Our History

1896 - Spalding Laundry and Dry Cleaning Company is Founded

Spalding Laundry and Dry Cleaning Company is founded by Peter E Spalding, the great grandfather of L...
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1925 - Greg and Peter Spalding Join

Peter’s two son’s Greg Spalding and Peter Spalding II join the family business....
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1957 - Peter Spalding Dies

The founder, Peter Spalding dies at the age of 88. Under his guidance the firm expanded its physical...
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1958 - Bill Tate Joins Spalding's Laundry

Bill Tate, Peter Spalding II, son-in-law, joins Spalding’s Laundry as a Supervisor in the retail d...
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1968 - Bill is Promoted to Executive VP

Bill is promoted to Executive Vice President and sales manager for laundry, dry cleaning, and rug cl...
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1970 - Bill is Promoted to President. Changes the Business.

Bill is promoted to President and changes the business from a retail dry cleaning and home laundry c...
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1979 - Bill Leaves Spalding's and Starts Universal Uniforms

Bill leaves Spalding’s and establishes Universal Uniforms as a uniform rental company. He does not...
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1980 - Bill Recruits Don Dimmitt

Bill recruits Don Dimmitt, a Production Manager at Spalding’s to join him at Universal Uniforms…...
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1988 - The Operation Outgrows the Facility

The operation outgrew the facility and after an extensive city wide search, the property just down t...
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1990 - Company Split Into Two Divisions

The company is split into two divisions, Industrial and Denim, both with separate management teams a...
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1994 - Tom Austin Joins Universal

Tom Austin, Bill Tate’s son in law, joins the company as an Engineer in the Denim Division, and ad...
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1997 - NAFTA Passed

When Congress passed the North American Free Trade Agreement, it signaled the end of American made a...
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1998 - The Business Changes

As the denim business was declining, the uniform business continued to grow. The denim facility had ...
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1999 - Tom Austin Promoted

Tom Austin is promoted to President of Universal Uniforms. The first ironer was installed in former ...
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2000 - New Plant Design

The linen business was growing quickly and a new plant design was laid out with Gardner Machinery Co...
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2002 - Universal Uniform Sells

An end of an era, Bill Tate was preparing for full retirement and the family decided to sell the uni...
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2003 - National Linen Closes Louisville Plant

National Linen Service, decided to close their Louisville processing facility and sold all the custo...
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2005 - National Linen Closes Lexington Plant

National Linen Service, decided to close their Lexington service center and sold the customer contra...
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2006 - Universal Linen Profiled in Business First

Universal Linen and Tom Austin are profiled in Business First of Louisville....
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2006 - Property Purchased

Universal Linen Service purchased the adjacent 4 acre, 50,000 square foot property, formerly the uni...
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2007 - New Equipment

Installation of the new equipment for the plant began in July....
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2008 - Redesigning the Workflow - New Branding

After a difficult start up period of 6 months in the new plant, several of the large pressing equipm...
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2009 - 1803 Property Purchased

Universal purchased the adjacent 1803 property which had been leased from Universal Uniforms since 2...
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2010 - Expanding Service Area

The company’s focus was to improve quality and cleanliness with a shift to high performance output...
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2011 - New Systems Installed

Universal opens their lodging focused processing center in Louisville, Ky, along with the addition o...
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2012 - Universal Receives the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation

Universal Linen Service receives HEALTHCARE LAUNDRY ACCREDITATION: The industry’s highest rating o...
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2013 - Universal Acquires American Towel

Universal Linen acquired the assets of American Towel in Nashville, TN, and added a new processing c...
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2015 - Acquired CI Linen Service

Acquired CI Linen and expanded service area into Indianapolis, IN....
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2015 - Technology Updates

Completed our new corporate training room and conference center in the Louisville corporate office. ...
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2015 - Acquired Coyne Textiles in London, KY

Acquired the linen business, plant, and equipment in London, KY from Coyne textiles when they went i...
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2017 - Acquired new building in Winchester, TN

Acquired a new 60,000 square ft building in Winchester, TN in March 2017...
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