When laundry was taking up too much space in two Bismarck, N.D., hospitals, Bismarck Hospital and St. Alexius Hospital decided to combine their linens and scrubs-washing forces to form Central Dakota Hospital Laundry Inc. In 1972, the mini-co-op was born, and a central fixture was the automatic, sling-fed, loading/unloading washing system pictured here.

TBT Laundry

The greatest problem, according to a 1974 article of Hospitals magazine, was "what to do" with the current laundry staffs.

The laundry board ultimately decided that the newly selected laundry manager could hire whomever he liked, with first consideration going to laundry staff members at both hospitals. This resulted in another problem, however: current staff "retained loyalty" to their previous employers.

"The laundry manager has made special efforts to channel this attachment to the new cooperative and to build up a new allegiance," the article read.

For more historic hospital stories, see our Throwback Thursday archive.