Eighteenth Century Documents
Tom Lingenfelter, a dealer in rare historical documents and artifacts, shares the fascinating stories behind some of his American treasures, including an important anastatic copy of the Declaration of Independence. Anastatic printing is defined as "a form of facsimile reproduction invented and developed in Germany in the early 1840s and subsequently in England." Lingenfelter believes the anastatic process radically accelerated the deterioration of the original engrossed Declaration now at the National Archives in Washington DC.
"Those who go to see the engrossed copy at the National Archives are shocked that it is barely visible. Its pale brown text on off-white parchment is nearly impossible to read," Lingenfelter said. "The Anastatic Declaration is a facsimile from a plate produced by a chemical transfer process that nearly destroyed the original engrossed Declaration."
Tom Lingenfelter's anastatic copy of the Declaration of Independence, as well as several other documents from his collection, will be on display in the Vistor Center on Tuesday, May 7 from 2-5 pm and after the Speaker Series which begins at 7 pm.
Read more about the speaker and learn about other Friends events and programs on the Friends of Valley Forge Park's website.