Beautiful specimen certificate from the International Business Machines Corporation
. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of two women with the business logo. This item has the signatures of the Company’s President, Thomas J. Watson, Jr. and Secretary. The older style IBM certificate are scarce and very desirable.
Thomas John Watson, Jr. (January 14, 1914 – December 31, 1993) was an American businessman, political figure, and philanthropist. He was the 2nd president of IBM (1952–1971), the 11th national president of the Boy Scouts of America (1964–1968), and the 16th United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1979–1981). He received many honors during his lifetime, including being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Watson was called "the greatest capitalist in history" and one of "100 most influential people of the 20th century".
The company which became IBM was founded in 1896 as the Tabulating Machine Company by Herman Hollerith, in Broome County, New York (Endicott, New York or Binghamton, New York), where it still maintains very limited operations. It was incorporated as Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation on June 16, 1911, and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1916 by George Winthrop Fairchild. CTR's Canadian and later South American subsidiary was named International Business Machines in 1917, and the whole company took this name in 1924 when Thomas J. Watson took control of it. IBM's first U.S. trademark was for the name "THINK" filed as a U.S. trademark on June 6, 1935. "THINK" was the IBM philosophy Watson summarized with a motto consisting of one word. The name was attributed to a monthly magazine called 'Think', that was distributed to the employees of IBM in the 1930s. A U.S. trademark for "IBM" was not filed until approximately 14 years later, on May 24, 1949.
History from Wikipedia and
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. This is an exciting sector of the hobby that has grown in popularity over the past several years.