"I'm originally from Virginia; I'm a widow now--raising a boy and a girl; they're nearly grown but don't work so I'm supporting the whole family. There are plenty of people in Kalamazoo that need washing and ironing done, especially a lot of the single men working in the factories."
-Harriet Booth, Black woman, age 51
Photo captions: Unidentified laundress, circa 1890 (unknown collection); women working in the Lexington Laundry, Richmond, Virginia, 1899. Note the machinery in use by this time. (Library of Congress collection).
To find more historic photographs and artifacts related to African American history in Kalamazoo, visit KVM's searchable collections database.