Beautifully engraved specimen certificate from the Westinghouse Air Brake Company
. This historic document was printed by the Security-Columbian Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical woman with things that use brakes. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s President, and Secretary.
Westinghouse Air Brake Company The air brake was invented by George Westinghouse of New York State in 1868. He moved to Pittsburgh, Pa., where he established the Westinghouse Air Brake Company (WABCO).
After having manufactured equipment in Pittsburgh for a number of years, he began to construct facilities and plants eastwards of the city where homes for his employees were built, particularly at East Pittsburgh, Turtle Creek, and Wilmerding.
The straight air brake The first form of the air brake consisted of an air pump, a main reservoir, and an engineer's valve on the locomotive, and of a train pipe and brake cylinder on each car. The main objection to this first form of the air brake was that braking was applied to the first cars in a train much sooner than to the rear cars, resulting in shocks and damages when the rear cars bunted against the cars ahead of them.
The plain automatic air brake In 1872, George Westinghouse invented the automatic air brake by inventing the triple valve and by equipping each car with its own air cylinder. Air pressure is maintained in the auxiliary reservoirs and in the train pipe at all times when the brakes are not applied. An equilibrium of air pressure is maintained in the train pipe and in the auxiliary air cylinders.
To apply the brakes to all of the cars at about the same time, pressure is released from the train pipe, causing the triple valve on each car to apply the brakes. To release the brakes on each car, pressure is increased in the train pipe until an excess pressure above that of the pressure in each auxiliary cylinder is reached, which throws the triple valve so as to close the inlet to the brake cylinder and open the inlet to the auxiliary reservoir from the train pipe, thus allowing the equilibrium of the two pressures to be reached.
The quick action triple valve Although the plain automatic air brake was a great improvement over the straight air brake, in an emergency the system still applied the brakes to the last cars in a train later than to the first cars in a train. To remedy that condition, George Westinghouse invented the quick action triple valve in 1887. It automatically vents air from the brake pipe locally on each car, which applies the brakes more quickly.
Electric railways For the air brake to be employed on electric railways requires an air compressor that is powered by electricity. Powerful electric locomotives were produced by the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company and by other companies. The invention of the less troublesome diesel engine has reduced the number of electric railways.
History from Wikipedia and OldCompanyResearch.com
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.