Beautiful RARE specimen certificate from the Western Auto Supply Company
dated 1986. This historic document was printed by the Columbian-Security Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of the famous company flag logo.
Western Auto Supply Company—known more widely as Western Auto—was a specialty retail chain of stores that supplied automobile parts and accessories. It operated approximately 1200 stores across the United States. It was started in 1909 in Kansas City, Missouri, by George Pepperdine, who later founded Pepperdine University.
Western Auto was bought by Beneficial Corporation in 1961; Western Auto's management led a leveraged buyout in 1985, leading three years later to a sale to Sears. Sears sold most of the company to Advance Auto Parts in 1998, and by 2003, the resulting merger had led to the end of the Western Auto brand and its product distribution network.
Western Auto originally started as a mail order business for replacement auto parts. The first retail store was established in 1921, and grew quickly as automobiles became more and more common. At one point, there were over 1,200 company-owned stores nationwide, usually located in metropolitan areas, and more than 4,000 associate stores (private franchise "dealer" locations), usually located in small cities and towns. The associate store program was the first of its type, pioneering the way for other future modern day franchise operations. The company had five regional distribution centers in the United States, with the one located in North Carolina serving its stores in Puerto Rico.
History from Encyberpedia and
stock certificate research service)
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.