Photo camera concept

With decades of Sanitary Maintenance publications comes decades of memorable photos highlighting some of the most iconic moments in jan/san distribution! Check out the gallery below for a journey through images. 


Founder Newton Scott “N.S.” Hillyard with the first company wagon and deliveryman, Richard Martin, circa 1907, when the company was known as the Hillyard Disinfecting Co.

Multiclean 1 Multiclean 2

Before Multi-Clean was known for chemicals, it manufactured equipment. Here are its floor machine and vacuum assembly lines from 1951.

Bob Harry Wife

Harry Apple (center), the founder of Sanitary Maintenance, celebrates his 90th birthday with son Bob and daughter-in-law Patricia in 1972. Bob served as publisher of Sanitary Maintenance at that time.


Alfred Pollack, president of National Chemical Laboratories, researches his newest innovation in the 1950s.

Dade 2 Dade 3

In the early 1960s, Dade Paper founders Harry Ganet and his son Irving discuss business. In 1973, the Ganet family celebrated Dade Paper’s groundbreaking in Miami. The company’s late Chairman, Irving, is on the left and his son Lenny, who once served as president, is second from the right. In 2017, Imperial Bag & Paper Co. acquired Dade Paper & Bag Co. and the two became Imperial Dade.

Rochester 1 Rochester 2

Daniel Calkins (pictured in 1900) and C.P. “Persy” Crowell started selling disinfectants in 1888 but waited until 1894 to formerly be known as Rochester Germicide. The company had an active acquisition phase in the 1970s, including the 1972 acquisition of Midland Laboratories. In 1980, the word “germicide” no longer reflected the diversification of the company, and it was renamed Rochester Midland Corporation. Today, the company celebrates their 135th anniversary and continues as a family-owned business, led by Harlan D. Calkins, Chairman, his son, H. Bradley Calkins, and his daughter, Kathy Lindahl, who are co-CEOs.


This letter was sent by President Bill Clinton to Sanitary Maintenance Freetime Columnist Gretchen Roufs after she pointed out that the White House’s outdoor mats looked a “little worn out” during a tour.


In 1978, Daycon Products, led by President Robert “Bobby” Cohen (right), launched the Custodial Institute to train frontline janitors. In 2005, the company established the Building Wellness Institute to teach sustainable cleaning methods. Today, Daycon is part of the Envoy Solutions family and continues offering training through various technique and management courses.


H.F. Johnson Jr. (center), of S.C. Johnson, and crew astride the Sikorsky S-38 amphibious bi-plane they flew on the 1935 Carnauba Expedition, a trip that took them up the Amazon in search of sustainable stands of the Carnauba palms that were a key raw material in the company’s wax products.


In the 1960s, the animals at Stuttgart’s Wilhelma Zoo grew accustomed to their cages being cleaned mechanically with Karcher’s DS 59, supplied as a single-axle trailer.

Brame 1

Founded in 1924, this advertisement highlights Brame Specialty’s sales team, including Founder R.L. Brame (center).

Brame 3

J.B. Brame (left) took over the family business from his father, R.L., who started Brame Specialty Company by selling sweeping compound.

Brame 4

In 2012, the company transitioned into its fourth generation of family leadership as Mercer Stanfield (center), son-in-law of Jim Brame Jr. (right), took the helm as President and COO.

Issa Pres

The first three presidents of ISSA (then known as NSSA) reconvene at the annual event: (L-R) Sid Bockstanz (1924-25), John T. Opie (1923-24) and Ludwig Wilson (1925-26).


Penny and Pete Demetriades, executive vice president and president, respectively, along with their famous gorilla friend, celebrate ETC of Henderson’s birthday in 1981. After a 2017 fire that severely damaged their production facility, ETC of Henderson sold their unique intellectual properties to ACS Industries, Inc.

Don Knotts

Actor Don Knotts (known for “The Andy Griffith Show” and later “Three’s Company”) quizzically examines an Advance ad layout. The 1969 advertising program starred Knotts in the role of Mr. Nice Guy maintenance man. In the 1970s, he was the face of Advance’s “Keep It Clean” anti-litter campaign.


Unger Founder Harry Unger demonstrates his window cleaning pole at a trade show in the 1960s.

Nawling Ramaley

Two fixtures of ISSA: Leann Nowling and Jack Ramaley draw names for booth locations for the 1978 Atlanta convention.

Berk 1

Jeff Berk, of Berk International LLC, cuts wipers by hand before the acquisition of any equipment in 1979. Today, the company operates in a 275,000 square-foot building with 17 production lines and state-of-the-art equipment.

Waxie 1

Harry and Morris Wax founded Waxie Sanitary Supply in 1945. This photo of the brothers is from Harry’s retirement party in 1971.

Waxie 2

Morris Wax’s oldest son and current Chairman and CEO, Charles Wax, joined WAXIE in 1973. Like every employee, he had to start at the bottom and work his way up. The company is now part of the Envoy Solutions family.

Talk Dirty

ISSA’s ad campaign in the 1980s featured the fun, but controversial, slogan, “Talk Dirty to Me.” Despite some objections, the campaign proved quite successful.

US Pumice

At the United States Pumice Co.’s mine, workers load boulders into a truck, headed to the yard for sorting and sizing, circa 1950.

Portion PAC

Representatives from PortionPac take a cruise as part of the company’s 15th anniversary in 1979. Company Founder Mervin Klein is the last person on the left.


Harold Pond, second-generation president of the Advance Machine Company (now known as Advance and owned by Nilfisk), would play his Hammond Organ in his office as a way to relax during tense business times.

Claire 1

Manufacturing Claire Jinx Self-Polishing Wax in 1947.

Claire 2

Workers manufacture Claire Pineheart Pine Oil Soap in 1947.


Acme Paper and Supply cuts the ribbon for its facility in Savage, Maryland, in 1979. (L-R): Ron Attman (current co-CEO of Acme), David Attman, Hugh Nichols (at the time, he was county executive of Howard County), Steve Attman (current co-CEO of Acme), Edward Attman and Mildred Attman (founders of Acme and parents of Ron, David and Steve). Today, three generations continue the company tradition

Harry Award

Harry Apple (left), founder of Sanitary Maintenance, receive a plaque for significant contributions to the industry and ISSA in 1968. He would later also receive the first Jack. D. Ramaley award in 1977.

1960 Space

In the 1960s, even the cleaning industry was caught up in the space race. At this NASA facility, one speck of dust could mean the difference between a successful space mission and a catastrophe.

2000 Museum

The industry got some well-deserved recognition when the Museum of Clean opened in 2011. The brainchild of industry veteran Don Aslett, the facility showcases the past, present and future of cleaning. 

Photo Courtesy of Monte Stiles

Space 1

Spartan Chemical Company Founder E.T. Swigart, Jr. cuts the cake at the company’s 25th anniversary celebration in 1981.

Space 2

Past Spartan Chemical Company President Steve Swigart mops up the jan/san world in 1971. In 2011, on Spartan’s 55th anniversary, Jon Swigart was named president of the company.

Malish 1

Three generations of Malish at the groundbreaking ceremony for the company’s previous facility in Willoughby, Ohio, in 1970. (L-R) John P. Malish; current President and CEO Jeffrey J. Malish; and Terry J. Malish. After 45 years at that location, Malish relocated in 2016 to their existing location in Mentor, Ohio.

Palmer 1

Palmer Fixture was founded in 1907 and was one of Sanitary Maintenance’s earliest advertisers. They operated out of this facility in the 1960s and 1970s.

Golden Star 1Golden Star 2

Standing in front of Golden Star’s first building in 1908 are Gustave Gradinger, general manager, R.E. Morris, chemist, and J.E. Thompson, sales manager. The steam engine on the right pulled the chemicals for the tank farm located behind the building.

Brady Las Vegas

After launching in 1947, the Brady team continued to grow, as illustrated in this group photo from 1996. By 2018, Brady had 16 locations. At the end of 2020, Brady merged with Individual FoodService and BradyIFS became one of the larger distributors in the industry with a combined 38 facilities nationwide.


Fred Leventhal, chairman of the board of O-Cedar Vining at the company’s Springfield, Ohio, facility in 1993. O-Cedar sold its commercial division to Fred’s son Todd in 2003, which led to the creation of Nexstep Commercial Products.


Hank Josephs, president of Spruce Industries (right), visits with Bill Zuckerman, then president of the New Jersey Sanitary Supply Association, during the 1985 ISSA show.

Dan Nassco

Dan Weltin, former editor of Sanitary Maintenance (left), visits with Kurt Melzer, vice president of NASSCO (right), in 2017 at the distributor’s annual customer appreciation event.


Charles Haspar, vice president-sales for Clarke, presents the Dollar Award to Dalco President Ted Stark (right), and Maurice Dixon (center), Dalco’s sales manager in 1971. Dixon was a Sanitary Maintenance columnist for many years in the 2000s.

Hill and markesHill and markes 2

Founded in 1906, Hill & Markes, Inc. originally sold ice cream. It wasn’t until 1947 when Harry and Harriet Finkle purchased the company and converted it into one of the largest jan/san distributors in upstate New York. Today, Hill & Markes is part of the BradyIFS family.

Capitol Sanitary Supply

Capital Sanitary Supply was founded in 1939 by one of Sanitary Maintenance’s earlier readers, Tom Hanna. Today, the Des Moines, Iowa-based distributor remains a loyal partner to the publication.


Windsor’s Versamatic Vacuum was used to clean hotel carpeting in this 1986 demonstration. The hospitality industry continues to use Windsor products, which are now part of the Windsor Karcher Group.


Ken Bodie, Mike Devoto and Jack Robertson of Kelsan pose at their customer appreciation rodeo in the 1990s. The distributor has been known for great service since its start in 1950.

Ward Drill

A. Ward Drill (left), Sanitary Maintenance managing editor for nearly 20 years and previous editor of Brooms, Brushes and Mops, is presented a plaque for his longstanding service to the industry at ISSA in 1970. His editorial policy was guided by one main principle: “The interest of the reader comes first.


Witt Industries displays its products at a 1950s trade show at a time when the company was named The Witt Cornice Company. Today, Witt Industries is a division of The Armor Group, Inc., a diversified group of manufacturing companies.