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New – Open to Public – Historical copy of Declaration of Independence

Published on June 29, 2015

On display from 10AM – 5PM in the Providence VFD training room. 

On July 4th at 1:00 PM we have engaged a professional actor to portray John Adams, in costume.  He will read a special letter Adams wrote to his wife, and then read the Declaration from an original manuscript.  

The son of one of our board members, John Houston,  has loaned the station a rare, 40″ x 36 3/4″ framed, lithographed copy of the original Declaration of Independence.  This is an exact copy of the original.  It will be on display in the training room for the month of July with special emphasis on July 4th. along with additional items.

We extend a special invitation to all, school age children to join us there, and have contacted multiple members of the media.


In 1942, Czech American lithographer, Theodore Ohman, produced this stunning lithograph of the Declaration of Independence.  The original Declaration had hung in the U. S. Patent Office from 1841 – 1876, in a hall opposite a window exposed to sunlight which accelerated the deterioration of the ink and parchment.  The combined effects of aging, sunlight and fluctuating temperature and relative humidity took their toll on the document.

In 1856, it was described by an observer in United States Magazine as “that old looking paper with the fading ink”.  

Using the last photograph taken of the original Declaration before it was permanently sealed in the National Archives in 1903 and the Stone engraving made in 1823, Ohman was able to combine the original writing with the exact present appearance of the parchment.  This required the meticulous placing of every word and signature over the cracks in the Declaration, exactly as it would be if the signatures and script were undamaged.

The Ohman lithograph, depicting the Declaration in it’s actual size is imprinted in the lower right “Copyright 1942, by the Ohman Co., Memphis, Tenn.”.

The Ohman lithograph is in the collections of the National Archives, Library of Congress, and Independence Hall.  Source:  Legendaryauctions.com – The Declaration of Independence – Original Ohman Lithograph.



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