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National Service Industries, Inc. (Atlanta, Ga.) Records

Identifier: Mss 156

Scope and Contents

Researchers interested in the growth and development of several Jewish-owned Atlanta businesses will find this collection of special interest. All material is arranged in alphabetical order by subject and chronologically within each folder.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1897 - 1995

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

National Service Industries, Inc. was founded in 1962 with the merger of two established Atlanta companies, National Linen Service (NLS) and ZEP Manufacturing Company. National Linen Service, founded in 1919, had grown into the largest textile rental company in the United States by the late 1950s, having acquired similar companies in twenty-four states. To avoid anti-trust action by the United States government, National Linen signed a consent agreement in 1956 and agreed not to acquire additional linen companies for ten years. National president Milton Weinstein countered this restraint by diversifying. On June 30, 1962, National Linen merged with ZEP, a chemical company founded in 1937 by Mandle Zaban and now headed by his son Erwin. Two years later National Linen acquired Atlanta Envelope Company and changed its name to National Service Industries, Inc. (NSI). In the ensuing years NSI acquired North Bros. Co., in 1966; Selig Chemical Industries in 1968; Lithonia Lighting Company in 1969; Marketing Services in 1970; and Block Industries in 1972.

In 1962, sales totaled $68 million and in 1984 they exceeded $1 billion. The company ranked 260th in sales among the largest United States industrial companies on the 1988 Fortune 500 list, with sales of $1.4 billion.

In 1989, NSI relocated from its home office on Peachtree and 14th Streets to a new corporate headquarters at Pershing Point. Over the next decade NSI continued to grow, but in 2001, with stock prices stagnant, the company was broken apart.


15 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



From its founding in 1962 to its demise in 2001, National Service Industries, Inc. was one of the largest textile rental companies in the United States. The records consist of records of acquisitions, mergers and sales of the various companies that were a part of NSI. Also included are annual reports from NSI and National Linen Services as well as a variety of records from some of its component brands, ZEP Manufacturing Company and Selig Chemical.


All material is arranged in alphabetical order by subject and chronologically within each folder unless otherwise noted.

Separated Materials

Photographs removed to visual arts collection and oversized material removed to oversized collection.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Sandra Berman (April 2007), revised to EAD format by Jeremy Katz (May 2013), and entered into ArchivesSpace with further revisions by Lindsay Resnick (June/July 2020).

National Service Industries, Inc. (Atlanta, Ga.) Records, Mss 156
Sandra Berman
April 2007
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum Repository

1440 Spring St. NW
Atlanta Georgia 30309 United States