Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the Carson Pirie Scott & Company
. This historic document was printed by the Columbian Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of the one of the company's stores. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s President and Secretary.
In 1854, Samuel Carson left Ireland and opened a dry goods store called Carson Pirie & Company in Amboy, Illinois. In 1871, a horrible fire destroyed 60 percent of the Carson Pirie & Company stock.
In 1889, a man named Peter A. Bergner opened the first Bergner’s in downtown Peoria, Illinois. In 1938, Bergner’s was acquired by the Maus and Nordmann families of Switzerland, maintaining the Bergner’s name. Bergner’s purchased the Charles V. Weise Company in Rockford, Illinois in 1954. After this acquisition, Bergner’s and Weise’s annual volume was $10 million across nine stores. Throughout the 1950s, 60s, and 70s Bergner’s continued its successful growth pattern, culminating in the acquisition of eight stores from Myers Brothers Company in south central Illinois in 1978. The merger of the Bergner’s and Myers businesses became official in 1982, and the company’s name was changed to P.A. Bergner & Co.
In 1985, P.A. Bergner & Co. purchased Boston Store from Federated Department Stores, Inc. The combined sales volume ranked P.A. Bergner & Co. in the top third of retail department stores nationwide.
In 1987, Carson Pirie & Company merged with Donaldson’s, a department store based in Minneapolis, forming a new retail corporation.