Happy Birthday parking meter


Happy Birthday parking meter

Wow 75 years ago the first meter was installed and motoring life was changed forever
Its amazing. The technology remained virtually unchanged for almost 60 years. There were “meter shops” in every city and town. Skilled craftsmen with a watchmaker’s skill kept the tiny machines running. Then came solid state machines and the need for skill abated. These were “swap out” units.
Today the venerable meter is under attack. P and D, P by S, pay by cell, credit card machines threaten the single space meter.
In my mind few devices will replace this mechanical wonder when it comes to ease of use and convenience. Put in a nickel, turn the crank and you were on your way. No walks to the corner, no numbers to remember, no plastic. Quick. Easy. A elegant device for a more simple time.
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Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

3 Responses

  1. Nostalgic for single space meters with handles? With tongue firmly in cheek, let’s see:
    – easily jammed with paper, paper clips, double coins, epoxy, etc.
    – short timing (not getting all the time you paid for), plus 60% of the repair technician’s time was spent on this problem alone
    – easily fooled by foreign objects – slugs, foreign coins, tokens, washers, etc
    Of course, JVH never had any of these problems, right? 😉

  2. Come on Keith, don’t be such an old foggie. It took 50 years to improve on the original meter. From my point of view, that’s quite a record. Yes, there were problems, and yes those meter repair rooms were busy, but that was the nature of the beast way back when. Nope, I never had those problems but I know people who did — and worked tirelessly with manufacturers to fix them. Larry Berman call your office.

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