Beautiful specimen certificate from the Union Carbide Corporation
Company. This historic document was printed by the American Bank Note Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical figure. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s Chairman of the Board, and Vice-Chairman.
Union Carbide Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary (since 2001) of The Dow Chemical Company. It currently employs more than 2,400 people. Union Carbide primarily produces chemicals and polymers that undergo one or more further conversions by customers before reaching consumers. Some are high-volume commodities and others are specialty products meeting the needs of smaller markets. Markets served include paints and coatings, packaging, wire and cable, household products, personal care, pharmaceuticals, automotive, textiles, agriculture, and oil and gas. The company is a former component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Founded in 1917, the company's researchers developed an economical way to make ethylene from natural gas liquids, such as ethane and propane, giving birth to the modern petrochemical industry. Before divesting them, the chemical giant owned consumer products Eveready and Energizer batteries, Glad bags and wraps, Simoniz car wax, and Prestone antifreeze. The company divested other businesses before being acquired by Dow Chemical on February 6, 2001, including electronic chemicals, polyurethane intermediates, industrial gases and carbon products.
The company is also notorious for numerous serious public health incidents, particularly the Bhopal disaster (1984) in which a major toxic gas leak from a production centre in Bhopal caused over 3000 deaths and seriously injured 400,000 others in the surrounding residential area.
The Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation was formed in 1917 from the merger of the former Union Carbide founded in 1898 and the National Carbon Company founded in 1886. These companies made carbon rods for arc lights and electrodes for electric arc furnaces, and produced aluminium. Other companies merged included Linde Air Products, maker of liquid oxygen, Prest-O-Lite, manufacturer of calcium carbide, and Electro Metallurgical. In 1920 the company set up a chemicals division which manufactured ethylene glycol for use as automotive antifreeze. The company continued to acquire related chemical producers, for example, the Bakelite Corporation became a division in 1939. The company changed its name to "Union Carbide Corporation" in 1957 and often referred to as Carbide.
Ucar batteries was Carbide's industrial and consumer zinc chloride battery business. The business including Energizer alkaline batteries was sold to Ralston Purina in 1986, following a hostile takeover attempt.
About Specimen Certificates
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.