The History Of R.R. Street & Co. Inc.


In 1876, The US was celebrating its centennial, Ulysses S. Grant was serving his second term as President of the United States and Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. That same year, Robert R. Street founded R.R. Street & Company in Chicago, IL.  135 years later, the history of Street’s reflects many of the significant process and product milestones that have occurred in the professional cleaning industry over the past century:streets1880.jpg


Late 1800's

  • Street’s is selling dyes and supplies into Midwestern textile mills and becomes among the first to import the latest European technology, drycleaning soap, for the nascent US market.  

Early 1900’s

  • Street’s develops the first pressure filter system used for drycleaning and changes the way solvent is maintained.
  • In 1927 Street begins selling its products through appointed distributors throughout the United States.

1940's: World War II

  • Street’s leads industry-wide effort to "recycle" empty drums for war effort.
  • Street’s launches original Staticol® - the first dry cleaning detergent with anti-static properties.
  • Street’s introduces a revolutionary 2-gun spotting system the earliest form of spray spotting.


  • Groundbreaking studies of micelles and conductivity published by Street’s R&D department
  •  Within a year’s time, the charge system is dominant, owing to Street’s invention of the extractor rinse unit and the “ECCU”.
  • StreeTEX®, the first water-soluble and solvent-soluble spray spotter is introduced.
  • Street’s develops school for distributors.


  • Through strategic alliances Street’s sales force quickly builds PerSec® brand Perchloroethylene and Darco@ brand carbon to market leadership positions.
  • Street’s sponsors National Institute of Drycleaning (now DLI) scholarships, fostering the concept of Allied Trades sponsorship to advance industry education.


  • Backed by Street’s research, cartridge filtration becomes standard practice, paving the way for easier solvent maintenance. Streets Puritan Brand Cartridges become the quality benchmark.


  • Invention and commercialization of the CAREfill closed loop delivery system, changing the way perc is delivered and helping the industry to be more environmentally responsible.
  • Research professorship founded at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago “to increase mankind’s knowledge, better our existence, and allow informed judgments about chemicals to be made”.
  • Innovative chemistry used in development of unique Fabricol® Load Process detergent bringing wider range of detergent benefits to injected “soap to each load” proceses.


  • Street’s enters a partnership with ExxonMobil Chemical to market and provide technical support for DF2000 Fluid and introduces specially formulated products to help meet the challenges associated with modern high-flash point hydrocarbon cleaning systems.
  • Invention and commercialization of the eco-friendly Solvair Cleaning System by sister company, Solvair LLC:. Solvair is a cleaning process that has received numerous patents and sustainability awards, raises the bar on cleaning performance, and changes the way that clothes can be cleaned.

Through many years of industry changes, Street’s overriding commitment and guiding principles have remained the same: “Provide the customer with the highest quality processes, products and services in order to produce the best quality of fabric care. And, to conduct its affairs with integrity that extends beyond the fabric care industry to society in general”. That commitment has been demonstrated by the Company’s ongoing financial, philanthropic and intellectual contributions for more than a century.