400-year-old Time capsule opened

The time capsule belonging to Samuel Adams and Paul Revere that dates back to the late 1700s has finally been opened.

On Tuesday night after carefully snooping the small greenish box open with everything from a porcupine quill, to bamboo, to a dental tool, museum conservators Paul Comeau and Pam Hatchfield opened it and revealed its contents to a room full of Massachusetts politicians, journalists, and historians.

Hatchfield slowly removed two daily newspapers from the mid-19th century and coins from the 1850s, including three-cent pieces, pennies, and a “quardollar.”

Towards the bottom of the box she found the box’s oldest items: a copper medal of Washington that declared Adams general of the American armies and president of the United states, coins from the 1780s, and one coin from 1652.

Hatchfield also found an imprint of the seal of the commonwealth, a copy of the title page of the colony’s earliest records of the 1600s, and a silver plate engraved with the names of Adams, Revere, and Williams Scollay, a war hero and deputy to Revere.

Comeau was “tremendously relieved” that the box’s items were in such good shape because water leaks had been a problem where the capsule was initially concealed in a cornerstore in the State House.

These artifacts help us “better understand not only what happened before us but also helps to better understand ourselves, because it’s this power of memory, of shared memory and heritage,” according to Comeau.

“This is more than simply looking at some historical artifacts, trinkets or curiousities,” said Massachusetts’ secretary of the commonwealth, William Galvin. “These symbols, when they were placed in the State House in 1795, I believe represented the aspirations of the founding fathers and those who came after.”

“The history of Massachusetts is the history of America.”

 

(Inputs from agencies)

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