Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the Quaker Oats Company
printed in 1968. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of a Quaker holding a box of Quaker Oats and allegorical sisters. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s President.
Quaker's history traces back to 1901, when several American pioneers in oat milling came together to incorporate under the name The Quaker Oats Company. It all started in the late 1800s when three different Midwest milling companies had independently begun to process and sell high-quality oats for the consumer giving the American family a product that would be superior in quality to the oats sold in open barrels at general stores.
In Ravenna, Ohio, Henry D. Seymour and William Heston had established the Quaker Mill Company and registered the now famous trademark.
In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, John Stuart, his son Robert and their partner, George Douglas, operated the largest cereal mill of the time.
Ferdinand Schumacher, known as "The Oatmeal King," founded German Mills American Oatmeal Company in 1856, after selling oats in his Akron, Ohio, store for two years.
Combining these companies after the turn of the century brought together the top oats milling expertise in the country and gave the newly formed corporation a name that even then was a symbol of quality and purity.
In August 2001 -- after one hundred years as a publicly traded company -- Quaker merged with PepsiCo, Inc., the Purchase, New York-based food and beverage company, and became a unit of PepsiCo. The combination resulted in the fourth-largest consumer-goods company in the world. Quaker Foods & Beverages (via The Quaker Oats Company) continues to be headquartered in Chicago.
History from Quaker Oats press information.
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.