Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the Southern California Edison Company Ltd.
dated 1939. This historic document was printed by the American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical woman sitting in front of a power generator. This item is over 65 years old.
Southern California Edison is one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S., and the largest subsidiary of Edison International. On an average day, SCE provides power for 11 million individuals, 427 communities and cities, 5,000 large businesses, and 280,000 small businesses in Central and Southern California. Delivering that power takes 16 utility interconnections, 4,900 transmission and distribution circuits, 365 transmission and distribution crews, the days and nights of 12,642 employees, and over a century of experience
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.