Where Did the Name Laundromat Come From?

Laundry equipment in Charlotte, NC

Would you believe that there are more than 30,000 laundromats all over the U.S. to date? Considering this business was founded on the idea that people pay with quarters to use a service, we’d say it’s quite hard to believe.

But, you might as well get on board! This more than five billion dollar a year in revenues industry is here to stay, despite its rocky start in the late 1950s. If you're searching for laundry equipment in Charlotte, NC, make the call to T & L today. We'll save you time and money!

Where The Name Laundromat Came From

In previous blog posts we talked about the history of these facilities and how they got their start. During the Great Depression, laundromats were popular, but after that things started to dwindle a little. It wasn’t until the mid-1960s that things started picking up again. This is when the laundromat that we know today became a huge success again.

If you’ve been thinking about the history of these businesses, you might also be wondering where the name “laundromat” actually came from. We mentioned previously that when the first business opened in Texas during the 1930s, it was called a Wash-a-teria”. Some were also called “Washeries”. The area you were located in probably determined what you called it during that point in history.

The name “Wash-a-teria” was actually used as the main name in most southern regions and was even used in the Yellow Pages as the official business name. However, the name eventually changed to “Laundries-Self Service”.

While places in southern California and Texas still refer to laundromats as the names mentioned above, the most commonly used name is “Laundromat”.

You might also find other names throughout the U.S. including the following:

  • Coin Laundry
  • Laundreeze
  • Laundrette
  • Self-service Coin Laundry
  • Wash & Dry

The name "Laundromat" was actual a brand of washer sold from 1940 - 1945. The name was trademarked at the time. Even though the brand closed its production, the name stuck. 

An entrepreneur by the name of Westinghouse came up with the name. It was trademarked with Westinghouse Electric, the owner's company. It's thought that he used the word "laundry" and "automat" in combination, considering he created an automatic electric washing machine in the 1930s. The washers were marketed in 1940 and soon after the trademark was put in place. The name was re-trademarked in the late 1980s, but no one has ever been prosecuted for using the name without permission. 

If you missed our previous blog posts with the history of washers and dryers, as well as laundromats, be sure to go back and read them. You'll find a great deal of useful information, especially for those interested in opening a facility in their area. 

Need Affordable Commercial Laundry Equipment in Charlotte, NC?

Consider working with T & L for all your laundry equipment in Charlotte, NC needs. Not only do we offer the best washers and dryers on the market, we also offer engineers, in-house, that will work with you to design your very own laundromat. Our professionals have extensive laundromat planning experience, from location scouting to service evaluation and more. We can even supply you with high quality coin operated washers and dryers in Charlotte, NC, or your own area.

We also go above and beyond to analyze competitor’s machines so that we can ensure you’re buying the best when choosing to work with T & L. Contact us now to start planning and designing your brand new laundromat! Financing is available.

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