Wednesday, September 14, 2011

License to Collect

Remember last week when I talked about how much I love this envelope, the one that contained my renewal sticker for my license plate?  Well, today I'm going to take on the real thing.

I think I was inspired by Monday's episode of American Pickers (if you're an Ephemeraologist and you're not watching "Pickers" yet: run, don't walk, to your library and rent Season 1!).  Frank and Mike are in Detroit and they come across a leather license plate from 1908, made specifically for an Oldsmobile.  Leather!  I had no clue that this was the origin of the plate!  Of course they moved on to metal eventually but along the way some were made with a porcelain enamel too.

If you're my age or thereabouts (almost 43!), no doubt you played the license plate game when you went on long trips.  I loved it.  I liked pretending that each state was a different country and I just enjoyed the different designs and colors on the different plates.  Of course, in the Seventies those plates were pretty cut and dry - the plate was one color and the numbers/letters were another.  This was before the days of the vanity plate and all of the different causes/schools/sports teams choices one can make today.

I also wanted to get the license plate offer from Honeycomb cereal SO badly!  I think we might've but that information is lost to antiquity.  I'll ask my sister - she's better at remembering stuff like that!

Besides that wonderful renewal envelope, I have a couple of license plate items that make me smile.  For example:

These guys!  It says they're from 1979 but I have no recollection of seeing them as a 10-11 year-old (and I TOTALLY would've coveted these back then!).  The ones I have are/were sealed, so it's a fun surprise to open them up and see which stickers you get!  :D  I had gotten a lot of these quite a while back but I let my nieces open them and take the stickers (because I'm an indulgent "Auntie"!  :D).  This batch, which I just got from Tiny Things are Cute, are staying with me.  As you can see I did open one for this photo - it was like I was 11 again!  :D

Here is another item that makes me swoon - these keychain license plate identifiers!  I'm lucky - most of these that I own came from a lot in an auction quite some time ago that included some old skeleton keys, S&H stamps (why I wanted it) and some buttons, I believe.  But then I looked and found these - and I was hooked!  They were made by the Disabled Veterans of America, and if found you could return it postage paid.  Aren't they cute and clever?  Seems to me that others have also caught on how cool they are, because they command a hefty price on Ebay (don't hate me, but I think the whole lot of these cost me five bucks). My lot runs from 1952-1973 for the Wisconsin tags and I don't know what year the one from Nebraska was made.

I haven't as of yet made any art dealing with license plates, but there's always tomorrow!  Seems to me those tiny keychains are screaming to be made into a mixed-media assemblage piece......stay tuned!  :D

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