Declaration-of-Independence-copyWhere do you hide your valuables? Present day we have several choices, including storage units.

More often our most valuable possessions placed in a safety deposit boxes.

But during the Great Depression in the 1930s, people didn’t trust banks.

They hid cash and valuables inside the walls of their home. Inside a mattress.

Or what’s called a “post-hole” bank in which a glass jar was filled with heirlooms, cash or valuables buried at the bottom of a post on a fence line.

Where am I going with this?

I’m getting there. Another secure place to stash something of value back in the day was behind the back of a picture frame.

Slip cash or an important document between the picture and the backing – Voilà!

Valuables stayed safe within the family and heirlooms passed onto the next generation. But that didn’t always happen, for whatever reason.

True stories:

Dumpster diver picked up a picture of the Apollo 8 liftoff in the trash at his complex. When he took apart the frame from the picture, he found $3,100 in cash.

Man placed a $40 bid in a silent auction for an old sketch of a hotel. Inside the frame and sketch he found an 19th century piece of sheet music.

Now to wow you…

In 1989 a Philadelphia man bought and old picture for $4 at a flea market because he liked the frame. When he took the frame apart from the picture he found a folded document inside.

A copy of the Declaration of Independence!

It was the genuine article. About 500 copies of the Declaration of Independence were printed by John Dunlap on July 4, 1776. Purpose of the copies was to declare the news of America’s independence to citizens of the original 13 colonies. But only twenty-four copies are known to exist.

Document was auctioned at Sotheby’s for an astounding $2.4 million!

Pictures and wall art are common items found inside storage units up for auction.  LOOK to see if there is anything between the back and the picture before you toss it away.

A long, lost treasure may await you.

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