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The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 2, January 11, 2015, Article 8

BOSTON TIME CAPSULE OPENED

Here are some excerpts from media accounts of this week's opening of the Boston time capsule. -Editor

This evening, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, opened a time capsule removed last month from below the Massachusetts State House. Governor Deval Patrick, Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, and Malcolm Rogers, the MFA’s Ann and Graham Gund Director, watched as the contents of the time capsule, originally placed under the State House cornerstone by Governor Samuel Adams, patriot Paul Revere and Colonel William Scollay in 1795, were revealed.

US-TIME-CAPSULE-FROM-1795-FOUND-IN-MASSACHUSETTS-STATEHOUSE-UNVE

L-R: Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Malcolm Rogers, Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Pam Hatchfield, Head of Objects Conservation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and B.J. Mohammadipour display a silver plaque inscribed by Paul Revere, after the unveiling of the contents of a 1795 time capsule, at the Museum of Fine Arts on January 6, 2015, in Boston, Massachusetts.

To read the complete article, see:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston opens 'oldest' United States time capsule from 1795 (http://artdaily.com/news/75564/Museum-of-Fine-Arts--Boston-opens--oldest--United-States-time-capsule-from-1795#.VLHcfCsVhYE)

David Sundman forwarded this Boston Globe article. Thanks. -Editor

Boston time capsule silver plate

Using a porcupine’s quill, several small pieces of paper, a strip of polyester film, and a small metal pick that resembled a dental tool, Museum of Fine Arts conservator Pam Hatchfield carefully plucked history from a box Tuesday night.

The box was a time capsule, many of its items first placed beneath the cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House 220 years ago to mark the start of the building’s construction. The history came in many forms.

There were five neatly folded newspapers, a collection of 23 coins dating as far back as 1652, a medal depicting George Washington, a replica of Colonial records, and a silver plate commemorating the erection of the new State House.

To read the complete article, see:
Coins, newspapers found as time capsule is opened (www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/01/06/massachusetts-state-house-time-capsule-one-nation-oldest-opened/sGPawnxgHqoUnufy9I4PCJ/story.html)

The next article enumerates the contents, including the coins. -Editor

The opening of the capsule revealed the following items inserted in 1795:

  • Pine tree shilling, dated 1652
  • U.S. half dollar, dated 1795
  • U.S. half dime, dated 1795 (these three made of silver)
  • Massachusetts cent, dated 1787
  • Massachusetts cent, dated 1788
  • Washington medal, dated c. 1783
  • New Jersey cent, dated 1787
  • U.S. cent, dated 1793
  • U.S. cent, dated 1794
  • A 4.2-inch by 5.5 inch silver plate.

The time capsule was first placed in 1795 during a dedication ceremony for the State House's groundbreaking. A ceremony was conducted by Paul Revere, Grand Master of the Freemason Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, at the invitation of Governor Sam Adams, both noted Revolutionary era patriots, along with William Scollay.

In 1855, maintenance and expansion to the State House revealed the time capsule which was subsequently extracted. The items were removed, documented cleaned and reinterred with the addition of new items.

The 1855 items include:

  • One silver U.S. half dollar, dated 1855
  • One silver U.S. quarter dollar, dated 1855
  • One U.S. dime, dated 1855
  • One U.S. three cent coin, dated 1855
  • Four copper U.S. one cent coins – one each from 185, 1853, 1854, 1855
  • Three U.S. half cent coins – one each from 1851, 1853 and 1854
  • One title page for The Records of The Governor and Company of the Massachusetts in New England, printed by the order of the legislature and edited by Nathaniel Shurtleff, M.D. One impression of the Massachusetts State Seal in use in 1855 Cards by G.J.F Bryant, Architect, and J.R. Richard Architect Assorted morning papers of the day

As Hatchfield removed the newspapers, she commented on how well preserved they were with little corrosion. Some of the coins, though, were damaged by acid intended to preserve them over time.

The silver plate thought to be engraved by Revere, a silversmith by trade, depicting his name as well as that of Adams and Scollay, was engraved again to include the name of Governor Henry J. Gardner.

It still had fingerprints on it upon removal.

To read the complete article, see:
Here's What Was Stashed Away in the 1795 Time Capsule (http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2015/01/06/items-contents-of-mass-state-house-1795-time-capsule-2/)

Here are some more pictures of the contents. -Editor

Boston time capsule contents2

Boston time capsule contents1

To read the complete article, see:
So, What Was In That Boston Time Capsule? (www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/2015/01/06/history_of_time
_capsules_boston_statehouse_time_capsule_opening.html)

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
1795 MASSACHUSETTS STATE HOUSE TIME CAPSULE (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v17n51a12.html)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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