Old photos

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Picture 11

Italian Red Cross

This picture, taken in Bergamo on March 1915, shows one of the very first ambulances on duty, with the plate CRI 1 of the Italian Red Cross. At that time these vehicles were not called ambulances yet, but "carri da letto" (wagons of bed) and from the picture it seems that they had not the same equipment they've got today!

The picture is taken from a postcard of the "Archivio Storico della Croce Rossa" of Bergamo and I must thank so very much for all his help about the vehicles of the Italian Red Cross.

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Picture 12

Order of Malta

This picture was taken in Rome in the 1960s and shows a plate of the Order of Malta (SMOM 33) mounted on a Fiat 600D Multipla, though it isn't very clear. The man standing on the right side is Roy Carson (ALPCA #17) and this picture is my way to remember someone who gave so much to the hobby of plate collecting and, unfortunately, passed away in April 2000.

You can find another picture of a plate SMOM 33 in the page of the Order of Malta (picture 1), but that was taken from another car, a Fiat Panda, and not from the Fiat 600 of this picture: this shows that the same plate number can be issued for several vehicles, even if not at the same time and in this way SMOM plates have always got low numbers. told me that he saw that same plate, SMOM 33, on a Fiat 500C Belvedere in 1962 and then on a Fiat Panda since the 1980s.

The picture is taken from the ALPCA Newsletter of October 1969 and I want to thank very much for sending it to me.

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Picture 13

Servizio Militare

This picture shows a prototype of the tractor of artillery constructed by Fiat in the 1910s and named "Tripoli". You can see very well a Servizio Militare (Military Service) plate on the side: these vehicles had always this kind of plate. There's nothing special in the picture, but I guess it's still interesting to see this old armoured vehicle!

This picture is taken from the book "La motorizzazione dell'Esercito fino al 1943" written by Ceva and Curami and I want to thank so very much for sending it to me.

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Picture 14

Test plate of the Red Cross

This picture was taken in 1932 and shows two vehicles that belong to the Italian Red Cross: the first on the left has got a normal front CRI plate, while the second has got a triangular test plate with the print "5 Roma" (though it isn't very clear), as provided for by the law of the time. Anyway this also is a vehicle of the Italian Red Cross and you can understand it from the cross drawn on the lights (there weren't sirens yet!) and on the front coat of arms. About the wrong usage of front test plates, read also the next box below.

I want to thank very much for this very interesting picture, taken from the magazine "Croce Rossa" of 1932.

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Picture 15

Strange test plates

This picture was snapped in Brescia between 1954 and 1958 and it shows a vehicle with two strange test plates mounted on the front: in the 1950s test plates should have been rectangular, there have never been front test plates and, last, they are two, as if one was for a trailer, but trailers have never had a test plate.

sent me his suggestion about these plates and I think it's very interesting. For sure they are two unofficial plates: triangular test plates (issued until 1933) had all the characters and the digits on just one line and were bigger. Anyway it's likely that the "real" triangular plates were placed on the rear of the truck and of the trailer and the use of so old test plates in the 1950s is not unbelievable because factories kept those plates for many years (you can still see many test plates issued in the 1960s). Also the rest seems to be fine: the truck is an OM, its factory is in Brescia and likely it had a large batch of test plates with very low numbers since its establishment, in 1927, then used for a long time; moreover OM was under the control of Fiat and it had the habit of making front test plates by itself. Probably the second plate was for the trailer: since there was not a test plate for them, a normal test plate was used, even if not needed.

I want to thank very much for this nice and interesting picture.

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Picture 16

Regia Marina

In this picture you can see a motorcycle of the Regia Marina (Royal Navy... RM does not stand for Rome!!). As you can see it had front motorcycle plates mounted on the mudguard exactly like the Regio Esercito and the Milizia della Strada.

This picture is taken from the Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare and I want to thank so much who sent it to me.

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Picture 17

Eritrea

This picture shows a vehicle Fiat used in Eritrea between 1930(?) and 1936: you can read clearly the full word "Eritrea" on the front plate. If you want to know more details about Italian colonial plates of that time, go to the page of colonial plates where you can find also many other images. I believe that this picture is very nice, with all the men over and around the vehicle, and for this reason I'm so happy to publish it on this web site.

I really want to thank Guido Bevegni who sent this picture to me.

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Picture 18

Polizia Stradale

In this photograph, snapped in Trieste in 1946, you can see a Jeep Willis, quite surely abandoned by the Americans after the Second World War, with the plate POLIZIA STRADALE (Traffic Police). This is very strange because Polizia Stradale is part of normal Police and therefore it uses the normal police plates. Anyway you can find other details about this in the section about Polizia Stradale.

This picture is taken from the issue of April 2001 of "La manovella".

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Picture 19

Abroad

This picture was taken in 1910 in Peio, a little town today in the province of Trento, but that at that time belonged to the Austro-Hungarian empire. What you see on the radiator is a temporary Austro-Hungarian plate: the Z means that it's a foreign vehicle that it's temporarily in the country, the E is the code for Tirolo and then there are a roman digit and three numbers, according to the law of the time. But you can see also another plate below: it's Italian, from the province of Brescia as shown from the 12 on the left (see the table of codes before 1927).

I wanted to add this picture in this page because it's interesting and shows a tecnique that was in use also in Italy until 1923, to attach the temporary plate over or close to the original plate of the foreign country.

This picture is taken from the magazine "U.C.T."-Trento and I want to thank so much who sent it to me.

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Picture 20

Trieste

This picture shows a bus and a truck fully loaded with helps, as you can read on the side of the truck, for the flood victims (alluvionati), probably due to the flood of Polesine in 1951, and it's very interesting from the point of view of the history of the plates because it shows in the same image two different plates of the Free Territory of Trieste that are rare and not well known. The first, on the right, belongs to a truck and you can see that it has got a small A after the letters TS. The second, on the left, is mounted on a bus used for public transportation and for this reason there's a H as first digit.

You can find many more details about Trieste, its coat of arms visible on the plates and their history in the page of plates from Trieste.

I need to thank so very much for this wonderful picture that he sent me!

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Plates in Rome by Michele Berionne