Technically though this artifact is actually in a disturbed context and is a secondary deposit. This is not actually the original capsule. The original capsule was made of cowhide and it is known to have been embedded in a cornerstone when construction on the state Capitol building began in 1795 when Samuel Adams was governor. That version of the time capsule was accidentally discovered in 1855 and the contents were shifted to a hermetically sealed copper box. That box was then unearthed again in December of 2014. Officials say old records and X-rays taken in December after the box was located and removed indicate it contains old coins, documents, newspapers and a metal plate owned by Paul Revere.
But what is the condition of the artifacts? Tune in and find out!
Secretary of State William Galvin said notes from the 1855 rediscovery indicated that officials washed some of the contents with acid before putting them in the new copper box. He also said records show it was a humid day when the items were restored and the corner of the Statehouse where the capsule was reinstalled has had a water leakage problem for decades.
It’s the second time capsule to resurface in Boston in recent months. In October, a capsule dating to 1901 was uncovered in a lion statue adorning the Old State House. That contained newspaper clippings, letters and a book on foreign policy.
It took more than four hours for officials to loosen the screws on top of a time capsule they were set to open on Tuesday night, said Pam Hatchfield, the museum's head of objects conservation. Hatchfield said the tools she was using to remove objects from the time capsule included a porcupine quill, a bamboo tool and her grandfather's dental tool.
"They said it was hermetically sealed, and I think they really meant it," Hatchfield said as she slowly pulled out objects from the capsule.
Officials removed newspapers and several coins from the time capsule, including half-cent, one-cent, half-dime, 10-cent and 25-cent coins, Hatchfield said.
As she looked at papers inside the box, Hatchfield said, "the paper is in amazingly good condition."