Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Plates of War: 1942 through 1944

During the World War II era, Indiana, like all other states, had to ration materials that were necessary to maintain the American war effort. That meant the state had to implement several measures to keep registering vehicles for the duration:
  • 1942's front plates were to be turned in at the time of registration in 1943, per the order of Governor Henry Schricker. The governor also requested anyone who had a collection of old plates turn those in as well; thankfully, it does appear this particular request didn't garner much compliance.
  • In 1943, a small tag was issued and the motorist mounted it over the lower portion of his/her 1942 rear plate, or, as best I can tell, instead of a rear plate if the vehicle did not have one.
  • In 1944, the previously turned-in 1942 plates were "reprocessed" (flattened, cut down and restamped) and reissued in a smaller size, dated for 1944 and with new numbers. Some "new" plates were also made (like the one in my collection), but a good many reprocessed plates are still in existence, even today, some 65 years after the event.

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