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10 Interesting Facts about License Plates

License plates (or registration plates) have been around for vehicles for over 100 years. Like most things, they started out being used in only some places with limited effectiveness and over the years they became standardized and a part of every vehicle on the road.

Here are 10 interesting facts about license plates over the years. 

  1. France was first country to introduce a ‘registration plate’ in 1893 with the passage of the Paris Police Ordinance.
  2. The Netherlands was the first country to introduce a nationally registered license plate in 1898.
  3. New York was the first US state to require automobiles to have license plates in 1901. These plates were made by the individual owners and were only required to have the owner’s initials clearly visible on back of vehicle.
  4. Massachusetts became first state to issue license plates beginning in 1903. These plates were numbered numerically starting with 1.
  5. The earliest license plates were made of porcelain baked onto iron or were ceramic with no backing. This made them extremely fragile and easy to break.
  6. A potato was the first graphic on a license plate in 1928 in the state of Iowa.
  7. Many people collect license plates and rare vintage plates in good condition can sell for thousands of dollars.
  8. Standardization of license plate size happened in 1957 when automobile manufacturers got together with governments and standards organizations. Before this, the size of license plates varied between jurisdictions (and in some cases within the same jurisdiction).
  9. In 1979 a man in California got personalized plates for his car that read ‘NO PLATE’. Over the next several months he received over 2,500 notices of citations as he was receiving unpaid citations for any car that was designated as having ‘no plate’.
  10. During World War II some plates were made from soybean based fiberboard to conserve metal usage which was needed for war efforts. 
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You Can Now Collect Signatures

With the latest update to the InspectARide app you now have the ability to collect an electronic signature as part of your inspection and it’s very easy to do. All you have to do is include a ‘Signature Line’ in your template and then simply tap on it and sign it. This feature is one we’ve had quite a few people ask for and we’re excited to get it in your hands! 

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Brief History of Ford – The early Years (1903-1915)

Ford Motor Company is one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers and has played a critical part of the evolution of the automobile over the years. This post is going to take a look at some of its early years.

Founded by Henry Ford

The founder of the Ford Motor Company was Henry Ford who was born on his family’s farm in 1863 in Michigan. He was expected to take over the family farm but at the age of 16 left home to work as an apprentice machinist in Detroit. Over the next 20 years he worked on steam engines, learned book keeping and eventually was promoted to Chief Engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company in 1893. In his spare time he worked on his own projects specifically focusing on building a gasoline-powered horseless carriage. During this time he built the Ford Quadricycle and began looking at ways to improve it. In 1899 he resigned from the Edison Company to found the Detroit Automobile Company which was dissolved less than two years later. He then helped form the Henry Ford Company (later renamed the Cadillac Automobile Company) in late 1901 which he left the following year to form the Ford & Malcomson Ltd partnership. This partnership was reincorporated as the Ford Motor Company on June 16, 1903.

Early Car Models

The first car produced by Ford was the Ford Model A which began production in 1903. The vehicle sold for a base price of $750 and had a top speed of 28 mph. They continued to improve on this first model and released new models over the next several years such as the Model B, Model C, Model K, Model S and more. The Model T was introduced in 1908 and is the most important car in Ford’s history. The Model T was seen as the first affordable automobile and made owning a car possible for middle-class America. Due to innovations in the production process Ford was able to manufacture automobiles much faster and cheaper than ever before and their sales reflected this. In 1909 production for the Model T was 10,666 and by 1913 this grew to 170,211. Overall, 16.5 million Model Ts were sold.

Moving Assembly Line

The introduction of the moving assembly line allowed Ford to grow quickly as they were able to produce cars significantly faster than ever before. This allowed Ford to decrease production time from 12.5 man-hours per vehicle to roughly 1.5 hours per vehicle. In fact the cars were being produced so quickly that the drying of the paint became the bottleneck for production which led Ford to switch to only painting cars with Japan black as it was the only paint that would dry fast enough for their process. Ford continued to improve their process with the focus being on quicker production. This was hard on employees and led to high worker turn over. Ford responded by increasing worker pay to $5 a day and cutting shifts from nine hours to eight hours a day. Ford was actually criticized by Wall Street for it’s generous labor practices.

Much More to Talk About

There is so much more to talk about with Ford and we’ll cover it further in a future post.