?

A century ago  Chinese laundries could be found in virtually every town throughout the United States as well as in Canada.  Today, one would find it difficult to find one because most homes have their own washer and dryer and those who do not can do their laundry at a laundromat, which unlike laundries, are usually self-service and does not offer ironing.  By the middle of the past century, Chinese immigrants were turning to other businesses such as restaurants as older Chinese laundrymen were retiring.  Their children did not take their place because many of them had obtained college degrees paid for through the earnings from their family laundries and were beginning to make inroads into professions that previously had been denied to Chinese, even though with advanced degrees from Ivy League universities.  Still, even as late at 1955, as this list from the San Francisco Yellow Pages illustrates, there were many laundries (a few on the list were not Chinese laundries) in San Francisco operated by Chinese.

But today virtually all of the Chinese laundries have faded away into history!  That is a sign of the great progress that the Chinese have made but without the sweat and toil from the laundries, they would not have made it.