"automatic coin-operated public laundry," 1946, originally (1942) a proprietary name by Westinghouse for a type of automatic washing machine; from laundry + ending probably suggested by automat. Earlier words for public clothes-washing places in U.S. were washateria (1935), laundrette (1945). Launderette is from 1947. The Westinghouse machine was popular after World War II and was available with coin chutes and timers.
"machine for separating cotton from seeds," 1796, American English, used earlier of other machineries, especially of war or torture, from Middle English gin "ingenious device, contrivance" (c. 1200), from Old French gin "machine, device, scheme," shortened form of engin (see engine). The verb in this sense is recorded from 1789. Related: Ginned; ginning. Middle English had ginful "ingenious, crafty; guileful, treacherous" (c. 1300).
ancient war engine used for throwing missiles, late 14c., from Latin ballista"military machine for hurling stones," from Greek ballistes, from ballein "to throw, to throw so as to hit," also in a looser sense, "to put, place, lay" (from PIE root *gwele- "to throw, reach").
type of machine gun used by the British army in World War II, 1937, short for Bren gun, coined from first letters of Brno, Czechoslovakia, and Enfield, near London. The patent was purchased in Brno, and the gun was manufactured in Enfield.
1836, "an aid to breathing," originally a sort of metallic gauze mask fitted to the face by a wire frame and meant to keep out smoke, dust, and especially cold air; agent noun from respire. The word was later used of gas masks in World War I. As "machine to provide artificial respiration" from 1929.
1887, "a centrifuge machine," originally a machine for separating cream from milk, from French centrifuge, from noun use of adjective meaning "centrifugal" (1801), from Modern Latin centrifugus (see centrifugal). Centrifuge machine is from 1765.
c. 1300, "mechanical device," especially one used in war; "manner of construction," also "skill, craft, innate ability; deceitfulness, trickery," from Old French engin "skill, wit, cleverness," also "trick, deceit, stratagem; war machine" (12c.), from Latin ingenium "innate qualities, ability; inborn character," in Late Latin "a war engine, battering ram" (Tertullian, Isidore of Seville); literally "that which is inborn," from in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + gignere, from PIE *gen(e)-yo-, suffixed form of root *gene- "give birth, beget."
Sense of "device that converts energy to mechanical power" is 18c.; in 19c. especially of steam engines. Middle English also had ingeny (n.) "gadget, apparatus, device," directly from Latin ingenium.
before vowels mechan-, word-forming element meaning "pertaining to mechanics or mechanisms; done by machine," from Latinized form of Greek mekhano-, combining form of mēkhanē "device, tool, machine; contrivance, cunning" (see machine (n.)).