Archive for Thursday, June 1, 2006

License plates

June 1, 2006

Writing this column has made me research many things. Now people are sending me topics to write about, and the latest is license plates. When we travel we look at the license plates to see where people are from. It is exciting when we are in far-away places to see a plate from Leavenworth County.

The first time I noticed the plates was when we played in Mr. Rumsey's barn right next to Seven-Mile Creek, down the street from my house. One room in the southeast corner was street level and was once used for a garage. There were license plates that went back as far as 1910 covering the walls, and they were all lined up perfectly.

From 1913 to 1929 they were the same configuration, but different colors. Pre-statehood plates were made out of leather, but all the ones I remember were metal.

During the war in 1943 they used an aluminum tabs with the date attached to the plates to save on metal. The shape of Kansas was started in 1951, and this continued through 1976. In 1987, stickers were used instead of metal tabs. We still use them now.

Now you can order customized license plates with military service, state universities, handicapped, organizations, ham operators, etc. The list goes on and on.

At one time the license plates were manufactured right here in Lansing at the Kansas State Prison.

There are actually license plate collectors and clubs now. You can order plates from all 50 states on the Internet. You can even buy a super size map of the United States made with the plates in their proper places.

If you would like to see plates from all over the world and every state in the union for all the years they have been in existence, go to and go from there.

Did you have a favorite license plate? Mine was the Wheat design in 1994.

I thank Mr. Rumsey for covering his walls and for my cousin Ray for telling me about the Internet site that is so full of information.


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