One Junction City man’s collection is so big that it flows out the back of a station wagon and the door of a storage shed and fills another station wagon.
    Jack “Easy Jack” Welsh, owner of “Easy Jack” & Sons, has been collecting license plates — collectors call them tags — for more than 40 years. He began by keeping the plates from vehicles he registered in Kansas. “Easy Jack” & Sons auto salvage yard has been open for 45 years, and he’s been finding license plates on car bodies brought into the yard.
    Welsh displays portions of his collection around the office and in the back room. A display of license plates from the United States greets customers at the front desk. Around the upper wall is a display of Kansas county license plates with the county numbers up to 1951, when counties began being identified by abbreviations.
    License plates hang from the ceiling and on the walls in various places. They include license plates from every year in Kansas, Kansas counties with abbreviations, Kansas truck plates, Canadian provinces and plates with prominent numbers, such as 222, 333 and 444.
    Being in the junkyard business, Welsh has had dealer plates for his work vehicles, which he has packed away.
    Welsh’s nicest display is hanging in the Geary County Motor Vehicle Department office. It includes a Geary County plate from every year displayed in a sealed glass case.
    This display started out hanging in the Junction City Historical Society Museum when it was located on Seventh Street. When the museum was moved to its present location, the display was no longer wanted. Welsh then contacted Geary County commissioners and the Geary County treasurer. They decided to display Welsh’s collection. That was in 1987.
    When the annex building was built and the treasurer’s office was once again moved, the current commissioners and treasurer took it upon themselves to move Welsh’s display. He has kept the display on loan to the county since.
    Welsh is not sure how many license plates he currently has in his large collection. He would guess about 30,000. Many of those he has gotten in large quantities.
    “I bought 537 tags at your dad’s sale,” Welsh said in reference to Gerald Dix’s auction in 2005.
    There are other ways he’s run across collectible plates.
    “I don’t have time to chase car tags,” he said. “Some of them I’ve taken off cars or bought from people.”
    Many years ago, “Easy Jack’s” sold fireworks and would offer 10 cents in fireworks to children who brought in a license plate.
    He has attended a few Kansas License Plate Collector’s Association meets when held in Delavan and Herington but has never become a member. He is a past member of the Automobile License Plate Collector’s Association.
    Over the years, Welsh also has put on programs about the history of license plates for schools, churches and other organizations. He has been able to sell many of his plates for antique vehicles that can now run tags from the year of the car model. Many people from overseas also come in looking for Kansas plates to take home with them as souvenirs.