The first coin was dumped into the first slot in an unlikely place, at First Street and Robinson Avenue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on July 16, 1935, and it’s been nothing but take, take, take ever since.
Las Vegas should be so lucky.
Here is what the all time winner looked like back then. This is the one way piggy bank that started it all, “Park-O-Meter Number 1”
The first parking meter was dreamed up by a journalist, Carl C. Magee. He went to work on the problem of lack of parking in many downtown areas, and dreamed up the one way slot machine, the parking meter.
Citizens hated it, because they thought it an additional tax on their cars, but merchants began to love the coin sucker because it caused people not to linger in the stores and make their purchases and get out.
Chicago has a love/hate and mostly hate affair with its 36,000 parking meters, especially in the years since Mayor Richard M. Daley sold off the parking meters to Abu Dhabi for 75 years. Merchants who once loved the idea of people getting in and out of there stores are now lamenting that most people, when faced with the high rates of meter parking in most areas of the city, are choosing to be mostly out. Couple that with online shopping and the now smart parking meters, the off-spring of “Park-O-Meter Number 1”, and the one way slot machines could be a make or break for some merchants or restaurants.
The next time you go to Las Vegas or play one of the many slot machines that are in every nook and cranny shop and cafe in Chicago, consider yourself lucky. Your payout is better than the anytime you park on the street and pay/play the street slots.