Beautifully engraved SCARCE Specimen certificate from the United Illuminating Company
. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical woman holding an electric light. This item has the printed signatures Company's President and Secretary.
The United Illuminating Company, was formed in 1899 when the Bridgeport Electric Company merged with the New Haven Electric Company. UI is a regional distribution utility providing electricity and energy-related services to more than 318,000 customers in the Greater New Haven and Greater Bridgeport areas.
UI doesn't generate electricity, but purchases, transmits, distributes and sells it to residential, commercial and industrial customers in a service area of about 335 square miles. This service area includes the principal cities of Bridgeport and New Haven and their surrounding municipalities: Ansonia, Derby, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Hamden, Milford, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Shelton, Stratford, Trumbull, West Haven and Woodbridge. The population of this area is approximately 726,000 or 21% of Connecticut's population.
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.