The copper cigar box sized container is 220 years old and, most importantly, was created by historical figure Paul Revere and well-known governor at-the-time Samuel Adams. The year in which time capsule was buried was revealed to be 1795.
After almost five hours, Pamela Hatchfield, head of objects conservation at Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, was able to meticulously unhinge the box and open it. From it, the conservation team at the museum extracted five folded newspapers, a silver plaque, 24 coins, including one dating to 1655, a medal portraying George Washington, the first United Stated president, and a seal from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
It is believed that the time capsule was unearthed once before, in 1855, as coins from that period were discovered in the container. The oldest coin in the unburied box is a 1655 “Pine Tree Schilling”. At that time, colonized America did not have the authority granted by the British Empire to establish its own currency.
The executive director of the Massachusetts Archive and Commonwealth Museum, Michael Comeau, stated that the current value of the coins reaches as much as $ 75,000. But the historical value is much higher due to the association with the important historical figures as Paul Revere and Samuel Adams.
Although the newspapers unearthed were left folded, it could be observed that the papers listed the arrivals of whalers in the ports of Boston. Also, it was visible that one was a copy of the Boston Evening Traveler – that was eventually incorporated in what is currently known as Boston Herald.
The time capsule was first embedded in the cornerstone of the State House building. The historical building is covered by an copper dome built by Revere himself. The building was established on July 4th 1795 in a ceremony that marked the 20th anniversary of the Revolutionary War.
The box was discovered in December 2014 during a construction project on Massachusetts’ State House.
William Galvin, Massachusetts state Secretary, said that the objects will most probably be put on display over a specific period of time, after which the capsule will be replaced in the building’s foundation. Claiming that the time capsule is a part of history and that it also belongs to future generations, the state Secretary contemplates placing a few symbolic present objects in the box before returning it to the ground.
Image Source: CBS Boston