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trimacar

Porcelain license plates

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Long time ago, I had a lot of early porcelain license plates.  A good friend talked me into selling them to him, oh well.

 

Now, I'm looking for some for my garage wall.  I'm the dream buyer for a lot of people, as I'd buy even the most common porcelain plates, as long as they're in excellent condition.  I've realized that a lot of the enjoyment of these pieces of automobile history is condition, when they're a pleasure to look at.

 

So, anyone have any nice porcelain plates to sell, please contact me.  I know this probably isn't the correct part of the forum to post, but figured it would get the most exposure.  Thanks  dc

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I rarely read the classified section or any other sub category, except the 1911 Hupmobile Forum. Many years ago, over fifty, the local sand blaster had bushel baskets filled with porcelain license plates, all cut into odd shapes. I asked about them, they were cut that way to make designs in grave yard headstones. Will you be collecting pairs of plates or will as new singles find a place on the wall? 

 

 

Bob

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Posted (edited)

I had sets of Michigan plates from 1917 to 1971 on our garage wall and when I moved to California I split up the sets and shared with a friend. I was a kid then and now I only have one of each.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, trimacar said:

Long time ago, I had a lot of early porcelain license plates.  A good friend talked me into selling them to him, oh well.

 

I hope you got a lot of money for them. I bought a large collection of license plates from a guy in Pittsburgh a few years ago and resold them individually in auctions on eBay and all of the porcelain ones sold for over $100 each....

 

 

303043384_2.jpg

303043390.jpg

Edited by Lebowski (see edit history)

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It was something I started to collect years ago.  At the time you could buy a whole state run for a hundred bucks,.  However I soon found they could also be sold in the swap meets and the money could buy spark plugs, mascots, brass lamps and other things. So, the collection dribbled away.  

 

I was recently inspired by a good friend who has collected slowly and methodically over the years with a focus on quality.  He has some nice tags as a result.  Good collections are built one piece at a time so I set a goal-buy one good one every year at Hershey, and snag some bargains when I could find them.  I've got a few on the wall and recently added three good ones at a small swap meet-$75 for the bunch.  I'm trying to focus on 1914, same year as my Model T.  If I can manage one from every state it'll make a nice display. 

 

I'd love to have a few of the earlier leather tags too but the money involved is crazy, and there are too many fakes around.

 

All I need is more wall space.

Terry

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I like pairs, but singles seem to display nicely too.  I joined the ALPCA license plate club, it's funny that most collectors don't care about pairs, and will split them up with no problem.

 

I had a good friend from New Orleans who, for lack of a better word, was a picker, or maybe a wheeler dealer.  He found the most interesting stuff.  He talked me out of my porcelain sign collection, my Louisiana license plates, and my porcelain license plates.

 

I'd tell him they're not for sale.  OK, he'd say, but IF you sold them, what would you ask?  I'd name a crazy number and he'd say OK, I'll pay that.  I sold them all for great money for the time, but nothing compared to what they're bringing now.  This all happened in the 1980's, when I was trying to acquire some open Classic cars and needed the money, too.

 

Lebowski, those are some great plates, I see some that would bring well over 100!

 

There are a lot of fakes now showing up, mainly out of Tennessee and Florida on Ebay.  It's a hot topic of discussion about porcelain plates right now.

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I bought about 10-12 MINT Florida plates years ago on Long Island, N.Y. I think they must have required the snow birds to buy a Florida plate while wintering there. Bob 

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David, I had a collection of about 30, twenty five years ago. Picked up a 1906 PA three digit at the local flea when I was about 12 years old for 9.

 

SO one day, I look up on the wall and totally lost interest and sold them all off. I sold the 3 digit for 650. 626 I thinks............ was the plate #

 

anyway, it would be worth double today, but that was 22 yrs ago when I sold them. who knows if they would have been worth anything today or in the future, as hummels have become worthless, and once brought great $.

 

dont think millenials will give a rats arse about porcelain plates in the future.

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I agree that the future is an interesting discussion, but the really rare porcelain plates now are bringing insane prices.  Not the common ones, the rare ones.

 

Florida plates apparently are a whole subset of the collecting, cities and counties issued their own and there are so, so many variations.

 

Again, if anyone has porcelain laying around they don't want, please keep me in mind.  

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1 hour ago, mercer09 said:

David, I had a collection of about 30, twenty five years ago. Picked up a 1906 PA three digit at the local flea when I was about 12 years old for 9.

 

SO one day, I look up on the wall and totally lost interest and sold them all off. I sold the 3 digit for 650. 626 I thinks............ was the plate #

 

anyway, it would be worth double today, but that was 22 yrs ago when I sold them. who knows if they would have been worth anything today or in the future, as hummels have become worthless, and once brought great $.

 

dont think millenials will give a rats arse about porcelain plates in the future.

I truly hope my seven year old Grandson is NOT in that millennial bracket, he started collecting license plated and screw on hub caps two years ago. Fun to watch him buy his own at Hershey. 

 

Bob 

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youre teaching him well Bob!

 

my sons have no interest and that is fine as well.

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3 hours ago, trimacar said:

I agree that the future is an interesting discussion, but the really rare porcelain plates now are bringing insane prices.  Not the common ones, the rare ones.

 

Florida plates apparently are a whole subset of the collecting, cities and counties issued their own and there are so, so many variations.

 

Again, if anyone has porcelain laying around they don't want, please keep me in mind.  

 

 If anyone has, or finds a NEW ORLEANS,

or a LOUISIANA Porcelain Plate,

PLEASE Keep me in mind,

I would treasure that item.

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4 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

I truly hope my seven year old Grandson is NOT in that millennial bracket, he started collecting license plated and screw on hub caps two years ago. Fun to watch him buy his own at Hershey. 

 

Bob 

I think the millennial generation ended in the late 1990s, your grandson is a member of "Generation Z"

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9 hours ago, Marty Roth said:

 

 If anyone has, or finds a NEW ORLEANS,

or a LOUISIANA Porcelain Plate,

PLEASE Keep me in mind,

I would treasure that item.

Well,, Marty, just for you, you can have a PICTURE of a New Orleans plate!

 

Also, an Alexandria, Louisiana porcelain plate, as you know, my home town......I was lucky enough to acquire these plates a couple of years ago....as a result my children's inheritance has taken quite a blow!

 

I'm also doing a "year of birth" run of 1951 plates, I now have about 35 of the states and working on the rest!  If anyone has spare 1951 plates, for some reason I'm missing most of the states that start with M, plus others!

plates.jpg

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51 minutes ago, trimacar said:

Well,, Marty, just for you, you can have a PICTURE of a New Orleans plate!

 

Also, an Alexandria, Louisiana porcelain plate, as you know, my home town......I was lucky enough to acquire these plates a couple of years ago....as a result my children's inheritance has taken quite a blow!

 

I'm also doing a "year of birth" run of 1951 plates, I now have about 35 of the states and working on the rest!  If anyone has spare 1951 plates, for some reason I'm missing most of the states that start with M, plus others!

plates.jpg

 

Thanks David,

 

That 1914 New Orleans plate would have been perfect for our (former) 1914 Buick B-37, now living in Texas!

Who knows - I might even get it back some day ...

 

Congrats on finding the 1915 Alexandria, Louisiana (and not Virginia).

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you can still buy them and display them on your car here in delaware. tag number must be below 88000 to be legal but there are many on the road that have higher numbers. they rarely get ticketed for it.

 

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On ‎7‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 8:34 PM, Terry Bond said:

I'd love to have a few of the earlier leather tags too but the money involved is crazy, and there are too many fakes around.

I thought the leather ones were all made by the owner, not state-issued. 

 

Craig

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23 hours ago, 8E45E said:

I thought the leather ones were all made by the owner, not state-issued. 

 

Craig

Right,  those earliest tags were not made or issued by the state.  You could buy the pieces and make your own or order them from any one of several companies who produced them. 

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My friend Steve Hammat makes LEATHER LICENSE PLATES to order:

 

http://leatherplates.com/

 

 

WebsiteBanner2016


Remember, our leather plate price hasn’t changed in 10 years.  It’s still only US$125 per plate + shipping/applicable taxes (optional white leather? …add US$50/plate). 


(VIDEO) Recently I had the privilege of being invited by Jay Leno to his
BIG DOG GARAGE in Burbank, CA. Jay was interested in learning about
leather license plates so we made a short video segment; hope you enjoy it!

Would you like to purchase or have repaired your own leather license plate?
Click to read and print the Information & Order Form

JayLenoApril2012interview.png

“Cool, check it out.” — Jay Leno

A quick history lesson….

Early in automotive history, governments wisely decided that some form of registration was required.  The first licensing began in Europe, but quickly spread to Northeast United States. The state of New York (and the city of Cleveland, Ohio) first required license plates for these new motorcars starting in 1901 as a way to control reckless drivers of the day. Soon the practice spread across the northeast; however once registered, the early motorists needed to supply the actual license “tags” or “plates” with the appropriate registration numbers. The most common construction was house numbers riveted onto a leather base.

In 1903 Massachusetts started issuing their official license plate (dark blue with white lettering) made of a porcelain enamel coated metal plate. Slowly, additional states not only registered automobiles, but also supplied the motorist with that state’s official license plate, thus ending the Pre-State era of US auto license plate history. The last states to adopt the state issued license plate were South Carolina and Texas, both in 1917. To determine which year your state first issued their own plate, go to the “Product Info” page, then click on the Information and Order Form in the middle of that page. You can view this file and learn about pre-state license plates for your USA state or Canadian province plates and how to order your own leather license plate. All the necessary information is contained in the two-page file. You’ll need a PDF reader, I suggest getting Adobe Reader here.


 

A Customer’s Comment

 

"We are most pleased with the leather plate on our 1911 Hudson. In Idaho, our state did not issue plates until 1913, so this is most appropriate and looks fantastic. We are very proud to have this leather license plate on our car." -- Ron & Rena Thurber

“We are most pleased with the leather plate on our 1911 Hudson. In Idaho, our state did not issue plates until 1913, so this is most appropriate and looks fantastic. We are very proud to have this leather license plate on our car.” — Ron & Rena Thurber


How it was done back then…

100+ years ago you would have either ordered a leather license plate directly from a vendor or traveled to your local hardware store where you could buy the materials needed from their shelves. This page from a 1911 Beckley-Ralston catalog (image courtesy of The Nethercutt Automotive Research Library and Archive) is typical of vendor’s offerings to the hardware trade. Other suppliers included Chancellor & Lyon, E.A. Featherstone and Weinstock-Nichols.
1911B&Rwebsiteupdate


If we can help in any way, please contact me direct. Thank you for your interest.
Steve Hammatt
Mount Vernon WA USA
steve@leatherplates.com
Tele & text: 360-661-6060

 

 

 

 

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