Beautifully engraved certificate from the S.S. Kresge Company
printed in 1976. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical woman, and a red overprint indicating the company's name was changed to K mart Corporation. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s Chairman of the Board, and Treasurer.
Sebastian Spering Kresge (July 31, 1867 – October 18, 1966), was the founder of the S. S. Kresge Company.
Kresge was born in Bald Mountain (near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), the son of Sebastian Kresge and Catherine Kunkle.
Living on the family farm until he was 21 years old, he was educated in the local public schools, at the Fairview Academy, in Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania, and at the Eastman Business College, from which he graduated in March, 1889.
Following his graduation, he clerked in a hardware store for two years, then worked as a traveling salesman from 1892 to 1897.
On March 20, 1897, Kresge started with James G. McCrory (founder of J.G. McCrory's) at a five and ten cent store in Memphis, Tennessee. He continued in this for two years, then in 1899 founded his company with Charles J. Wilson with an $8,000 investment in two five-and-ten-cent stores, one in downtown Detroit, Michigan (for which he traded ownership in McCrory's).
In 1912, he incorporated the S.S. Kresge Corporation with 85 stores. The company was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange on May 23, 1918. During World War I, Kresge experimented with raising the limit on prices in his stores to $1.
By 1924, Kresge was worth approximately $375,000,000 (in 1924 dollars; around $5,000,000,000 in 2009 dollars) and owned real estate of the approximate value of $100,000,000 (see Farid-Es-Sultaneh v. Commissioner, 160 F.2d 812 (2d Cir. 1947)).
Kresge died on October 18, 1966.
The first Kmart opened in 1962. Kresge died in 1966. In 1977, the S. S. Kresge Corporation changed its name to Kmart Corporation. In 2005, Sears Holdings Corporation became the parent of Kmart and Sears, after Kmart bought Sears, and formed the new parent.
In 1924, Kresge established The Kresge Foundation, a non-profit organization whose income he specified simply "to promote the well-being of mankind." By the time of his death, Kresge had given the foundation over $60 million. A strongly committed prohibitionist, he organized the National Vigilance Committee for Prohibition enforcement and also heavily supported the Anti-Saloon League financially, though he later stopped contributions.
The Kresge Eye Institute at Wayne State University was established through a grant from the Kresge Foundation.
The Kresge Science Complex at Albion College, in Albion, Michigan, is named after S. S. Kresge.
A street in Amherst, Ohio (Kresge Drive) is named after Sebastian Kresge.
A college at UCSC in Santa Cruz, CA is also named for Sebastian S. Kresge.
The Kresge Auditorium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is named after S.S. Kresge.
Kresge Auditorium at Stanford University was recently torn down.
One of Carnegie Mellon College of Fine Arts' theaters is named for Kresge.
The Kresge Library at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan is his namesake.
The Kresge Library at University of Michigan Ross School of Business is his
The Kresge Physical Sciences Library at Dartmouth College is his namesake.
Kresge Hall at Northwestern University, which currently houses the art and language departments, is also his namesake.
Kresge Hall at the Harvard School of Business is named after S.S. Kresge, as is the Kresge Building at the Harvard School of Public Health.
The Kresge Law Library at the University of Notre Dame was funded, in part, by a grant from the Kresge Foundation.
The Kresge Art Center at Michigan State University is his namesake.
The Kresge School of Nursing at the University of Western Ontario [London, Ontario, Canada] was named after Mr. S. Kresge, founder of the Kresge Foundation, after he donated $200 000 in 1960.
S. S. Kresge Corporation is one of America's oldest operating retailers. It was renamed Kmart Corporation in 1977.
History from Wikipedia 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.