Posts Tagged ‘New York (state)’

On April 25, 1901, New York became the first state in the nation to require drivers to feature license plates on their automobiles. Though other states would soon follow New York’s lead, many states imposed the requirement without making the licenses readily available. Instead, car owners crafted licenses from materials such as house numbers, leather, and other items. When they appeared, government-made licenses were usually made of porcelain and later steel, though materials as diverse as plastic and soybeans have also been used. License plate sizes varied widely until a national standard was settled upon in 1956, the same year the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 funded the interstate highway system that allowed for faster travel across the country. New York also became the first state to require a driver’s license in 1910, though this was only mandated for chauffeurs.

A rear view of a 1913 Packard 48. Image courtesy of Detroit Public Library

Opening History has several collections relevant to automobile history, including Making of Modern Michigan: Digitizing Michigan’s Hidden Past, which extensively documents the history of the automobile industry in Michigan and its impact on local communities.

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145 years ago, on April 27, 1865, the New York State Senate created Cornell University as the state’s land grant institution.
The Opening History aggregation includes five digital collections created by or with participation from Cornell University:
HEARTH (Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition, and History)
Cornell University Collection of Political Americana
Making of America (MoA): Cornell University
Core Historical Literature of Agriculture

New York State Historical Literature Collection.

The full-text digitized version of this newsletter, “Extension Work in Agriculture and Home Economics in New York during 1918” published in 1919 by Cornell University’s College of Agriculture (below) is courtesy of HEARTH digital collection.

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