Welcome to PA PL8S / PA PLATES

Pennsylvania License Plate Images

John McDevitt, Walnutport, PA

  Home  |  About this site  |  Needed images  |  Website credits  |  Contact

GENERAL PLATE DISPLAYS  Antique, Classic, etc.  |  Bus, Limo, Taxi, etc.  |  Dealer & MV Business |  Misc. Plates  |  Official Plates  |  Political Plates   |  Veterans Plates

SPECIALTY & SPECIAL ORG.  |  College, University, etc.  |  Fire, EMS & Police  |  Fraternal, Non-Profit, etc.  |  NASCAR  |  Special Fund Plates  |  Pending/Proposed Plates

UNUSUAL & UNIQUE PLATES  |  Governor Plates  |  Mystery, Oddballs, etc.  |  Special Event Plates  |  Front Plates  |  Group Displays

REFERENCE MATERIAL |  Old Documents  |  Legislation  |  Plate Codes  |  Plate Hist A-M  |  Plate Hist N-Z Plate Hist Pass  |  Plate Hist Truck  | Plate Hist Spec OrgStickers   |  Links

ARCHIVED HOME PAGES  |  '17Archives  |  '16 Archives  |  '15 Archives  |  '14 Archives  |  2013 Archives  |  '12 Archives  |  '11 Archives  |  '10 Archives  |  '09 Archives  |  '08 Archives  |  '07 Archives  |  '06 Archives

 

Sections on this page:

        GOVERNORS' & LT. GOVERNORS' PLATES

        GOVERNORS' INAUGURAL PLATES

        GOVERNORS' CONFERENCE PLATES

 

 

GOVERNORS' & LT. GOVERNORS' PLATES

Governor plates in general

The first Governor plate was issued for 1912.

I have added the name of the governor who used the various governor types, it is quite possible that under some governors more that one plate was produced.  It can not be said with complete certainty that all of the plates pictured below were actually in use on cars.  This comment is based partially upon the lack of any wear marks around the bolt holes on some plates.  It is also possible that a plate was used for a short period, given to someone as a prized souvenir or gift, and immediately replaced by another identical plate.  Some of the above comments were provided by Eric Conner.

 

Governor plates prior to 1930

Prior to 1930 the history of Governor plates is a little spotty, but just recently (February 2012) a beautiful 1929 Governor # 1 plate was auctioned on eBay.  According to Eric Conner the earliest record he has found is 1912. These plates did not specifically say “Governor” or “Lt. Governor” respectively. The 1912, 14 and 19 tags bear this out.  He has not seen nor heard of any Governor tags from the 1920s with the exception of 1929.

See article on first Governor's Plate: Governor Leads - First Governor Plate Article

 

PLATE TYPE

IMAGES

UPDATES

Governor, 1912

The story goes that while vacationing in New England in 1912, the Governor Tener gave this plate to a young boy who asked for it. The governor gave it away because he said "I have an extra."  As a result this plate went from collector to collector but has not been in PA since 1912.  [Sounds like there could have been more than one of these plates produced!]  Eric Conner did the legwork to get this image. 

See article on first Governor's Plate: Governor Leads - First Governor Plate Article

 

 

From Eric Tanner

 

Governor, 1914

Beautiful # 1 Governor plate, white on black porcelain.  Used by Governor John K. Tener.

 

 

 

 

 

Also image of what is believed to be the Chauffer badge belonging to the Governor's driver.

 

 

from Harry Nowak

from Harry Nowak

 

 

Governor, 1915

This plate is believed to exist.

 

No image available

 

 

Governor, 1919

This super-nice Governor plate at some point in its life was painted the wrong colors.  Ned had it professionally refinished.  The refinisher did a great job but added a clear coat which probably gives it more luster than it had originally.  Used by Governor William Cameron Sproul.

 

 

from Ned Flynn

 

Governor, 1926 (plate also listed as Official)

Blue on yellow, “PENNA” vertical left; “1926” vertical right, serial #1, “OFFICIAL” along bottom flanked by small keystones.  According to the eBay seller, ultrararecollectables, who gave me permission to use the image, it was used by Governor Gifford Pinchot, and the plate was a gift from the Governor to my grandfather who was the caretaker of Grey Towers in Milford, PA at the time. My father received the plate when he passed and I in turn when he passed. 

There is no further provenance available at this time.  Grey Towers in Milford, PA was the home of Gov. Pinchot.  No plate back this far in history has been documented with the word Governor, so it is entirely possible that the earliest plates with a legend used the term Official prior to the use of Governor.  Pinchot served as Governor from 1923 to '27 and from 1931 to '35.  There is a lot we don't know about early Governors' plates.

 

 

from ultrararecollectables

 

 

Image added 12/25

Governor, 1929

Yellow on blue, “PENNA” vertical left; “1929” vertical right, serial #1 flanked by raised keystones, “GOVERNOR” along bottom.  Used by Governor John Fisher. 

 

from eBay

 

Governor, 1930

Beginning in 1930, the Office of Governor used a license plate that featured the state coat-of-arms. These plates are commonly known as the “bread loaf” or “bread box” variety.  The top plate also used an art deco type of frame.  The center plate is the same format but has the raised loaf and coat of arms colors reversed. 

The coats-of-arms on both 1930s are not decals (like the later plates), but rather each one is hand-painted and signed by an artist named "Rice."  These might be the only hand-painted coat-of-arms.  The next image is the same plate zoomed and rotated to show Governor John S. Fisher's signature.  It is only autographed governor plate known. 

 

 

The bottom plate has no raised loaf or coat of arms but instead has keystones flanking the state name and year.  This may have been the front plate while the others were used on the rear.  Used by Governor John Fisher.

 

 

from Eric Conner

from Eric Conner

from Eric Conner

from John Willard

 

 

 

 

 

 

Governor, 1931

Presently without of the contrasting yellow paint, “GOVERNOR” at bottom; “1931” vertical left“ PENNA” vertical right; center is raised but has no coat of arms; no serial number.  Originally this plate was probably yellow/orange over dark blue, no coat of arms.  Used by Governor Gifford Pinchot.

 

 

from Jake Eckenrode

 

Governor, 1932

Blue/black on yellow; “GOVERNOR” at bottom; “PENNA” vertical left; “1932” vertical right; upper plate center is not raised but features Pennsylvania coat of arms; no serial number.  Sometime in this plate’s past, someone stripped off all the original paint, and therefore the plate is in unpainted condition today. Evidence remains that the plate featured the coat-of-arms. 

Lower plate is similar except for the center raised loaf which appears to have had a large, metal coat of arms attached to the plate; no serial number.  It is not known if one was a front plate and the other a rear plate, or whether these were two different plate styles.  Note the similarities with the 1934 plate below.

Used by Governor Gifford Pinchot.

 

 

from Eric Conner

 

from Eric Conner

 

 

 

 

Governor, 1934

Blue on yellow (goldish-bronzish on upper plate); “GOVERNOR” at bottom; “1934” vertical left; “PENNA” vertical right; center is raised, top plate appears to have had a large, metal coat of arms attached to the plate; no serial number.  No evidence of the metal coat of arms attachment on the lower plate image.   Used by Governor Gifford Pinchot.

 

 

from Eric Conner

from John Willard

 

 

 

 

 

Governor, 1935

This plate is believed to exist.  Yellow on blue; "1935" vertical left; "GOVERNOR" along bottom; "PENNA" vertical right; center portion vacant but the area is flanked by raised keystones.

 

No image available

 

 

Governor, 1936

Blue on yellow; “GOVERNOR” at top; “PENNA” vertical left; “1936” vertical right, serial #1 flanked by raised keystones. 

 

Blue on yellow; “GOVERNOR” at top; “PENNA” vertical left; “1936” vertical right, no serial number but has raised loaf and without a coat of arms, flanked by raised keystones.  This plate was likely the front plate while the # 1 plate was likely affixed to the rear.  Used by Governor George Howard Earle.

 

 

from Eric Conner

from John Willard

 

 

 

 

 

 

Governor, 1939

This is a repaint.  Yellow on blue, “PENNA” vertical left; “1939” vertical right, large, raised loaf-shaped area in the center without coat of arms; no serial number flanked by raised keystones.  Used by Governor Arthur James.

 

from Jake Eckenrode

 

Governor, 1941

Yellow on blue; state outline border; “EXP. 3-31-42” top inside border; “1941 PENNA” top; large, raised vacant loaf-shaped area in center; no serial number.  Used by Governor Arthur James.

 

from Eric Conner

 

Governor, 1942

This plate is believed to exist.  Blue on Yellow; “PENNA” vertical left; “1942” vertical right, state seal in the center flanked by keystones, "GOVERNOR" along bottom.

 

 

No image available

 

 

Governor, 1944

Yellow on blue; state outline border; “EXP. 3-31-45” top inside border; “1944 PENNA” top; large, raised vacant loaf-shaped area in center; no serial number.  Slight color variations between the two plate images.  Used by Governor Edward Martin.

 

 

from Eric Conner

from John Willard

 

 

 

Governor, 1945

Upper plate: Blue on yellow; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1945” vertical right; large, raised loaf-shaped area in the center with coat of arms; no serial number.

 

Lower plate: Blue on yellow; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1945” vertical right; large, raised loaf-shaped area in the center with blue border, a keystone outline inside with the word GOVERNOR over the keystone; no serial number. 

The upper plate may have been the rear plate with the lower one being the front, however, this had not been substantiated.  Used by Governor Edward Martin.

 

 

from Eric Conner

from Eric Conner

 

 

Governor, 1946

Yellow on Blue; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1946” vertical right; large, raised loaf-shaped area in the center with coat of arms; no serial number.  Used by Governor Edward Martin.

 

from John McDevitt

 

 

Governor, 1947

Blue on yellow; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1947” vertical right; large, raised loaf-shaped area in the center with coat of arms; no serial number.  Used by Governor James H. Duff.

 

from Jake Eckenrode

 

Governor, 1948

Yellow on blue; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1948” vertical right; large, raised loaf-shaped area in the center with coat of arms; no serial number.  Used by Governor James H. Duff.

 

from Jake Eckenrode

 

Governor, 1949

Front plate, blue on yellow; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1949” vertical right; large, raised vacant loaf-shaped area in the center; no serial number.  Used by Governor James H. Duff.

 

Eric Conner has indicated that the plate with the coat-of-arms was used on the back and the plate with a blank "loaf" area was used on the front.

 

 

from Eric Conner

from Chuck Harrington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Governor, 1950

Yellow on Blue; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1950” vertical right; large, raised loaf-shaped area in the center with coat of arms; no serial number. Used by Governor James H. Duff.

 

 

from Jake Eckenrode

 

Governor, 1951

Blue on yellow; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1951” vertical right; large, raised loaf-shaped area in the center with coat of arms; no serial number.  Used by Governor John S. Fine.

 

 

from Ned Flynn

 

Governor, 1952

Yellow on Blue; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1952” vertical right; large, raised loaf-shaped area in the center with coat of arms; no serial number.  Used by Governor John S. Fine.

 

 

from Eric Conner

 

 

Governor, 1953

Blue on yellow; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1953” vertical right; large, raised loaf-shaped area in the center with coat of arms; no serial number.  Used by Governor John S. Fine.

 

 

John Willard plate

 

Governor, 1954

Yellow on Blue; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1954” vertical right; large, raised loaf-shaped area in the center with coat of arms; no serial number. Used by Governor John S. Fine.

fron Rodney Lecrone

 

Governor, 1956

Yellow on Blue; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1956” vertical right; large, raised loaf-shaped area in the center with coat of arms; no serial number.  Used by Governor George Leader.

 

from Dave Lincoln

 

 

Governor, 1957

Blue on yellow; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1957” vertical right; large, raised loaf-shaped area in the center with coat of arms; no serial number.  Used by Governor George Leader.

 

 

John Willard plate

 

Governor, 1958

Yellow on Blue; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1958” vertical right; large, raised loaf-shaped area in the center with coat of arms; no serial number.  Plate measures 6 by 10⅞.  Used by Governor George Leader.

Yellow on Blue; state outline border; “PA” top center; “58” top right, serial #1 in center.  Plate measures 6 by 12.  This 1958 #1 plate (from John Willard) may not be a Governor's plate at all.  The upper plate (also from John Willard) is believed to be the correct Governor's plate while the other may be the first plate produced in an all-numeric issue. These started at 1 and went to 9999. This all came to light as Eric Conner was doing research. Also, this all-numeric run was not the first series as evidenced by the lack of the tab slot.  Eric learned that the #1 plate was not registered to the Governor, but to an average citizen who happened to get the number. If the plate were a true Governor plate, it probably would have been marked as "1 Governor."

 

 

from John Willard

from John Willard

 

Governor, 1962

Yellow on blue; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1962” vertical right; large, raised loaf-shaped center features coat-of-arms; no serial.  Used by Governor David L. Lawrence.

 

 

from Eric Conner

 

 

Governor, 1963

Yellow on Blue; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1963” vertical right; large, raised loaf-shaped area in the center with coat of arms; no serial number.  Used by Governor William Scranton.

 

from Chuck Harrington

 

 

Governor, 1964

Yellow on blue; state outline border; “PENNA” vertical left; “1964” vertical right; large, raised loaf-shaped features blue on yellow coat-of-arms; no serial.  Used by Governor William Scranton.

 

 

from Eric Conner

 

 

Governor, 1965 Prototype

This plate is identical to the 65 below except the colors are reversed.  Eric Conner feels most likely it's a 65 prototype or it was a 64 plate used on the rear with the 64 above being used on the front.

 

from John Willard

 

 

 

 

 

Governor, 1965

65 base, blue on yellow; "PENNSYLVANIA" in top map border, “GOVERNOR” beneath; Used by Governor William W. Scranton.

 

from Eric Getchell

from Chuck Harrington

 

 

 

 

Lt. Governor, 1965

65 base, blue on yellow; "PENNSYLVANIA" in top map border, space beneath; Eric Conner believes that this plate may be a prototype in preparation for Lt. Governor plate, while the ALPCA archives describes the '65 Lt. Governor's plate as the one shown.

Here's a slight variation.  Note the use of PENNSYLVANIA where the word GOVERNOR is on the # 1 plate instead of inside the top border.  Chuck believes Eric's plate may be an error rather than a prototype.  Who can say for sure.

 

from Eric Conner

from Chuck Harrington

from Chuck Harrington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Governor, 1971

71 base, yellow on blue, GOVERNOR at top, PENNSYLVANIA at bottom; serial #1 in center.

Used by Governor Milton J. Shapp.

 

71 base, yellow on blue, PENNSYLVANIA at top, Bicentennial State '76 at bottom; liberty bell symbol -1 in center.  The storey goes that a boy requested a governor plate from Governor Thornburgh and this is what he received.  Plate owner wishes to remain anonymous.

Governor's Office, 1971

This is not exactly a Governor's plate, but something that may have been used as a front plate by the Governor's staff.

 

from Eric Conner

from Eric Conner

from Chuck Harrington

 

 

Lt. Governor, 1971 Base

71 base, yellow on blue, PENNSYLVANIA at top, Bicentennial State '76 at bottom; 2 in center.

 

from Chuck Harrington

 

Governor, 1977 Prototype

Chuck describes this as a '77 Governor prototype, which it may be, but it also appears to be on a '65 base. Maybe a little retro-look?

 

from Chuck Harrington

 

Governor, 1977 Base

1977 base: Type 1, blue on yellow; “PENNSYLVANIA” at top; “GOVERNOR” at bottom; serial #1 in center. It is believed to have been used on both the front and the back of the vehicle. The second image, has the remnants of a sticker in the upper left corner.  Eric Conner, who has provided the images, suggests that the upper image was the front plate, while the rear plate had the validation sticker.  Used by Governors Milton J. Shapp till the 1/16/79 inauguration, then by Dick Thornburgh.

 

1977 base: Type 2, blue on yellow; “GOVERNOR” at top; “PENNSYLVANIA” at bottom; serial #1 in center.  This appears to be a format variation.

 

This plate was photographed in use in 2011 on a 1970s (?) Chrysler.  Could it be a former Governor's front plate, or something else?

 

from Eric Conner

from Eric Conner

from eBay

from Eric Conner

 

Lt. Governor, 1977 Base, 1983 sticker

 

 

from Eric Conner

 

Governor Samples, 1987

These plates appear to be on the 1987 base; however, the top plate does not have a sticker well.  Note the two plate have the legends reversed.  There were no Governor's plates in use during this period.  Possibly a plate was produced but not used, this is unknown.  The plates pictured may have been produced and sold during the 1990s.

 

from Chuck Harrington

 

 

Lt. Governor, 1987 Base

This image was provided by Michael Wiener.  Ostensibly it has the formatting of what could be a Lt. Governor's plate on a 1987 base; however, Governors' and Lt. Governors' plates were not believed to have been used beyond the 1977 base plates which continued to be used at least until 1983.  So what is this plate?  Perhaps a Lt. Governor's plate that was never used, or maybe some kind of courtesy plate.  Michael Wiener was not able to provide much information.  Also, it is unknown if the companion # 1 Governor's plate existed.

 

from Michael Wiener

 

Governor, ~1991

While this may not be a Governor's plate in the traditional sense, (no # 1 or Governor) Chuck Harrington says that on special occasions, Governor Bob Casey would put this on the front of the Governor’s limo. Although this photo may not show it, this plate is unique. Instead of the glass beaded reflectorized yellow paint used on standard issue and state made booster plates at that time period, this plate has gold leaf paint on the embossed areas. An impressive plate when seen in person.

 

 

from Chuck Harrington

 

Eric Conner points out that no “Governor” or #1 plates with the later bases (Friend, Keystone, Internet) have surfaced. It is believed that Governor Thornburgh (1979-1987) was the last governor to use the #1 license plate. Governors Ridge (1995-2001), Schweiker (2001-2003), Rendell (2003-2011) and Corbett (2011 to present) did not or do not use #1 or Governor tags.

 

 

GOVERNORS' INAUGURAL PLATES

Governor's inaugural plates were generally used around the time of the inauguration and in the inaugural parade.  They may have been used by vehicles in the parade as well as cabinet members and legislative leaders.  Since 2000 the plates are no longer produced by PennDOT.

PLATE TYPE

IMAGES

UPDATES

Governor's Inauguration, 1963

First year for inaugural plates.  In 1963 and 1967 the license plates were issued to the individual car dealers who had cars in the inaugural parades of those years.

 

from Eric Conner

from Eric Conner

 

 

Governor's Inauguration, 1967

In 1963 and 1967 the license plates were issued to the individual car dealers who had cars in the inaugural parades of those years. The dealerships were not required to return the tags after the parade.

 

from Eric Conner

 

 

 

Governor's Inauguration, 1971

 

from Eric Conner

 

 
Governor's Inauguration, 1975

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allegheny County, Note the use of the older base on county plates.

 

 

 

 

Cameron County

 

 

 

 

Clearfield County

 

 

 

Unknown county

The hand-painted Inauguration 1975 and county name are missing.  This plate may have been used a s a front plate so the painted markings may have worn off or were otherwise removed.

 

Philadelphia County

 

from Eric Conner

from Chuck Harrington

from Eric Conner

from Eric Conner

from Eric Conner

from Chuck Harrington

from Eric Conner

from Chuck Harrington

from Chuck Harrington

from Eric Getchell

from Chuck Harrington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Governor's Inauguration, 1979

from Chuck Harrington

 

Governor's Inauguration, 1983

This is a pewter plate.

from Eric Conner

 
Governor's Inauguration, 1987

 

from Eric Conner

 

Governor's Inauguration, 1991

Blue on yellow; “PENNSYLVANIA” at bottom; screened “INAUGURATION 1991” at top; raised loaf-shaped area with coat-of-arms at left; serial at right.

 

from Eric Conner

 

Governor's Inauguration, 1995

from Chuck Harrington

 

Governor's Inauguration, 1999

No number plates were issued—all plates read “PA.”

 

 

Governor's Inauguration, 2003

There were 15 numbered plates 1 thru 15, and ten plates with “PA” instead of a number.  All were flat silk-screened on reflective yellow. They were not used, except for a few plates with "PA" on them.

from Chuck Harrington

 

Governor's Inauguration, 2007

from Howard Cutler

 

from Eric Conner

 

from Chuck Harrington

 

Governor's Inauguration, 2011

 

 

Governor's Inauguration, 2015

Front plate

These plates were produced for members of the inauguration committee as souvenir plates and placed on the dashboard for vehicle identification during the Inauguration event on January 20. Although rear plates were produced, they were not used do to the overall negativity that the public has toward legislative officials and concerns about terrorism. Governor Tom Wolf was offered #1 and Lt. Governor Mike Stack was offered #2.

Rear Plate

 

 

 

 

 

GOVERNORS' CONFERENCE PLATES

PLATE TYPE

IMAGES

UPDATES

Governors' Conference, 1962

Based on information provided by Eric Conner, it is believed that the upper plate type was provided to governors attending the conference, while the lower plate was available to others attending the event.

 

 

from Eric Conner

 
Governors' Conference, Northeast, 1988

 

from Eric Conner

 

Republican Governors' Conference, 1968

Oklahoma

Plate issued to PA Governor Shafer

from Chuck Harrington

 

Image added 2/12

Republican Governors' Conference, 1980

Philadelphia, PA

Plate issued to Governor List of Nevada

from Chuck Harrington

 

 

 

 

 

Page Up  |  Home  |  Contact