Growing up through the 70's and 80's here in Maine, I never really gave much thought to license plates. Mostly because I was nowhere old enough to drive. But they also didn't change much. they were always just a plain white plate, with black letters and numbers on it. Nothing special.

When I got to be a sophomore or junior in high school, that changed. The state decided we were going to switch over to those ridiculous plates with the lobster on them. If you got right up close, you could definitely tell it was a lobster, but from farther away, a lot of folks complained that they looked like cockroaches.

I'm not totally sure I agree with that sentiment, but I'd love to be back in the 90's where apparently the worst thing we had to debate about politically was the shape of the critter on our license plates. To me, it looks more like a crawfish or something like that. I mean, it has 8 legs. Insects only have 6, right?

Fast forward to today, and you can have almost anything in the world on a license plate. Not to mention all the different types of plates we can choose from. Pine cones, loons, flags, pink ribbons... there's a plate for every occasion. But back 100 years ago, things were a bit more straightforward.

So, why don't we all take a walk down Memory Lane, and check out what plates used to look like going back almost 120 years. We go back as far as 1905, all the way up to 1993. After that, most of us can all remember what our plates looked like. But they had a lot of cool colors too. At any rate, enjoy the history.

 

Vintage Maine License Plates

Here's a sweet collection of vintage and antique Maine license plates from the last 100 years.

How to avoid hitting a deer and what to do if you do

LOOK: Route 66’s quirkiest and most wonderful attractions state by state

Stacker compiled a list of 50 attractions--state by state--to see along the drive, drawing on information from historic sites, news stories, Roadside America, and the National Park Service. Keep reading to discover where travelers can get their kicks on Route 66.