Thread Number: 62773  /  Tag: Wringer Washers
Vintage photo --- Maytag laundromat, El Paso, TX.
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Post# 853373   11/23/2015 at 21:46 (1,062 days old) by bradross (New Westminster, BC., Canada)        

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Thought there might be a few interested in seeing this old postcard of a Maytag laundromat located in El Paso, Texas.

FYI - the washers shown are the Model 32L - which was a later-production model 32, but with the revised "low post" agitator drive spline. You can see in the first machine the shaft of the gyratator is very slim, rather than the typically thick ones typical for Models 80/90/30/32.

Also, you can clearly see the revised and improved safety release bar on top of the wringer tension bar.

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Post# 853402 , Reply# 1   11/24/2015 at 03:40 (1,062 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

How did patrons pay to use these machines-did they have coin or card meters on them?did you pay an attendant to use these?

Post# 853511 , Reply# 2   11/24/2015 at 18:23 (1,061 days old) by gusherb (Chicago/NWI)        

Wow that's incredible. I didn't even know self service laundromats existed prior to automatic coin-op machines! My great aunt's mother (my great uncles wife) had a laundry business in Amarillo, TX and I asked her if they did self service at all and she said it was only full service. That was in the 1950s. So I've been curious if self serve existed prior to automatic washers...

Post# 853517 , Reply# 3   11/24/2015 at 18:51 (1,061 days old) by lebron (Minnesota)        

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For fun I might stop by this address over the long weekend. It would be awesome if a laundromat was still there.

Post# 853534 , Reply# 4   11/24/2015 at 20:22 (1,061 days old) by bradross (New Westminster, BC., Canada)        
How to pay...

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I would imagine there was an attendant on duty that would collect the fees.

Post# 853579 , Reply# 5   11/25/2015 at 06:42 (1,061 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
I didn't even know self service laundromats existed pri

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They sure did; and how.

These automated laundrymats were on both sides of the pond soon as various equipment became available. Laundromats are nothing but an evolution from the public wash houses or areas along rivers and streams where women gathered to do laundry. In France such places were called "Lavoirs".

As another poster mentioned there were attendants at these "automated" wash houses that took your money, supplied soap (usually for a fee) and so forth.

For women living in urban areas going to a place even if it had just wash tubs and wringers was probably vastly better than trying to do the wash for her family in a cold water flat. These places had hot water, lots of hot water...

When Bendix came out with their washing machines you found Laundromats all over the world stocked with them.

Post# 853586 , Reply# 6   11/25/2015 at 07:25 (1,061 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Given the time depicted that this "post-washhouse-era" had taken place, there had to be some sort of honor system before each washer needed its own, independent coin deposit to be a rite of passage...


That and people were too impatient & had less time for clothes to dry on a clothes line; where are dryers?


A matter of time after this era, Laundromats, then became as we know them today...



-- Dave

Post# 853637 , Reply# 7   11/25/2015 at 13:04 (1,061 days old) by scoots (Chattanooga TN)        
The Landromat is long gone, but the building is still there

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The laundromat took up the left hand side (unmarked) of the building. The common wall with 1112 was probably knocked down and the entire building is probably used for the Templo la Vid Verdadera (a Mexican, apparently evangelical, church).


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Post# 853659 , Reply# 8   11/25/2015 at 16:17 (1,061 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Honor System

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Not really.

Just as today there would be an attendant or the owner present who made sure you paid up. In fact for the more "ahem" primitive places you couldn't get at water or anything else without someone to direct or whatever.

Some places could control power to the machines from a central location even if just via the fuse/circuit breaker panel.

As for tumble driers don't think they became common in laundromats coin or otherwise until maybe the 1950's.

Look at the picture of this young lad taking his family's washing to a local Laundromat in 1947. Window sign states "wash, rinse & damp dry... 9lbs for 30 cents". No mention of drying. Of course back then in NYC as elsewhere including cities clotheslines were still used. You took your washing home and hung it out to dry.


Post# 853716 , Reply# 9   11/26/2015 at 00:28 (1,060 days old) by A440 ()        

What an interesting picture.  I bet the user's thought the Maytag's  were so modern! 


Post# 991565 , Reply# 10   4/20/2018 at 16:43 (184 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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