Tennessee used the same county numbering scheme, at least from 1936 through 1956 when the paltes were die cut to the shape of the state.
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2010 04:07:31 +0000
Subject: =CROSLEY= Florida license plates.
Florida license plates.
By Geoff Dobson
There was a time before 1986 and the adoption of "Alpha-numeric" Florida license plates when one could tell the county someone was from by the number of their license plate. In those days, the name of the county was not imprinted on the bottom of Florida plates. The bottom of the plate bore the legend "Sunshine State" except in 1951 when the slogan "Keep Florida Green" was imprinted. The slogan only lasted a year. It led to all kind of jokes relating to support of tourism.
The first numbers on the plate before the hyphen indicated the number of the county based on its population in 1938. Dade County, of course, was number 1. Duval County was number 2.
The license plate number would also tell us the weight of the car. Someone with a Packard might have a "WW" license plate indicating that the vehicle weighed more than 4,500 lbs., while a Crosley Hotshot would have a "T" license plate indicating that it weighed under 2,000 lbs. A DeSoto might have a "W" license plate (3,500 to 4,500 lbs.) while a Studebaker had a plain plate (2000 to 3,500 lbs.). A Hillman Minx might have a "D" plate (2000 and 2,500 lbs.)
The alpha-numeric numbers were instituted when they ran out of room on license plates. There wasn't enough room to print 10 WW- and then the number of the plate.
Some states still continue with a system of numbering the counties on the license plates. Generally, the game of identifying counties by license plate number has disappeared.