laundry mark

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laundry mark (plural laundry marks)

  1. (archaic) An identifying marking, usually in coded form and handwritten in indelible ink on an inconspicuous area of a garment, widely used until the mid-20th century as an organizing aid by merchants who cleaned and pressed clothing.
    • 1888, "Black Bart, the Highwayman," Montreal Herald, 5 Dec., p. 6 (retrieved 4 Jan. 2010):
      One of his shirt cuffs . . . bore a laundry mark, and the detectives finally located the laundry in this city.
    • 1906, Mary Roberts Rinehart, The Man in Lower Ten, ch. 4:
      The suit-case . . . contained one empty leather-covered flask and a pint bottle, also empty, a change of linen and some collars with the laundry mark, S. H.
    • 2008, Burle Pettit, "When you get right down to it, life is a numbers game," Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 9 Aug. (retrieved 4 Jan. 2010):
      Some of the numbers I remember had become useless information until the computer age brought forth the frequent necessity of thinking up passwords. . . . [W]hen at least one letter is required, I type in my army laundry mark, which is my last initial and the final four digits of my serial number.

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