Beautiful engraved specimen $10000 Bond Certificate from the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company
printed in 1939. This historic document was printed by American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of two globes and an allegorical woman.
Vacuum Oil Company was a petroleum company in the United States, founded in 1866. It later merged with Socony, which eventually changed its name to Mobil, and today is part of ExxonMobil.
The Vacuum Oil Company was incorporated in 1866 by Matthew Ewing and Hiram Bond Everest. In 1879, Standard Oil Company, headed by John D. Rockefeller, purchased a three-quarter interest in Vacuum. During the ensuing years, Rockefeller organized his various oil holdings into the Standard Oil Trust, with headquarters in New York. Standard Oil Company of New York (Socony) founded with dissolution of Standard Oil in 1911. In 1930, Vacuum acquired Wadham's Oil Company and the White Star Refining Company.
In 1931, Socony acquired all the assets of Vacuum Oil Co. and changed its name to Socony-Vacuum Corporation. In 1933, Socony-Vacuum and Standard Oil of New Jersey (later to become known as Esso, then Exxon) merged their Far East facilities and interests into a 50-50 venture called Standard-Vacuum Oil Co., or Stanvac. In 1934, Socony-Vacuum Corp. changed its name to Socony-Vacuum Oil Co., Inc.
In 1955, the name was changed to Socony Mobil Oil Company, Inc. In 1966, there was a further change of name to the Mobil Oil 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 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.