Beautiful specimen certificate from the Illinois Central Transportation Company
This historic document was printed by the American Bank Note Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of a train.
As of June 4, 1998, Illinois Central Corp. was acquired by Canadian National Railway Company. Illinois Central Corporation, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Illinois Central Railroad Company and CCP Holdings, Inc., was engaged in rail freight transportation business, as of March 31, 1998. The company also conducted financing operations for railroad equipment. Illinois Central Corp. was formerly known as Illinois Central Transportation Co.
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.