United Railways of the Havana and Regla Warehouses, Limited - Cuba, 1909

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Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from United Railways of the Havana and Regla Warehouses, Limited. This historic document was printed by Bradbury, Wilkinson & Company in 1909 and has an ornate border around it. The United Railways of the Havana and Regla Warehouses is the English translation of the Ferrocarriles Unidos de Havana company. This company came under British control in 1898, and issued shares and bonds in London. The company controled many of the rail lines in the western part of Cuba which amounted to over 1200 miles in the 1920's. The company's assets were acquired by Ferrocarriles Occidentales de Cuba in 1953. All Cuban railways were nationalised by Castro in 1960.
About Specimens 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 and realized nice appreciation in value over the past several years.