Chicago Breweries Limited - England 1889

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Chicago Breweries Limited
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Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the Chicago Breweries Limited dated 18XX. This historic document was printed by Bradbury, Wilkinson & Company and is the only one we have seen from this company. In the late 1880s, English investors began to review the profitable American beer industry. With exceptional growth in beer sales in the United States during this period and large numbers of Germans immigrating to the United States, made the American breweries a nice investment. In 1889, the McAvoy Brewing Company and the Wacket & Birk Brewing and Malting Company were the first Chicago breweries to be acquired by an English owned syndicate, known as the Chicago Breweries Limited. Authorized capital was £600,000, of which £400,000 had been issued in shares of £10 each. The combined barrelage of this merger was 315,000 per year with total sales in 1890 at 206,000 barrels. In 1899, English courts ruled that U.K. firms operating in foreign lands were to be taxed at the same rate as those operating in England. This negated a tax advantage the syndicates had enjoyed for years. As a result, no major investments were made by the English to purchase breweries in Chicago.
About Specimens 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.