Read a reference to this in today's Sunday Times readers' letters page and just had to follow up on it.
I'm guessing the Swastika choice was from the Hindu/Asian good luck symbol more than anything, besides being a very distinct and catchy logo, as a certain Central European party likewise decided. Rudyard Kipling used to use it on his books as part of the interest in all things Indian until the Nazis came to power, when he - like the Laundry - refrained from further usage of it.The Swastika Laundry was a laundry founded in 1912, located on Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge, a district of Dublin, Ireland. It was founded by John W. Brittain (1872–1937) from Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim who was one of the “pioneers of the laundry business in Ireland” having founded the Metropolitan and White Heather Laundries in 1899. He was also the owner of a famous horse called Swastika Rose which was well known “to frequenters of the Royal Dublin’s Society’s Shows“.
They used electric vans, that were painted in red with a black swastika on a white background, to collect and deliver laundry to customers.
In 1939, the laundry changed its name to "The Swastika Laundry (1912)" to make clear the distinction between its use of the name and the symbol and the recent adoption of the symbol by the National Socialist (Nazi) Party in Germany.
Definite points for further research here:
As pointed out in The Inquisition’s earlier piece on Hermann Goertz the laundry drew attention from patriotic nazis. Both Goertz and his fellow spy Unland, felt they had no option but to use the laundry. Quite why they risked giving themselves away by doing is anyone’s guess. Perhaps they felt it was a cover operation, which it was not.Anyone around Ballsbridge in the '80s remember seeing swastika-symboled van driving about?The Swastika Laundry’s chimney is now a protected structure. It remained decorated with swastika livery even after the company was bought out by Spring Grove Laundry in the 1960s. Jobs were advertised in Irish print media right up until the late 60s. In fact, it remained decorated until the 1980s.
I don't think I'll look at sleepy Ballsbridge in quite the same way again.