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First parking meter was installed in Oklahoma


Scott Cooper May 3rd, 2007

This week in 1935, the Oklahoma City Council approved the installation of the world's first parking meter.   Invented by lawyer and newspaper editor Carl C. Magee, the parking meter was met with as mu...

parkingmeter
This week in 1935, the Oklahoma City Council approved the installation of the world's first parking meter.
 
Invented by lawyer and newspaper editor Carl C. Magee, the parking meter was met with as much disdain more than 70 years ago as it is today.
 
"It was controversial," said Michael Dean, public relations director with the Oklahoma Historical Society. "The downtown retailers were evenly split."
 
THE PROBLEM
Magee had been approached by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce to look into the problem of downtown parking.
 
"There were so many oil companies located in downtown Oklahoma City, their employees started taking over all of the parking spaces," Dean said. "It was preventing people who went downtown to shop from finding a place to park."
 
OTHER CITIES
While Oklahoma City became the first to implement parking meters, it took some time before other cities followed. Several looked into the machines shortly after Oklahoma City adopted the ordinance, but only Dallas went ahead with meters.
 
Other cities took at least another year before adoption, including:
" Tulsa;
" San Antonio, Texas;
" Fort Worth, Texas;
" Lubbock, Texas; and
" Topeka, Kan.
 
The first parking meter made by Magee's company was donated to the Oklahoma Historical Society in 1937. It is currently on display at the Oklahoma History Center, 2401 N. Laird. "Scott Cooper
 
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