“Protest against the roller, or common, towel for public use has swept over the entire country, as it is considered a menace to public health. The common towel was succeeded by the paper towel. Now the last word in economical and sanitary innovations is the ‘air towel’ used in the large public lavatory in the District Building at Washington, D.C. This ‘air towel,’ or electric hand dryer, is the invention of John M. Ward [patent no. US1108285], superintendent of the District Building. The device consists of a blower that forces air through an electric heating element to ducts and deflectors suitably placed.”
—Scientific American, July 1914
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