PORCELAIN PLATES.NET
A Website for Porcelain License Plate Collectors & Enthusiasts
Texas Porcelains (A-G)
1916

Prior to the plate pictured below showing up in 2010, it was thought that the
Stafford Illuminated Lamp & Number Company never produced year tiles for Texas
pre-state porcelains.  However, we now know differently and can only wonder
what other years are out there waiting to surface.











ABILENE

Abilene is a city in central Texas.  It was established in 1881 upon the completion
of the Texas & Pacific Railroad, and drew most of its revenue from the cattle
industry.  At the turn of the century, the population was around 3,500.










ALBANY

Albany is a town in central Texas and is the county seat of Shackelford County.  By
the late 19th century, Albany was a growing community.  In 1881, growth
skyrocketed when the Texas-Central Railroad built tracks through town.  
Commerce centered on products such as cattle, wool and even buffalo bones.
After a major well was discovered in 1910, Albany also experienced an oil boom.  It
was precisely at this time when pre-state Texas license plates were in use, and
the population of the county was approaching 1,500.










AMARILLO

In 1887, the town of Oneida was established as the county seat of Potter County
(the name would later be changed to Amarillo).  Availability of the nearby Denver
City Railroad made positioned Amarillo to grow quickly as a cattle marketing
center.  By the late 1890s, Amarillo had emerged as one of the world's busiest
cattle shipping points, and the population grew from 482 in 1890 to 1,442 by 1900.
Construction of the Southern Kansas, the Pecos and Northern Texas, and the
Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf railroads by 1903 added to the shipping facilities
and helped to increase the population to just shy of 10,000 by 1910.  The city
became an elevator, milling, and feed-manufacturing center after an increase in
production of wheat and small grains during the early 1900s.











ARLINGTON

Situated in Northeastern Texas between Fort Worth and Dallas, Arlington was
founded in 1876 along the Texas and Pacific Railroad.  The city grew as a
cotton-jinning and farming center, and by 1910, Arlington boasted water,
electricity, natural gas, telephone service and a public school system.  There were
about 2,500 residents of the city in the mid-teens when license plates first began
to make their appearance.











AUSTIN

The county seat of Travis County, Austin is the Texas state capital.  Lying on the
Colorado River, politics and government are perhaps the city's largest industries.  
The population was around 30,000 at the time the Texas porcelain plates were
being used.  Just over 100 miles Southeast of the city lies a Texas county also
named Austin.  Although the known "AUSTIN" tiles could theoretically be from this
county, they seem much more likely to have been used on cars in the state capital.











BALLINGER

Established as a railroad town, extensive advertising and financial incentives
brought a boomtown atmosphere and thousands of hopeful settlers to the
fledgling central Texas city in the late 19th century.  Livestock and farming
dominated the economy and the population swelled to nearly 4,000 in the pre-state
era.










BELL

Bell is a county in central Texas.  In the era of the pre-state porcelains, Bell was
growing in prominence due to the establishment railways in the county.  In terms
of porcelain tiles, Bell is actually quite interesting, as it is one of only two Texas
jurisdictions from which variant types are known.  One version reads simply
"BELL," while the other reads "BELL CO."


















BELTON

Belton is a city in Bell County in central Texas.  The The Missouri, Kansas, and
Texas Railroad arrived in Belton in 1882, which helped boost the town's
prosperity.  At the time of the Texas porcelains, cotton and cattle were the chief
industries in Belton, and the city was home to some 4,000 residents.










BLANCO

Blanco is a county in central Texas and was named for the Blanco River which
traverses the county.  Livestock and agriculture were important industries in the
county, which had a population of nearly 5,000 at the turn of the century.  By 1910,
cotton had also become one of the county's most important crops.  It should be
noted that there is a city of Blanco in Blanco County, and the known "BLANCO" tile
could be from either one of these two jurisdictions.










BOERNE

The city of Boerne is the county seat of Kendall County, and lies just 30 miles
Northwest of San Antonio.  In the late 19th century, Boerne developed a
reputation as a health resort.  Cotton, wool, grain, timber, and building stone were
among the city's most profitable commodities, and by the turn of the century, the
population neared 1,000.










BRENHAM

Brenham is a city situated in East-Central Texas' Washington County, about 75
miles Northwest of Houston.  In the pre-state era, Brenham was a regional
economic center, important in such industries as cottonseed oil, mattress
manufacturing, food and fiber processing, and metal fabricating.  It is also home to
Blue Bell brand ice cream, made there since 1911.










BROWNSVILLE

There is a porcelain jurisdiction tile known that reads "B-VILLE."  Although there
are actually a dozen different place names in Texas that fit this abbreviation, it
seems most likely that this tile represents the city of Brownsville.  Brownsville is
the county seat of Cameron County and is the southernmost city in Texas.  In 1910
a railroad bridge across the Rio Grande was constructed between Brownsville and
Matamoros, Mexico and regular service between the two towns began.  This
opened the area for increased settlement and Brownsville became a vital and
prosperous city right at the time that porcelain license plates were making their
appearance.










BULLARD

Located in southern Smith County, Bullard is a city in East Texas.   In the 1880s,
railroads were built through Bullard, and the community soon became a shipping
point for cotton, vegetables, and fruits. Nevertheless, the population remained
low, and by the era in which porcelain license plates would have been used in the
city, the population stood at a mere 400.










CADILLAC

In 2004, a pair of Texas porcelains showed up on EBAY that had been purchased at
a Houston swap meet.  They looked just like any other porcelains, with the
apparent jurisdiction tile reading "CADILLAC."  However, the true significance of
this pair emerges when one discovers that there is no city or county in Texas by
that name!  Thus, this tile raises the exciting possibility that the Stafford
Illuminated Auto Lamp & Number Company manufactured porcelain tiles with the
names of popular makes of automobiles in addition to city, county and state tiles.  
Although this is the only such tile seen to date, it may well be true that there are
"FORD" or "PACKARD" tiles out there.  The only other porcelain license plates of
any kind known to have included the names of automobile companies on them are
the Tennessee pre-states, which are known in three varieties ("CAR-NATION,"
"HUDSON SIX," and "STUDEBAKER").  Texas expert Wayne Shafer has speculated
that the Texas "CADILLAC" porcelain is actually a dealer plate.  Perhaps the owner
of the local Cadillac dealership wanted to advertise his company.  This claim is
further bolstered by the fact that the known plates are a pair.  Texas law did not
require pre-states in pairs, so it is highly conceivable that the Cadillac dealer
made up two - or perhaps more - plates for use on the various cars he
demonstrated at his dealership.










CALDWELL

The county seat of Burleson County, Caldwell lies in East-Central Texas.  
Numerous railroads were built through Caldwell, making it an important shipping
point for the county.  By 1905, six passenger trains arrived daily in the town. In
1913, a railroad was built through Caldwell to Flatonia, where it joined a line to the
west coast, bringing further prosperity right in the middle of the era of the Texas
porcelain pre-states.  It should be pointed out that Caldwell is also the name of a
county in the central portion of the state, and the known "CALDWELL" tile could
theoretically be from either the city or the county.










CISCO

Cisco is a small town in central Texas that was put on the map after the railroad
came to town in the 1880s.  By the turn of the century it was a growing community
with an economy based on trade, ranching, fruit farming, and the limestone, coal,
and iron ore available nearby.  Cisco had a population of about X in Texas'
pre-state era.










CLARKSVILLE

Clarksville is the county seat of Red River County in east Texas near the Oklahoma
border.  In the late 19th century, railroads brought many new settlers and
merchants to the area.  Cotton, livestock, and grain were some of the most
important industries.  The rise of Dallas, Paris, Bonham, and Texarkana challenged
the importance of Clarksville as a trading center, but the town nevertheless
boasted some 3,000 residents by 1914 when porcelain plates bearing the tile
"CLARKS'V" would have appeared on vehicles.  Abbreviations were common on
Texas jurisdiction tiles, but the grammar on this particular one does not seem to
make any sense!  There was also a very small town in Gregg County in eastern
Texas named Clarksville City, but I think it is unlikely that this is the "CLARKS'V"
indicated on the tile known here.










COLLIN

Collin County is located in northeastern Texas the Blackland Prairie region of the
state, not far from Dallas.  Initially the county was characterized by small,
family-operated farms that produced mostly wheat and corn, but the arrival of the
railroad improved the county's fortunes.  With an outlet for their products, farmers
began to cultivate the county's unplowed fertile land, and by the time Texas'
pre-state license plate era dawned, the county was thriving.










COMANCHE

Comanche is another case in which we are uncertain precisely what the known tile
represents, as both the county and the county seat are named Comanche.  By 1870
the county had become the political center for some fifty counties in the region.  
Agriculture and ranching played important roles in the economy, and by 1900 the
county's population had soared to more than 23,000.  However, just as the
pre-state license plate era was dawning, the county was hit hard by the boll weevil
plague and cotton farmers were driven out of business.  The population began to
decline, and although farmers tried to diversify their crops, the county would
never again come near the peak production of earlier years.  The city of
Comanche had a population of about 4,500 in the pre-state era, and the known
"COMANCHE" tile could just as likely have hung from a vehicle driven by a
resident of the county or the city.










CORPUS CHRISTI

The largest city on the South Texas coast, Corpus Christi is a seaport at the mouth
of the Nueces River on the west end of Corpus Christi Bay.  By the turn of the
century, the city had grown in importance as a shipping center, with improved
access to the ocean and the arrival of railroads.  By 1914, the city was served by
four railroads which linked Corpus Christi with the outside world and contributed
greatly to the town's rapid development.  In terms of the known porcelain tiles
from Corpus Christi, the city is actually quite interesting.  Not only are their two
different varieties - one reading "C.C. TEX" and the other spelling out the full
name "CORPUS CHRISTI," but the version with the full name actually has it spelled
out in two vertical lines side by side.  No other examples of porcelain jurisdiction
tiles are known that have two lines of text.  Technically, it is conceivable that the
"C.C." version is from a different place - such as Caney City, Carl's Corner, Cedar
Creek, Cotton Center, Copper Canyon or any of the other seven place names in
Texas that fit the "C.C." abbreviation, but without evidence to prove such a
supposition, it seems most likely that it does, in fact, represent Corpus Christi.


















CORSICANA

Corsicana is a city in Navarro County in Eastern Texas.  By the 1890s, railroads had
come to town and Corsiana was rapidly expanding.  But it was the discovery of oil
in the town in 1894 - the first significant discovery of oil west of the Mississippi
River - that truly put COrsicana on the map.  There were nearly 10,000 residents in
the city by the turn of the century, and the town was still in the hight of it's
oil-driven prosperity during Texas' pre-state license plate era.










DALLAS

Located in Eastern Texas, Dallas is the core of the largest inland metropolitan area
in the United States.  Although it lacks any navigable link to the sea, Dallas was
historically important as a center for the oil and cotton industries, and its position
along numerous railroad lines made it a commercial center.  By the turn of the
twentieth century, Dallas was the leading drug, book, jewelry, and wholesale liquor
market in the Southwestern United States, the world's leading inland cotton
market, and a center of trade in grain, buffalo, saddlery and cotton gin machinery.  
It was during the era of the Texas porcelains that Dallas' population surpassed.  
Both passenger and motorcycle Texas porcelains have been seen with "DALLAS"
tiles.
















DEL RIO

Del Rio lies on Texas' Southwestern border with Mexico near the confluence of
the Rio Grande and San Felipe Creek.  In the arid vastness of Southwest Texas, it
was Del Rio's access to the San Felipe Springs that attracted settlers to the
region.  The ranching, agriculture and livestock industries were bolstered by the
arrival of the railroad, and the city was incorporated in 1911, right as the Texas
porcelains were making their appearance on the scene.  










DUBLIN

Located in Erath County, Dublin is a small central Texas city founded in the middle
of the 19th century.  The town was a center for agriculture and industry, including
oil and gas production, textile manufacturing, peanut shelling, milk processing,
saddle and rope making, and metal stamping.  The town's population surpassed
2,000 by 1890, and by the time the Texas porcelains were on the road, the number
hovered just shy of 2,500.











ELLIS

Located just to the south of Dallas, Ellis County was founded in 1849.  A rural
agricultural county, the mainstay of the economy was in raising cattle.  At the time
license plates were first being used in the mid-teens, the city's population was
roughly 50,000.











FAYETTE

Fayette County is situated in the Blackland Prairies region of south central Texas.  
In the mid 19th century, the county was among the most well-developed areas in
the state.  The Civil War brought about economic devastation, but residents
adjusted and the large plantations of the past were gradually replaced by smaller,
more numerous farms.  Corn, cattle, dairy products and, cotton fueled the county's
economy into the new century.










FORT WORTH

Established originally in 1849 as a protective Army outpost, Fort Worth is one of
the largest cities in Texas.  It grew from a sleepy outpost to a bustling town when
the Texas & Pacific Railway arrived and ushered in an era of astonishing growth.  
The city became a transit point for cattle shipment and the two biggest cattle
slaughtering firms at the time both established operations there in the last years
of the 19th century.  Packing houses, stockyards, and other livestock related
industries dominated well into the 20th century when Texas porcelains were
beginning to appear on the roads.










FREDERICKSBURG

There are two cities in Texas that fit the known "F-BURG" tile, but conventional
wisdom suggests that this tile represents the central Texas town of
Fredericksburg and not the small town of Forestburg just Northwest of Dallas,
which had a population of fewer than 400 in 1900.  Fredericksburg is the county
seat of Gillespie County, and lies about 70 miles West of Austin.  Originally a
relatively isolated community for German settlers, the town became more
prominent around the turn of the century when the population had reached about
1,500.










GAINESVILLE

Gainesville is the county seat of Cooke County and lies in Eastern Texas less than
10 miles from the Oklahoma border.  After the Civil War, Gainesville became a
supply point for cowboys driving herds north to Kansas, and following the arrival
of railroads, the town became a commercial and shipping point for area ranchers
and farmers.  By the end of Texas' pre-state license plate era, the city's population
was around 7,000.










GALVESTON

The known Galveston porcelain tile reads simply "GALV."  Thus, it could be from
either the county of Galveston, or the city of Galveston, the county seat.  The city
of Galveston lies on an island two miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.  Due to the
strength of its port, the city positioned it as an important commercial center and
made it one of the largest cotton ports in the nation.  By 1870, Galveston was
Texas' largest city and by the turn of the century it was a booming metropolis with
nearly 40,000 residents.  The city faced a devastating hurricane in 1900 which
killed an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 people, and although the city remained a
significant Texas city into the pre-state era, Galveston never fully returned to its
former importance or prosperity.










GEORGETOWN

Situated in East-Central Texas, Georgetown was founded in 1848.  The
establishment of Southwestern University in 1873 and construction of a railroad in
1878 contributed to the town's growth and importance.  The town's economy was
based largely on agriculture, and a major tributary cattle trail led through the heart
of Georgetown.  Industry included limestone quarries, woodworking mills,
mattress factories and metalworking, but in the pre-state license plate era, cotton
production dominated.










GONZALES

Gonzales, the county seat of Gonzales County, is at the confluence of the
Guadalupe and San Marcos rivers and was one of the earliest Anglo-American
settlements in Texas.  In the late 19th century, the community prospered by using
railroads to ship products such as cotton, wool, hides, cattle, horses, cottonseed,
and pecans.  The city's population was around 3,000 in 1910 when Texas pre-state
porcelains would have made their appearance.  Whether the known "GONZALES"
tile is from the city or the county is open to question.










GRAYSON

Situated in North-Central Texas along the Oklahoma border, Grayson County was
formed in 1856.  The population was around 2,000 at that time, most of whom had
come from Southern states.  The census enumerated 186 slaves, used mainly by
farmers and stockmen along the Red River and its tributaries to raise grains and
livestock.  From 1870 to 1880 settlement in North Texas flourished. The arrival of
the Houston and Texas Central Railroad in Sherman and the Missouri, Kansas and
Texas in Denison in late 1872 initiated a period of phenomenal growth and
development for Grayson County. The population expanded from 14,387 in 1870 to
38,108 in 1880.  Railroads provided transport for produce and Grayson County
soon became a milling and market center for surrounding areas.  Although
manufacturing and milling interests steadily expanded, however, Grayson County
remained predominantly agricultural well into the early years of the twentieth
century.











GRESHAM

Established as a shipping point on the St. Louis Southwestern Railway in 1877,
Gresham is a small city in East Texas south of Tyler.  Perhaps the smallest
community in Texas from which a porcelain tile is known, Gresham boasted a
population of a mere 20 people in 1910 when the pre-state plates were being used.
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger, Type 1
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger, Type 2
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Use this shortcut to
jump to the Texas
archive page of your
choice

PAGE 1
(Abilene - Gresham)

PAGE 2
(Hansford - Yoakum)
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: X" x X"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Motorcycle
White/Blue
Tile Size: X" x X"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger, Type 1
White/Blue
Tile Size:
Undated
Passenger, Type 2
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: X" x X"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
1916
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"
Undated
Passenger
White/Blue
Tile Size: 5 3/4" x 1 3/4"