A Website for Porcelain License Plate Collectors & Enthusiasts
Gallery: Unusual Colors
Of all the odd color schemes chosen for porcelain license plates, perhaps the
most common was black characters on a green background. These plates had
very little contrast and would have been hard for law enforcement officers to
read from any distance. Nevertheless, such a color combination was selected on
five separate occasions.
|Concord, NC 1916-17 For Hire
|Unknown 1928 Milk License
|Schenectady(?), NY 1931 Milk
Red & black is another color combination that was used rarely on porcelain
license plates - and yet there are seven occasions in which either red characters
on a black background or black characters on a red background were used. Like
the black & green plates above, these striking plates can be quite beautiful from
an aesthetic point of view, but would have been tough to read for pursuing police.
|Undated U.S. Indian Agency
Red characters on a green background is a headache-inducing color
combination, and yet officials in both Sacramento, California and Bartlesville,
Oklahoma figured it would be a good choice for the porcelain license plates they
were producing. These are the only two jurisdictions known to have used such a
|Sacramento, CA 1940 Produce
Not to be outdone by the red & green color combinations of Bartlesville and
Sacramento, the cities of Memphis, Tennessee and Fernandina, Florida decided
to produce plates that were equally unreadable - opting for an orange & green
color scheme. In the case of the Memphis plate, not only did the colors hamper
readability, but the plate was only 3 inches in diameter - nearly invisible to police.
|Memphis, TN 1915 For Hire
Perhaps toughest of all known color schemes to read from any distance were the
two white & yellow porcelain plates issued in the cities of Bisbee, Arizona and St.
Louis, Missouri. It is notable that there is a distinct darkening of the yellow
background on the higher numbered St. Louis plates, suggesting perhaps that
police objected and that the city asked the manufacturer to increase the contrast.