License plates are probably the one thing we stare at for hours a week, and never give them any thought. Occasionally you may see a funny vanity plate and chuckle to yourself, but other than that, they are pretty transparent. Well it turns out, the history of license plates is pretty incredible. From the first homemade plates in New York, to the state sponsored auctioning of low number plates in Delaware, to the underground grey market in D.C., people have clamored for customized plates since their inception. After plates have served their ‘useful’ life, there are collectors who will pay top dollar for the hard to find ones!
I sit down with the walking encyclopedia of plates Jeff Minard and we get into all of those topics, as well as plates made out of sugarcane, how prisons manufacture the bulk of U.S. plates, and how incredible it is to hold a plate from a country that no longer exists.
*BONUS* – Weird License Plate Stories
In this bonus episode, Jeff and I discuss a superstition that almost lead to a riot in 1928 Massachusetts, a three state battle over the right to use the phrase “First In Flight” on their license plates, and a story of vanity plates gone wrong.