Platinum Anniversary for Parking Meters
The next time you're fumbling around for coins to feed the meter so you can run into Starbucks for a venti half-caff triple mocha soy latte with a shot, thank Carl Magee. In 1932, he invented the parking meter as a solution to parking problems in downtown Oklahoma City. As recounted in the Wall Street Journal, his invention was met with ridicule, indignation and lawsuits. For a while, it looked like the courts would side with the public. But
greed civic responsibility eventually prevailed, and the "combination of an alarm clock and a slot machine which is being used for further socking the motorist" became commonplace. But it wasn't just motorists who had to pay. In 1936, San Antonio city officials forced farmers to park their horse-drawn wagons at what became a coin-op hitching post.