Beautiful engraved specimen certificate from the Aluminum Specialty Company
dated in 1967. This historic document was printed by American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an eagle. This item has the signatures of the Company's President and Secretary and is over 39 years old.
Even though it's been more than 45 years since the Evergleam aluminum Christmas tree burst onto the holiday decorating scene, today there is a renewed popular interest in the strikingly different holiday tradition. The Aluminum Specialty Company of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, made the Evergleam tree, by far the most popular brand in a crowded marketplace. Coming in a variety of sizes and colors, more than 1 million Evergleams made it to American homes in the 1960s. Aluminum Specialty stopped making the trees in the early 1970s, but many remained integral to family Christmas traditions while other trees were relegated to garages or attics.
In 1959, The Aluminum Specialty Company first introduced the aluminum Christmas tree to a somewhat confused
American public. Marketed as a permanent tree, sales were somewhat less than stellar. Electric tree lights then
available on the market could not be used with these new trees, due to safety concerns. The only way to light them
was with a spotlight, or rotating color wheel.
In 1960, The Aluminum Specialty Company offered its flagship aluminum tree, The Evergleam. Sales really took off.
Since aluminum is an excellent conductor of electricity, standard lighting outfits could not be used. As mentioned
directly above, spotlights or rotating color wheels had to be used. The aluminum tree became so popular with
Americans, that sales of strings of electric lights took a nosedive, severely impacting an industry already struggling
with offshore competition.
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.