Pre-state issues

Pre-state issues should exist for all counties, but not all are accounted for. Most counties would issue vehicle owners a number, and it would be up to the owner to display it on the vehicle. Examples include numbers painted on bumpers; house numbers attached to a leather strip; numbers engraved in a block of wood. Most were porcelain, though, and contracted to Ingram-Richardson Mfg. Co. in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania or Baltimore Enamel and Novelty Co. in Maryland. To cover the cost of making porcelains, many examples feature advertising, almost always by the dealer that sold the car. Known advertising: Gibbes Machinery Co (Columbia), W.E Vernon (Florence), G.C. Chandler (Florence), D.W. Alderman (Florence), DuPre Auto Co. (Columbia)
Pre-state issues known from the following counties:


Abbeville

This is one of the few known leather surviving plates from SC. House numbers tacked to a metal-base, leather wrapped.



Aiken


Three porcelain variations known. Undated; 1914, 1917




Anderson

The only known example is leather, abbreviated AND

Bamberg

House numbers on wood


Barnwell


Two porcelain variations known to exist, both undated. One with Gibbes Machinery advertising logo.


Beaufort


One porcelain variety known: motorcycle-sized; undated


Charleston


One porcelain variety known; undated


Cherokee/Gaffney


One undated porcelain variety known. Marked both Cherokee and Gaffney.


Clarendon


One porcelain variety known; dated 1916


Darlington


Three porcelain varieties known, all undated. D.W. Alderman and W.E. Vernon advertising known.


Edgefield


One variety of undated porcelain known.


Florence


Three undated variations known - all have dealer advertisement: D.W. Alderman, W.E. Vernon and G.C. Chandler


Greenville


1915 metal known; 1917 porcelain known


Lexington


Undated porcelain known.
House numbers affixed to wood. (Courtesy of SC State Museum)

Newberry


Two undated porcelain varietys known.


Oconee


1916 and 1917 known. Both stenciled onto painted metal.


Orangeburg


Two undated porcelain varieties known; one with D.W. Alderman advertising logo.


Richland/Columbia


Believed to be the first known issue in South Carolina, beginning in 1910. Black plate is believed to have been in use for multiple years. 1916 motorcycle-sized porcelain known.
Gibbes Machinery Co. (shown) and DuPre Auto Co. advertising known on undated porcelains.











Saluda


One undated porcelain variety known.


Spartanburg


Undated porcelain known; 1916 porcelain known; 1916 motorcycle, curved fender porcelain known.





Sumter


One undated porcelain variety known.


credit for some photos, and for more information, see http://porcelainplates.net/southcarolina_archive.html

below is a black-and-white image from a collector magazine, circa 1980's: