The first coin-operated parking meter was installed on July 16, 1935 in Oklahoma City.
- Carl Magee, a lawyer and publisher, invented it. He came up with the idea while working on a traffic study for the local chamber of commerce.
- It cost one nickel to park for an hour.
- A 1961 report found that parking meters brought in revenue of $130 million per year.
New York City first employed 100 “Meter Maids” on May 2, 1960. They enforced parking regulations and consisted entirely of women. “Meter Men” joined the ranks on October 2, 1967.
- Between 6,000 to 7,000 women applied for the original 100 job openings.
- The average yearly salary of a meter maid was $3,150.
New York Times, “Oklahoma City Autoists Plan to Fight Nickel-in-Slot Curbstone Parking Meters,” July 17, 1935.
New York Times, “6,000 Hopefuls Seek 100 Meter Maid Jobs,” October 8, 1959.
New York Times, “Wagner to Swear In Meter Maids Today,” May 2, 1960.
Stengren, Bernard, “Meters Bring In Millions,” New York Times, April 2, 1961.
New York Times, “Meter Men Joining Maids in Enforcing City Parking Rules,” October 2, 1967.
Photo – UCLA Library – Digital Collection