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Frank Romano on the Printing of the Declaration of Independence

Published on December 4, 2015

Someone asked why the Declaration of Independence was not printed. Frank answers the question with a “Yes, it was printed. That’s how most people learned about it.”




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By Dov Isaacs on Dec 04, 2015

OK Frank, what font was used for the first printings of the Declaration of Independence? Caslon, perhaps?

(It certainly wasn't Comic Sans or your beloved Palatino!)


By Frank Romano on Dec 04, 2015

Caslon it was. I once visited the Type Museum in London and stood before the cabinet with the original molds that made the type that set the Declaration. It was humbling.


By HENRY HUNT on Dec 06, 2015

Out of curiosity what substrate was it printed on ?


By Frank Romano on Dec 06, 2015

The Dunlap Broadside copies were printed on paper on the night of July 4—and thus are contemporary with the original Declaration that is written on parchment.
Until 1883, over 75% of all paper in the world was made from cannabis hemp fiber. But the Dunlap copies were printed on Dutch paper made from flax or linen rags imported from overseas.


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