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Hot Rods 1930 Pa plates different sizes

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by perk30, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. perk30
    Joined: Jun 22, 2009
    Posts: 321

    perk30
    Member

    I got a couple of 1930 Pa plates from some friends but they are different sizes.
    Anybody know why the plates would be different sizes? image.jpg
     
  2. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 7,105

    noboD
    Member

    There's more metal on the one? Actually I think 1930 is when the license bracket changed sizes. So maybe older cars got the big plates and new 1930 cars got smaller?
     
  3. 28-31
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 72

    28-31
    Member

    Back in those days, the plate size was not standardized. The plate was made whatever size needed to accommodate the letter/number sequence. (i.e. - The lower the number, the smaller the plate).

    Also, this varied by State, but the use of letter/number combinations was common to denote counties, cities, etc.
     
  4. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,591

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    maybe one was for a motorcycle or trailer ??
     
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  5. perk30
    Joined: Jun 22, 2009
    Posts: 321

    perk30
    Member

    Makes sense to me. Thanks for the responses
     
  6. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,092

    Clark
    Member

    I think that was the transition year...earlier plates were wider and the later plates narrower. Didn't know they had both sizes that year. Must have been a mid year change
    Clark
     
  7. As was stated before there was no standardized plate size or even shape for that matter.I recall seeing Tennessee plates that were actually shaped like the state(sort of a parallelogram).I have a set of 1949 Ohio plates that are made of a waffle pattern aluminum.They also offered steel plates that year as well.Back in the late 1930's Henry Ford was experimenting with soybean products and some states offered license plates made of soybean material that resembled plastic.From what I have read they didn't go over too well as certain farm animals thought they were edible and tried to eat them.
    Standardization(6 inches by 12 inches)did not become a law until 1957.
     
  8. redo32
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,599

    redo32
    Member

    I thought maybe the smaller plate was for a motorcycle and did a little google investigating. The m/c plates are 4 &1/2' tall. Penn varied the plate length with the number of numerals. I hadn't seen that before, I don't think anybody on the west coast did that.
     
  9. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,092

    Clark
    Member

    All of my 32-34 plates are five digit like your big plate but are small...same size as a modern plate but wider hole location

    I don't have any 31 plates for comparison...but if bet they are the smaller size...
    Clark
     

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  10. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922

    Fenders
    Member

    This makes sense. I'm looking for a 5-digit 1930 Mass. plate for the same reason: The 6-digit plates are longer.
     
  11. hdman6465
    Joined: Jul 5, 2009
    Posts: 652

    hdman6465
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ohio had 2 sizes up till 55, I think. 4 digits had the small, 5 digits the large.
     
  12. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,092

    Clark
    Member

    I did some searching and found some info....in 1930 pa went to a 5 digit tag so they didn't have to make the bigger tags.

    I didn't notice the first time I looked but your big tag is actually a small tag....compared to the 29. The four digit tag is smaller.

    I did have a what I think was a 32 boat tag for pa. It was the size of your smaller tag and looked like your tag but did have initials like mbl or something like that. A collector said they were rare.
     
  13. WDobos
    Joined: Jan 7, 2007
    Posts: 225

    WDobos
    Member

    PA's 4 digit plates were 2" shorter than the 5 digit plates for a number of years before PA came up with one size fits all. And those are both car plates you have there.
     

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