Beautifully engraved RARE SPECIMEN certificate from the Western Air Express Corporation
. This historic document was printed by the Jeffries Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an eagle perched upon a rock that is sitting in the middle of the water. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President ( A. P. Adams ) and Secretary. This is the first time we have had this certificate for sale.
Western Air Express was formed in July 1925 with six Douglas M-2 mailplanes and 20 employees. The airline provided mail and passenger service in 1926 from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City via Las Vegas. The carrier depended upon its mail routes for revenue and fell on hard times when it began passenger-only routes. In 1930, Western Air Express agreed to merge with Transcontinental Air Transport, forming Transcontinental and Western Air Inc. (TWA). The deal later fell apart. Western Air Express was revived and, in 1940, signed its first ALPA contract. In 1941, the carrier became Western Airlines.
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 we 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 grown in popularity and realized nice appreciation in value over the past several years.