Courtesy, Pioneer Village, Corsicana, TX
This is a
“Pre-State” automobile license plate #415, issued in Corsicana, Texas prior to 1917. The plate is approximately 8” x 16”, is made of leather stitched over some type of metal plate, has 6” metal numbers affixed, and finally has “Corsicana” painted under the numbers. The number 415 would seem to indicate that this was for the 415th automobile licensed in Corsicana, Texas. In 1907 Texas House Bill #93 required that all motor vehicles used on public roads be registered with the county clerk. The vehicle received a number in the order registered in each county. That number, at least six inches in height, was required to be displayed "in a conspicuous place" on the vehicle. Registration began on Aug. 10, 1907. Each county had its own series, from "1" onward, so many duplicate numbers
existed. Owners provided their own plates, often made from aluminum house numbers attached to leather, or from wood, tin, etc. Most of these showed only the number, with no indication of the state or county. Many motorists used porcelain "kit plates" with interchangeable numbers and often the name of the city or county. These kits were made by a company in Chicago. Some motorists simply painted the number on the vehicle! These pre-1917 plates are called “Pre-State Plates”. In addition, some cities had county or city licenses in addition to that required by the state. In 1910 there were 14,286 registered vehicles in Texas.