Dual Brand Parking Meter

Carl Magee manufactured this Dual-brand parking meter—named for the dual functions of measuring parking time and collecting fees. Carl Magee was the chairman of an Oklahoma City traffic commission that conducted a study leading to the first installation of parking meters in 1935. Automatic, pre-wound parking meters like this one developed in the late 1930s because some motorists deliberately jammed manual meters or forgot to turn the handle after depositing a coin.
This parking meter is among the earliest ones installed. In the 1920s and early 1930s, inventors filed patent claims for timing devices that regulated parking in curb lanes; some proposals involved collecting a fee. Beginning with Oklahoma City in 1935, many cities installed coin-operated, spring-driven parking meters beside curb lanes to increase turnover, help enforce violations, reduce traffic congestion resulting from inadequate or haphazard parking spaces, and add much-needed revenue to municipal treasuries. City officials believed that parking meters were necessary to cope with the influx of automobiles into downtown areas and give more motorists access to stores and other businesses. But motorists and merchants challenged the legality of meters, claiming that they annoyed shoppers, deprived merchants and their employees of access to their front doors, and imposed an unfair tax on right-of-ways that were open to all. Most of the legal challenges failed, but meters were removed in several cities, and hours of enforcement were shortened in others. As parking meters proved their compatibility with downtown traffic and their success at increasing revenue, meters became an accepted way to regulate curb parking and fund traffic-related improvements as well as general municipal expenses.
Currently not on view
Dual Parking Meter Company
Place Made
United States: Oklahoma, Oklahoma City
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
steel (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 20 in x 7 in x 4 1/2 in; 50.8 cm x 17.78 cm x 11.43 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Henry R. Stiffel
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
America on the Move
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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