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History of Parking Meters

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Carl C. Magee, originator of the parking meter

Carl C. Magee, originator of the parking meter

USPTO
Carlton Cole Magee invented the first parking meter in 1932 in response to the growing problem of parking congestion. He patented it in 1935 (US patent #2,118,318) and started the Magee-Hale Park-O-Meter Company to manufacturer his parking meters. These early parking meters were produced at factories in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma. The first was installed in 1935 in Oklahoma City. The meters were sometimes met with resistance from citizen groups; vigilantes from Alabama and Texas attempted to destroy the meters en masse.

The name Magee-Hale Park-O-Meter Company was later changed to the P.O.M. company, a trademarked name made from the initials of Park-O-Meter. In 1992, POM began marketing and selling the first fully electronic parking meter, the patented "APM" Advanced Parking Meter, with features such as a free-fall coin chute and a choice of solar or battery power.

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