What could be the oldest American time capsule, dating back to the beginning of the Unites States, was unearthed in Boston on Tuesday. The container, created by Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere and renowned statesman and then-governor Samuel Adams, was put into the ground in 1795. And 220 years later, the contents from the capsule, which is about the size of a cigar box, have been revealed.
It took conservator Pamela Hatchfield, head of objects conservation at Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, nearly five hours to loosen screws before the top could be lifted, ABC News reported. One of the first objects removed was a newspaper. "This is clearly a newspaper and it’s really packed in there," Hatchfield said as she extracted the item.
The conservator discovered 24 different coins. Among the oldest were from 1650. Coins from 1850 were also found, which probably occurred after the container was opened and then resealed.
It took an hour to empty all of the capsule’s items, CNN wrote. In total, there were five newspapers, a title page from Massachusetts colony records, an engraved silver plate, 24 coins and a Massachusetts commonwealth seal extracted. Museum employees will try to preserve the items.
Now that the time capsule is empty, Massachusetts Gov. Devel Patrick reportedly suggested it be refilled. "We'll think about it," William F. Galvin, secretary of the commonwealth, said, according to CNN.
Hatchfield reportedly used a porcupine quill and a dental tool that belonged to her grandfather to take out the items. Pictures from the removal of the time capsule’s contents can be seen below. Check it out: