Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the Wickes Corporation
. This historic document was printed by the American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of the company logo between 2 allegorical men, one reading a sheet of paper and one holding a sledge hammer. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President ( Harvey Randall Wickes ) and Secretary ( Melvin J. Zahnow ).
In 1947, Wickes Boiler, Wickes Bros., and United States Graphite merged and Wickes Corporation was born. Harvey Randall Wickes became the new company's President and served in that capacity until 1964.
Today, Wickes Inc. is a major supplier and distributor of building materials. The Company sells its products and services primarily to residential and commercial building professionals, repair and remodeling contractors and, to a lesser extent, project do-it-yourselfers involved in major home improvement projects. At March 24, 1998, the Company operated 101 sales and distribution facilities in 23 states in the Midwest, Northeast, and South and 10 component manufacturing facilities that produce and distribute pre-hung door units, roof and floor trusses, and framed wall panels.
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 and realized nice appreciation in value over the past several years.