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 any remaining older plates. This proved to be anything but easy; I was soon to learn about undated porcelains, brass plates, windshield stickers, tabs and plate variations. 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 followed the typical steps of building a complete run of my home state, or a 50-state set. That's the beauty of this hobby...there are no rules.
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. Since 2017, I've been 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 especially 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!
Have old plates to sell? Yes, I do buy collections! Although that isn't the main purpose of this website, I am a major, reputable collector and will pay well for the plates I need. For that reason, I will probably pay more for your or your relative's collection than most license plate dealers since I'm a private collector and not a dealer. If interested, please call me at (616) 456-7330. It's an old-school land line, so no texting. When I'm not home, leave me a voice mail and I will get back to you promptly.
Happy collecting and please enjoy all that this website has to offer!
Eric Tanner, ALPCA #3148, Europlate #600