Beautiful engraved specimen certificate from the Locke Insulator Corporation
printed in 1921. This historic document was printed by Security Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of a Locke Insulator, power lines and an electric railroad track. This certificate is over 86 years old. This is the only example of this certificate we have seen.
Fred Locke of Locke Insulators invented the porcelain insulator and he invented a low expansion glass material which Corning Glass later marketed as Flameware, one of its Pyrex ovenware lines.
Fred Locke is considered to be the "Father of porcelain insulators". In 1894 he developed the first high voltage insulator. He had both glass and porcelain insulators manufactured to his designs by other companies and built his own porcelain factory in Victor, NY in 1898 and the Lima Insulator Co. in 1904.
History from Wikipedia and OldCompanyResearch.com.
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.