Beautifully engraved Specimen certificate from the United Electic Light and Power Company
printed in 1899. This historic document was printed by Western Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of allegorical woman holding an electric light while flying in the clouds.
Following the introduction of Edison's invention, electric company competition was fierce, yet service was inconsistent. Power plants were small and inefficient, rates varied widely, and distribution amounted to a tangle of duplicated and overloaded overhead lines.
The United Electric Light and Power Company emerged as a pillar in its field, and in 1906, it joined with Consolidated Gas to become Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power Company of Baltimore - the city's first fully integrated gas and electric service company. The company subsequently The Company changed its name to the Baltimore Gas & Electric Company.
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.