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Ontario was the first province in Canada that passed a law in 1903 that required motorists to pay $2 for a leather licence shield adorned with aluminum numbers. John C. Eaton bought the first two — one for his 1903 Winton (likely pictured above), and the second for his National electric vehicle.
Dr. Perry Doolittle, who would later found CAA, bought the third of what would eventually be 178 plates issued that year. The fourth plate, issued to Howard Chandler still exists today and is held by his descendants. As of this writing only a handful are known to survive.
I’ve also listed in the second chart below all the known fake leather plates to help novice collectors avoid a potential costly mistake. By no means are the fake plate sections below and on subsequent pages meant to “out” collectors – it is simply a registry. For example, I own fake #80 leather in my own collection!
Skip to: Fake Leather Plates
Ontario Early Years Plate Registry, Eric Vettoretti 2017
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