It was basically a big centrifuge about a meter wide. You put your clothes in, fed it a couple of dollars, and it would spin up, and a few minutes later, your clothes were thinly smeared on the walls of the chamber, with most of the water removed from them. Then it only took a short amount of time in the tumble dryer to finish the job.
The exactor cost about the same as the same amount of "work" as the dryer, but took a lot less time.
I've never seen one since. When I ask attendents at most laundries, they've never heard of them. At one laundry in Seattle, they said they used to have one, but the city banned them.
Anyone know the story? I'm sitting here in a laundromat right now, and would gladly pay a premium to be done already...