The History of Alsco

New Zealand Towel Service (NZTS) was formed in 1910 in New Zealand by the Plowman Family. In 1998 NZTS changed ownership from the Plowman family to another family the Steiners, and we became Alsco NZ. ALSCO was formed in 1889 in Lincoln, Nebraska America.

Back in the days merchants, restauranteurs, tavern operators and factory owners had to pay a pretty penny to supply their workers and facilities with linens and uniforms — and to keep them clean. Of course, in 1889, the idea of “outsourcing”, let alone the term, was still decades away. Nonetheless, the idea of commercial textile services and laundry began to catch on and this is a brief outline of our history.

  • 1910

  • New Zealand Towel Service founders George & Elizabeth PlowmanNew Zealand Towel Service (NZTS) was founded in 1910 by George & Elizabeth Plowman.
  • New Zealands Biggest LaundryFrom this building in Auckland New Zealand’s biggest laundry started.
  • laundryWe began as a laundry, processing customer-owned textiles and renting out a small range of towels.
  • 1920

  • NZ Towel Supply In the 1920’s & 1930’s, NZ Towel Supply was mainly processing towels, customer-owned textiles (COG) and bags for the shipping industry. Check out the modern fleet vehicles of the day.
  • 1940

  • uniform rental businessBy the 1940’s, NZ Towel Supply and Laundry had expanded into the uniform rental business.
  • modern laundry truck…with an updated “Modern” fleet of vehicles NZTS kept getting bigger and better!
  • 1950

  • Steiner Single-serve Cloth Towel During the 1950’s NZTS introduced the Steiner Single-serve Cloth Towel to New Zealand.
  • 1960

  • Dust Control MatsIn the 1960’s we introduced Dust Control Mats. This has evolved to today’s message and logo mats.
  • 1970

  • Industrial GarmentsIn the 1970’s we introduced POLYCOTTON Fabrics for Industrial Garments.
  • Air TowelDuring the 1970’s NZTS was involved in the pioneering of Air Towel’s in New Zealand which we still supply and service nationwide today.
  • 1980

  • Washroom ProductsIn the 1980’s we introduced a range of Washroom Products.
  • 1986

  • Paper Product1986 saw NZTS get started in nationwide Paper Product distribution for our customers.
  • 1990

  • Clean Room Processing and Barcode Tracking SystemsDuring the 1990’s we introduced Clean Room Processing and Barcode Tracking Systems.
  • 1998

  • Alsco NZIn 1998 NZTS changed ownership from the Plowman family to another family the Steiners, and we became Alsco NZ.
  • 1889

  • Alsco was founded Alsco was founded in 1889 in America by George A. Steiner.
  • Today, there are linen and uniform processing, cleanroom, manufacturing, and sales/distribution facilities in most every corner of the world, including New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Europe, South America, United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.
  • 1999

  • Fresh & Clean1999 saw the emergence of our Fresh & Clean Brand and Branches specialising in Washroom Services and Consumable Products being launched to the marketplace.