Beautiful engraved RARE specimen certificate from the Automatic Canteen Company of America
dated in 1961. This historic document was printed by American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of two allegorical men and a woman. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President and Secretary and is over 55 years old. 40 coupons attached on right side.
The company that would become the leading firm in the American vending-machine industry was founded in 1929 by Nathaniel Leverone, who had arrived in Chicago as a 24-year-old in 1908. Leverone's company, the Automatic Canteen Co. of America, sold machines that dispensed candy bars, nuts, and chewing gum. By 1940, when the company's annual sales stood at about $10 million, about 230,000 of these vending machines were in use. After World War II, Automatic Canteen stocked the machines with cigarettes, among other items. Annual sales reached $200 million in the mid-1960s, when Automatic Canteen became the Canteen Corp. During the mid-1970s, the Canteen Corp. employed about 1,000 people in the Chicago area. At the end of the 1970s, the Trans World Corp. purchased the company, and management of its operations left Chicago.
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.