Beautiful engraved RARE specimen certificate from the Charles River Embankment Company
dated in 1890. This historic document was printed by American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of Dam. This item is over 117 years old. 10 coupons attached on right side.
"The Charles River Embankment Company, incorporated in 1881 by a group
of owners of property on the Cambridge bank of the Charles River,
persuaded the Legislature in 1887 to authorize the cities of Cambridge
and Boston to build a new bridge across the Charles that would conect
West Chester Park in Boston with Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge.
This bridge, named in honor of John Harvard, was opened to public travel
in the autumn of 1891."
[Walter Muir Whitehill, _Boston: A Topographical
History_, 2nd ed., 1968, p. 182]
Harvard Bridge (also known locally as the "MIT bridge" or the "Mass Ave bridge") is the longest bridge over the Charles River. One end of the bridge is in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, and the other at the campus of MIT in the city of Cambridge.
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.