Classic Cleaners Takes a Trip Through Haiti's Dry Cleaning History

History’s a favorite school subject at Classic Cleaners. Not only are Classic Cleaners owners proud of their own twenty-five year history serving customers in Central Indiana, they love studying the history of dry cleaning around the world.  Today our history trip takes us to the island country of Haiti.

Back in 1946, Jimmy Plinton, former flight trainer for the famous Tuskagee Airmen (the all-black U.S. Army AirCorps’ 99th Pursuit Squadron), was visiting Haiti.  Trying to have a pair of pants cleaned, Plinton learned Haiti had no dry cleaning plant, and he proceeded to establish Haiti’s very first dry cleaners in Port-au-Prince.

It’s fascinating to realize how much of an effect the dry cleaning business can have on the general economy in an area. Without a dry cleaning business, Haiti’s seamstresses and tailors could use their skills on only linen and cotton, and ready-to-wear shops were almost non-existent. Even diplomats had trouble caring for their uniforms and medal ribbons!  By getting dry cleaning started in Haiti, Jimmy Plinton gave the country’s entire economy a big boost! Haberdasheries, women’s ready-to-wear shops, tailers, fabric-makers, and other dry cleaners soon sprang up in and around Port-au-Prince. In fact, when World War II was over, Jimmy Plinton was invited by the Haitian president to develop the Haitian International Airlines. Haiti awarded Plinton its highest honor, the National Order of Honor and Merit.

Like “Jeemie” Plinton in Haiti, Classic Cleaners stays involved with the local community, doing its part to contribute to the growth of its neighbors’ businesses from Broad Ripple to Cicero, from McCordsville to Zionsville and everywhere in between. Proud member of the Chambers of Commerce of Fishers, Carmel, and Greater Indianapolis, Classic Cleaners continues top serve as a link in the chain of dry cleaning history!

Reb of the Classic Cleaners blog team