This Much Loved Automobile Device Was Invented in Colorado
Did you know this pesky little device is an invention right out of Colorado? There's a reason why they call it a "Denver Boot."
If you've ever attended college or lived in an apartment complex, chances are you've encountered, or the very least seen, one of these devices.
Hopefully You've Never Encountered This Colorado Invention
Wikipedia states, "A wheel clamp, also known as wheel boot, parking boot, or 'Denver Boot,' is a device that is designed to prevent motor vehicles from being moved. In its most common form, it consists of a clamp that surrounds a vehicle wheel, designed to prevent removal of both itself and the wheel."
That pretty much sums it up. These are the nasty little things you'll find on the front wheel of your vehicle when you park illegally.
Why It's Called a 'Denver Boot'
According to Uncovercolorado.com, Frank Marugg, a concert violinist, is the man behind the device after inventing it in 1944. It’s known as the Denver Boot! Wikipedia adds, "Marugg was a pattern maker, a violinist with the Denver Symphony Orchestra, and a friend of many Denver politicians and police department officials. The police department needed a solution to a growing parking enforcement problem. The city towed ticketed cars to the pound, where they were often vandalized. Those whose cars were damaged sued the city for losses and the police had to itemize everything in the cars. Dan Stills, head of the city's traffic division, thought an immobilizer would avoid the expensive towing problem and approached Marugg with an idea to improve on the device to keep the cars where they were parked."
First Use of the Denver Boot
The Denver Boot first rolled into action on January 5, 1955. Originally cast in steel, Marugg soon switched to an aluminum-based alloy.
Denver Boot in the Smithsonian
According to Wikipedia, the Smithsonian Institution now has a copy of Marugg's boot on display in Washington, D.C
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Not Exactly Colorado's Best Claim to Fame
Sometimes you find yourself associated with things you aren't crazy about. Colorado is known for a million and one amazing things. While effective, a tire boot isn't exactly something that makes one's buttons pop. On the other hand, it's proven effective, lucrative, and while some communities regard Denver Boots as illegal, they seem to do the job.