Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the Alberta Government Telephones Commission
no later than 1967. This historic document was printed by the Canadian Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical man holding a globe and looking out into the distance. This item is over 51 years old.
Alberta Government Telephones adopted the name Telus in October 1990, after the province decided to sell shares in the Crown corporation to the public.
The initial public offering featured 75 million shares at $12. A year later the government sold its remaining 54 million shares at $15.
When Alberta became a province, it was one of the new government's first major political decisions to get into the phone business. Premier Alex Rutherford's first provincial budget in 1906 included $25,000 for phone development to combat Bell Canada's monopoly.
AGT commenced operations later that year, marking the first time a government got directly involved in the phone business in North America.
The province took its first step to distance itself from the business in 1958 when it established the Alberta Government Telephones Commission which managed the system and became responsible for long-term financing.
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 and realized nice appreciation in value over the past several years.