Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the Docutel Corporation
. This historic document was printed by the Security-Columbian Banknote Company in 1979 and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an eagle. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s President and Secretary.
Docutel Corporation invented the automatic teller machine or ATM that allows a bank customer to conduct their banking transactions from almost every other ATM machine in the world. The company also developed the automated baggage-handling equipment. It took five million dollars to develop the ATM. The concept of the ATM first began in 1968, a working prototype came about in 1969 and Docutel was issued a patent in 1973. The first working ATM was installed in a New York based Chemical Bank.
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 and realized nice appreciation in value over the past several years.