Beautifully engraved specimen certificate from the Wisconsin Central Railroad Company . This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical woman with wings. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's officers.
The original Wisconsin Central Railroad Company was established by an act of the Wisconsin State Legislature and incorporated in February 1871. It built track throughout Wisconsin, connecting to neighboring states, before being leased to Northern Pacific Railway between 18891893. It became the Wisconsin Central Railway Company in 1897, and back to Wisconsin Central Railroad Company in 1954. The railroad was merged into the Soo Line Railroad in 1961. History from Wikipedia, Encyberpedia and OldCompany.com (old 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.