Boston Museum Opens Paul Revere’s Time Capsule

Coins and newspapers inside the brass box date from the 1650s to the 1850s. After going on display, the time capsule will be resealed and returned to its place in the cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House.

1. The Museum of Fine Arts Boston on Tuesday opened the oldest known American time capsule, which was first buried in 1795 by Paul Revere and Samuel Adams, who was then governor of Massachusetts.

2. Conservators opened the lid of the brass box, which dates to 1855, when the time capsule was opened then replaced in the cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House.

After going on display, the time capsule will be returned to the cornerstone.

3. Using a porcupine quill and her grandfather’s dental tool, conservator Pam Hatchfield carefully took out objects to find…

4. Newspapers…

5. A medal…

6. Coins…

This one minted 1652, when colony was not allowed to strike its own coins, with a pine tree #bostontimecapsule

— Alan Yuhas (@AlanYuhas)

7. A paper imprint of the Great Seal…

The seal of the commonwealth, which Bostonians find a very big deal #bostontimecapsule

— Alan Yuhas (@AlanYuhas)

8. A title page of records from one of the first Massachusetts settlements…

Title page of the records of the Massachusetts Bay Colony #bostontimecapsule

— Alan Yuhas (@AlanYuhas)

9. …and a silver plate commemorating the construction of the State House, as well as 20 years of U.S. independence.

Silver plate imprinted in 1795, maybe Paul Revere made, laid by Sam Adams #bostontimecapsule

— Alan Yuhas (@AlanYuhas)

10. “This is the most exciting project I’ve ever worked on,” Hatchfield said. “This is what we as conservators live for.”

The contents of the #MFATimeCapsule

— Museum of Fine Arts (@mfaboston)

11. H/T Guardian US reporter Alan Yuhas who live-tweeted the event.

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Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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