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An Original Copy of the Declaration Goes on Display

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In honor of Independence Day, the New York Historical Society will display the Declaration of Independence — or at least a copy of it.

Known as a 'Stone' facsimile, the document is one of 50 surviving copies made in 1820 by William Stone of the original Declaration signed in 1776, which stated that the 13 states of America were going to be independent of Great Britain.

The copies were deemed necessary as the delicate original began to age.

Historical collector David Rubenstein donated his copy to the museum for the display. He said it’s the best way to view the document. "If anybody wants to see what was really the document that was signed and what it looks like in August of 1776, you have to look at one of these ‘Stone’ copies because they're the only ones that are recognizable now."

Stone used a wet cloth on the original, Rubenstein explained, to make his facsimiles, and the original is quite faded.

Rubenstein's 'Stone' copy of the Declaration of Independence will be on display on Tuesday.

One of William Stone's copies of the Declaration of Independence.Photo Caption: One of William Stone's copies of the Declaration of Independence. (Wikipedia)