Yale Union Laundry Strike

This website commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Portland laundry workers’ strike of 1919. Since its inception in 2009, Yale Union has been compiling an archive of articles, images, and documents related to the history of its historic building and its role in the laundry strike. This website makes public this decade-long project to commemorate the strike centennial. For more information, continue reading here


Laundry Strike Timeline


Oregon passes law limiting working hours to 10 per day for women

The Oregon Bureau of Labor is created in 1903, establishing…more


Industrial Workers of the World union founded

The Industrial Workers of the World is founded in Chicago,…more

“Test the Ten Hour Law: Its Application to Laundress is Argued in Court”

The decision of Curt Muller, proprietor of Grand Laundry in…more

An ad from 1920 showing a Thor electric washing machine for home use

Invention of the Electric Washing Machine

The first electric washing machine, "The Mighty Thor," was built…more

“Hours of Labor for Women”– Muller v. Oregon goes to the Supreme Court

"Curt Muller vs. State of Oregon," a case waiting the…more

Muller v. Oregon upholds Oregon law restricting working hours for women workers

The U.S. Supreme court rules that Curt Muller was in…more

Yale Laundry built by founder Charles F. Brown Opens

After opening industrial laundries in Superior, Wisconsin and Duluth, Minnesota,…more


“Quick Delivery Gains: Laundry Companies Praise Auto Truck System”

The involvement of drivers into the workflow of the industrial…more


The Industrial Welfare Commission of Oregon publishes its report on power laundries in Portland

Caroline Gleason’s 1914 report on the power laundries of Portland…more


“Women Get Increase”

Announcement is made that wage increases amounting to thousands of…more

“Laundry Workers Give Dance Tonight”

Dances were often held by unions to recruit members and…more


Oregonian Classifieds: “Wanted—Strong girl…”

“Wanted—Strong girl for starch and dry room; $10 to $11:…more


Seattle General Strike

Over 65,000 workers went on strike for five days, crippling…more

“The Public”

In an effort to influence public opinion against the strike,…more

“The Bolsheviki Spirit” (Editorial from Laundry Owners)

One of the tactics Laundry owners employed in their attempts…more



“Laundry Merger Denied”

Portland Heads Claim No Plan with Seattle...