British Columbia Passenger License Plates
1924-1929

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In 1924, the Provincial Government again advertised the license plate contract, this time through ads in the Vancouver and Victoria newspapers starting on May 23rd and closing on June 16th. The Attorney General subsequently announced that two bids had been received for the 1925 contract; one being from J.R. Tacey &S on for $14,510.00 and the other from the B.C. Iron Works in Victoria for $15,158.00, and that the contract had gone to J.R. Tacey & Son as the lowest bidder.
Dave Hollins CollectionOne of the most visible changes introduced to BC license plates in 1924 was the full spelling of the province's name across the bottom of the plate. Reflecting a trend that was occurring throughout North America as the road system became more extensive, states and provinces were replacing acronyms with the proper spelling of their names in order to avoid any confusion in neighbouring jurisdictions. The 1924 plates also marked the introduction of a unique set of slanted dies - likely in an effort to thwart counterfeiters and would be used by Tacey through 1927.
1924
2-digit
Ron Garay Collection
Issuing Statistics
Initial Series:
1 to 45,000
Registered:
(unknown)
Over-run:
(not applicable)
Issued:
Pairs
Manufacturer:
J.R. Tacey & Sons
Dimensions:
343 mm x 149 mm
Material:
Steel
Comments:
First year that an acronym was replaced by the full spelling of "British Columbia".
Also the first year that Tacey would use the slanted dies that would distinguish BC plates from most other jurisdictions over the next 30 years.
* Estimate / Unconfirmed
Rn Garay Collection
1925
1-digit
2-digit
3-digit
Issuing Statistics
Initial Series:
1 to 55,000
Registered:
43,336
Over-run:
3,500
Issued:
Pairs
Manufacturer:
J.R. Tacey & Sons
Dimensions:
340 mm x 147 mm
Material:
Steel
Comments:
...
* Estimate / Unconfirmed
Jon Ilnytzky Collection
A rare example of a license plate from the 1920s produced by the J.R. Tacey & Son company of Vancouver with its wax paper cover still intact (top right). As their slogan states; "Let British Columbia Flourish by her Industries".
1926
1-digit
2-digit
3-digit
Issuing Statistics
Initial Series:
1 to 60,000
Registered:
56,272
Over-run:
9,000
Issued:
Pairs
Manufacturer:
J.R. Tacey & Sons
Dimensions:
338 mm x 148 mm
Material:
Steel
Comments:
Terrible paint year; the white background did not stand-up very well to the elements and it is very difficult to find examples that are not discoloured or faded.
* Estimate / Unconfirmed
Jon Ilnytzky Collection
Ron Garay Collection
Similar questions were asked of the Attorney General regarding the1926 contract on December 9, 1925. The A.G. advised that three tenders had been received, these being from St Thomas Metal Signs Limited (Ontario) at $9,934.60; J.R. Tacey & Son (Vancouver) at $10.795, and Shanks Sign Company (New York) at $12,702.50 plus duty. Despite not presenting the lowest bid, the contract was again awarded to Tacey on the basis that the "advertisement calling for tenders stated manufacture of plates in British Columbia would be given preference, and the successful tender was the only one who complied with this condition, and in addition the plates were of superior quality."
To a further question of whether "on [the] original tender different dies to those used in 1925 were to be used?", the Attorney General replied that "when tenders were called it was proposed to use a different style of number to that used in 1925 ... [however,] after Purchasing Agent accepted tender of J.R. Tacey & Son the Police Department recommended that the same style of plates as in use in 1925 be used."
The irony of the above statement from the Attorney General is, of course, that the 1926 series turned out to be one of the worst years for quality as the paint is notorious for having faded, chipped, peeled, cracked and become generally discoloured. Finding a 1926 in excellent to mint condition is, therefore, almost as difficult as finding a 1921 base with matching tab.
1927
1-digit
2-digit
Tom Lindner Collection
Issuing Statistics
Initial Series:
1 to 44,000*
Registered:
63,595
Over-run:
33,000
Issued:
Pairs
Manufacturer:
J.R. Tacey & Sons
Dimensions:
340 mm x 148 mm
Material:
Steel
Comments:
...
* Estimate / Unconfirmed
Ron Garay Collection

In 1928, Tacey introduced a new set of dies, which would be used again in 1929, which would be the last year that license plates were produced for the province by Tacey (which they did at a cost of $0.14/pair, or $14,000 for the contract).
1928
1-digit
2-digit
3-digit
Issuing Statistics
Initial Series:
1 to 90,000
Registered:
70,828
Over-run:
(not applicable)
Issued:
Pairs
Manufacturer:
J.R. Tacey & Sons
Dimensions:
340 mm x 147 mm
Material:
Steel
Comments:
...
* Estimate / Unconfirmed
Ron Garay Collection
Ron Garay Collection
1929
1-digit
2-digit
3-digit
Issuing Statistics
Initial Series:
1 to 99,999
Registered:
78,065
Over-run:
(not applicable)
Issued:
Pairs
Manufacturer:
J.R. Tacey & Sons
Dimensions:
345 mm x 148 mm
Material:
Steel
Comments:
The stated number of plates produced for 1929 is based upon a response to a question in the Legislative Assembly by the Attorney General on March 14, 1929.
* Estimate / Unconfirmed
4-digit
Ron Garay Collection

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