Nowadays, all public restrooms are free of charge. But when plumbing was becoming more common and places started putting in restrooms, one use to have to pay to use a public toilet. Though it was only a nickel or a dime (now that's about a quarter or two), it was still a nuisance.
Paying was especially more of a nuissance to women than to men. Since women had to use a stall everytime while men hardly ever did, they usually spent more money. Pay toilets refered to using a stall. One could put money in and stay for as long as they wanted. But everything else in the bathrooom was free. This wasn't much of an expense for men except on a date.
When taking a woman out to eat, a man would usually pay for the woman's meal as well as his own. He obviosly couldn't really refuse to give his date "change to powder her nose" which relieved women from paying at least some of the time.
If a group went together they could always not let the door shut inbetween each person and share a dime. But what did a person do when they didn't have any spare change? Hope that a stall door would be left open? Probably not. One just had to remember to take along some nickels and dimes.
Soon, though, it became more than just a nuissance. The Secratary of State for California, March Fong, must have forgotten her dimes one time when she was out shopping. Soon, she started fighting for free toilets to be put in public places. The change was quickly made that all public places had to have at least a certain number of free stalls.
This meant that less places had public restrooms for people to use. But it was much more fair than having to pay to use a restroom all of the time. Now, you never see this sort of thing. So, don't worry about forgetting your dimes.
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