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Saturday, July 4, 2020

Toppan Micro Engraving of Declaration of Independence 1840

Only July 4, 1840, in Philadelphia, PA, Charles Toppan engraved the plate that was used to make this print of the Declaration of Independence. It is shown next to the size of a U.S. penny for comparison.

The words are so small, that one needs a strong magnifying glass, or even a microscope, to read it.

The Declaration is surrounded by the seal of the United States at the 12-o'clock position, with Thomas Jefferson on the immediate left, and George Washington on the immediate right. The original 13 colonies are then shown surrounding the text.

(above photo) Details of the Charles Toppan engraving of the Declaration of Independence.

Once a plate is created, it can be used over and over again for copies. This particular copy was printed by the American Bank Note Company. The printing date is estimated to be around 1859-1860. It was used for promotion. rABN (as it is known) would late go on to work with lasers and holography, producing the American Eagle cover of the National Geographic magazine in the 1980s.

Toppan also did an engraving of Thomas Jefferson's original draft of the Declaration n 1829.

(above photo) The engraving matted and framed.

If it could possibly be reproduced accurately, this Declaration would fit onto the back of a standard sized business card. But it would take an incredible job at printing to do so.

As it stands, it is now part of the Wonders of the Bible collection, to go along with all of the recent acquisitions pertaining to the U.S. Declaration (and its references to God). It will be on display as we approach the semiquincentennial 250th year celebration of the founding of the United States of America in 2026.

The title of my presentation is: "Christ, Creation, and the Declaration of Independence".

Since this is July 4, my series of posts that run through the entire month of June are now complete.

Happy Independence Day!

-- Frank DeFreitas