Beautiful engraved specimen certificate from the Pioneer Take Out Corporation
printed in 1970. This historic document was printed by American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of the company logo and is over 48 years old. This is the only example of this certificate we have seen.
Pioneer Chicken was originally a Southern California fast-food restaurant specializing in chicken. It operated in California and elsewhere. The chain is now defunct in the United States, although some few franchises still exist; one exists in Bell Gardens, California, one in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California, Santa Monica has one, there is one on Soto St. in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles, one on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, one on Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park, CA (the chain's original restaurant) and another remains at the intersection of Olympic Blvd. and San Vicente near Miracle Mile.
During the 1980s, Los Angeles Lakers announcer Chick Hearn and former football great O.J. Simpson used to advertise for the restaurant. Bob Kerstein grew up around the one by Pico and Westwood Blvd.
It was named after Pioneer Market, a now-defunct small chain of supermarkets in Los Angeles. The original location in Echo Park was located next to Pioneer Market's original store (which is now a Walgreen's) on Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard. Due to considerable redevelopment activity in the neighborhood due to gentrification, the long-term future of this restaurant is in doubt although it continues to operate as of November 2006.
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.