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A Website for Porcelain License Plate Collectors & Enthusiasts
Unknown Archive
TOTAL KNOWN PORCELAIN VARIETIES: 32

This section of the archive is devoted to plates that are unidentified as to their
jurisdiction of issuance.  There is little doubt that the plates presented here are
all city issues, but that's about as much as we know.  If you can help to identify the
origin of any of these porcelains, please let me know!

AUTOMOBILE

There are two porcelain plates marked "Automobile," which indicates that they
were likely used to license passenger vehicles in a given city.  They both expire
on August 31, suggesting they may be from the same jurisdiction, although the
formats are a bit different from one another.












DAIRY LICENSE

This little mystery plate has the very early date of 1910, and was used to license
milk vehicles.  The "MF" likely indicates the city of issuance, but it's anybody's
guess what this actually stands for.  I have seen two examples of these plates, the
second of which turned up on EBAY.  The seller of that plate speculated that the
"MF" stood for Martin's Ferry, Ohio.  I failed to keep a photograph of that plate,
but my recollection is that it was double-sided.









DRAY

There are five dated varieties of Dray plates known.  These are nearly identical in
layout and appearance, and very likely were issued from the same jurisdiction.  
These plates could have adorned either horse-drawn carts or motorized trucks.  
These plates date back to at least 1910 and at some point, probably in the '20s, the
format changed to an "May 1" expiration date.  The last known example is from
1931, suggesting that this run of plates was issued annually for at least 20 years!



















HAWKER

There are two examples of Hawker plates that exist from an unknown jurisdiction.  
These plates, dated 1911 & 1915, are nearly identical to the Dray plates of the
same years shown above, suggesting that they might all hail from the same place.  
The best evidence we have as to the general region of issuance is the fact that
the 1911 plate was dug up in 2009 in the Killingly area of Eastern Connecticut, not
far from the Massachusetts and Rhode Island border.  It seems virtually certain,
therefore, that these plates originated somewhere in New England.  











JITNEY

Surfacing on EBAY in February of 2011, this small little Jitney plate from some
unknown jurisdiction became only the third porcelain license plate of any kind
known to bear the term "Jitney" on it (the other two being from San Francisco,
CA).  The font style of the letters and numbers is nearly identical to the long run of
plates thought to have been issued by the city of Schenectady, NY to various
classes of vehicle.  However, the size and format of the plate suggests that this
Jitney porcelain does not belong in that group.  Thus, I have placed it here until
and unless more evidence surfaces to identify its jurisdiction of origin.









MILK

For a long time now, there has been a series of small, colorful porcelain license
plates known marked simply with a number and the word "MILK" across the top.  
In Richard Feinauer's 19XX book on Florida pre-states, it was speculated that
these little porcelains hailed from Florida, but most believe they have their origin
in New England.  One large grouping of #3 plates was found in a barn in
Massachusetts very near the Connecticut and Rhode Island border.  Perhaps the
best evidence of all comes from an elderly woman who sold two of these plates
on EBAY in 2006.  She lived in Fall River (in Massachusetts on the Rhode Island
border) and said not only that she found them locally, but that she actually
recalled the plates being used in that city when she was five or six years old.  So,
it seems like a pretty good bet that these milk plates are from Fall River, MA - but
until we find conclusive evidence of this, they will remain here in the unidentified
archive.  Whatever the case, we do know that these plates began as early as 1911,
were issued through at least 1929, and came in pairs.  They are extremely scarce
with numbers typically barely reaching double-digits.  There are no more than two
or three of any given year that have survived and, in fact, no surviving 1912 plate
has ever been found.

















































PASSENGER

This plate was dug out of an old dump site by the Caney River near Bartlesville,
Oklahoma.  It is very likely an Oklahoma porcelain, but we cannot be certain,
especially due to the site's close proximity to Kansas, a state which produced
many city-issued porcelains of its own.  My guess is that the plate reads "OAK"
and is an abbreviation for Oakhurst, Oklahoma - a town not too far away.












VENDOR

Vendor is a very nebulous category that could mean just about anything, but it is
very possible that these plates did not hang from actual motor vehicles, but
rather were used on some sort of push cart.  These distinctive plates with the
date and number encircled are reminiscent of the various classes of porcelain
plates presumed to have been issued by the city of Schenectady, New York, but
they are different enough from those that I feel they are better placed here in the
unknown category.
1915-16
Automobile
White/Blue
6" x 9"
1916-17
Automobile
Black/White
Size Unknown
1915
Vendor
Black/White
4" x 15"
1917
Vendor
White/Red
4" x 15"
1910
Dray
White/Blue
3" x 4"
1911
Dray
White/Green
3" x 4"
1915
Dray
Black/White
3" x 4"
1928-29
Dray
White/Green
3" x 4"
1930-31
Dray
Black/White
3" x 4"
Undated
Dairy License
Black/White
Size Unknown
1911
Milk
White/Blue
3" x 5"
1913
Milk
White/Red
3" x 5"
1914
Milk
Black/Yellow
3" x 5"
1915
Milk
Yellow/Black
3" x 5"
1916
Milk
White/Green
3" x 5"
1917
Milk
White/Black
3" x 5"
1918
Milk
White/Red
3" x 5"
1919
Milk
Black/White
3" x 5"
1920
Milk
White/Green
3" x 5"
1921
Milk
Black/Yellow
3" x 5"
1922
Milk
White/Black
3" x 5"
1923
Milk
Black/Red
3" x 5"
1924
Milk
White/Green
3" x 5"
1925
Milk
Black/Red
3" x 5"
1926
Milk
Black/Yellow
3" x 5"
1927
Milk
White/Orange
3" x 5"
1928
Milk
Black/Green
3" x 5"
1929
Milk
Black/Yellow
3" x 5"
1911
Hawker
White/Green
3" x 4"
1915
Hawker
Black/White
Size Uknown
1913
Passenger
Black/Yellow
Size Unknown
1915
Jitney
White/Red
3" x 10"