Above is a photograph of the Palace Laundry in a Washington, D.C., neighborhood in 1925. The chain eventually grew to more than 50 outlets in the D.C. area before it was sold in 1948.
The Palace Laundry is interesting for two reasons: First, it was owned by George Preston Marshall, who used his washday wealth to buy a pro football team, the Boston Redskins, whom he moved to Washington in 1937.
Marshall was one of the NFL's great showmen, developing the concept of divisional play and a championship game (the forerunner to today's Super Bowl), the Pro Bowl all-star game and other promotions. (Conversely, under his ownership the Redskins were the last team in American pro sports that refused to sign black players, not doing so until the early '60s. Many believed Marshall did so to protect his huge radio network, which had affiliates throughout the South.)
Second, Marshall marketed the Palace Laundry through this memorable slogan -- "Long live linen." Any Washingtonian who grew up there in the twenties and thirties probably remembers it.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the tie-in to today's item of Carole Lombard memorabilia. No, it's not anything she wore, but a publicity still...a linen-backed publicity still:
This is from Carole's 1931 Paramount film "Up Pops The Devil," and she's sharing the picture with Norman Foster, her co-star in the earlier "It Pays To Advertise." Foster, later a film and TV director, was at the time married to Claudette Colbert; he subsequently married Sally Blane, one of Loretta Young's sisters. (And don't confuse him with Preston Foster, Carole's co-star in the 1936 "Love Before Breakfast.")
If you'd like to own this Lombard in linen original, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/Carole-Lombard-ORIGINAL-1931-scene-still-LINEN_W0QQitemZ270390343007QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item3ef485355f&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A4%7C65%3A1%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318%7C301%3A0%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A200. Bids begin at $9.99 (no bids as of yet), and bidding closes at 4:23 p.m. (Eastern) Wednesday.