Beautiful specimen certificate from the Western Electric Company, Inc.
This historic document was printed by the American Bank Note Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of a Greek god.
This item is over 89 years old.
The Western Electric Company was formed in 1869 as a telephone company in Cleveland, Ohio. Started out making telegraph equipment and misc. telephone equipment. In 1877 they moved to Chicago, Ill. And became Western Electric Company (official name). They supplied Western Union with their phone equipment from 1878 – 1879. In 1881 they were bought out by The Bell Company. They became the sole suppliers of the Bell System. They eventually sold to their own employees who formed the company Graybar Electric Company that is still in business.
Western Electric Company-the manufacturing arm of Western Union-founded.
Western Electric acquired by Bell Telephone.
Bell Laboratories formed by Western Electric and AT&T to pool their research and engineering resources.
Bell Systems divestiture. Western Electric becomes the Networks Systems Division of AT&T.
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.