Glossary – Hollanderizing, Shinerizing, Martinizing

Yesterday’s fashion in song post Take Back Your Mink from the 1950 play Guys and Dolls contains the line “So take back your mink to from whence it came, and tell ‘em to Hollanderize it for some other dame!”

Hollanderizing is a process that uses sawdust and chemicals to freshen up fur garments. It was named for its inventors, A. Hollander and Sons. Albert Hollander arrived in the United States from Poland in 1889. He eventually began a fur care company on West 29th street in New York, and later moved his business in Newark, New Jersey. In 1918, the Hollander company was granted a patent for their proprietary cleaning process known as “Hollanderizing.” Soon, a chain of Hollanderizing fur cleaners popped up across North America, with branches opening in Toronto and Montreal in 1930. However, Canada had its own version of Hollanderizing a few years later.

The rival fur-cleaning process called Shinerizing was registered in Canada in 1943. The process, which was similar to Hollanderizing and eventually bought out by them, was named for Hyman Shiner and his sons Sol and Huck who had a fur-cleaning and storage business in Toronto. The term Hollanderizing fell out of trademark in 2007 when it was not renewed – probably because so few women own fur coats anymore and it wasn’t worth protecting the use of the term.

Martinizing is a dry-cleaning process for wool and silk clothing that was invented in 1949 by Henry Martin, a New York chemist. The process didn’t use flammable chemicals, which allowed for the cleaning to be done on the premises, rather than being shipped to a cleaning plant outside of town. This allowed for a quick turn-around and the process was promoted as a One-Hour Martinizing service.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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