Beautifully engraved specimen certificate from the General Refractories Company
. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of allegorical men flanking a manufacturing plant.
A refractory material is one that retains its strength at high temperatures. ASTM C71 defines refractories as "non-metallic materials having those chemical and physical properties that make them applicable for structures, or as components of systems, that are exposed to environments above 1,000 °F (811 K; 538 °C)". Refractory materials are used in linings for furnaces, kilns, incinerators and reactors. They are also used to make crucibles and moulds for casting glass and metals and for surfacing flame deflector systems for rocket launch structures. History from Wikipedia, Encyberpedia and OldCompany.com
(old stock certificate research service) About Specimen Certificates
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.