Jake Wimberley's License Plates

Connecticut Permanents

Connecticut began issuing plates in 1937 that were meant to be used permanently, with date tabs (the metal predecessors to today's renewal decals/stickers) issued annually to drivers who already had the "permanent" base. The plates are made of heavy aluminum with minimal paint to chip. I admire the simple and practical design of these plates enough that I began to specifically look for them.

The plates were redesigned twice during their run, but the tabs could be used with any of the designs (motorists were not required to replace the older-style bases). The series ended in 1956, when the U.S. government required states to adhere to a 6 x 12 inch rectangular standard size, still in use today. The plate that Connecticut used starting in 1956 did have a blue painted background, but metal tabs were still used to revalidate that plate until decals were used in the early '60s. The state continues somewhat of a tradition of "permanent" plates today; plate redesigns are still few and far between.

Seen here is the current state of my attempt at forming a "run" of the plates. The plates marked "COM" were issued to vehicles used in commercial service. In my current location in the Midwest, these plates are a pretty rare find even at collectors' meets. I hope to continue working on the run, if necessary, for the rest of my collecting days.

A middle-aged plate collector I met who grew up in New England told me that in his youth, discarded plates of this series were so plentiful in his area that they literally went for a dime a dozen, and he had never liked them enough to keep any around. What a shame!

Some of the better-graded plates from the run.

last updated 2011.10.03 :: return home