Beautiful engraved specimen certificate from the Edison Electric Illuminating Company
dated in 1892. This historic document was printed by American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of two allegorical women. This item is over 126 years old. 40 coupons attached on right side. Punched cancelled. Signs of some wear on folds.
The Edison Illuminating Company was established by Thomas Edison on December 17, 1880, to construct electrical generating stations, initially in New York City. The company was the prototype for other local illuminating companies that were established in the United States during the 1880s:
September 4, 1882, Manhattan – Edison's first central station, Pearl Street Station opened at 257 Pearl Street. Fall 1882, Shamokin, Pennsylvania – the Edison Electric Illuminating Company of Shamokin was established.
July 4, 1883, Sunbury, Pennsylvania – the opening of the central station for the first three-wire (DC) Edison incandescent electric light (village system), which was attended by Edison himself.
October 1, 1883, Brockton, Massachusetts – a three-wire plant capable of supplying about 1600 lamps. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
November 17, 1883, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania – the Edison Electric Illuminating Company of Mount Carmel was founded. This was the first isolated electrical plant in the world (i.e., Mt. Carmel was the first town lighted exclusively by electricity); 38 arc lamps and 50 incandescent light bulbs were erected in the downtown business district. It was also the fifth electrical plant constructed upon the Edison system.
1885 – Edison Electric Illuminating Company of Tamaqua furnishes Tamaqua, Pennsylvania with the nation's third incandescent municipal lighting system.
In 1891, Henry Ford became an engineer with the Edison Illuminating Company, and was promoted to Chief Engineer in 1893.
The Edison Illuminating Company was purchased by Consolidated Gas some time between 1899 and 1901. In 1936, with electricity sales far out pacing gas sales, the company changed its name to Consolidated Edison.
History from Wikipedia and OldCompany.com (old stock certificate research service)
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.