Present-day NJ Route 31, spanning 49 miles from Trenton to US Route 46 in Buttzville, has been renumbered twice in its history. Originally known as NJ Route 30, it was re-designated as NJ Route 69 in the 1953 NJ state highway renumbering to avoid confusion with US Route 30 in southern part of the state. I suppose it didn’t take long, but coveted Route 69 signs started being stolen off the road in enough numbers that, by 1967, the route number was changed from 69 to its current number, 31. Sadly, the days when one could take Route 69 to Buttzville are long gone.
I assume I have one of the many stolen NJ-69 shields, as the seller mentioned that it had been in the possession of her father when he was a college student in the 1950s. It adheres to the 1949 NJ spec; cast aluminum, 18″ in diameter. It’s manufacture date can be narrowed down to sometime between the 1953 renumbering, and 1956, when the state’s shields were switched to green cutout sheet metal.