Beautiful engraved RARE specimen certificate from the Hilton Hotels Corporation
printed in the 1950's. This historic document was printed by Security Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of two allegorical woman (The one on the right side is not Paris Hilton). This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President, Conrad Hilton and Secretary, and is over 50 years old.
Founded in 1919 by Conrad Hilton. Hilton bought his first hotel, the Mobley Hotel in 1919 in Cisco, Texas.
In 1930, Conrad Hilton opened his first high-rise Hilton hotel in El Paso, Texas, the now Plaza Hotel.
Hilton became the first international hotel chain with the opening of the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their first Bed-In for Peace between March 25 and March 31, 1969 at the Amsterdam Hilton in Room 902. This room has become a popular tourist destination.
Hilton Hotels owns and manages several other hotel brands, catering to both business and leisure travel. These brands are Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, and Homewood Suites by Hilton.
HHC was granted the naming rights to the George R. Brown Convention Center in late 2003. The Hilton Americas in Downtown Houston, Texas, is connected to the convention center.
Conrad Nicholson Hilton was born in Socorro County, New Mexico to Augustus Halvorson “Gus” Hilton (August 21, 1854 – January 19, 1919), a Norwegian; and Mary Genevieve Laufersweiler (December 3, 1861 – August 26, 1947), a German-American.
Conrad's father Gus was the son of Halvor Nilsen Hilton and Karoline Hansdatter “Kari” Holum. Gus was born on the Hilton family farm near Kløfta in Ullensaker, Norway, where relatives still live. Gus emigrated to the United States in 1870. Conrad's mother was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, the daughter of a German-born merchant, Conrad Laufersweiler and his wife Caroline Wasem. Conrad's parents were married on February 12, 1885 in Fort Dodge.
Conrad's siblings were:
Felice A. Hilton (December 6, 1885 – February 12, 1968)
Eva C. Hilton (December 29, 1889 – 1979)
Carl H. Hilton (January 1892 – 1957)
Julia Hilton (1895 – 1897)
Rosemary J. Hilton (June 20, 1898 – November 27, 1995)
August H. "Boy" Hilton (1901 – 1929)
Helen A. Hilton (January 30, 1906 – February 22, 2003)
Conrad was educated at the New Mexico Military Institute, at St. Michael's
College (now the College of Santa Fe), and at the New Mexico School of Mines (now New Mexico Tech). In his early twenties, he was a representative in the first legislature of the newly-formed State of New Mexico.
Shortly after the United States entered World War I in 1917, Conrad Hilton enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to Officers' Training Command, Presidio of San Francisco. 2nd Lieutenant Hilton arrived in France, February 14, 1918. His unit the 304th Labor Battalion, saw limited combat. February 11, 1919, Conrad Hilton was discharged at Camp Dix, New Jersey (now Fort Dix). While Conrad was in the army, his father Gus was killed in a car accident.
Conrad Hilton built a store in Soccoro, New Mexico, but he later moved to Texas. He entered the hotel business by buying the Mobley Hotel in Cisco, Texas, in 1919. The first high rise hotel he had built was the El Paso Hilton (now the Plaza Hotel (El Paso)) , which opened on November 20, 1930. He formed the Hilton Hotel Corporation in 1946. The company expanded into credit cards, car rentals, and other travel services.
During the Great Depression Hilton was forced into bankruptcy and lost several of his hotels. He was retained as a manager and eventually managed to buy them back.
Hilton had three wives, Mary Adelaide Barron (married 1925, divorced 1934), actress Zsa Zsa Gabor (married 1942, divorced 1946) and Mary Frances Kelly (married 1976 through his death in 1979).
He and Barron had three sons:
Conrad Nicholson Hilton, Jr. (1926–1969) (Elizabeth Taylor's first husband - married Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.)
William Barron Hilton (born in 1927)
Eric Michael Hilton (born in 1932)
He and Zsa Zsa Gabor had one daughter, Constance Francesca Hilton (born in 1947), who is the only child born to any of the famous Gabor sisters.
Conrad Hilton died on January 3, 1979, in Santa Monica, California at age 91 from natural causes. He is interred at Calvary Hills Cemetery, in Dallas, Texas.
His estate founded the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. He left $250,000 to each of his surviving siblings and $10,000 to each of his nieces and nephews. Most of his monetary values went to the Roman Catholic Church and charities. However, Conrad's son Barron contested the will and won in 1988. The net worth of Barron and his descendants then jumped to over US$335 million.
Conrad Hilton's autobiography, Be My Guest, was published in 1957 by Prentice Hall.
He is the great-grandfather of celebrities Paris Hilton and Nicky Hilton. There are currently two members of the Hilton family named Conrad. One is Paris' younger brother, Conrad Hughes Hilton. The other is Conrad Nicholson Hilton III, son of Conrad Nicholson Hilton, Jr.
History from Wikipedia and OldCompanyResearch.com.
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.