Beautifully engraved Rare SPECIMEN certificate from the Northern Pacific Railway Company
. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company around 1910 and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of two allegorical women on the sides of the company's logo, and locomotive #231 on the bottom center.
One of the northern transcontinental railroads of the United States, operating between St. Paul, Minn., and Seattle, Wash., and merged into the Burlington Northern in 1970.
The Northern Pacific was chartered by Congress in 1864 to build a line from Lake Superior westward to a port on the Pacific coast and was given a land grant of 40,000,000 acres (16,200,000 hectares).
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 and realized nice appreciation in value over the past several years.