Friday, May 5, 2017

1953 Topps License Plates

Sometimes Often I buy stuff and have absolutely no good reason to do so. And sometimes it works out. Like the Batman Sketch Card project. I'm enjoying the hell of of that. I'm past a page of them now and still digging.

These 1953 Topps License Plates are a whole different matter. If I knew at some point that they existed I long ago forgot about them. When someone posted one on a blog a few months back I thought having a Maryland or New Jersey one would be cool.

I looked at COMC and found a bunch for about two bucks each. The fact that I went that route is weird, I never think to look for non-sports on COMC even after buying some Civil War News cards there.

Except for that California plate I have some sort of connection with each of these states.

I've lived in Maryland, New Jersey and Texas. I've visited (and come to love) Nebraska since my son was recruited by UNL and ended up going there. The only state I failed for find was New York. That's the other state I've lived in. I'll track one of those down at some point.

The backs of these things are more interesting than the front. I remember having to learn all the state capitals in elementary school. Some of the facts have changed in the 63 or so years since these were produced. I think 'largest city' is the same for all five. But 'population' have changed for all of them of course.

The Nebraska State Capitol building is just a block or two off the Husker campus. It's worth a visit if you are ever in Lincoln. Nebraska's population is now 1.9 million (as of 2013), about a half million higher than 1953. Each of those folks was at the Husker football games I attended.

I've never been to California. The population is now 38.3 million. That's a far cry from the 10.5 million of 1953.

Last month I was back in the Texas State Capitol building in Austin lobbying to protect teachers retirement benefits and pensions. As if they cared. Other notes of interest from the Texas card....the speed limit is now 80 in some parts of the state. And on a few roads I've been on doing 80 will get you run over. The 7.7 million people have now become 26.5 million. Nearly all of those people drive like idiots in pickup trucks.

The population of my home state of Maryland has risen from 2.3 million to just under 6 million. I'm ashamed to say I've never visited Annapolis. We hope to fix that the next time the University of Houston plays Navy up there in 2018. I like that the plate is orange and black, Orioles colors!

And last but not least, New Jersey. I was born in Maryland, lived in New York but I was mostly raised in New Jersey. In many ways it's my 'home' state. I have a shirt that shows the state with a slogan that reads: 'New Jersey, everyone hates us and we don't care!'.  I get a lot of comments on it. BTW..the population has about doubled to almost 9 million. I swear my Uncle Gerald knows at least 2/3 of them.

So, these were actually more fun to post than I thought they'd be. Now I'm off to find the New York plate.

Friday night Update:

Found a NY and a few more on eBay. And a Post Cereal version from 1960. I'll post those when they arrive.

For Mark H.: 3 3/4" wide by 1 7/8" tall. Like so................


  1. I love these. I was fascinated by license plates as a kid. In fact, if Topps were to make a current set of these, I'm sure I'd collect it.

  2. My dad collected these as a kid. Yes, way back in 1953. The license plate cards were one of his absolute favorites. They are sweet to say the least.

  3. I'll have to find a Ma. One. These are really cool. What size are they

  4. Very cool. They are larger than the 1950 set in my collection. As a lifelong car guy I have to love these, lol. If I had a garage I'd plaster the walls with old license plates.

  5. As a geography dude, I have to say this is cool post pops.

  6. I picked up my West Virginia plate a few weeks ago.