Beautifully engraved RARE SPECIMEN certificate from the National Biscuit Company
. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of the company's early logo between two allegorical women with the word "Uneeda" below the logo and the letters N B C in the logo. The The Uneeda Biscuit was the new product resulting from the merger. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s Vice President and Secretary and is over 78 years old.
The National Biscuit Company was formed in 1898 as a result of a merger between the New York Biscuit Company in the east and the American Biscuit & Manufacturing Company in Chicago. The company's were competitors which sold graham crackers, lemon drops, oyster crackers and gingersnaps. The company incorporated in New Jersey because that state was especially hospitable to companies seeking mergers. The corporation merged 114 bakeries with 400 ovens and the capacity to consume 2,000,000 barrels of flour a year, and to produce 360,000,000 pounds of crackers annually.
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.