Mental Floss

State Plates: All 50 States in Convenient Souvenir Plate Form

Chris Higgins
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You've definitely seen them: commemorative state plates featuring landmarks and slogans from a particular state. I call them "state plates," but the official term among collectors is "souvenir state plates." They're often displayed in kitchens, and the designs range from kitschy to classy to impossibly bizarre -- see below for examples of each. According to CountryHome (in their "What's Hot Now" feature!), state plates have been around since the 1870s:

Souvenir state plates date back to the 1870s. When travel became more accessible thanks to cars, they became increasingly popular with jet-setting travelers. There are tons of unsigned, flea-market-type plates out there, but keep your eyes open for some big-name manufacturers, including Vernon Kilns, Homer Laughlin, Salem China Company, and even Wedgwood.

In the post below, I (with the able assistance of Sadie Eck, standing in as Mental_Floss State Plate Research Assistant for this post) have collected plates for ALL FIFTY STATES. I've picked out some favorites first, then the rest are in alphabetical order. Fun things to do while looking through them: count the states you've visited, count the states you've lived in, spot the craziest designs.

South Carolina

New Mexico

new_mexico
new_mexico /

Ohio

ohio
ohio /

West Virginia

west_virginia
west_virginia /

Oregon

oregon
oregon /

South Dakota

south_dakota
south_dakota /

Alaska

alaska
alaska /

Click the little numbers below to see the rest!

Alabama

alabama
alabama /

Arizona

arizona
arizona /

Arkansas

arkansas
arkansas /

California

california
california /

Colorado

colorado
colorado /

Connecticut

connecticut
connecticut /

Delaware

delaware
delaware /

Florida

florida
florida /

Georgia

georgia
georgia /

Hawaii

hawaii
hawaii /

Idaho

idaho
idaho /

Illinois

illinois
illinois /

Indiana

indiana
indiana /

Iowa

iowa
iowa /

Kansas

kansas
kansas /

Kentucky

kentucky
kentucky /

Louisiana

louisiana
louisiana /

Maine

maine
maine /

Maryland

maryland
maryland /

Massachusetts

massachusetts
massachusetts /

Michigan

michigan
michigan /

Minnesota

minnesota
minnesota /

Mississippi

mississippi
mississippi /

Missouri

missouri
missouri /

Montana

montana
montana /

Nebraska

nebraska
nebraska /

Nevada

nevada
nevada /

New Hampshire

new_hampshire
new_hampshire /

New Jersey

new_jersey
new_jersey /

New York

new_york
new_york /

North Carolina

north_carolina
north_carolina /

North Dakota

north_dakota
north_dakota /

Oklahoma

oklahoma
oklahoma /

Pennsylvania

pennsylvania
pennsylvania /

Rhode Island

rhode_island
rhode_island /

Tennessee

tennessee
tennessee /

Texas

texas
texas /

Utah

utah
utah /

Vermont

vermont
vermont /

Virginia

virginia
virginia /

Washington

washington
washington /

Wisconsin

wisconsin
wisconsin /

Wyoming

wyoming
wyoming /

Acknowledgements

This post is dedicated to Mr. Clinton Bowie, a gentleman and scholar who has dedicated much of his life to the study of State Plates whilst residing in The Beaver State, Oregon. Today also happens to be Mr. Bowie's thirtieth birthday. Happy birthday, Clint!

This post would not have been possible without research assistance by Sadie Eck. Thank you Sadie!

What Did I Leave Out?

Each state has many plates, and often a city or landmark will have its own plate. If you have a favorite plate, leave a link in the comments!

Want to buy a state plate? Tons of these are available on eBay and other places online. I recommend searching for, eg, "oregon state place -license" (to remove license plates from the search).

See also: list of state mottos, list of state slogans, and list of state nicknames.

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