Beautiful uncancelled certificate from the Elgin National Industries
issued in 1987. This historic document was printed by American Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of Father time flanks by angels. This item has the signatures of the Company's President and Secretary and is over 20 years old.
Elgin National Industries, Inc. is engaged through divisions or subsidiaries in two key groups: Engineering and Construction and Manufacturing; to service a wide range of markets and industries. Through the subsidiaries above, Elgin serves almost every sector of the mining and bulk materials handling industries and supplies a wide range of industrial customers with products including fasteners, electrical equipment, and maintenance supplies.
Elgin was founded in 1864, right as the civil war was coming to an end. The first watch Elgin made, an 18 sized B W Raymond railroad grade watch, was finished in 1867 and over the next 100 years, they went on to produce about 60 million watches. Elgin produced their first wristwatch around 1910, leading most other American watch companies by many years.
Elgin was originally called the "National Watch Company". The name never really stuck and in 1874, they changed their name to the "Elgin National Watch Company" because most of the watch trade and public were calling them "watches from Elgin". They kept that name until the late 1960s when they stopped producing watches and changed their name to the "Elgin National Industries".
Elgin was founded on the idea of mass producing high quality pocket watches using machine made, interchangeable parts. Up until around 1850, watches were made mostly by hand, which meant that if a part broke, you had to find someone with the tools and skill to make a new part. Elgin realized that there was a large market for good watches that could be sold and repaired relatively cheaply using factory made replacement parts that didn't require hand adjusting.
Elgin never made the very highest quality watches in the world, nor did they make the very cheapest, but together with Waltham (aka The American Watch Company), they dominated the vast middle ground of the watch market.
The Elgin Watch company kept the name until the late 1960s when they stopped producing watches and changed their name to the "Elgin National Industries".
Today, collecting Elgin watches is quite popular. Because Elgin produced so many watches and produced so many spare parts, they can still be easily bought and fixed, so even a 100 year old Elgin can be used, with care, on a daily basis. While mechanical watches can't compete with quartz watches for accuracy, there is something about having a watch that ticks that a quartz watch just can't replace.
History from Wikipedia and OldCompanyResearch.com (old stock certificate research service).