ALPCA small crestWelcome to PA PL8S / PA PLATES Weekly Magazine

Supporting the hobby, conducting research, preserving & promoting the history of Pennsylvania License Plates

John McDevitt and Jordan Irazabal

ALPCA

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6/26/2022 Posting

Like last week, more to post, just running short on time.  Check back next week.

Here is the latest high Steel Worker plate thanks to John Clark.  Despite its appearance, this is not classified as an organization plate, but rather a special class of plate resulting from legislation.  This plate still has the sticker well; however, a new batch of plates is due at S/W05600.  According to the application form, MV-910, Steelworker registration plates may only be issued to a person currently or formerly employed in the manufacturer of steel or a surviving member of the steelworker’s family.  Really?

 


This Trout Unlimited plate is another new high from John Clark.  This plate type, which dates back to 2002, continues to remain on the www base, with 1,000+ plates remaining in the warehouse.

 

 


Here's another new high, this Support Your Zoo plate photo was posted by Tiger Joe Sallmen.  These plates still feature the sticker well.  You may recall that these plates took the place of the much more popular Save Wild Animals tags that were issued from 1996 to April of 2013.

 


The far left images represent the first look at a Philadelphia Centurions Motorcycle Club plate on the street.  The photo is thanks to Richard Than.  These plates have been on the street since late 2018, but so far only 5 serial numbered plates have been issued.  This organization is a police motorcycle club, so the plate is listed on the Fire, EMS and Police page.

 

 

 


An 8-character vanity plate?  Matt Ceieck spotted this plate.  A further check by Matt revealed that the plate was originally WRAPM-CH, where the dash (-) or hyphen was made into the letter E.  8 character vanities are not permitted in PA, although some states allow them.  That is not to say that a few such plates haven't slipped thru the system.  In the Lehigh Valley there was a HUMPBACK plate on the www base for a while after 2000, then likely recalled.  There was another 8 character plate reading MCERLANE on the 87 keystone state base with a 91 sticker thanks to Ned Flynn.

 


Here is a pair for the single-letter enthusiasts, and the under-100 crowd.  The L photo is thanks to Eric Conner and the 74 plate photo is thanks to John Clark. 

Check out this week's Vanity Page for additional images.

 

 

 

 


This is a Special Event plate from the 2022 U.S. Senior Open Golf TournamentThese plate are state-issued cardboard tags used on Lexus corporate sponsor courtesy vehicles.  The event is being held at the Saucon Valley Country Club, Bethlehem, PA, June 11 - 28, 2022.  What's not visible at the top of the plate due to the frame are PA TEMPORARY PLATE, and along the bottom Expires 6 - 29 - 2022.

 


Here is a very nicely preserved PA Antique Historic Car plate thanks to Devan Ciemiewicz.  Consensus seems to suggest somewhere around 1960 for a date of issue.  The initial series of these plates ran from 1 to 9999, then went alpha-numeric.  These plates are still legal and are a common sight at car shows.

 


Bruce Bufalini reports seeing Antique Historic Car plate 99ZV which would be a new high on the older white on purple base.  He was not able to safely take a photo.

 


This beautiful 1910 Passenger plate photo combo was posted by Jordan Irazabal.  He was going through some old photos from the 2011 Hagley Car Show, located at the Hagley Mansion, the first du Pont property in the USA.  The Hagley Museum and Library is located in Wilmington, DE.

 

 

 


This gem of a 1939 Passenger plate belongs to Tim Gierschick, who jogs our memory a little reminding us that from 1937 up thru the 1942-43 issue that the Passenger plate series started at 10000 and extending to 99999, making this a low number plate.

 

 


Jason Cook stumbled on this plate photo in C.H. Wendels’ book: ‘Unusual Vintage Tractors’.  It looks like a 1918 Tractor plate E2978. The far left photo shows a Hollis Tractor Company, out of Pittsburgh, PA.  The photos are ‘newspaper’ dot quality.  Click the image to the far left, or go to the Older Plates in Use page where the image can be further enlarged.

 

 


Here's another great 1931 Tractor plate.  No surprises, it's thanks to Tim Gierschick!  These plates were yellow on dark blue as shown here, with all such plates measuring 6 inches by 15 inches.  Serial numbers are known as high as TE3-066.

 

 


6/19/2022 Posting

Happy Father's Day

(Sorry, couldn't get more plates posted.  Check back next week.  The healthcare industry is claiming my time.)


Here is a new high Passenger plate, recently spotted by Bruce Bufalini.

Keep up to date with all the latest highs with the Highs page, or go to link in left column.

 


This is not a new International Association of Fire Fighters high, but the highest number spotted before the sticker well was eliminated.  The lowest without the sticker well is P/F6525.  Thanks to Jordan Irazabal's watchful eye for the photo.

Still looking for a Motorcycle edition of this plate.  They're out there.

 


This is an uncommon plate type, with the plate frame helping to conceal its identity.  Bruce Bufalini spotted this personalized St. Charles Borromeo Seminary plate.  This is the first plate spotted without the sticker box.  The facility is located in Wynnewood, PA.  According to plate check, there are only 13 serial numbered plates registered.

 


Check out this week's Vanity Page for more images.

 


This is a new Mass Transit high spotted by Bill Young.  This series has been using the map outline since back in the mid-48000 series.

Click this Mass Transit History link to see 1st and 2nd generation plates.

 

 

 


This is a 1965 Press Photographer base with a 66 sticker.  Note the presence of the keystone separator, not a usual part of a PP plate.  It was photographed by Jordan Irazabal at a 2021 Tim Gierschick gathering.  If the actual plate owner comes forward, I'll credit you also.

 


Beginning in 1924, Passenger plates reached the 6-digit limit and began to use an alpha-numeric series.  Such plates started at A-1 to A-9, then A-10 to A-99, eventually reaching A99-999, then the to the B-series followed by the C-series as shown here.  Each alpha series was completed before advancing to the next letter.  By 1926 Passenger plates had extended into the C-series as shown here.  This series reached C78-216 or higher.  This beauty was a John Willard / John Anshant plate seen at a recent ALPCA meet.

 


Much like the plate above, here is another low number plate from the 1930 Passenger alpha-numeric E-series.  Also by 1930 the number of auto registrations resulted in as many as six more alpha-numeric series.  This 6-inch by 10-inch gem was a John Willard / John Anshant plate seen at a recent ALPCA meet.

 


This is a pair of 1933 Passenger plates.  The far left plate is part of Format 2 which ran from A to Z9999.  Some plates that year had the legend reversed such as this plate.  The other shorty plate is part of Format 3 which includes 0A to 9Z999.  This plate has the normal legend.  The far left plate photo is from Tim Gierschick, the 1B is a John Willard / John Anshant plate seen at a recent ALPCA meet.

 


Same plate, before and after, some like the appearance of the aged patina surface, it's also nice to see what this plate looked like when it was new.  This is a Tim Gierschick 1921 Tractor plate, part of a series from E1 to E4-163, with all plates believed to measure 6 inches by 16 inches.

 


Compare these two rare 1917 Trailer plates.  The T494 plate was recently acquired by Clayton Moore.  When compared to a photo of another 1917 Trailer plate belonging to John Willard, there is a noticeable difference in sizes, the T715 plate is known to be 6" x 16". CORRECTION, THE T494 WAS CONFIRMED BY THE OWNER TO MEASURE 14".

Are there any other '17 Trailer images or plates out there?

 

 


6/12/2022 Posting

This first-of-its-kind Presidential Service Badge was recently spotted by Jordan Irazabal.  He actually spotted the plate twice but was unable to get the photo the first time.  Should clarify that this is the first serial numbered plate spotted, previously a personalized was spotted. What is such a badge?  Wiki states that the Presidential Service Badge is an identification badge of the United States Armed Forces which is awarded to members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard as well as other members of the Uniformed Services, such as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who serve as full-time military staff to the President of the United States.

 


Here's another very rare type.  While PA State Senator plates are seldom spotted, this is the first tag to be seen with the map outline.  This excellent photo is thanks to Bill Young.  With 50 senatorial districts, such plates could run from PA1 to PA50 and 1PA to 50PA for a second vehicle; however many senators choose not to use such plates.

 


At first glance, one might take this for a Pittsburgh Penguins plate with a U.S. Army sticker.  Actually it's a new high U.S. Army (Active Duty) plate spotted by Bruce Bufalini.  Quite a jump — previous high was 00068A/D.   I'm no fan of frames.

 


Here's the latest high Repair Towing plate image thanks to Bill Young.  Remember when these were called Repair Service /Towing or Rep Ser / Towing?

 

 


Here's the latest reported Truck high plate, thanks to Bill Young.  After the previous series reached ZTZ-9999, the next plate was ZVA-0000, no ZU-prefix plates were issued.  Vowels are not generally used in position 2 of serial numbers.

 


Pretty sure this is a personalized Antique Vehicle plate.  Note that the plate actually reads X, letter 'O', number zero, 1.  In PA letters are slightly smaller than numbers.  In addition, there is no AA00 serial formats on this base.  Photo credit goes to Mike Alfonse.

 


At the end of 2020, PA had more than 8,152,000 vehicles registered.  Of that number, some 252,000 had personalized or vanity plates.  Such plates are available in a variety of alpha-numeric combinations of 1 to 7 characters as shown here, as well as most, but not all, plate types.  See this week's Vanity Page for more images.  Thanks to Arthur Levine, my photo, Nick Tsilakis and Grant MacKenzie for the images shown here.

 


This is a 1918 Tractor plate which was recently acquired by Jason Cook.  The original colors were white on black and the size is 6" by 16".  This plate is also a new high, with this being the first one seen above 3000.  There was some discussion as to whether this plate could be a Class 2 Tractor plate.  Unfortunately it appears that registration records for 1918 no longer exist and without records, that question will go unanswered.

 


This may not look like anything special, but to my knowledge this is the first 1928 Y-Class Truck plate photo.  Obviously based on the serial number there were at least 1,938 plates issued, but very few of the heavier classes have survived.  This photo came from Clayton Moore, but plate has now gone to Rob Baran.  Watch for this plate again after cleaning.

 


6/5/2022 Posting

With Memorial Day fresh in our sights, what better plate to lead off with than that of a World War II Veteran plate.  This low numbered plate was spotted by Jaska Börner.  These plate were first issued in 1995.  Why did we wait 50 years from the end of that war?

 


Next is a new high U.S. Coast Guard Veteran plate thanks to Jay Embee.  These plates date back to 2009.  The initial batch of these plates was large enough so that plates up to 00700C/G may still have the sticker well, of course more recent vanities will have the map.

 


Mike Alfonse spotted this personalized Arizona State University Sun Devils plate.  Can't think of an organizational plate with their headquarters farther from Pennsylvania.  Plate check indicated that there may be at least 60 serial-numbered plates registered.

 


Click the link to see more vanity & personalized plates.  Plate shown here is thanks to Arthur Levine.

 

 

 

 


However you prefer the images, raw or edited, here is the latest high PA Turnpike Official Use plate.  Thanks to Matt Ciecka for the photo.

 

 


Bill Young captured this new high Person with Disability plate.  This new alpha-numeric format dates back to February of this year.

 

 

 

 


This very nice 1943 Motorboat plate was recently acquired by Clayton Moore.  This plate also establishes a new series  high.  During 1943 plates were not issued to motor vehicles, but they were issued to boats.  These black on yellow plates measured 5⅛ inches by 9½ inches.

 


Mike Alfonse recently acquired this very nice 1924 Passenger plate.  These 6-digit plates are part of Format 3 measuring 6 inches by 15 inches.  This plate also has both bolt holes and strap slots.  This strap slot feature is known to be on plates as high as 566-779, but not seen on higher plates.

 


Here is a very nice, low number 1915 Tractor plate.  These porcelain plates were issued in pairs for 1914 and '15 only.  4 plate sizes were issued that year depending on the number of characters in the serial number, with this plate measuring 6 inches by 10 inches.  This plate photo is thanks to John Willard.

 


5/29/2022 Posting

Was wondering just how many types of motorcycle-size plates are issued in PA.  So here's a list.  Anything missing?  A few newer types are on the street but have not been photographed so far.  Concerning the State Police plate, a lieutenant indicated that PSP Motorcycle plates are in the works.  Click links below photo to see more photos and variations.

Motorcycle

 

Motorcycle Dealer

 

 

Vertical Motorcycle

Moped

 

Moped Dealer

 

 

Let Freedom Ring

 

Motorcycle Person w/ Disability

Distracted Driving Awareness

Honoring our Veterans

Combat Wounded Veteran

Veteran

Antique MC

Classic_MC

Collectible_MC

 

Historic Military MC

Municipal MC

Blue Knights Int'l Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club

 

NO PHOTO

 

Fraternal Order of Police MC

 

NO PHOTO

 

International Association of Fire Fighters MC

 

NO PHOTO

 

State Police? 

See note above.

 

ATV plates not included

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


This Save Wild Animals plate was recently acquired by Richard Than.  Apparently there may still be a few of these hiding at some tag agencies.  These were available from 1996 to 4/2013.  This plate with the leading 'Y' as part of the serial number suggests it is close to the high.  The high photo I have is P/Z390A, but a more exhaustive record check indicates that the actual issued high is P/ZZ999B.  There are also many gaps leading up to that number, suggesting that there are still un-issued tags and likely some dead tags as well.

 


Here is a new high Emergency Vehicle plate.  The plate, EV-73397, is on a Paoli Fire Company vehicle and was photographed by Jaska Börner.

 

 

 


Here's another new high, this one is also thanks to Jaska Börner.  The photo is of an IUP or Indiana University of Pennsylvania Alumni Association plate.  This plate type is one of the earliest organizational plates, dating back to 1985.

 


Check out this week's display of vanity & personalized plates.  Plate shown here is from Arthur Levine.

 

 

 

 


Here is a very nicely restored 1917 Passenger plate.  Original colors were white on black.  Three sizes of plates were issued that year depending on the number of characters used.  This plate measures 6" x 14".  This plate has both bolt holes and strap slots. 

 


This is a 1926 Tractor plate thanks to Clayton Moore.  The E prefix stood for Engine, short for Traction Engine, a now archaic term for Tractor.  Click the link above to see additional examples of '26 Tractor plates.

 

 


Here are some recent additions to Tim Gierschick's amazing collection of Tractor plates.  You can never have too many!  Starting from the far left is a 1924 E+3 digit 10" shorty.  By 1928 the letter E was needed for the Passenger series so the Tractor series replaced the E with TE.  So next is a 1929 TE+3 digit 13" plate.  Finally we have these 1932 and 1933 TE2+3 digit 15" plates.

 


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John McDevitt and Jordan Irazabal

ALPCA

 

 

   
   
 

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