Association of Newtown, Bucks County, will make this plate available
to its membership. No plates on the street yet.
the final new plate belongs to Springfield
Fire Company located in Delaware County. They also have
no plates are in use yet.
These amazing Tractor Dealer plates shown
here this week are likely some of the rarest PA plates in existence today. A huge thank you to Jake Eckenrode for sharing images of
these fine plates. This 1916 Tractor Dealer
is likely the oldest one known to exist. It was generally thought that
Tractor Dealer plates were first issued in 1916, however, it has been suggested
that seven Tractor Dealer plates were issued in 1915. A new law was passed
in 1915 authorizing Tractor Dealer plates and according to Eric Tanner it likely
took effect on 1/1/1916. So probably in 1915, any Tractor
Dealers were issued regular Dealer plates. The final answer to this
question may lie within the 1915 registration records, however, my own research
suggests that these records for 1915 are no longer in existence.
The next plate is a 1918 Tractor Dealer
plate, very similar in formatting to the above plate except for the obvious
color switch to white on black. It is not known how many of these plates
were issued, but tractors in the late teens weren't that plentiful, even today,
how often do you see a Farm Equipment Dealer plate on the road? Thanks
again to Jake Eckenrode for sharing the images.
Next is a 1922 Tractor Dealer
plate. This plate seems a little strange in that some of the plate legend
is stacked like earlier plates, and the words TRACTOR DEALER are completely
spelled out along the bottom of the plate. It is not known if any other
years followed this same format. Again thanks again to Jake Eckenrode for
sharing this plate history.
The 1925 Tractor Dealer plate has
reduced the plate legend to just 1925 and PENNA flanked by keystones. Gone is
any mention of the word dealer; however, the TX prefix is the giveaway.
The color is yellow on dark blue. For the first time on Tractor Dealer
plates we see the use of the dash separator. This plate also shows an
obvious reduction in the width of the plate. Thanks again to Jake
For 1926 Tractor Dealer
plates use a different font than the 1925 plate. The formatting is much
the same while the colors have been reversed. This is also the highest
number seen so far, again suggesting a small number of plates issued. Note
at this point in PA plate history the letters and numbers were the same size;
however, 1926 was the last year for this. In 1927 the size change took
place; see the 1930 plate
below. Thank you Jake.
The final plate from Jake Eckenrode is this
1930 Tractor Dealer. The TX-79 is the highest number seen in these early
plates, and generally follows a similar format to the '25 and '26 plates above.
We don't have any plate images between 1930
and 1950. This is not to suggest that they were not
issued, only that few, if any, have survived. We do know that the 1935 and
'36 plates did not use the TX prefix but instead used TRACTOR DLR as part of the
plate legend. Hopefully some additional plates or pictures may come along.
To see more on current Pennsylvania
License Plates visit Tom Perri's
Tom features all the latest highs with lots of new pictures. To see history
of PA passenger and truck plates and much more, visit Rick's Plate at
Here are the first
generation and the current Drexel University
Alumni plate. The current plate display has been refined to show the two-tiered plate
numbering. These are not new pictures. As with other organizational
plates that were originally issued on the old yellow on blue base, when plates were
reissued on the www base the first run was a number for number replacement.
New plates that were issued after the replacement process came from a higher
number series. That first series ran from D/U40001 to D/U40837, then the
second ties series jumped ahead to D/U41500. Drexel has never moved to the
graphic visitPA base, in fact there is evidence that the plate program is no
longer active. The oldest plate is courtesy of
the Drexel series above, Moravian College also had its plate roots back
yellow on blue plates. And when the new plates were released on the www
base, the earlier plates were replaced on a number for number basis up to
M/O00797. Then when later plates were issued the series jumped ahead to
M/O01500 skipping over the number in between. The M/O01700 plate is the
latest high on the visitPA base.
Steve Ondik shares this current La Salle University
plate image. La Salle began their plate program back in 1988 and has gone
thru a couple design changes since then.
Jake Eckenrode has been kind enough to share
this photo of an early Transporter plate. Besides the low number, the main
distinguishing feature of this plate is the word TRANSPORTER which is screened.
On later plates it was embossed. This plate is part of the Misc. M.V.
Business series which also includes Repair/Towing, Salvage Yard and Repossessor.
After the initial run where all of these plates used the screened legend, the
next series included an embossed 'Pennsylvania'
legends with the "You've
got a friend" font and sticker well lower left. So far it is unknown
if the Transporter plate also followed in the same pattern. Click the link
above to see more.
As promised here is another group of old
Tractor Dealer plates beginning with this 1950 version.
Thanks again to Jake Eckenrode for sharing the images. Again the TX prefix
and the legend Tractor are the identifying features. It is unknown how
many were issued or if the series went beyond TX999.
plates were initially intended to be renewed with metal tabs, and therefore tab
slots were punched into the early plates. It was later decided to use
adhesive stickers instead of the tabs eliminating the need for the tab slots.
So in general early plates had the slots and later ones did not. Here we
have Tractor Dealer
plate 600 with a tab slot and plate 616 without. Then the slot is again
present in the 949 plate. My guess is that the 616 just got skipped in the
process. These plates could be renewed thru 1961. The two on the
far left are thanks to Jake Eckenrode and are new to this website. The
TX0-949 was from Jerry McCoy and has been on this website for a couple years.
For 1962 Tractor Dealer plates followed the same formatting as the '58 above,
and were also multi-year plates renewable thru 1963. Again thanks to Jake
Eckenrode for the image.
For 1964 Tractor Dealer
continued on with the same formatting and colors as the previous release, but
for '64 they were single year plates. Thanks to Jake Eckenrode for the
At first glance there are a number of
changes for the 1966
Tractor Dealer. The colors are now blue on yellow, the word
Dealer now appears in place of Tractor, the year is displayed with 4 characters
and the TX has been separated from the serial number. Thanks to Jake
Eckenrode for the image. Check back next week for older Tractor Dealer
Here's a U.S. Marine
Veteran vanity plate. Thank you for your service to our
country. Now did I mention my disdain for plate frames?
The Masonic Blue Lodge
plate is no stranger to PA plate watchers, but unless you are a member of
ALPCA, you won't see a complete plate
grouping all together. The far left plate is from the original series
dating back to 1984, image from Clayton Moore. The next plate was part of
the number-for-number replacement in 2001 on the WWW base, image from Eric
Conner. Following the 2001 replacement, later plates saw the number series
jump ahead to M/B10000 as seen in the M/B11269 plate. Then there was a
short run of about 200 plates on the visitPA base but with all the features
still embossed. And finally, the current version with the logo, M/B and
plate legend all flat screened.
As stated in the past, the purpose of
this website is to help document and record Pennsylvania license plate history,
both in words and pictures. This website has also been fortunate enough to
receive data, pictures and other research material from many generous
individuals in support of the history and the hobby. Today is one of those
special days with the first round of Tractor Dealer
plates from Jake Eckenrode. Those of you who know Jake know that he is the
consummate collector of PA plates and author of a book and several articles.
The plates this week are from changeover in 1971 up thru 1979. Over the
next couple weeks additional Tractor Dealer plates will be shown as far back as
1916, believed to be the first year of production.
In 1971 all types of full-size Dealer plates
acquired a brand new fresh look. The new series consisted of New Car
Dealer, Used Car Dealer, Motor Vehicle Business, Tractor Dealer and Trailer
Dealer. All plate types except the Motor Vehicle Business used the same
legend 'DEALER', the different types could be identified by the prefix and
suffix code, i.e. A10-000A - New Car Dealer, B10-000B - Used Car Dealer,
C10-000C - Motor Vehicle Business, D10-000D - Tractor Dealer, and E10-000E -
Trailer Dealer. This extremely nice Tractor Dealer
plate shown here is likely the first plate produced, and as stated above was
provided thanks to Jake Eckenrode.
For 1972 the same Tractor Dealer
format is retained except for the date now being 1972. Note also that
throughout this series the plate serial number never rises much above 12-000,
meaning slightly more than 2000 plates issued. After all, tractor
dealerships aren't like car dealers. In fact many of the 1960s and '70s
farm tractor dealerships have ceased to exist. Thanks to Jake Eckenrode
for this image.
This is the first image of a 1973 Tractor Dealer
plate. Again the formatting follows along with the arrangement started in
1971 with only the year changing.
The 1974 Tractor Dealer
plate has no changes except for the
year. Thanks to Jake Eckenrode for this image.
The 1975 - 76 Tractor
Dealer plate has a couple changes. These are two-year undated
plates with two sticker wells, each intended to accommodate one sticker.
Thanks to Jake Eckenrode for this image.
Just as other plates had their colors
reversed for 1977, so did Tractor Dealer plates. In addition the plates
are back to a single year issue, and the plate legends have been reversed top to bottom
and vice-versa. This plate picture was also provided by Jake Eckenrode.
Finally from Jake this week is this 1978 Tractor Dealer
— a single year issue and very similar to the above plate except for the date.
In the interest of completing the run, this
1979 Tractor Dealer
plate was the final year of the D-series tractor dealer. These were
multi-year plates and could be renewed up until the
Equipment came out in late 1991. This is not a new image, and it's one
of my own.
This State House of
Representative plate is somewhat unusual in that it's on the visitPA
base with the HR in the suffix position. First one I've seen. Most visitPA
plates spotted so far have the HR in the prefix position. PA has 203 house
legislative districts, so plates can range from HR1 to HR203 and 203HR to 1HR.
Click the link above for more images of PA political plates. This plate
picture was sent by Colin M.
The two plates to the immediate left are
some of the last DARE
plates issued. DARE is an acronym for Drug Abuse Resistance Education,
the proceeds of the sale of these supported the DARE Fund. These plates were
introduced in September of 1996, on the black base (above left), and were very
successful. Then in late 2005 the plates were switched to the visitPA
family of plates. Looking at the registration numbers, there were some
33,500 DARE plates registered at the end of 2005, then following the change in
the plate design, the number of plates on the street actually declined faster
than sales could keep up, so that by the end of 2014 there were fewer than 20-thousand DARE
plates on the street. The center left plate was provided by Steve Ondik,
and right plate is thanks to
These are not new plate pictures. The
plate on the far left was a replacement plate for one of the yellow on blue
plates when they were reissued on the www base. That series ran from A/L00001 to
A/L02002. Following that, any plates that were issued after the replacement started at
A/L02500, as shown on the near left plate picture. This practice of
leaving a gap in numbers has been seen on almost all organizational plates that existed prior to the
changeover to the www base. Thanks to
Irazabal for doing much of the research on the
number patterns. Gradually I am attempting to group organizational
Here's the first example of a personalized
or vanity St.
Joseph's University plate. The S/J is required, then up to
five alpha or numeric characters are allowed, but no special characters.
Irazabal get the credit for this image.
In the Amateur Radio
history section, a 1957 Amateur Radio plate picture was needed. These plates
first came out in 1956, and while there was no legend on the plates at the time
indicating the plate type, the FCC call sign is the give away. In the
early years of these plates, most Amateur Radio plates used a 'W' or a 'K'
prefix followed by a '3' to designate that PA is in region 3. Numbers
other than 3 are sometimes seen indicating a call sign from outside region 3.
Click the link above for more images and information on PA Amateur Radio plates.
This plate picture was provided by Clayton Moore.
If you have an interest in Pennsylvania
License plates, there are several other websites that offer a different
Check out Tom Perri's
PA Plates site, just updated with
all the latest highs;
Last, but certainly not least, Rick
Kretschmer, (Rick's Plates)
offers an excellent historical layout.
While not a PA collector, Jordan
Irazabal is the low-number Delaware
3000 plate guru, and a major contributor to the PA effort.
Here's the first picture of one of the new
Honoring Our Veterans special fund plate. The picture was
provided by Marlin Horan. The plate series began at H/V0101. As I
opined in the past, the tiny graphic does a disservice to the veterans it is
intended to honor. As of 10/23 there are about 16 of these plates in use.
This low number Veteran plate is
one of those where I use the term 'reserve issue'. When Veteran plates
were first issued, the over-the-counter plates began at 00100U/S. Then
lower number plates were spotted on vehicles and also seen in the hands of a
state representative getting his picture taken. Of course efforts to get
an explanation of the low-number plate from the politician were futile. So
far the plate gallery shows plates 1, 2, 5, 14 and 15. On the high side
the series is now over 02200U/S. The number 5 plate shown hear is courtesy
The high and the low of it.Tom Perri
again makes these two images ofWest Chester
University plates possible. West Chester began their plate
program in 2005 and have so far issues some 400 plates, with the reported low
and high shown here.
And from Steve Ondik comes this U.S. Marine
Corps Veteran sporting a new high number. These plates came
out in late 2009 or early 2010 and started at 10001M/C.
two pictures on the far left are West Chester
University Campus Use license plates. WCU is the only known PA college
campus to use an official Campus Use license plate. This other picture of
a Moravian College
Campus Use vehicle with some kind of what appears to be a made-up
piece of card stock based on the Moravian College plate. Its official
status is unknown. Anyone aware of any others?
Here's a numeric progression of Expeditionary
Forces Veteran plate photos. I only had a single image of the
strange 'intermediate' version of this plate type shown on the three plates
starting on the left, then over the last few days I spotted the above plates in
the 22-hunderd and 23-hundred series. The current format is the 24-hundred
series version, now on the visitPA family of plates base which came out at the
end of 2014 depicting the actual medal. Credit for the E/F2171 plate goes
to Brendan Sherry, and the E/F2405 plate to Ryan Battin.
First generationFarm Truck History
high number has been revised. Farm Truck plates first came out in 1977 on the
blue-on-yellow base. Thanks to a recent plate acquisition by Clayton
Moore, we have a better idea of when the the plates switched over to the
yellow-on-blue base. The change took place somewhere between FM-45328,
which is still on the blue-on-yellow, and FM-48650 which is on the
yellow-on-blue base. Anyone have something in between?