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Multiple Years / Pay Toilets
The first pay toilet in the United States was installed in 1910 in Terre Haute, Indiana. Pay toilets were prevalent in restaurants and other public buildings until the mid-1970s. However, a campaign by the Committee to End Pay Toilets In America (CEPTIA) resulted in laws prohibiting them in cities and states--legislation that was widely applauded by the public. In 1973, Chicago became the first American city to enact a pay-toilet ban. At the time, according to the Wall Street Journal, there were at least 50,000 units in America, mostly made by the Nik-O-Lok Company. CEPTIA was successful over the next few years in obtaining bans in New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, California, Florida and Ohio. Lobbying was successful in other states as well, and by decade's end, pay toilets were greatly reduced in America. However, they are surprisingly still in use in some places. Many people would be shocked to learn that pay toilets are once again legal as the CEPTIA-inspired bans from the 1970s have been repealed in many jurisdictions.