Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the American Cotton Fabric Corporation
. This historic document was printed by the American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of two angelic women figures holding the company's logo.
The American Cotton Fabric Corporation began in 1923 when it acquired the assets of the Passaic Cotton Mills. The had operations in Fall River, Mass., New Bedford, Mass. and Passaic, New Jersey. The company was engaged in spinning and weaving Eqyptian and American staple cotton into combed and carded yarns and fabrics for automobile tires, leather cloths and othe specialities.
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.