A Website for Porcelain License Plate Collectors & Enthusiasts
FEBRUARY, 2012 - UNDATED ELLIS COUNTY, TX
This plate showed up along with a leather plate from Ellis County as well. New
Texas pre-state porcelains turn up ever year and this one is unremarkable in the
sense that it's just like the hundreds of other known examples from the state.
Ellis County is the 97th different known jurisdiction tile to have been used.
MARCH, 2012 - UNDATED SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, CA FIRE COMMISSIONER
Although perhaps more closely aligned with toppers than actual license plates,
San Joaquin fire plates like this one are considered license plates because they
have numbers. This one turned up on EBAY, and while San Joaquin Fireman
plates were known, this is the first Fire Commissioner plate we've seen.
APRIL, 2012 - 1924-25 SPRINGFIELD, MA
Springfield plates were issued for at least 13 years, from the mid-teens through
the late '20s. All years in that span were accounted for except for two - an 18-19
and a 24-25. When this plate showed up, it knocked one off the list and filled in
one of the last remaining holes in Springfield's long run.
MAY, 2012 - 1912 CHICKASHA, OK
1914 was the earliest known Chickasha porcelain for many years until 2009 when
an advertising campaign unearthed the first and only known 1913 plate. Then
when this plate surfaced in the collection of the Chickasha Antique Auto Club this
year, it provided another new piece to the puzzle.
MAY, 2012 - 1912 LIMA, OH
Thanks to the efforts of a diligent collector in Ohio, some new and interesting
Ohio plates have surfaced in recent years. This dated oval plate from Lima is
identical to 1913 versions which were previously known. It is presumed that
these small oval porcelains were used on motorcycles.
MAY, 2012 - 1916-17 FALL RIVER, MA LICENSED MOTOR BUS
Unlike some of the better-known runs of porcelain city plates from Massachusetts
(like Springfield and Worcester), almost nothing is known about the Fall River Bus
plates. There are only 3 examples known, including this one, but based on the
dates of the surviving plates, it appears these were issued for nearly a decade.
MAY, 2012 - UNDATED FLORENCE, SC
This plate becomes the third different variety of porcelain license plate known
from Florence. As do many S.C. pre-states, this plate bears the advertisement of
a local auto dealership - in this case the D.W. Alderman Company - and was
probably used on the vehicle of one of the company's owners.
JUNE, 2012 - 1938-39 PROVIDENCE, RI HACKNEY CARRIAGE
Porcelain Hackney Carriage license plates were issued from the late 20s to the
early 40s in Providence. However, they are so scarce that there are many
unknown years in that span. This plate filled in one of the missing years,
becoming the seventh known variety in collectors' hands.
JUNE, 2012 - 1910 LUDLOW, KY
This plate was unearthed while digging for bottles in an old Covington dump.
Ludlow becomes the 7th city in Kentucky known to have issued porcelain license
plates and this fascinating plate is the first new Kentucky porcelain plate to
surface since the discovery of a 1906-07 Louisville plate 4 1/2 years earlier.
AUGUST, 2012 - 1918 CALIFORNIA TRAILER
Collectors had long known that California trailer plates were first issued in 1918.
However, the only plates that anybody ever found had 1919 tabs on them. When
this near-perfect specimen showed up on EBAY, it became the 40th different
variety of state-issued porcelain known from California.
AUGUST, 2012 - 1910 UNKNOWN DRAY
Porcelain Dray plates are known to have been issued for a period of more than 20
years. These are all similar in appearance and although they do not indicate their
place of origin, conventional wisdom holds that they are from New England. This
1910 plate becomes the oldest known example of these mysterious little plates.
SEPTEMBER, 2012 - 1922-23 PROVIDENCE, RI LICENSED TRUCKING
Found together with the plate immediately below this listing, this Providence
porcelain was dug up in Warwick, RI. It becomes the oldest example of these
Licensed Tucking plates, which are known to have been issued by the city from
the mid-20s through the early '40s.
SEPTEMBER, 2012 - 1925-26 PROVIDENCE, RI LICENSED TRUCKING
Found together with the plate immediately preceding this listing, this Providence
Trucking plate marks the 13th different year known in this fascinating run of
plates and makes the third new Providence porcelain license plate to have
surfaced in 2012.
SEPTEMBER, 2012 - 1910 SCHENECTADY, NY LICENSED HUCKSTER
Seemingly every year we find new examples of these various types of plates
presumed to have been issued in Schenectady, NY. In this case, the discovery is
quite substantial because it backs up the known origins for the Huckster plates
by six years. This 1910 example is the fifth different Huckster plate known.
SEPTEMBER, 2012 - 1930-31 UNKNOWN DRAY
Just one month after the 1910 Dray plate mentioned above showed up, a pair of
1930-31 versions turned up as well. Dug up on a farm in Stoughton, MA which had
been used as a junkyard, 1930-31 becomes the fifth different known year for
these obscure plates and the latest year known to have been issued.
SEPTEMBER, 2012 - UNDATED HOWARD CO., MD TRAILER PERMIT
When this plate showed up, it really altered what we know about Maryland
porcelain license plates. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, it had
always been assumed that Maryland was one of the few states from which no
cities or counties ever issued porcelains. Clearly that assumption was incorrect!
OCTOBER, 2012 - 1913 KANSAS CITY, MO MOTORCYCLE
In the murky world of porcelain license plates, nothing surprises me. However,
this one is really confusing. In 2011 a white & green 1913 K.C. Motorcycle plate
showed up on EBAY, matching the color scheme of the passenger and dealer
plates for that year. So why does this black & yellow version exist as well?
NOVEMBER, 2012 - UNDATED ALBANY, TX
This EBAY offering becomes the second new Texas porcelain to surface in 2012.
This is no great surprise, as new Texas plates come to light each and every year.
In fact, the Albany tile used on this kit plate is just one of nearly 100 different
known porcelain tiles that were used on these plates prior to 1917.
NOVEMBER, 2012 - 1920 WASHINGTON TRAILER
Although not often thought of as an extremely tough state for porcelain license
plates, the emergence of this C-prefixed Trailer plate marks the 6th different
known state-issued full porcelain plate known from Washington - half of which are
the only examples of their respective types known.
DECEMBER, 2012 - 1912-13 BARTLESVILLE, OK
For years I have been aware of a poorly repaired plate purporting to be a
Bartlesville Livery plate from 1912. However, I have never been comfortable with
the authenticity of this plate, so when this #2 plate was dug up - as poor as it is - it
became our first concrete evidence that Bartlesville was issuing plates in 1912.
Gallery - 2012 Discoveries
This page illustrates a handful of some of the more significant discoveries of
2012. For other significant finds of recent years, please visit the following: