PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A suburban Philadelphia collector believes he has a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence made through a 19th Century printing process that damaged the original.

Tom Lingenfelter of Doylestown has spent years researching the document he bought for $100 at a flea market.

He believes it to be an “anastatic” copy made in the 1840s. In that process, an acid-based solution was used on originals to make negatives then copied on a printing press.

But Lingenfelter says the process damaged originals, including the hand-signed Declaration of Independence then kept at the U.S. Patent Office.

National Park Service curator Robert Giannini agrees the copy is nearly identical to one found at Independence Hall.

Lingenfelter’s copy will be on display Monday afternoon at the historic Moland House in Hartsville, Bucks County.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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