Daloz Cleansers started in the early twentieth century. It had retail shops in Boston although the actual work facility was located in Dorchester at 11 Humphreys Street. The building later became the Humphreys Street Studios.
The following was provided by those who know the Daloz family.
[note, despite what is said below, I have not seen documentation that any of the family lived in the Humphrey Street building. Neither Albert’s brother Laurent nor their father seems not to have died in the teens, and who knows about their falling out?]
Laurent Hyppolite Daloz had children Albert Roland Daloz m. Catherine and Laurent Daloz m. Elsa Dawson
Laurent Albert, 1909-1992 m. Lois Hardy, 1911- . They had children
Constance (Connie), Laurent Albert, Jr., Charles Roland
Laurent Albert had children Kate and Todd
Albert Roland and his wife Catherine lived in the apartment in the Daloz building, and Laurent Albert grew up there until his parents moved to Cohasset. Then the apartment was turned into storage space. The oriental shape on the wall is because Albert Roland was interested in esoteric traditions, converted to Xian Science in the 1920s. They collected lots of little Asian artifacts and probably kept one in that space.
Albert Roland Daloz, who is seen spotting in a photograph of him at a bench working on a fancy white dress, built up the business. His father Laurent Hippolyte came from France and started the cleaning & dying company. His brother (Laurent?) who had a conflict with Albert Roland died of a brain aneurism about 1912, so Albert Roland received the business.
They cleaned rugs in a hand-fed washing machine until a favorite employee, Jim, lost a hand and the Laurent Albert Daloz, Sr., wouldn’t do rugs in the machine anymore. He used to spray them with water and then squeegee them off.
Laurent Albert Daloz, Jr. used to have to fold boxes in the hot attic on the top floor.
The company changed over to stainless steel trucks. They used to have a mirror on the side with “For Your Convenience” written underneath.
The trucks were green until the mid-1950s when Laurent Albert was the boss. He bought a 2-tone black & yellow Ford “midlife crisis” convertible and changed the trucks to black and yellow.
Employee Florence was known as the “Queen of the Ironing Board.” Florence, who was Italian, called Larry “Little Boss.”
The Boston Directory for 1879 is where an entry for Daloz first appears. The directory for 1900 is the one where the Humphreys Street address first appears.
1880 Lawrence H. Daloz, 30, and Evelina Daloz, 22, and their son Lawrence aged 1 month,were living at 496 Tremont Street. His birthplace was France, hers was New Jersey. Her father was born in France. His profession was steam Dyeing
1910 Laurent H. Daloz, 59, naturalized citizen, immigrated in 1867, widowed, renting an apartment at 467 Columbia Road. He was the owner of a dyeing and cleaning company. His daughter C. Marguerite Daloz, 16, was living with him.
The following are comments from Dorchester people
William Howe Feb. 2010
I grew up 3 houses away from Daloz. One thing I know is that all of the people who worked in Daloz all lived right around the plant. Particularly the ladies who actually did the washing, cleaning and pressing. I always heard that the owners (Albert Daloz and family) were very good to the employees; particularly for that era.
If you can find a picture of the building you will see that the walk in entrance was several steps up from the sidewalk.
Robert F. Rugo commented on your photo, Feb. 2010: “Apparently someone is still operating under that name at a location north of Codman Square, near Washington and Park Streets.
Daloz the Cleaner
443 Washington St