World’s Oldest Time Capsule Finally Opened

The world’s oldest time capsule, buried by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere over two centuries ago, was recently unearthed in Boston on December 2014. Discovered in a cornerstone of the Massachusetts State house, the box-shaped artifact has since been opened.

Since its excavation, experts – including Pam Hatchfield, head of objects conservation for Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts – have spent hours carefully working on opening the time capsule in order to safely uncover its contents without damaging the 10-pound relic.

“It was like brain surgery, with history looking down on us,” said Malcolm Rogers, director of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

Inside, the time capsule contained at least 24 age-old coins, five folded newspapers, and other memorabilia from the Revolutionary-era, including a seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a title page from Massachusetts’ colony records, and a silver plaque with an engraving from Paul Revere.

“That was the treasure at the end,” Rogers said, regarding the inscribed plate, which honors the placement of the legislature’s cornerstone by Adams and Revere on July 4th, 1795.

However, this isn’t the first time the capsule was opened: Back in 1855, it was unearthed during emergency repairs to the State house, and then re-secured in its original location – with an extra few coins tossed in.

The Revolutionary-era duo most likely left the capsule behind in 1795 (when the building was first being constructed), as a lasting reminder to future generations about what they had accomplished up until that point. To this day, the patriotic adventurers are iconic figures in American history – the embodiment of freedom and liberty.

Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, who oversaw the excavation, had initially X-rayed the capsule’s contents and knew exactly what they would find before prying the case open.

Now, officials intend to remove the contents of the box and put them on temporary display in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, before packing and closing the capsule once more.

Anyone interested in viewing a little bit of history should make their way to Boston as soon as possible. But before doing so, one questions remains: Will anything new be added to the time capsule before it’s put back?

“The governor has wisely suggested that we might,” said William F. Galvin, secretary of the commonwealth.