About This Site: About Me

I discovered my Dad's old 1960's plates from Kansas and Wisconsin in the mid-1970's while we lived in Massachusetts. Shortly after, I bought a group of old Maine plates dated from 1920 to 1930 at a yard sale.  Having previously collected stamps and coins, I thought it might be fun to complete the rest of the Maine run up to the then-current 1974 base, and fill in the remaining older plates.  This proved to be anything but easy; I was soon to learn about porcelains, brass plates, windshield stickers, tabs and undated plates.  After several years, I finally finished a very nice Maine run, complete except for the 1947 windshield sticker.  I wish I still had them today! In those days, I never did acquire a complete run of my home state, or a 50-state set.  Skipping steps in collecting became a pattern for one stage, I assembled a set of 1,200 Wyoming car plates of all 23 counties and all years from 1930 on, which still exists complete today in Wyoming. 

I received my ALPCA membership as a Christmas gift in 1979.  When the first newsletter came, I was instantly engrossed in a new world.  The evolution of each state's plate design and numbering format was fascinating.  I started studying each state history article and later borrowed older newsletters to expand my knowledge further.  I wrote my first feature article on Rhode Island plates in 1986.  As time passed, I became more involved in ALPCA activities, including writing the column Winning Numbers from 1992 to 2002, co-authoring License Plates County Codes of the United States and Canada in 1995, serving two terms on the Board of Directors in 1997-2001, and serving as ALPCA Archivist from 2009 to 2014.  Starting January 1, 2017, I've been appointed as Editor of ALPCA's PLATES Magazine.  Each one of these accomplishments has been incredibly rewarding!

Presently, I work as a concert violinist in a symphony orchestra in Michigan, where I reside with my wife and two daughters.  I specialize in low numbers, porcelains, slogan/pictorial plates and of course, research on old plates.  I'll probably keep this obsession going until the mystery of the meaning of the letters on the 1910-13 Kentucky porcelain plates is solved, or maybe that will spur me on even more!  In the meantime, happy collecting!

Eric Tanner