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The Denver boot, originally known as the "auto immobilizer", and was invented in 1944 and patented in 1958 by Frank Marugg.


The Denver police department needed a solution to a growing parking enforcement problem. The city used to tow all ticketed vehicles to the car pound, where they were frequently vandalised. Those who were ticketed issued writs against the city for the damage.


Moreover the police had to itemise every thing in the cars. A policeman called Dan Stills thought an immobiliser would avoid the costly towing problem and approached Marugg with an concept on how to immobilise a vehicle.

The Denver police department first used the wheel-boot on January 5, 1955 and collected over US$18,000 in its first month of use. Even though at first cast in steel, Marugg rapidly changed to a lighter aluminum-based alloy. Marugg subsequently sold the device to parking garage owners, hotels and ski resorts, in addition to a Giant version for farm equipment and larger automobiles. The Smithsonian Institution now has a copy of Marugg's boot on display in Washington, D.C.

 

 

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