Beautiful engraved specimen certificate from the J. P. Morgan & Co
printed in 1969. This historic document was printed by American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of the company's headquarters. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President, Ellmore Patterson and Secretary and is over 46 years old.
In 1895, Drexel, Morgan & Co. became J.P. Morgan & Co. (see also: John Pierpont Morgan). It financed the formation of the United States Steel Corporation, which took over the business of Andrew Carnegie and others and was the world's first billion-dollar corporation. In 1895, it supplied the United States government with $62 million in gold to float a bond issue and restore the treasury surplus of $100 million. In 1892, the company began to finance the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad and led it through a series of acquisitions that made it the dominant railroad transporter in New England.
Its primary competitor, Kuhn, Loeb & Co., was a more successful adviser and financier to production companies and J.P. Morgan lost its first place in market cap and the league tables. Kuhn, Loeb & Co. would, through a series of mergers and divestitures, eventually become publicly held Lehman Brothers.
September 16, 1920: a bomb exploded in front of the headquarters of J.P. Morgan Inc. at 23 Wall Street, injuring 400 and killing 38 people.Built in 1914, 23 Wall Street was known as the "House of Morgan," and for decades the bank's headquarters was the most important address in American finance. At noon, on September 16, 1920, a terrorist bomb exploded in front of the bank, injuring 400 and killing 38. Shortly before the bomb went off, a warning note was placed in a mailbox at the corner of Cedar Street and Broadway. The warning read: "Remember we will not tolerate any longer. Free the political prisoners or it will be sure death for all of you. American Anarchists Fighters." While theories abound about who was behind the Wall Street bombing and why they did it, after twenty years investigating the matter, the FBI rendered the file inactive in 1940 without ever finding the perpetrators.
In August 1914, Henry P. Davison, a Morgan partner, traveled to the UK and made a deal with the Bank of England to make J.P. Morgan & Co. the monopoly underwriter of war bonds for UK and France. The Bank of England became a "fiscal agent" of J.P. Morgan & Co. and vice versa. The company also invested in the suppliers of war equipment to England and France. Thus, the company profited from the financing and buying activities of the two European governments.
In the 1930s, J.P. Morgan & Co. was forced by the Glass-Steagall Act to choose either commercial banking or investment banking. J.P. Morgan & Co. chose to operate as a commercial bank, because it was perceived to be more profitable in the post depression era. Faced with this new paradigm shift, many Morgan partners, along with some Drexel partners, sought to begin what is now called Morgan Stanley. It is a common misconception that the "Morgan" in Morgan Stanley is the last name of John Pierpont Morgan, but, in fact, it is the last name of Henry Morgan, who was a J.P. Morgan partner. J.P. Morgan & Co. incorporated in 1940, and, in 1959, merged with the Guaranty Trust Company of New York to form the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company. Ten years later, it established a bank holding company called J.P. Morgan & Co. Incorporated as its parent. By the late 1990s, when it was acquired by Chase Manhattan (the new company's name became JPMorgan Chase & Co.). The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repealed the restrictions of Glass-Stegall and allowed Morgan to turn itself into an investment bank, too. Besides investment banking, it also offered private banking and private equity services.
Ellmore C. Patterson earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago. Later that year, he joined J. P. Morgan & Co., then a private banking firm. He was elected an Assistant Vice President in 1948 and a Vice President in 1951. J.P. Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York merged to form Morgan Guaranty in 1959 and Patterson was named Senior Vice President and head of the general banking division. He was eventually named President of J.P. Morgan & Co., Inc. in 1969, which was formed to acquire Morgan Guaranty. He became chairman of the Board and Chief Executive of both companies in 1971. He assumed the position of Chairman of the Executive Committee until his retirement as an officer in 1978.
Patterson also served as a Director of Bethlehem Steel Corp., Morgan Bank of Canada, and the Santa Fe & Southern Pacific Corp. He was also formerly a Director of Atlantic Richfield Oil Co., General Motors Corp., International Nickel and Nabisco Brands, Inc. In 1970 he was appointed to the President's Commission of Financial Structure and Regulation which studied the nation's financial system and made recommendations for improving it. In 1975-76 he served as chairman of a committee of financial executives to help New York City out of its financial crisis. In 1979, he completed a three-year term as a Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
History from Wikipedia and OldCompanyResearch.com (old stock certificate research service).
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.