Beautifully engraved specimen certificate from the Lawrence Gas and Electric Company
around 1915. This historic document was printed by the John A. Lowell Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of the Company's previous stock certificate.
It was reported that in 1898, the Lawrence Gas and Electric Light Company had a capital of more than half a million dollars, and manufactures annually 80,000,000 cubic feet of gas, furnishes 8,500 16-candle power lights, and 450 arc lamps.
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.