Historical information

All nursing staff wore hospital supplied uniforms for much of the twentieth century. The Royal Melbourne Hospital ran the 'Central Linen Service' for during this time - doing all the laundry for all the public hospitals in Melbourne. Staff uniforms were laundered separately, everyone had their own numbered laundry case. Staff also had a small printed docket book with duplicate copies (complete with a piece of carbon paper) and the number of uniform items were detailed when the case was sent off to the laundry. Cases had to be in the 'laundry room' at a set time each week, clean laundry returned at the same time each week and it usually took 10-15 minutes to find your case in the very full laundry room the day it came back.


The laundry box system shows what a complex and detailed system was required to keep staff clean and tidy.

Physical description

Brown, pressed cardboard laundry case, no handle, catches at both ends, and protective covers on each corner of the base and lid.

Inscriptions & markings

Sticker stating Royal Melbourne Hospital Central Linen Service and on outside number of box E 171 (E was the identifier of the Alfred) for identification purposes.