Beautifully engraved RARE SPECIMEN certificate from the National Cash Register Company
dated 1938. This historic document was printed by the American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical man and woman fueling a lamp with an old cash register between them. This item has is over 80 years old.
In 1884, John H. Patterson founded the National Cash Register Company, maker of the first mechanical cash registers. In 1906, Charles F. Kettering designed the first cash register powered by an electric motor for the company. In 1952, the National Cash Register Company acquired Computer Research Corporation (CRC), of Hawthorne, California, which produced a line of digital computers with applications in aviation. In 1953, National Cash Register Company established the Electronics Division to continue to pursue electronic applications for business machines. In 1974, the company changed its name to NCR Corporation.
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.