Laundromat signs

Having lived in three states over the last ten years, (NM, TX and VA,) I keep noticing that many laundromats have signs made up of three panels of what looks like a wave and one of the panels will be upside down. Anybody know what I’m talking about? This can’t be a mistake considering the number of times I’ve seen it. Anybody know what this means and why they do it?

The term Laundromat is a registered servicemark for a franchise of self-service laundries. Not all self-service laundries are Laundromats. The sign you see may be part of their franchise servicemark.

Now that you mention it, I haven’t seen the actual word “laundromat”, the word on the sign is “Laundry”


Sometimes 'Laundermat is used to get around the trademark infringement.

Anybody know if this term is still protected?

Er, the term Laundromat that is.

The Laundromat trademark for washing machines is still active, and owned by White Consolidated Industries, Inc. However, I am surprised to learn that the servicemark Laundromat for public self-service laundries, owned by Westinghouse and first used in 1945, was not renewed when it expired in 1993.

I can’t find a web site to confirm it, but the upside down sign and wave pattern is a trademark of the Kwik Wash laundry chain.

Whaddaya know? I always thought that laundromat owners were just really bad spellers. I always imagined the fights that they had with the sign-makers:
“It’s spelled laundromat.”
“No, it’s spelled laundrymat.”
“No, it’s laundromat. Really. Here’s a dictionary…”
“I’m paying for the sign, and I want it to say laundrymat!”

I guess they spelled it all sorts of weird ways for a reason.

I’d love to know why the they didn’t renew it in '93!