The Founders

It all began in a stone, two car garage, tucked away behind a property full of cedar trees on Penny Hill, off the Philadelphia Pike. In the spring of 1947, Edwin “Ed” Peters (right) and Gottlieb “George” Frank (left), brothers-in-law, fulfilled their mutual goals of owning their own business.

Both men had honorably served their country in World War II; Ed was a Naval Aviator and George was in the Army. Afterwards they found themselves working for the DuPont Company. Ed landed in a division that included a relatively new synthetic solvent, called perchloroethyene, which would soon replace petroleum as the drycleaning industry standard. Their brief careers in the corporate world did not satisfy either of them and they agreed to start their own business. As young men they both had some experience with drycleaning in the Wilmington area – Ed had worked at Associated Laundry during his High School years and George had been employed by Lewis Cleaners. Drycleaning was the common ground, and so it was decided.

Ed and George, and their wives, Blanche and Grace (sisters), worked tirelessly for many years building North Hills. In twenty years the business grew from that four hundred fifty square foot garage to the over ten thousand square foot facility that it is today. At one point in time they had three separate drycleaning businesses in the Wilmington area. Their work ethic and their dedication to providing quality service proved to be very successful. The loyalty of the first North Hills customers was the key to establishing a growing clientele base that became the cornerstone of our business. Over sixty-five years later, many of those earliest customers are still being served by North Hills! To you we say a genuinely sincere thank you!

Mark and Amy Peters

For more than thirty-five years, North Hills has been owned and operated by Mark Peters along with his wife Amy. During this time the drycleaning industry has faced many new challenges. There have been rapid changes in textiles (many new materials, trimmings and constructions) that require continuing education for providing proper servicing. There are ever increasing demands with state and federal compliance issues. Mark has worked with state organizations in assisting them in their education of the drycleaning industry; he has spoken before the Small Business Administration concerning proposed legislations; and he is an active member of the PDCA (Pennsylvania Delaware Cleaners Association), the local chapter of the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute.

Throughout this website you will find many examples that make North Hills Cleaners unique. None, however, may be as distinctive as our long term relationship with the Winterthur Museum and Country Estate. Winterthur co-sponsors, with the University of Delaware, the Art Conservation Master’s Degree Program, one of only four graduate programs in fine art conservation in North America. This three-year Master’s-degree program educates and trains future conservation professionals to carry out the examination, analysis, stabilization, and treatment of art and artifacts. Learning the drycleaning process is a part of this training. For countless years North Hills has had the privilege of hosting these graduate students, allowing future conservators to witness and gain knowledge of the drycleaning procedure in a commercial environment.

North Hills Cleaners has been serving the Wilmington area for over sixty-five years, enjoying a reputation for the highest of quality in clothing care. Upon our anniversary in 2007, the Wilmington News Journal ran a story about us which we invite you to view here. We are justifiably proud of the record of our history and service. We are equally proud of the achievements of our employees, who have made this record possible. Our continuing goals at North Hills are: to provide our customers with the best drycleaning and shirt laundry service available anywhere, at a fair price, and to provide a safe and respectful working environment for all our employees, instilling in them a shared genuine concern for our customers’ satisfaction.

Thank you for visiting!

Mark Peters, President