Beautifully engraved RARE Specimen certificate from the Transcontinental Air Transport, Inc.
in 1929. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of a mono plane flying over a train. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s Vice President and Secretary and is over 81 years old. This is the first specimen certificate we have seen from this company.
Transcontinental Air Transport was incorporated in 1928. The Transcontinental Air Transport-Maddux Air Lines (TAT) was formed from merger of Curtiss Aeroplane & Motor Co, National Air Transport, Pennsylvania Railroad, Wright Aero Corp, and St Louis businessmen. In 1929, the company merged with Western Air Express as Transcontinental & Western Air (TWA).
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.