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Pennsylvania Archive - Part 2
II: STATE-ISSUED PASSENGER PLATES

License plates were required for Pennsylvania motorists as early as 1903, but these
were owner provided until the state recognized that the large number of vehicles on
the road meant that a more standardized form of licensing had to be established.  On
April 19, 1905, the Pennsylvania state legislature passed an act to regulate motor
vehicles.  Among the requirements of the new law, which went into effect on January 1,
1906, was that all vehicles must be registered at a cost of $3.00 and must carry
Pennsylvania state-issued plates on the front and rear, with the rear plate required to
be lighted at night.  Under the new law, the issuing of licenses was transferred from the
county prothonotary to the Highway Department.

Interestingly, this act explicitly stated that no other license plates other than the two
provided by the state could be carried on any automobile.  No cities or counties within
the state could require motorists to display separate license plates - although we know
that this would be challenged and apparently defeated almost immediately (see PA
archive page 1 regarding Philadelphia porcelains HERE).  Furthermore, the first
Pennsylvania licenses were issued to the individual rather than the vehicle.  Thus, if
there were two people in a car and the passenger decided they wanted to drive for a
while, they had to pull over and change plates.  This rule was very rarely followed.  
There was also no reciprocity with neighboring states, and in the first year of the new
law, many motorists found themselves paying fines for their mistakes.  As the "Bucks
County Gazette" reported, officials in Bristol, Pennsylvania found the new automobile
law an effective way of raising revenue.  Crossing the Delaware from New Jersey on the
ferry at Bristol, many motorists failed to remember they needed to take off their Jersey
plates and place a set of Pennsylvania plates on their vehicle instead before driving off
the ferry.  Police officers were quick to act.  As the account states "there is no warning
or caution, and the fact that the owner has a Pennsylvania tag in the bottom of his
machine makes no difference.  Before he can extricate himself from the clutches of the
law he has to pay a fine of $10."  Many Philadelphians were caught in this manner.

The earliest 1906 plates had “PENNA” stacked over the date to the right of the number,
and are perhaps the most sought after variants of state-issued porcelains from
anywhere in the U.S.  Beginning at number 100, the state abbreviation and date were
moved to the top between the bolt holes.  Note that both variants were made for each
of the next three years as well through 1909.  The 1906 plates were manufactured by the
Ingram-Richardson company in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, which is notable.  At this
time, the reigning king of porcelain license plate manufacturing was the Baltimore
Enamel & Novelty Company, which had managed to acquire an absolute monopoly over
New England's license plates.  Ing-Rich wasn't even a player in the game yet, with no
known contracts prior to 1906.  However, the state of Pennsylvania apparently wanted
to choose a home-grown product, and contracted with Ing-Rich for its plates.  Ing-Rich
would continue producing Pennsylvania porcelains through 1911, putting it on the map
and launching the company that would grow to become the most prolific manufacturer
of porcelain license plates ever.  Most 1906 plates, but not all, were stamped with the
company name on the back.  Early versions had very thin slots for hanging, but these
were made larger as it quickly became apparent that the original design made hanging
the plates problematic for some.  By the summer of 1906, some 12,000 plates had been
issued, and before the year was up, 15,000 pairs of plates had been produced.

In September of 1906, it was announced that bids
would be accepted to produce the 1907 plates starting
in October.  Press reports note that the plates had to
be white and red and bear the state abbreviation “PA,”
although the final product actually mimicked the first-
issue and carried the abbreviation “PENNA.”  In
November, the contract was again awarded to Ing-
Rich, which was to supply the state with an initial order
of 14,000 pairs of porcelain plates.  Plates were
manufactured in four sizes and cost the state
anywhere from eighteen to twenty-three cents per set.  
In the first nine months of 1907, nearly 19,000 plates
had been issued, surpassing the initial order
substantially.  By the end of the year, the total number
issued reached an estimated 20,000.

In October of 1907, bids for the 1908 plates began to
come in, and by mid-December, the plates had arrived
and the State Highway Commissioner began distributing them.  The registration fee had
not changed since 1906, still set at $3.00.  There was a one-week grace period in which
1907 plates were still valid, but as of January 8, everybody was required to have the
new yellow plates on their vehicles.  As late as September, 40 or 50 people a day were
still registering and receiving plates, and by October 6, some 24,000 1908 plates had
already been issued.  On November 18, the Gettysburg “Star and Sentinel” reported
that the State Highway Department sold plate #25,000, and it was later revealed that the
total number of licenses issued in 1908 was 25,110 - which matches very closely with
the known high numbers in collectors' hands.

The 1909 plates were ordered from the manufacturer for delivery and distribution by
mid-December of 1908.  By early October of 1909, more than 33,000 plates had
reportedly been issued, and when all was said and done, registrations hit an estimated
35,000.  Like the 1906 plates, one and two digit examples of plates from 1907 through
1909 were manufactured with the state and date stacked to the right of the number.  As
stated earlier, all of these variants are extremely rare and desirable amongst collectors.


























In 1910, the state finally made a change, issuing
plates to the vehicle rather than to the
individual.  Beginning this year, and lasting
through the end of the porcelain era in 1915,
plates included an aluminum keystone upon
which the vehicle maker’s number was stamped.  
In 1910, the plates cost between $5 and $15
dollars a set, depending on the horsepower of
the vehicle upon which they were to be used.  
Before the year was up, perhaps as many as
40,000 plates may have been issued.  As
discussed below, 1910 was also the first year in
which non-passenger plates were manufactured.

In October of 1910, bids to produce an initial
35,000 sets of 1911 plates were solicited by the
Highway Commissioner.  The contract once again
went to Ing-Rich, and in the last week of 1910, the first batches of 1911 plates were
distributed to those who had registered.  One year later, on December 27, 1911, the
“New York Times” reported that 44,270 passenger vehicles had been issued plates.  
These yellow 1911 plates are notable among collectors as being the single most difficult
Pennsylvania porcelains to find in nice condition.  As Michigan collector Greg Gibson
has theorized, based on the fact that numerous 1911 plates from across the U.S. have
the same quality problems - including the 1911 Michigan - there may have been some
common ingredient in the porcelain that year which negatively impacted quality and
strength.  On August 18, 1911, the Monessen "Daily Independent" reported that the son
of a Councilman was detained by police on a charge of carrying a license plate on which
the numbers were obscured.  As the "Independent" noted, "the car had been driven
considerably and the enamel had fallen off."  Clearly, this was a big problem in 1911 and
officials quickly realized that something needed to be done.  As a result, Ing-Rich
produced a new batch of plates made of a thinner metal with a slightly rolled or beveled
edge to provide strength.  There were about 15,000 sets of these Type 2 plates
manufactured, ranging in number from approximately #30,000 to #45,000.  The state
highway department at Harrisburg offered to replace any defaced 1911 plates free of
charge - although any motorists taking the department up on this offer would have to
sacrifice whatever number they originally had since the new replacement plates all fell
within the span specified above.








After the state of Pennsylvania spent six years under
contract with Ingram-Richardson to produce its
plates, The Brilliant Manufacturing Company of
Philadelphia took over the manufacturing of license
plates in 1912 after winning the contract to provide
the state with 50,000 pairs.  Brilliant would retain this
contract for four years, throughout the duration of
Pennsylvania's porcelain era.  In 1912, the plates
retained exactly the same format as the 1911 Type 1
plates, but offered a new and very distinctive color.  
As per the state's mandate, the company manufactured plates with a simulated
woodgrain appearance created by a swirl of black and red porcelain.  The only other
plate of any kind ever to have experimented with this design was the 1910 Ohio issue,
which clearly provided the inspiration for the new Pennsylvania porcelains.  There are
both embossed and de-bossed varieties of 1912 plates, with each style carrying a
different version of Brilliant's maker's mark.  The State Highway Commissioner gave
vehicle owners a one-month grace period after the first of the year to register and
acquire their plates, but as of January 22, he lamented that “I still see that many people
are operating cars with the yellow 1911 tags.”  On the last day of the year, it was
reported that nearly the entire 50,000 originally estimated would in fact be issued -
although those figures appear to have been off, since known numbers reach nearly
60,000.

When it became time to solicit bids to manufacture Pennsylvania’s 1913 plates, the state
predicted that 75,000 sets would be needed.  Beginning that year, the long-standing
tradition of allowing a grace period of a few weeks for owners to register and display
plates on their vehicles was abolished.  To offset this, the State Highway Department
began shipping the new olive green plates to owners on December 1, 1912 - two weeks
earlier than they had done in the past, so that as many people as possible would have
their plates by the first of the year.  As newspapers warned motorists in advance,
anybody driving without a 1913 plate on their car as of January 1 was liable to arrest.  
The first order was for 60,000 sets of plates.  As in previous years, registrants could not
request specific numbers, but had to get whatever number came up based on the time
that they registered - although known runs of same-numbered plates suggest that
there were ways around this law.  Interestingly, some 1913 plates were fired over 1912
issues, perhaps suggesting that not all of the initial order from the previous year had
been used, or that the state collected expired plates for recycling.  In the end, the
state's initial estimate was very close, as some 80,000 registrations were issued in 1913.

The 1914 plates were once again produced by
the Brilliant Manufacturing Company, which was
apparently the only firm to bid on plates for that
year.  The first installment of these plates was to
be delivered by November 30, 1913 and the
state of Pennsylvania decided to ship the new
1914 license plates for the first time via insured
parcel post.  Registrants were advised to apply
early so that their plates were not lost in the
backlog of holiday packages at the post office.  
It was estimated at the beginning of the year
that there were some 80,000 vehicles in the
state.  While that may have been true at the
beginning, the actual demand for plates grew
substantially by the end of the year, with an
estimated 95,000 pairs of passenger plates
issued.  It should be noted that 20,000 numbers
between #20,000 - #39,999 were blocked out from the passenger run to produce truck
plates.  Thus, known 1914 passenger plates reach nearly #115,000, even though there
were only 95,000 registrations.  However, we do know that some higher numbered truck
bases with holes for the weight tab, but no actual tab, were used for passenger
vehicles, suggesting that not quite so many truck plates were needed, and that those
leftovers were assigned to passenger vehicles.  Coupled with the proliferation of non-
passenger porcelains beginning in 1914, Brilliant ended up manufacturing a quarter-
million plates in satisfaction of its contract with the state of Pennsylvania in that year
alone.











By 1915, companies who bid for the state contract had to be able to provide
approximately 150,000 sets of passenger plates.  Interestingly, the lowest bidder was
the Quayle Enamel Company of Albany, New York.  However, earlier in 1914, Quayle had
defaulted on its license plate contract with the State of New Jersey, and word got back
to Pennsylvania officials in the form of a letter (probably from executives at the Brilliant
Manufacturing Company) warning them about the risk of going with Quayle.  As a result,
Brilliant got the contract, even though its bid was not the lowest.  In order to avoid
delays, the state invited renewal applications in mid-October of 1914 and began
shipping the new turquoise blue plates on the first of December.  By the third week of
January, police were arresting motorists who failed to display their new 1915 plates.  As
in 1912, 1915 plates are known in both embossed and de-bossed versions, with the
embossed style including a dot after the "PENNA."  Apparently, the enamel used on the
1915 plates was different that anything used prior to this point.  As the Pennsylvania
press reported at the time, the enamel used was "elastic enamel," which was not as
durable as the material used in 1914, but which was selected as a cost cutting move.  
The 1915 plates cost less than fourteen cents each, ultimately saving the state $35,000.  
As was the case in 1914, truck plates were blocked out from the passenger run.  
Interestingly, the only block collectors have identified comes in the #20,000 - #29,999
range - just half of what had been required the prior year.  Perhaps there is a second
block of yet unidentified truck numbers that help explain this seeming discrepancy.  
Whatever the case, Pennsylvania passenger porcelains in this last year are known to
have reached approximately 150,000 - the second largest order of porcelain license
plates in a single year ever - bested only by the California 1916 issue.  

When all was said and done, Pennsylvania issued a total of ten annual porcelain
issues.  And when one counts the Type I plates from 1906 though 1909 and the beveled
1911 variety, that makes fifteen separate and distinct passenger porcelain issues –
more than exist from any other state or province.  When we take pairs into
consideration, nearly 650,000 porcelain license plates were produced to fulfill this
demand - and this number doesn't even count the various classes of non-passenger
plates that were manufactured as well.

































III: STATE-ISSUED NON-PASSENGER PLATES

DEALER

For the first four years of Pennsylvania plates,
there were no distinct non-passenger issues.  
However, in 1910, a dealer category was
established.  Dealers in 1910 could buy five sets
of plates for a cost of $5 each.  These plates
were designed for use on vehicles for sale, so
that car dealers could take potential buyers out
for a spin to show off the merits of the vehicle.  
The 1910 plates did not carry the distinctive
metal seal, as passenger plates did, instead
bearing the word “dealer.”  However, this
relatively subtle difference apparently led to
problems of identification, as they were
frequently confused with passenger plates.  To
remedy the situation, a large “X” prefix was
added to dealer plates in 1911 which would last
throughout the porcelain era.  About 3,000
dealer registrations were issued in 1910, and
according to the New York Times, the number
grew to just over 4,000 licenses in 1911.  
















In the summer of 1912, it was reported that dealer plates were being misused by people
trying to save a few bucks.  Since dealer plates only cost $5, but passenger plates cost
between $10 and $15, dealers and non-dealers alike were getting their hands on dealer
plates to use on their private vehicles, purporting to be testing a vehicle while in fact
driving around attending to personal affairs.  Hundreds of offenders were discovered
by the State Highway Department and were ordered to pay a fine of $25.  Dealerships
were also admonished to stop lending out
dealer plates to purchasers of cars, something
that was frequently done as a courtesy until
owners received their own state-issued
passenger plates.  "X" prefixed dealer
porcelains continued with no alteration in
format throughout the end of the porcelain era
in 1915, with each dealership allowed to own
and use multiple sets of plates.  About 200
additional dealer registrations were added each
year, with the numbers reaching just shy of
5,000 by the end of 1915.


























MOTORCYCLE

In 1914, several new license categories were added as per a new automobile act of July
7, 1913.  Although motorcycles were first registered in 1910, the first cycle plates didn’t
appear until this time, as motorcycle owners were required to make their own plates or
paint the registration number on the mud-guard through 1913.  Motorcycle plates
appear to have been issued as singles only, with numbers reaching approximately
14,500 in 1914 and 17,500 the following year.  Motorcycle dealers seem to have been
issued plates in the regular run, although the "New Castle News" in 1914 stated that
they received "a pair of number tags," which probably means that they got two same-
numbered plates, each to be used on a separate bike.  For whatever reason, the 1914
and 1915 cycle plates are all prefixed with a zero, and just like all other classes of
Pennsylvania porcelains, they varied in size from a tiny, nearly square two-digit plate to
a much longer six-digit base.












TRACTOR

Plates issued to traction engines first appeared in 1914 as well.  Prefixed with an “E,”
these were issued in pairs and were mostly used on the steam engines which moved
across the highway from farm to farm to do threshing.  Owners of the estimated 850
traction engines licensed that year protested the new class of plates, claiming it was
unfair to require them to be licensed since engines were already taxed as personal
property.  Nevertheless, Tractor plates continued, reaching nearly 2,000 in 1915 and
continuing on into the non-porcelain years that followed.  It is notable that the
Pennsylvania 1914 & 1915 Tractor plates are the only examples of porcelain license
plates from any state or province to bear the word "Tractor."














TRAILER

First introduced in 1914, trailer plates had a “T” prefix, and are among the rarest of
Pennsylvania plates.  They went on any vehicle which was hauled behind another.  In
1914, the registration fee for trailers was $3.00 for each such vehicle of less than 10,000
pounds of vehicle and load combined and $5.00 for each trailer weighing between
10,000 and 24,000 pounds.  Collectors are not certain, but Trailer plates were probably
issued as singles only.  Remarkably, I am aware of but a single plate - 1914 #T75 - to
validate that these plates ever actually existed.  It seems likely that numbers did not
exceed 100.  The creation of this new class of plate in 1914 stimulated the state of New
Jersey to institute its own trailer plates the following year.














TRUCK

Another new class of plates beginning in 1914 are commonly labeled by collectors as
truck plates, although this is a bit of a misnomer sine they were actually issued to all
solid-tired machines including, but not limited to, trucks.  Unlike every other class of
Pennsylvania non-porcelain, these plates carried the metal keystone like the passenger
plates, but were made about 1¼ inches longer to the left of the keystone.  In this space,
an aluminum strip was riveted onto the end of the plate into two pre-drilled holes.  This
strip designated the weight class of the truck, and carried from one to five stars
depending on the tonnage.  Some plates were issued on the elongated truck base but
apparently never had the aluminum strip attached.  It is speculated that these were
used on trucks with tonnage under one ton.  However, press reports clearly indicate
that there were only five sub-divisions of truck plates, so this presumed sixth category
may not be correct.   This same format held true for 1915, with the one exception that
the date was now stamped into the top of the aluminum strip.  In addition to being the
only class on Pennsylvania non-passenger porcelains to bear a keystone, Truck plates
are also the only non-passenger plates not to begin at #1.  Instead, they received
numbers blocked out of the passenger run.  In 1914, 20,000 numbers between #20,000
and #39,999 were culled from the passenger run, but in 1915, it appears that only half as
many were set aside for Trucks.  It seems unlikely that a yet-unidentified second block
of truck numbers exists, suggesting instead that the true explanation is that twice as
many truck plates as needed were produced in 1914 (thus explaining why some truck
plates that year were issued to passenger cars).  Presuming this scenario is correct,
the state learned from its mistake and specified a much smaller and more appropriate
allotment of plates for trucks in 1915.














ODDBALLS

There is one surviving example of a Pennsylvania oddball porcelain.  Dated 1916, after
the porcelain era had passed, this plate is made in exactly the same format as other
porcelains from the state.  It is perhaps the most likely presumption that this was a
sample made up - by Brilliant Manufacturing or a competitor - to try to win the contract
to produce plates in 1916.  If this is correct, the sample plate did not accomplish much,
as Pennsylvania switched to embossed metal that year for the first time in 10 years.













FURTHER READING (For PA Archive, Parts 1 & 2)

CITY ISSUES:

The Automobile (Chicago), Vol. 14, No. 13 (March 29, 1906), p. 576.
"Brazier et al. v. City of Philadelphia" in
The Atlantic Reporter, Vol. 64 (1907), pp. 508-11.
Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal (Philadelphia), Vol. 10, No. 7 (January 1, 1906), p. 74.
The Horseless Age, Vol. 17, No. 1 (January 3, 1906), p. 28; Vol. 17, No. 21 (May 23, 1906), p.
737; Vol. 21, No. 10 (March 4, 1908), p. 266.
Motor Age, Vol. 7, No. 2 (January 12, 1905), p. 24.

STATE ISSUES:

J.J. Eckenrode, “Pennsylvania – The Keystone State.”  ALPCA Newsletter, 41, 1
(February, 1995), pp. 1-6.

J.J. Eckenrode, “Pennsylvania – The Keystone State: Part II – Non-Passenger Types.”  
ALPCA Newsletter, 42, 1 (February, 1996), pp. 1-8.

“Adams County News” (Gettysburg, PA), January 27, 1912; August 23, 1913; October 17,
1914
“Colorado Springs Gazette,” December 19, 1905
“Daily Independent” (Monessen, PA), July 29, 1914
“Gettysburg Compiler,” August 8, 1914
"Indiana [PA] County Gazette," June 5, 1912
“Indiana [PA] Weekly Messenger,” September 28, 1910; October 11, 1911; January 24,
1912; August 7, 1912; January 14, 1914; June 30, 1915
“Iowa City Daily Press,” March 7, 1905
“New Oxford Item,” August 6, 1914; October 15, 1914; November 26, 1914
“The Agitator” (Wellsboro, PA), September 26, 1906; October 2, 1907; December 18, 1907;
October 21, 1908; October 13, 1909; September 28, 1910; December 7, 1910; October 23,
1912
“The Altoona Mirror,” November 11, 1905
“The Bucks County Gazette” (Bristol, PA), May 10, 1906; September 28, 1906; October 16,
1914
“The Charleroi Mail,” December 30, 1910; August 2, 1912; December 31, 1912; August 19,
1913; November 21, 1914
"Clearfield Progress," December 24, 1913
“The Daily Courier” (Connellsville, PA), September 7, 1905; November 11, 1905; May 6,
1909; October 9, 1909; September 22, 1910; August 19, 1913
“The Daily Gazette and Bulletin” (Williamsport, PA), July 26, 1906; September 26, 1907;
October 19, 1909
"The Daily Independent" (Monessen, PA), August 18, 1911; August 1, 1912; December 31,
1912
"Daily Kennebec [ME] Journal," July 24, 1907
"Daily News" (Frederick, MD), April 7, 1911
“The Gazette” (Bedford, PA), September 5, 1913; July 31, 1914
"The Gazette & Bulletin" (Williamsport), October 4, 1911
“The Gettysburg Times,” January 22, 1912
“The Indiana [PA] Evening Gazette,” September 2, 1905; November 11, 1905; September
22, 1910; January 20, 1914; July 29, 1914
"McKean County Miner" (Smethport, PA), May 2, 1912
"The New Castle News," September 28, 1910; November 30, 1910; July 28, 1911;
September 6, 1911; January 10, 1912; September 17, 1913; October 14, 1913; November
9, 1914; December 8, 1914
“The New York Times,” December 27, 1911
"The News" (Frederick, MD), July 31, 1912
“The Saturday News” (Frederick, MD), December 30, 1905
“The Star and Sentinel” (Gettysburg, PA), December 25, 1907; January 8, 1908;
September 9, 1908; November 18, 1908; August 7, 1912; August 23, 1913; January 3, 1914;
July 29, 1914; August 1, 1914; January 21, 1915
Titusville Herald, November 3, 1906; May 31, 1912; January 2, 1914; August 14, 1915
"The Trenton Evening Times," August 8, 1914
“The Washington Post,” October 5, 1910; December 13, 1910
“The Weekly Courier” (Connellsville, PA), September 15, 1905; November 17, 1905;
September 24, 1906; November 9, 1906; December 25, 1913
“The Wellsboro Gazette,” November 16, 1905; December 13, 1905; July 26, 1906;
November 14, 1912; January 1, 1914
“Warren Evening Mirror,” October 6, 1908; October 9, 1909; October 26, 1909; August 21,
1911; August 31, 1911; September 1, 1911

Due to the size of the Pennsylvania archive, I have split it into two parts.  
Part 1 contains information on the following:

I: PRE-STATES / CITY & COUNTY PLATES

CLICK HERE FOR PART 1 OF THE
PENNSYLVANIA ARCHIVE
1906
White/Blue (Type 1)
6" x 7"
Pairs
Range: 1 - 99
1906
White/Blue
Variable*
Pairs
Range: 100 - Approx. 15,000
1907
White/Red (Type 1)
6" x 7"
Pairs
Range: 1 - 99
1907
White/Red
Variable*
Pairs
Range: 100 - Approx. 20,000
1908
Black/Yellow (Type 1)
6" x 7"
Pairs
Range: 1 - 99
1908
Black/Yellow
Variable*
Pairs
Range: 100 - Approx. 25,500
1909
Black/White (Type 1)
6" x 7"
Pairs
Range: 1 - 99
1909
Black/White
Variable*
Pairs
Range: 100 - Approx. 34,500
* Three digit plates measure 6 1/2" x 7"; Four digit plates measure 6 1/2" x 8 1/4"; Five digit plates measure 6 1/2" x 10 1/2"
1910
White/Blue
Variable*
Pairs
Range: 1 - Approx. 40,000
1911
Black/Yellow (Type 1)
Variable*
Pairs
Range: 1 - Approx 29,999
1911
Black/Yellow (Type 2)
Variable*
Pairs
Range: 30,000 - Approx. 44,500
1912
White/Woodgrain
Variable*
Pairs
Range: 1 - Approx. 60,000
1913
White/Green
Variable*
Pairs
Range: 1 - Approx. 80,000
1914
White/Black
Variable*
Pairs
Range: 1 - 19,999; 40,000 - 115,000
1915
White/Blue
Variable*
Pairs
Range: 1 - 19,999; 30,000 - 165,000
* One and two digit plates measure 6" x 8"; Three digit plates = 6" x 10"; Four digit plates = 6" x 12";
Five digit plates = either 6" x 13" (#10,000 - #19,999) or 6" x 14" (all others); Six digit plates = X" x X"
1910
White/Blue
Variable*
Pairs
Range: X1 - Approx. X2800
1911
Black/Yellow
Variable**
Pairs
Range: X1 - Approx. X3800
1912
White/Woodgrain
Variable**
Pairs
Range: X1 - Approx. X4000
1913
White/Green
Variable**
Pairs
Range: X1 - Approx. X4200
1914
White/Black
Variable**
Pairs
Range: X1 - Approx. X4400
1915
White/Blue
Variable**
Pairs
Range: X1 - Approx. X4600
* Three digit plates measure X" x X"; Four digit plates = 6" x 12"; Five digit plates = X" x X"
** Plates with an "X" plus 2 digits measure 6" x 10"; "X" plus 3 digits = 6" x 12"; "X" plus 4 digits = 6" x 14"
1914
White/Black
Variable*
Singles?
Range: T1 - Approx. T100
1915
White/Blue
Variable*
Singles?
Range: T1 - Approx. T100
* Three digit plates measure X" x X"; Four digit plates measure X" x X"; Five digit plates measure X" x X"
1914
White/Black
Variable*
Pairs
Range: E1 - Approx. E1200
1915
White/Blue
Variable*
Pairs
Range: E1 - Approx. E1900
* Plates with an "E" plus 2 digits measure 6" x 10"; "E" plus three digits = 6" x 12"; "E" plus four digits = 6" x 14"















Announcement of
Pennsylvania's new state
automobile law

The Indiana (PA) Evening Gazette,
September 2, 1905





Announcement of color
change for 1907 plates

The Weekly Courier
(Connellsville, PA),
September 24, 1906







Announcement of expiration
of grace period for obtaining
1908 plates

The Star & Sentinel
(Gettysburg, PA),
January 8, 1908




Announcement of color
change for 1909 plates

The Warren (PA) Evening Mirror,
October 6, 1908
Pennsylvania 1907
Pennsylvania 1910
Pennsylvania 1912
Pennsylvania 1914






Announcement of the new
license plate format with
aluminum keystones attached

The Agitator (Wellsboro, PA),
October 13, 1909








Prediction that 35,000
license plates would be
needed in 1911

The Indiana (PA) Weekly Messenger,
September 28, 1910





The Warren (PA) Evening Mirror,
September 1, 1911

Announcements of color
change for 1913 plates



















The Charleroi (PA) Mail,
December 31, 1912













Daily Independent (Monessen, PA),
December 31, 1912











Announcement warning
motorists to put their new
1914 plates on their cars

The Indiana (PA) Evening Gazette,
January 20, 1914








Announcement of color
change for 1915 plates

The Warren (PA) Evening Mirror,
October 6, 1908







Note how some 1913 plates
were fired over old 1912
porcelains









Note that on the embossed
1915 porcelains, there is a
dot after the "PENNA"
Pennsylvania 1913 Dealer
Pennsylvania 1914 Dealer

In August of 1912, a
hot-button issue was the
misuse of dealer plates for
personal use.












The Daily Independent
(Monassen, PA), August 1, 1912


















The Charleroi (PA) Mail,
August 2, 1912
1914
White/Black
  Pairs
Range: 20,000 - 39,999
1915
White/Blue
  Pairs
Range: 20,000 - 20,999
1916
Unknown
Yellow/Black
 
1914
White/Black
Variable*
Pairs
Range: 01 - Approx. 014500
1915
White/Blue
Variable*
Pairs
Range: 01 - Approx. 017500
* Plates with an "0" plus 3 digits measure 4 1/2" x 7"; "0" plus 4 digits = 4 1/2" x 8 1/4"; "0" plus 5 digits = 4 1/2" x 8 3/4"
From 1910-1915, five digit Pennsylvania
porcelains varied in length depending on the
plate number.  

Plates with a leading numeral "1" were
produced on a 6" x 13" base.  However, once
numbers hit #20,000, the plates were
elongated one inch to 6" x 14"
FACTOID
Pennsylvania 1913 Dealer
Late in 1910, newspapers announced that dealer
plates would begin carrying an "X" prefix beginning
in 1911 to further distinguish them from the regular
passenger plates.

The New Castle (PA) News,
November 30, 1910