Beautifully engraved specimen certificate from the Mammoth Mart, Inc.
This historic document was printed by the Security-Columbian Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of Marty the elephant. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s President, Max Coffman and Treasurer.
Mammoth Mart was a discount department store chain, located in the northeastern United States, primarily in the New England area. The chain was founded by Max Coffman in Framingham, Massachusetts in 1956, and was something of a prototype for the large, downscale department store, selling housewares, hardware and clothing in stark, unfussy buildings, usually in suburban shopping center locations. Other discount department store retailers like K-Mart, Zayre, and Bradlees would subsequently expand on this concept.
Their advertising mascot was Marty the elephant, a smiling, blazer-wearing mammoth.
By 1969 the chain had 35 stores, though they filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter XI of the Bankruptcy Act. The chain was acquired by now-defunct King's Department Stores in 1978.
About Specimen Certificates
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 were 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 has grown in popularity over the past several years.