This Week in Universal News: The First Parking Meter, 1935

The world’s first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City on July 16th, 1935. Today, advanced parking meters allow a driver to pay by mobile phone, but the first parking meters required a nickel to operate. This story from Universal News demonstrates the novelty of the new invention.

From the release sheet:
Town Clocks Parking Time

Oklahoma City, OKLA.-Curbside meters, operating on deposit of a nickel, measure the time automobiles are left on the busy streets.  Congestion is reduced and the police find less need to hand out tickets for over-long-parking.

You may view the complete newsreel, including stories about the development of super-strong safety glass, a cherry festival in Michigan, the National Swimming and Diving championships at Manhattan Beach, girl campers in South Casco, Maine, a rodeo in California, and others,  here.

A woman prepares to insert a nickel into one of the world’s first parking meters.

About the Universal Newsreel Collection at NARA:

The Universal Newsreel Collection is one of the most used motion picture collections at the National Archives and Records Administration. Universal Newsreels were shown in movie theaters twice a week, from 1929 until 1967, and covered a wide range of American life and history during that time period. Each release usually contained five to seven stories averaging two minutes in length.

In 1974, Universal deeded its edited newsreel and outtake collection to the United States through the National Archives (NARA), and did not place any copyright restrictions on its use (some stories may contain other underlying intellectual property or proprietary use rights).

While Universal disposed of many of the soundtracks, leaving the newsreels incomplete, supplementary material like scripts, shot lists, and event programs can be found in the production files, available for research at Archives II in College Park, Maryland.

Learn more about the Universal Newsreel Collection in this post and in this Prologue article. Watch other Universal Newsreels in our research room, in OPA, and on this playlist.

One thought on “This Week in Universal News: The First Parking Meter, 1935

  1. What a contrast of using a nickel in 1935 to using technology in 2014! It’s informative and enlightening to research and read about the past thanks to the US National Archives!

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