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1953 photo of the first crew of San Diego Meter Maids. By the 1920's, streets meant for horse and buggies were filled with cars. Downtown shop owners complained about workers leaving their cars all day so shoppers were unable to park. To provide infrastructure, the first meters were installed in the 1930's and by the 1940's, American cities were generating millions of dollars annually from parking. The meter maid first infiltrated cities in the 1950's to crack down on illegal parkers.