Pay Toilets

The first pay toilet in the United States was installed in 1910 in Terre Haute, Indiana.

In the 1970s, pay toilets came under attack in the United States, from feminists as well as the plumbing industry.

California legislator March Fong Eu argued that they discriminated against women because men could use urinals for free whereas women always had to pay a dime for a toilet stall in places where payment was mandatory.

The American Restroom Association was a proponent of an amendment to the National Model Building Code to allow pay toilets only in addition to free toilets.

A campaign by the Committee to End Pay Toilets In America (CEPTIA) resulted in laws prohibiting pay toilets in cities and states. 

In 1973, Chicago became the first American city to enact a ban, at a time when, 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.