Our History

A Family Business Since 1944

Pratt Abbott has been a family business serving the Greater Portland community since 1944. We started out as a solitary store in Bramhall Square. At that time, over 20 different dry cleaners plied their trade in Maine’s largest city.

Although Pratt left the business a year after its founding, Elliot Abbott became the face of Pratt Abbott for fourteen years, often waiting on customers and pressing shirts himself. In the 1940s, he combated unemployment by hiring veterans through the GI Bill. One of these hires was Roderick Lowell, an ambitious WWII vet, who worked his way from the shirt presses to taking over ownership in 1958, when Abbott retired.

From the beginning, Pratt Abbott has been a family business. Roderick Lowell and his daughters worked behind the counter. Rod’s father, Adrian Lowell worked on the machinery in the Westbrook coin-op until his late eighties.The Abbott family still takes their dry cleaning to the Forest Ave. store. 

In 1991, the Lowells sold the business to a father and son team, Jim and David Machesney. Since then, Machesney children and grandchildren have helped staff the counters, drive vans, and bag shirts for Pratt Abbott. Although Jim has passed on, David runs all 13 dry cleaning locations. He also expanded the business to include a full service uniform and linen rental department.

Over the past 70 years, Pratt Abbott’s exceptional standard of care, ability to adapt to changing times, and ongoing support of our customers, has allowed us to become the largest dry cleaning company in northern New England. Our eco-conscious facilities are state of the art, with premium dry cleaning finishing, spotting and processing capabilities that set us apart from the rest. We invite you to experience the Pratt Abbott difference for yourself.

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