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S_Csoka_art (11 of 34)

This was an eventful year. Stephen won a $1,000 prize for etching and was in a pink cloud. I, for the first time, entered a competition sponsored by the Bendix Corporation, which opened the “Launderette.” The competition was to say in 25 words “I like the Launderette because…” Besides the national prizes, of which I was not even thinking, each local Launderette would award three electric irons. Since no one looks too bright on Monday morning, I felt I might have a chance. Of 48,000 entries, all over the U.S., I won the first prize of $5,000! In those days, that much money was worth a great deal more than today. (In 2015 $5,000 translates to $48,697.51 – Frank) We bought a two-family house for $4,000. It was a lifesaver!

The man who came to interview me about the prize said – “Your good command of the English language helped you.” I said, “Would you believe it was a bedbug?” The incident which was the inspiration for my entry happened the first time we sent out our laundry. It came back so blue that we threw it into the tub to rinse it and out and floating on top was a bedbug. I remember seeing a documentary about commercial laundries in which there was a large wheel-shaped container which was separated into wedge shapes. One load of clothes was put into each compartment and the same hot water ran through the entire wash – hence someone’s bedbug floated from one to the other. This is what made me write, “I like the Launderette because it makes possible the labor saving of a laundry with the advantage of clothes being individually washed – nothing is lost or torn – and all this for 25 cents as compared with hundreds for a home machine.” This , evidently was what they were looking for, because it eliminated the other choices – the laundry or investing in a machine.”

MCsoka Bendix
The award winning announcement poster where Margaret is recognized for first place.

S_Csoka_art (23 of 34)
Fatherless, etching
Associated American Artists 2nd Annual National Print Competition. Stephen was given $1,000.oo prize.

green light

The Green Light / Oil
Corcoran, Honorable Mention
The location of this painting is unknown.