Thursday 8 Jan, 2015

Centuries-old Time Capsule Opened in Boston

A brass time capsule the size of a cigar box was discovered last month in the Massachusetts State House while repairs were being done to fix a water leak. Turns out this 10-lb box was buried by none other than Paul Revere and governor at the time, Samuel Adams.

Being the ripe age of more than 200-years-old, the box was in delicate condition which means opening it would be no small feat.

It took more than seven hours to remove the time capsule from the State House cornerstone. After that, it took over four hours just to loosen the screws holding it shut.

This is where conservator Pam Hatchfield stepped up to the challenge of carefully revealing the contents.

Using a porcupine quill and her grandfather’s dental tool, Pam carefully got to work removing the items one-by-one.

Here’s what she found:

  • More than 20 coins
  • Title page of records from one of the first Massachusetts settlements
  • Seal of the commonwealth
  • Silver plate commemorating the construction of the Massachusetts State House

This is the second time the capsule has been removed from its location. In 1855 it was taken out, also during a series of repairs. The capsule  was removed and the contents cleaned, while adding a few items of their own before resealing for us to find now.

These fascinating items will go on display for a limited time before they are put back in the time capsule and sealed away for future generations to discover.

Rumor has it we may add some additional items to build upon the collection started by Revere and Adams, but only time will tell.