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Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008 05:04 am

REMEMBERING PARIS

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What would have possessed a pair of French immigrants to open a dry cleaning establishment in Springfield way back in 1909? Well, it was kind of a filthy year. Drilling began on California’s Lakeview oil gusher and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened. Here in Illinois there was a coal mine fire in Cherry and the “Chicago Plan” for downtown and lakefront construction was initiated in the Windy City. If the capital city followed the national trend, there was no shortage of uniforms to press and opera coats to clean for tailors Frank Franke and his son Carl Franke when they opened Paris Dry Cleaning Company at 313 East Monroe. A century, half dozen wars, Great Depression, current economic recession, advent of home dry cleaning kits and three additional locations later, Paris Cleaners, which remains locally owned by Franke descendants, presses on. To commemorate the occasion, they’ve launched a Web site with a complete company history and photo gallery: www.parisdrycleaners.com.

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