Beautifully engraved specimen certificate from Chicago Park District Refunding Bond
dated not later than 1944. This historic document was printed by Columbian Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of a tree with buildings in the background. This item is over 70 years old.
The Chicago Park District is the oldest and financially largest Park District in the nation, with over a $400 million budget. The Park District also has the excellent reputation of spending the most per capita on its parks, beating out Boston in terms of park expenses per capita. Though it is small in terms of total landed area -- it is backed by the Cook County Forest Preserve District -- it is one of the few park districts to have its own independent taxing authoirity. The CEO of the Park District is appointed by the Mayor of Chicago.
History from Wikipedia.
Specimen Certificates are actual certificates that have never been issued. They were usually kept by the printers in their permanent archives as their only example of a particular certificate. Sometimes you will see a hand stamp on the certificate that says "Do not remove from file".
Specimens were also used to show prospective clients different types of certificate designs that were available. Specimen certificates are usually much scarcer than issued certificates. In fact, many times they are the only way to get a certificate for a particular company because the issued certificates were redeemed and destroyed. In a few instances, Specimen certificates we made for a company but were never used because a different design was chosen by the company.
These certificates are normally stamped "Specimen" or they have small holes spelling the word specimen. Most of the time they don't have a serial number, or they have a serial number of 00000. This is an exciting sector of the hobby that grown in popularity over the past several years.