Why Identification Plates Were First Made

Identification Plates

Identification plates are made to identify a number of things and can be called by a few different terms, depending on its use. For example, if a metal nameplate is used to show people the model and make of a particular appliance or piece of machinery, then this can be easily called a model and serial number plate. If it is used to tell people what to do or what to avoid when operating machinery or equipment, then these can be called warning and instructional plates.

Different kinds of identification plates have different uses, and we covered a few of these in a previous post. With so many different types available for people to use, you tend to wonder, when did people start using identification plates and what is the precursor of these many different plates? When were ID plates first made and what were these first used on?

According to the history of St. Paul Stamp Works, the first known metal plate was manufactured in 1911, and this was a stamped chauffer’s badge. This was actually a couple of years before Henry Ford made the automobile available to the masses. It is also known that in 1925, the same company, St. Paul Stamp Works, crafted the first ever vehicle license plate which was used in the city of St. Paul.

While there may be other stories that can talk about when and where identification plates were first made, this is one that can be substantiated by the company that crafted these early name plates. In time, more and more varieties of metal nameplates were crafted to serve a wide variety of needs. These include bar code and UID plates, decorative plates, dog tags and plaques.

Identification plates have evolved from a simple chauffer’s badge to something that can mark machinery, automobiles, appliances and many more. These can also be used to decorate items and to warn people of dangers. In short, identification plates have come a long way and is now something that many industries will need for more years to come.