New York State license plates might be something you never think of. They have one pretty significant fact about them that is pretty significant in history though.

That would be the fact that they actually were the first in the United States. You read that right. New York State was the first state in the country to require automobiles to have a license plate. Then New York decided to do a very New York thing.

So even though in 1901 the Empire State required plates on vehicles, they didn't provide them. Instead, you would have to make one yourself. So it would have really paid off to have a blacksmith around. Or knew someone who could work well with leather to fashion one for you that way. Another thing worth thinking about is how many cars were even on the road in 1901. Vehicles just were not prevalent.

Another nifty little thing about those initial plates, they were actually vanity plates before those were a thing. Every plate had to actually have the owner's initials on them instead of an actual plate number. That stayed in place for a solid 9 years until 1910 when New York took a different route when it came to license plates.

So even though now you have to pay for plates, or worry about ones that peel, at least you don't have to get creative when it comes to them. Oh, the technology.

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