|1948 LOUISIANA AUTOMOBILE PLATES|
The license year 1948 saw plates return to embossed steel. Finally newly restyled automobiles were available at dealerships, although customers had to pay more than invoice prices and fight to get them. Material shortages would start to develop again as the United States became involved in Asian conflicts, but shortages would not apparently affect license plate production.
Class 1 vehicles, which encompassed most passenger vehicles, paid a $3.00 rate, superceding any requirements regarding weight or type of tire. These stipulations under Acts 191, 346, and 373 of 1940 (amending earlier Highway Regulatory Act 286 of 1938) were approved by a vote of the people under a constitutional amendment in 1940.
The 1948 plate was again a single, issued to the rear of the vehicle, and said to have been manufactured by S&G Adams of St. Louis. The style of the 1948 pelican is the same as it was for 1947 and 1949, with no change. In 1948 and thereafter, the 19 was separated from the last two years of the date until 1964-65, when the "19" was eliminated entirely. Exceptions were the odd years of 1951 1953 1955 and 1957 which had combined dates. As renewal stickers began to be used after 1976, only the last two digits of the year were commonly used.
All 1948 plates were the same size, regardless of number of digits. The reason for the choice of color base of the material also has been lost to history, at least for now. There are not any known major varieties. There were now ten regional offices issuing license plates, with the Lafayette office first opening in 1946. No new offices were opened in 1948, but Ruston would open the next year.
It is not believed that general issues took place below 1000. The highest known surviving 1948 number is evidently 409,886, but according to Eric Tanner's research, some numbers were evidently skipped. Registrations for 1948 rose as new vehicles were finally available. Soldiers were home from overseas assignments, with most of those who wanted to return having done so by the end of 1946. Registrations set a new record high, as they would continue to do until the economic depression of 1984.
This was the last year for the "smiling Pelican." Starting in 1949 the beak would be pointing down.
In 1948, there was no title law in Louisiana. This was to be rectified in 1950.
The New Orleans area had but one bridge across the Mississippi River, the Huey P. Long combined Southern Pacific railroad and highway bridge, built to carry the "Old Spanish Trail" (US Highway 90). There were no "freeways" in or around the Crescent City at the time. However, this year, 1948, did see the creation of a Causeway Commission, which would begin the planning for a bridge across Lake Pontchartrain.