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Before there was laundromats there were Washaterias.


The first laundromat charged people by the hour as opposed to by the load. Self-service “washateria” quickly grew in popularity amongst the locals, the first one being in Texas. Since the laundromat was established in the middle of the Great Depression, many people thought that the rental fee was more reasonable and more manageable than purchasing a steam-powered washing machine for their home. Within a few years, “washaterias” were popping up all over Texas and in some neighboring states.


Thinking about it washateria makes sense, cafeteria, washateria, ...

The term laundromat seems like an appropriate name for a place where people can do laundry. But the history behind the term is more interesting than the name may let on. In reality, ‘laundromat’ was originally a trademarked term of the Westinghouse Electric Corporation. This idea of a public place grew and the trademarked term ended up becoming the commonplace word used to refer to these places. Similar to the terms Kleenex and Jell-O, laundromat became the standard reference for what originally was called a “washateria”. Although laundromat is the standard term throughout the United States, there are some places in Texas where the term “washateria” is still in use.


But thinking about it having a laundromat instead of a washer and dryer at home makes sense in small houses, ours is in our garage and it is not super close and not fun during the winter. Also for small apartments and other living quarters they can take up too much room. Going to one place and doing all your laundry at once and doing your grocery shopping, errands and thrift shopping and you could go to the movies. At our location you can go the movies next door, having that all in one place makes sense. Next post I will explore money "laundering" not the kind most of us do, like leaving dollar bills in our pockets!

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